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Shutdown shuts out Mass for some in service

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Obama bullies Catholic military personnel
By Malin Jordan
U.S. President Barack Obama speaks at the White House in Washington Sept. 10. (Photo: Evan Vucci, pool via Reuters / CNS)U.S. President Barack Obama speaks at the White House in Washington Sept. 10. (Photo: Evan Vucci, pool via Reuters / CNS)
As bullies go, he is a superb incarnation.

He has already bullied Catholics in the U.S. over conscience rights with his draconian implementation of Obamacare, he's bullied the U.S. over petty issues regarding the government shutdown, and now Barack Obama is bullying Catholics out of their right to practise their faith.

Catholics in the U.S. got kicked when religious groups there were forced, under Obamacare, to pay for insurance that covered services judged to be immoral, such as abortions.

During the government "shutdown" stateside (roughly 21 per cent of federal employees are not working) the bullying has spiralled into the ridiculous as Obama seems to be punishing Americans in his selective shutdown of popular government-run attractions.

Consider what he closed down and what he left open:

Closed: open-air sites including the Georgetown Waterfront, the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial, the Sculpture Garden, parts of the National Mall, the Lincoln Memorial, and the World War II memorial.

Open: Constitution Gardens, the Upper Senate Park, and the Japanese-Americans Memorial.

If it was a government shutdown, shouldn't everything be shut down and not just the popular sites?

In an effort to punish the people he works for he closed open-air spaces without fences - places normally accessible 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Obama has now brought his victimhood mentality to a national level, using a phony crisis to make everyone feel his pain, as if to say, "If I suffer, we all suffer."

When he shut down the World War II memorial, he erected barricades around its 56 granite pillars. Then he tried to shut down Florida Bay. The Miami Herald reported the National Park Service told fishing guides they couldn't take customers fishing in the bay until the government gets back to work. An anonymous park ranger said, "We've been told to make life as difficult for people as we can. It's disgusting."

His anti-Catholic bent is also denying some Catholic military personnel their right to practise their faith. The shutdown has shut out priests hired as contract workers from some military bases. On U.S. soil, it may not be such a big issue if personnel are able to head off base and attend a local Mass, but there are many military personnel stationed around the world.

Priests classified as contract workers have also been forbidden to volunteer their time to celebrate Mass under threat of arrest.

Obama could have easily denoted the few religious workers as essential personnel, thus allowing Catholics to attend Mass on the bases. But why should Obama care? He's chosen politics over the freedom of his citizens to practise their faith.

Bill Donahue, president of the Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights, commented, "In American history there has been no administration more anti-Catholic than the Obama administration. For them to deny Catholic men and women the opportunity of the sacraments and to deal with their prayerful vocations is really a stunning statement. This idea of punishing Catholics in the military - denying them their priests - is consistent with the animus this administration has demonstrated."

I agree with Donahue. Obama is a bully. During his presidency he hasn't built any bridges between people and groups; instead he's erected barricades between them.


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