The first clear front in this war is the battle over contraception funding as the Bishops openly campaign from the pulpit, lobby members of Congress, and attack the Obama administration for the right to let any employer opt out of covering any medical treatment he or she disagreed with as a matter or personal faith.
This philosophy has now infected the review and renewal of the Violence Against Women Act as Republicans, for the first time ever, vote against protecting domestic violence victims because the bill extends protections to the LGBT community and undocumented immigrants.
And there’s more where that came from.
The Bishops plan to work with other religious organizations, including evangelical Christians, on an election-year public relations campaign to rally against a laundry list of government measures which they believe intrude on religious liberty.
How will this massive election-year pr campaign be coordinated? A SuperPAC, I’m sure. Just wait. It’s the next logical step for the Bishops here.
So far the Southern Baptist Convention and the National Association of Evangelicals has already pledged money and manpower. They’ve drafted a letter to be read from the pulpit openly protesting the contraception mandate as an assault on religious liberty.
The Bishops have been preparing for this for months. They’ve pushed hospitals to turn away women who may need abortions, shut down Catholic adoption agencies who offer adoption services to same-sex couples, and risked funding for programs to help sex trafficking victims over condoms.
How will this massive election-year pr campaign be coordinated? As a SuperPAC, I’m sure. The Bishops are halfway there. They’ve hired extra staff including an attorney and a lobbyist. The group also created a “special committee on religious charity” chaired by Bishop Lori.
Their singular mission is to push the notion that there is an assault on free exercise rights in this country. And our campaign finance laws are going to make this all possible.
Photo from tracy o via flickr.