Wednesday, February 15, 2012

400-408 – Guy Benson, political editor of

• Guy Benson (Townhall, 2/15/2012) Explaining Conflicting Polling Data on Obama's Birth Control Mandate.

Rasmussen- Half of voters do not agree with the Obama administration's action forcing Catholic institutions to pay for birth control measures that they morally oppose. The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that 39% of Likely U.S. Voters believe the government should require a church or religious organization to provide contraceptives for women even if it violates their deeply held beliefs. Fifty percent (50%) disagree and oppose such a requirement that runs contrary to strong beliefs...

PPP - A strong majority (57%) of voters think that women employed by Catholic hospitals and universities should have the same rights to contraceptive coverage as other women, while only 39% say these institutions should be exempted from the requirement that health plans cover prescription birth control with no additional out-of-pocket costs because contraception runs counter to Catholic teachings.

Rasmussen - 65% of Catholic voters oppose this requirement, as do 62% of Evangelical Christians, and 50% of other Protestants.

PPP - Notably, a 53% majority of Catholics agree with this [mandate], including 60 percent of independents.

// • Here are the verbatim questions respondents were asked by each firm:

Rasmussen - The requirement to provide contraceptives for women violates deeply held beliefs of some churches and religious organizations. If providing such coverage violates the beliefs of a church or religious organization, should the government still require them to provide coverage for contraceptives?

PPP - Some people say that institutions such as Catholic hospitals and universities should be exempted from the requirement that health plans cover prescription birth control with no additional out of pocket costs, because contraception runs counter to Catholic teachings. Other people say that women of all faiths who are employed by Catholic hospitals and universities should have the same rights to contraceptive coverage as other women. Which view do you agree with -- Catholic hospitals and universities should be exempted from covering prescription birth control, or that women who are employed by Catholic hospitals and universities should have the same rights to contraceptive coverage as other women?

The differences in wording and emphasis are stark.  Rasmussen highlights the "violation" of "deeply held" religious beliefs, and asks if the government should "still" require religious organizations to comply, over the religious objections.  If they had used the word "force" or "coerce" in lieu of "require," they would probably have elicited an even more negative response.  PPP, on the other hand, primarily frames the question as an issue of equal "rights" to free contraception.  The wording also appeals to religious pluralism ("women of all faiths"), which may muddy the waters on religious liberty.  In other words, Rasmussen accentuates the fundamental First Amendment issue, while PPP places the "equal right" to free birth control on par with religious considerations.  The first approach draws more attention to the state's unconstitutional intrusion into matters of the church; the second implies that the church may be stepping on the rights of others by abiding by its doctrine within its own institutions. 

// Secularists are welcome to make the case that universally free birth control, a "right" that was invented five minutes ago, should supersede the First Amendment's free exercise clause.  Constitutionalists will contend the opposite, and most Americans will agree -- if the issue is presented properly. 


(1:31) Stephanopoulos asks Romney at ABC Presidential Debate 01/08/2012.

"Governor Romney, do you believe that states have the right to ban contraception? Or is that trumped by a constitutional right to privacy?" Stephanopoulos asked the slightly bewildered-looking former Massachusetts governor.

"George, this is an unusual topic that you're raising," Romney responded, "Do states have a right to ban contraception? I can't imagine a state banning contraception. I can't imagine the circumstances where a state would want to do so…Given that there's no state that wants to do so, and I don't know of any candidate that wants to do so, you're asking could it constitutionally be done? We could ask our Constitutionalist here," Romney said, gesturing toward Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX).

Stephanopoulos persisted.

"Do you believe states have that right or not?" he asked Romney.

"George, I don't know if the state has a right to ban contraception, no state wants to! The idea of you putting forward things that states might want to do, that no state wants to do, and then asking me whether they can do it or not is kind of a silly thing," Romney responded, much to the crowd's delight.

(1:23) Dick Morris with Hannity.

428-438 – Calls – Is this about "banning contraception" or about religious liberty?  About the government forcing citizens to pay for things they find morally reprehensible, or about the "right" to free contraceptives?  What trumps, the "right" to free contraceptives, or the free exercise clause?

• Politico (2/15/2012) Poll: Most back White House birth control rule.

// 65% of registered voters said that they supported the Obama administration's birth control mandate, according to a New York Times/CBS News poll.

// 59% of registered voters said that religiously affiliated employers should cover the cost of birth control in their employee health care plans.

// The Conference of Catholic Bishops and other religious leaders continue to oppose the concept.

• Politico (2/15/2012) Kathleen Sebelius says she didn't talk to bishops.

HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said Wednesday that she didn't consult with the Catholic bishops on the latest version of the contraceptive coverage rule.

At a Senate Finance Committee hearing on the Obama administration's budget request, Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) pressed Sebelius on which constituencies the administration consulted before announcing its changes to the contraception rule.

"I did not speak with the Catholic bishops," Sebelius told Hatch. "I know that the president has spoken to the bishops on several occasions, yes."

The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops has blasted the administration for not consulting with them before making the announcement.

Hatch followed up by asking whether the administration or Obama campaign officials spoke with abortion rights groups including Planned Parenthood, the American Civil Liberties Union and NARAL Pro-Choice America.

"I assume some of those groups were talked to," she said but added that she didn't know for sure.

443-452 – • John Hayward (Human Events, 2/15/2012) Attack of the Lunch Police. Give me a turkey sandwich, or give me death.

• Carolina Journal (2/14/2012) Preschooler's Homemade Lunch Replaced with Cafeteria "Nuggets".  State agent inspects sack lunches, forces preschoolers to purchase cafeteria food instead.

458-508 – John Stonestreet, Executive Director of Summit Ministries ( in Colorado Springs, and National Director of Strategic Partnerships for Breakpoint and the Chuck Colson Center for Christian Worldview, he's host of a daily national radio program called The Point (, where he helps us to jumpstart our minds by "engaging real life in real time from a Christian worldview."

• Check out Summit's great Worldview Chart here, or as a pdf.

512-523 – John Stonestreet,

528-539 – John Stonestreet,

539 – How'd you like to be able to send your son or daughter to a great Christian school this Fall for half price?  Go to, click on the "Half Off Tuition" banner, and check out the cool map with all the schools we're partnering with, and get the details on how this might be a great fit for your family.  If so, be listening on Wednesday, February 22nd, right at 4pm, when I'll give out a special phone number, and if you're ready to put the whole one-half tuition on your credit card at that moment, you'll be one of only two families per school to qualify for this great deal!  That's the "Half Off Tuition" banner at, go now!

544-554 – John Stonestreet, What's your action points on this?

1) Sign the Manhattan Declaration.

2) Listen to Pittsburgh Bishop Zubik and the ADF's Alan Sears interviews at

3) Check out the Rapid Response talking points at

4) Sign the Petition at

558-608 – Denny Weinberg, spent 20 years with WellPoint, an insurance group that owns and operates Blue Cross/Blue Shield plans in more than a dozen states covering some 35 million Americans.  He was hired in 1986 as the operational and turn-around specialist because the company was on the brink of bankruptcy, and later became the Executive Vice President.  Denny literally created the health insurance business model now used by every managed care company in the United States.

612-623 – Denny Weinberg

628-639 – Denny Weinberg,

639 – Don't miss our upcoming KKLA Faith Night at Staples on Thursday March 15th to watch Blake Griffin, Chris Paul and the Clippers take on the Phoenix Suns. Tickets are only $18 through, keyword "Clippers."

644-654 – Denny Weinberg

(2:13)  • CBS (2/14/2012) Mayweather Slams 'Linsanity' On Twitter, Says Hype Due To Race.