You are hereThink Progress: Santorum Invents New Front In Fake War On Religion: Obama Wants Female Catholic Priests

Think Progress: Santorum Invents New Front In Fake War On Religion: Obama Wants Female Catholic Priests

-By Ian Millhiser

February 8, 2012- For weeks, Republicans have pretended that President Obama is waging some kind of war on religion because his administration recently approved regulations requiring insurers to cover contraceptive care — spurred on in large part because the conservative U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops opposes the contraceptive care regulations. Their claim is utterly absurd. The new rules exempt churches from the requirement to offer insurance that covers contraception. And they align closely with the beliefs of actual Catholics, 58 percent of whom believe that employers should be required to provide insurance that cover contraception.

On Fox News this morning, GOP presidential candidate Rick Santorum doubled down on this bizarre claim that Obama is going after religion — falsely claiming that the president wants to tell Catholics who they can hire as priests:

What they’ve done here is a direct assault on the First Amendment, not only a direct assault on the freedom of religion, by forcing people specifically to do things that are against their religious teachings. . . . This is a president who, just recently, in this Hosanna-Tabor case was basically making the argument that Catholics had to, you know, maybe even had to go so far as to hire women priests to comply with employment discrimination issues. This is a very hostile president to people of faith. He’s a hostile president, not just to people of faith, but to all freedoms.

Watch it:

It’s not clear exactly which First Amendment Santorum is talking about here, because he clearly isn’t talking about the First Amendment to the United States Constitution. As conservative (and Catholic) Justice Antonin Scalia explained in a Supreme Court opinion more than twenty years ago, a law does not suddenly become unconstitutional because someone raises a religious objective to it — if this actually were true, anyone at all could immunize themselves from paying taxes or from any other law simply by claiming they have a religious objection to being a law-abiding citizen.



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