Comparing Birth Control to a Terrorist Attack Guarantees the Chump Crown, While Notre Dame Students Are our Champs
Sometimes people speak too soon, realize their mistake, and apologize — but not Rep. Mike Kelly (R-PA).
On August 1, the day birth control began to become available without co-pay, more than a dozen Republican members of the House of Representatives hosted a press conference to denounce the law for all sorts of reasons. Chumps like Rep. Ann-Marie Buerkle (R-NY) spoke, and without a touch of hyperbole called the mandate “the largest assault we’ve seen on First Amendment rights in the history of our country.” Others like Rep. Tim Huelskamp (R-KS) characterized the law as "thinly veiled religious bigotry." And then Rep. Mike Kelly had his turn at the podium:
“I know in your mind, you can think of the times America was attacked. One is December 7, that's Pearl Harbor Day. The other is September 11, and that's the day the terrorists attacked. I want you to remember August 1, 2012, the attack on our religious freedom. That is a day that will live in infamy, along with those other dates."
As outrageous as that statement may be, what’s even more outrageous is his unwillingness to apologize. His office responded in a statement:
“The HHS mandate is an undeniable and unprecedented attack on Americans’ First Amendment rights. Our freedoms and way of life have been under attack before, from both internal and external threats. If we fail to defend our constitutional rights, we risk losing the freedoms that so many brave men and women have given their lives to defend throughout the course of our nation’s history."
Our Champs this week come from South Bend, Indiana. What started out as a personal letter to Rev. John Jenkins, the president of the University of Notre Dame, soon became a basis for a petition to encourage the university to drop its lawsuit against the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services over the new birth control mandate.
While the university claimed the mandate would require them to violate their Catholic teachings, students responded from the Catholic perspective why the university’s position was incorrect. They argued that as the largest employer in the county, an exemption would mean forcing non-Catholics to follow Catholic doctrines, and even cited Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia’s warning about making “the professed doctrines of religious belief superior to the law of the land.”
For standing up for what they believe in and starting an important dialogue on campus about the importance of access to affordable birth control and individual choices, we’re giving these students the Champ crown.