Links for 06/23/16

The other day I linked to John Gehring's fine piece at Commonweal calling for all sides to try and seek some common ground on religious liberty issues. Stephanie Russell-Kraft, at Religion Dispatches, is having none of it, in fact, she ends up proving the point she tries to refute. She claims that Gehring misses the fact that all the extremism is on the right, but her own rantings prove the opposite. I used to go to Religion Dispatches when I first started blogging but it has become so reflexively predictable, it is now kinda boring. Gehring has also been attacked by the right so I am thinking he must have gotten it about right. 

At America, Archbishop Blase Cupich on the pope's motu proprio regarding accountability for bishops, especially those who neglect to protect children from predators. 

The Obama administration has refused to block a new California rule of dubious legality that requires all insurance policies to cover elective abortions. Of course, under the terms of the ACA, and the attached executive order, every exchange set up by Obamacare must offer one policy that does not cover abortion, so the only way to get insurance coverage in California that does not cover abortion is through the Obamacare exchange. Still, state insurance boards have to base their decisions in some meaningful sense on the recommendations of the state health boards. "Elective" abortions, by definition, are not medically necessary so on what basis does the agency make its finding? The good thing about the controversy is that it exposes the problem with the Weldon amendment: If the only punishment permitted is a cut off of all federal funds, that is a pretty big stick, unlikely to be wielded. Still, in this case, Obama might have at least threatened with Weldon. Alas, NARAL is to the Dems what the NRA is to the GOP. 

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