President Obama implored us to “reject any politics that targets people because of race or religion.” Regrettably, his opposition to religious profiling cannot be taken seriously. If anything, his administration has contributed to it.
The Health and Human Services (HHS) mandate is a classic case of religious profiling. Not only does it cherry pick Catholic non-profits by forcing them to pay for abortion-inducing drugs, it redefines what constitutes a Catholic entity: Catholic social service agencies that hire and serve large numbers of non-Catholics—that is what truly Catholic institutions do—are deemed to be no longer Catholic. This explains why the Little Sisters of the Poor were declared to be non-Catholic by the administration; it also explains why the nuns sued them.
When bishops complained that the HHS mandate was violating the conscience rights of Catholics, the Obama administration retaliated by issuing a gag order: it prohibited military chaplains to read from the pulpit a letter by Archbishop Timothy Broglio protesting this edict.
For many years, the Migration and Refugee Services, an agency run by the bishops, received a federal grant for its work combating human trafficking. But because it opposes abortion as a remedy to “help” women, it was denied by the Obama team, even though its grant application received high scores from independent reviewers.
Catholics have every right to question Obama’s alleged sensitivity to religious institutions. After all, he invited Catholic dissidents to the White House to meet the pope, and has welcomed vile anti-Catholics such as Bill Maher and Dan Savage. By contrast, there is no record of him ever embracing anti-Muslim bigots. That’s because Muslims are treated with greater respect than Catholics.