Pope John Paul II, surveying from his seat in the eternal hereafter the battle between the American Catholic Church and the Obama administration over mandated contraception services, must be permitting himself a sad smile. The pope knew more than most about the innate tensions between the state and its citizens.
The Obamaites will object that it is unfair to liken their government to the Communist Party of Poland. That is not the point. What the former Karol Wojtyla knew is that any state will claim benevolence on behalf of doing whatever it thinks it needs to do in pursuit of its goals.
White House Press Secretary Jay Carney invoked the good in defense of the Obama law’s universal reach: “The administration decided—the president agrees with this decision—that we need to provide these services that have enormous health benefits for American women and that the exemption that we carved out is appropriate.”