Fox News Priest: HHS is “Raping” the First Amendment
In a statement objecting to a perceived lack of coverage of the recent Catholic lawsuits against the Department of Health and Human Service’s contraception regulations, Catholic priest Jonathan Morris characterized the HHS policy requiring employers to include contraception services in their health care plans as a “rape” of the First Amendment:
Any national media outlet that fails to report the obvious raping of our First Amendment rights by this Health and Human Service mandate, is trumpeting either woeful incompetence or shameless bias. The Catholic Church didn’t pick this fight, but it knew that if it didn’t fight back now, every religion would eventually lose, and America would be fundamentally redefined.
Morris is the Program Director of The Catholic Channel on Sirius XM radio and a Fox News analyst who regularly appears on programs like Fox & Friends and The O’Reilly Factor. The statement was included in a list of comments by conservative figures in a press release from the right-wing Media Research Center.
Not only is Morris’s rape analogy a grossly misleading characterization of a complicated policy debate, it’s a shockingly insensitive insult to the millions of people who have been victims of horrific sexual violence.
As the response to Rep. Clyburn’s use of this same language to describe Bain capital earlier this week has reinforced, this kind of extremism has no place in our political dialogue. That’s especially true when it comes from a member of the clergy, and Fr. Morris should immediately issue a retraction and an apology.
Catholic bishops are already concerned about their efforts on this issue being associated with extreme rhetoric. USCCB President and supervising bishop of Fr. Morris, Cardinal Timothy Dolan of New York, would do well to weigh in here to make clear that this language has no place in the Church’s campaign.
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