The Democratic candidates for the U.S. Senate in Connecticut may reveal the soul of the Democratic Party…


The race for the open U.S. Senate seat in Connecticut—the seat currently held by Joseph Lieberman—is now providing some pretty clear evidence about exactly what the five Democratic candidates for national political office think about the issue of religious liberty. 


When asked during the “Face the State” debate whether Catholic hospitals should be required to provide contraceptive services and abortions, all five Democratic candidates said in various ways and to various degrees that they would support federal legislation compelling Catholic hospitals—since they receive federal funds—to perform abortions.

Candidates Susan Bysiewicz, Matthew Oakes, and William Tong were direct in their responses: the federal government has the right to require Catholic hospitals to perform abortions.

Bysiewicz said:

The federal government has the right to regulate what  services are provided, because Catholic  institutions, colleges and universities get funding from the federal  government, and I believe that those institutions should provide access  to reproductive health care.

Oakes said:

If they’re gonna take our money—I’m Roman Catholic—then they  need to perform the health care issues that women need performed for  them.

Tong said:

Access  to an abortion should be open and available.  Access to contraception, the  same thing. These are basic liberties enshrined in our Constitution, in  our jurisprudence. That’s a fact. […] I think we need a cooperative  approach. We had a bill in the state Legislature to provide emergency  contraception. It was called Plan B. […] Now Plan B is a reality.  Emergency contraception is made available to patients at Catholic  hospitals. We just need to find a way to make it work.

Candidate Chris Murphy was not as direct.  He said: “[Catholic hospitals] certainly have the ability to decide what services they perform.”

That’s masterful politicalspeaque, The Motley Monk would note.  Saying Catholic hospitals “certainly have the ability to decide” is quite different from saying “the government should not require Catholic hospitals to perform abortions.”

Candidate Lee Whitnum didn’t answer the question directly.  Instead, she said that providing contraceptive services is a “good thing.”  But, Whitnum didn’t go so far as to say whether Catholic institutions should be forced to provide contraceptive services.

The Catholic bishops of Connecticut were quick to issue a statement, noting:

If it is [the candidates’] position that our hospitals should be forced by law or regulations to provide abortions in spite of our teaching, it is unfortunate to note their readiness to violate religious liberty.

Their position would be the logical extension of the federal Health and Human Services regulations with regard to so called “preventative services.”

Yes, the statements of these five candidates for the U.S. Senate indicate their readiness to trample upon the exercise of religious liberty.  Perhaps the statements also reveal the state of the soul of the Democratic Party.



To view the video of the “Face the State” debate, click on the following link.  The relevant comments begin at 5:30 into the debate.

To read the Connecticut bishops’ statement, click on the following link:

To read The Motley Monk daily blog, click on the following link:


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The Motley Monk

The Motley Monk is Fr. Richard Jacobs, O.S.A., a Professor of Public Administration at Villanova University. His academic specialities include: organizational theory; leadership ethics; Catholic educational leadership; and, U.S. Catholic educational history. Check out Fr. Jacobs' daily blog at http://www.richard-jacobs-blog.com/omnibus.html.


  1. I’m afraid the candidates are right. If the Church takes the King’s shilling he is going to insist the Church follow his rules.
    I work for a “Catholic” agency and all such are basically an arm of the State and county Depts. of Social Services. Is it any wonder +Hubbard fails to criticise Gov. Cuomo and his live-in mistress?

    Many dioceses have been forced out of the adoption business. Why wait to be forced out of health care?
    Eschew gov’t money (and ditch Catholic Charities bureaucracy) and run our own clinics, shelters, pregnancy programs, private adoptions, &c.
    Of course we would have to donate and _volunteer_ more to make it work.

  2. Does the king, in effect, buy the organization with his shilling? so many taxpayers just think they have transferred their religious obligation to do charitable works of mercy to the state through their tax dollars. they don’t think the state is buying those charitable org or taking control of them– they think the state will work through existing orgs– contributing to the good causes that the taxpayers themselves would have contributed to… now, why democratic taxpayers have bought into the idea that charity should be done through the state, I don’t know…

  3. Thank God He gave us Obama who, conjuring with the Bernank and Tax Cheat Tim, creates for us $$$ trillions of Federal Reserve Notes: “full faith and credit of the government . . . ”

    Thank God Obama fundamentally changed America which the Founding Fathers had freed from a king who produced nothing, but owned everything.

