Wednesday, February 15, 2012

A timeline of Tim Kaine and religious freedom lead to a couple questions

A Virginia parallel to the Timeline of Prevention nationwide:

February 8
The Washington Post
Tim Kaine splits with Obama on birth control rule for religious groups
Former Virginia governor Timothy M. Kaine criticized the Obama administration’s new policy requiring some religious institutions to provide coverage for prescription contraceptives, a rare instance of disagreement between the Senate candidate and his close political ally.

The insurance rule has sparked fierce criticism from religious groups, particularly the Roman Catholic Church, which say the policy will require them to violate their beliefs.

10:32 PM, Feb. 9, 2012
The Associated Press
Obama birth control mandate puts Kaine in corner
A White House mandate that could force Catholic organizations' insurance plans to cover their employees' birth control costs tugs former Gov. Tim Kaine between his Roman Catholic faith and his Democratic ally, President Barack Obama.

Kaine, Virginia's first Catholic governor and now running for a U.S. Senate seat, says the administration's new rule is too broad and has to include exemptions for schools and hospitals run by religions that oppose birth control.

"You've got to have a vigorous religious employer exemption," Kaine said Thursday in an Associated Press interview.

1:05 PM ET, 02/10/2012
Updated: Kaine backs Obama compromise on birth control rule for religious groups
The Washington Post
Updated 1:05 p.m.: Timothy M. Kaine praised President Obama’s announcement Friday that he would alter his administration’s new rule requiring religious institutions to pay for employees’ prescription contraceptives, four days after Kaine said he disagreed with the initial policy.

February 11, 2012 12:14 A.M.
National Review Online
Nothing but Squid Ink
Proponents of Obamacare’s anti-conscience mandate on preventive care kept telling critics to wait and see what the final rules held. As of Friday afternoon, we now know. It wasn’t worth the wait.

If there was a question Friday morning whether the Obama administration might cede ground, there was no doubt at the end of the day. They haven’t budged.

Despite what President Obama said at his White House press conference, the actual regulations make permanent the “interim final regulations” issued August 3, 2011 — the ones that sparked the furor in the first place.

To be fair, the President's announcement sounded like a lot of things and raised a lot of questions. The most important of which (that Tim Kaine did not wait to have answered before responding) was what would the new policy actually say?

The answer: it says the exact same thing.

Thus, two questions for the former governor:

Governor Kaine, considering that you disagreed with the President and said, "You've got to have a vigorous religious employer exemption," and that the same policy is set to be implemented "without change," do you retract your "religious organizations will not be asked to violate their beliefs" statement and do you still have "grave concerns" about the policy?

Governor Kaine, considering you "support the contraception mandate," why should religious employers be the only ones entitled to conscience objections? Why should every job creator in the country be forced to become its own little mini Planned Parenthood?

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