Wash Post Journalist: ‘Maybe the Founders Were Wrong’ to Guarantee Free Exercise of Religion

February 13, 2012 by  
Filed under Featured Stories, Media Fail, Politics

(NEWS BUSTERS)   Washington Post political writer Melinda Henneberger shockingly stated, Wednesday, that “maybe the Founders were wrong” to guarantee religious liberty. Henneberger appeared on Hardball to discuss the Obama administration’s decision to force the Catholic Church to provide birth control in health care.

Discussing the battle between the left and those who see it as a threat to the First Amendment, she declared, ” Maybe the Founders were wrong to guarantee free exercise of religion in the First Amendment but that is what they did and I don’t think we have to choose here. ” Henneberger’s awkward comment came as she attempted to defend the Catholic Church.

Host Chris Matthews speculated about the Catholic Church capitulating: “Can you imagine them saying we give up? We’re going to provide full insurance coverage with no co-pay for everything now defined by the FDA as birth control…They’re going to go for this?”

Henneberger shot back, “That will never happen.”

She added, “…What [the Obama administration is] doing is guaranteeing people, you know, these Catholic outfits and others can’t serve the populations that they were called to serve. But, it does not have to come to that.”

Henneberger’s larger point was defensive of the Catholic Church and of religious liberty. However, her comment on the First Amendment was poorly phrased.

A transcript of the February 8 segment, which aired at 5:20pm EST, follows:

CHRIS MATTHEWS: There you have the ideological argument from the left, I suppose, the progressives in this country. You heard it well-spoken there, I believe, Melinda, they see it as an argument over whether you’re allowed to have birth control or getting covered as part of the insurance or not. The Catholic Church and those who are looking at the interests of the, well, the First Amendment if you will, as they see it look at it differently. Explain this distinction and how you look at the interests involved, the conflicts, the rights involved here.

MELINDA HENNEBERGER (Washington Post): I just think the two sides can’t hear each other, not that there is anything unusual about that. But I know in my own conversations with friends, I’m saying, “First Amendment, First Amendment, First Amendment.” And what I hear back is, “Wow. I had no idea you, you didn’t believe in birth control.” You know, this really is  seen widely among Catholics and people of other faiths as an attack on religious liberty. Maybe the Founders were wrong to guarantee free exercise of religion in the First Amendment, but that is what they did and I don’t think we have to choose here. The key is that I think there are ways we can go about this where, without infringing on any concern about a woman’s health, we can still guarantee religious liberty without which, I mean, there is no way this is going to stand in the court but it’s also a huge political liability.

MATTHEWS: Okay. You say there is no way it’s going to stand in the court. Let’s assume there is no legislation that gets signed by the President. Let’s assume it stands between this who’s going to blink thing. Let’s ask, will the Catholic Church, let’s ask, blink? Can you imagine them saying we give up. We’re going to provide full insurance coverage with no co-pay for everything now defined by the FDA as birth control. They’re going to do it. They’re going to go for this?

HENNEBERGER: That actually can never happen so they would have to literally go- I mean, what Sister Carol Keehan is saying who runs the Catholic Health association, do I really have to choose between the call that I think came from Jesus to serve the have nots in this world and the government telling me that I have to do something that goes against my faith? I mean, this really- that will never happen so what they’re doing is guaranteeing people, you know, these Catholic outfits and others can’t serve the populations that they were called to serve. But, it does not have to come to that.

Read more: http://newsbusters.org/blogs/scott-whitlock/2012/02/08/wash-post-journalist-maybe-founders-were-wrong-guarantee-free-exerci#ixzz1mHooiUJx

Comments

7 Responses to “Wash Post Journalist: ‘Maybe the Founders Were Wrong’ to Guarantee Free Exercise of Religion”
  1. Obama is picking a fight with the Catholics to make abortion and separation of church and state campaign issues so he doesn’t have to talk about the wars and the economy, both of which would guarantee his joining the unemployment lines next January.

  2. lili says:

    Gasp one group of human beings were, gasp, WRONG about something and it needs to be corrected. The same could be said of the entire U.S. constitution.

    So what if the Catholics are mad again? This is an everlasting argument about nothing. The only religion America has is the "love thy money" religion. All else is just philosophical argument used to get more power so people can get,say it with me,more money.

    Obama is doing nothing but coasting until the election. He will lose and retire somewhere and the republicans he serves will lower the country into even further darkness. It’s the same as it always was. Religious nonsense is just another political divider. It’s just that the religious folks are too stupid to know they are being manipulated.

    If the Catholic faith doesn’t want government money, it should stop taking government money and fund its hospitals on its own. God will help them.

  3. j r says:

    The founder probably would have liked banning religion completely but they were smart enough to recognize that you can’t legislate away stupidity.

  4. Chuck says:

    Maybe this broad should move elsewhere if she is unhappy here.

  5. amicusbriefs says:

    Do Catholics want the religious freedom to castrate, then draw and quarter the priests, bishops and cardinals who savaged their children? The chosen religion is indemnifying itself from harm by rewriting their Psychiatric Handbook to include child assault as a mental illness, thus paving the way for more Sanduskys to work their own legal system like a marionette. All these religions, infiltrated and contaminated by the Tribe’s network, only serve today to reinforce the Nightmare. Being closer to God, in any fashion, strikes real fear into the hearts of these practitioners of Illusion, for a person shown real favor by God has as his advocate the Immortal Enemy of the usurpers of Absolute Truth. Christ’s condemnation of the money changers has gone missing from the Sunday sermon. Instead, pastors as deluded as their followers offer multicultural pablum fit for a creature with no teeth…

  6. MTGradwell says:

    Can nobody else see that Henneberger is being facetious when she says "maybe the founders were wrong"? Her implication is that this is how the Obama Administration sees it, NOT how she sees it. How can we know? Because her point, her only point, the point that she makes over and over and over ("first amendment, first amendment, first amendment ..") is that the founders were NOT wrong, at least on this issue.

    To paraphrase her, ‘I’m saying, “First Amendment, First Amendment, First Amendment.” And what I hear back is, “Wow. I had no idea you, you didn’t believe in the First Amendment.” ‘

  7. d darr says:

    where in the first amendment does it say an employer can force their religion on an employee?

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