Obama needs to check in with his inner Vizzini. It was, apparently to Obama, inconceivable that anyone other than a few nuns or priests would care at all about making conception a big hairy issue. Or that not a few otherwise moderate Catholics, Protestants, and Jews might notice the heavy hand of government’s suppression of religious liberty.

Depending on your degree of kool-aid ingestion, yesterday’s walk-back by Obama was nothing more than a “shift” (the WaPo headline in this morning’s bird-cage liner version) or the more honest “Obama Retreats on Conception” in the dead-tree version of the Wall Street Journal.

Regardless of labeling, it is still a violation of religious conscience to force a faith-based organization to provide something for its employees that is anathema to its doctrines. That the organization does not pay for this directly does not change the fact that an employee receives birth control for “free” solely as a consequence of her employment at that organization.

Free in quotation marks because it’s not really free. Everything has costs; someone must bear those costs. Ultimately, the sponsoring organization will make up the additional costs of health insurance attributed to any third-party insurance.

Or does Obama want us to think that insurance companies, or the drug companies, or physicians who provide birth control services will no longer charge for their goods and services?

Money spent on insurance is fungible. Sooner or later, the Notre Dames of this nation will pay for birth control. Think this unimportant, perhaps because you have no personal qualms with birth control? Wait until the government requires something that your faith holds dear.

The point is that this is not at all about birth control. It’s about liberty; it’s about a gross violation of the First Amendment. And, sadly for what used to be a free nation, this tangible loss of freedom is anything but inconceivable. It’s happening right under our noses.


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