    The liberal ‘crats are fundamentally devolving America into a nation of libertine parasites.

  4. Thos. Collins, the trick is the government is expanding what it considers ‘taking the
    king’s shilling’. For example, many Catholic colleges accept taxpayer dollars directly
    in order to remain afloat. Some few decline to accept federal funds because of the
    strings attached. However, the federal government has deemed that if a college has
    students that receive Pell grants or federally funded student loans, then the college
    is still receiving federal funds and therefore remains subject to federal regulation.

    The logical extension of this line of thought is that if faculty and students use public
    roads financed in part with taxpayer dollars from the federal government to get to
    and from school, then the school is receiving federal funds and etc., etc..

    It seems to me that this administration wishes to make Catholic institutions into just
    another arm of the state. It is using the carrot of taxpayer dollars and the stick of
    federal regulation to do so. Eschewing taxpayer dollars is no guarantee of escape.
    The new HHS mandate deems that Catholic institutions that do not restrict either their
    employment or their services primarily to Catholics shall not receive the exemption
    previously given them as religious institutions, regardless of whether or not they
    accept public funds. The government moved the goalposts re: what it will regard as
    a religious institution, and the new criteria do not include acceptance of taxpayer

  5. They seem to forget – taking taxpayer dollars (I assume the refer to medicare/medicaid) is actually a favor to the government. It generally pays out far less than private insurance or private pay.

    The real losers will be those who can’t get care because the Catholic institutions can no longer accept medicare/caid.

    Doesn’t really matter. Dems will eventually just require abortions whether you take fed funds or not.

  6. DO NOT TRUST A ONE OF THEM EVER. TRUST IN OUR LORD GOD AND SAVIOR JESUS CHRIST. The best counsel on all of Earth is the Bible. Tell all to read it daily.
    The next time you vote do not vote for a promise vote a man that will tell the
    world his LORD and Savior is JESUS CHRIST, and that he will serve him, family then Country. For with out GOD and Family we will have no Country!
    And will tell all this on a Bible the truth of what was and is to come from are Lord GOD.
    Read the Bible and tell the lost to do so to. The Bible the truth the whole truth and nothing but the truth.
    So help you GOD He will send his Son to Judge all.

    All Taxes need to be lowered cut in half or there will be a lot more Poor and needy and not in just other countries. This 2012 year the World will see hunger like never before. More then 100 million will be sick from malnutrition going with out food and safe drinking water, many will die. Taxing the poor and taking there Land away from them is Wicked. Very soon the Rich will become the Poor.

    If your Legislature will not lower Taxes vote them out of office and VOTE in someone that will Lower your Taxes. If your Son or Daughter was raised in a Christian Home we need them in our Government as Leaders.

    May our Lord Jesus Christ and GOD the Father that is in Heaven,
    Guide and Watch over us.

    In this time of TRIBULATION, Strengthen your Faith, and encourage
    all to Pray for their souls. The strong in the word of our Lord will Now
    Help the World and be the disciples of our Lord’s Word. It is time to
    gather the lost sheep while you can and there still is so little time.

    The Governments of all Nations need to read.
    John 14:6 Jesus said ……….

    United We Will Always Stand That
    In GOD We Trust
    True Patriots

    The Lord’s Little Helper
    Paul Felix Schott

    Many a Nation have fallen from taxing their people to Death. You want Prosperity and for thing to Flourish and grow lower all taxes. You want thriving, success, or good fortune for only a few, keep over taxing all.

    Solar, Wind and Renewable Energy Freedom from OIL. The Humanitarian thing to do. Solar Energy.

    Why let the Wicked in office in our Nation if they do not believe in GOD and the Bible vote them out of office.

    United We Will Always Stand In GOD We Trust
    George Washington and Johann Paul Schott 12/24/1776. 3:45AM
    In GOD We Trust
    The United States of America’s Motto July 30, 1956.
    King David’s Motto 3,000 years ago.
    Soon all the World will Pray to Our Lord GOD and Savior Jesus Christ.

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