E.J. Dionne, a liberal Catholic who broke with the Obama administration over the HHS rule, analyzes the fallout from this dispute. This is an especially interesting passage, I thought:
Liberal Catholics were proud to stand with conservatives in defending the church’s religious liberty rights in carrying out its social and charitable mission. Now, we’d ask conservatives to consider that what makes the Gospel so compelling — especially for the young, many of whom are leaving the church — is the central role it assigns to our responsibilities to act on behalf of the needy, the left-out and the abandoned.
And we’d ask our non-Catholic liberal friends to think about this, too. Many of us agreed that broad contraception coverage was, as a general matter, a good thing, and we shared their concern for women’s rights. But we were troubled that some with whom we usually agree seemed to relish a fight with the church and defined any effort to accommodate its anxieties as “selling out.”
As a young politician put it in 2006, “There are some liberals who dismiss religion in the public square as inherently irrational or intolerant, insisting on a caricature of religious Americans that paints them as fanatical, or thinking that the very word ‘Christian’ describes one’s political opponents, not people of faith.”
Barack Obama, who spoke those words, finally figured out that a sensible compromise on contraception was far better than a running cultural and religious war. The administration would do well not to lose track of that guy again.