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The Catholic Church’s “Rosa Parks Moment”

Will Barack Obama lose the votes of Catholics in November over the contraception contretemps, even after Friday’s attempt at “accommodation”? Well, it depends on what on-the-fence, churchgoing Catholics make of rhetoric such as this, which they’ll apparently be hearing for weeks to come:

At St. Brendan Church in San Francisco, the Rev. Michael Quinn compared the church’s opposition to the contraceptive rules to the civil-rights fight waged by 1950s activist Rosa Parks, who refused to give her seat up to a white man on a bus. “I believe this is our Rosa Parks moment,” Father Quinn told more than 200 parishioners on Sunday. “This is our moment to say this is wrong.”
Archbishop Thomas Wenski of Miami said that while he appreciated Mr. Obama’s attempt to strike a compromise, it doesn’t go far enough.
“A legislative remedy to this overreaching and unprecedented incursion of state power into the domain of religious freedom and the rights of conscience is still necessary,” he said in a statement.
“By what authority does the President of the United States seek to impose this immoral policy?” Bishop Thomas J. Tobin of Providence, R.I., asked in a statement. “This is the United States, not North Korea.”

Ah, yes. Having insurers provide contraception coverage to employees at Catholic-owned hospitals and universities is clearly a water cannon or two away from Bull Connor territory. Surely the round-ups of Christians have already begun—an estimated 70,000 of them are imprisoned in North Korea, so adopting the same policy here in the States will mean, gosh, tens of millions behind bars, given that the country is, well, majority Christian.

It’s been a long time since I translated the Aeneid in high school, so I unfortunately don’t recall: what’s church-Latin for “get a grip, guys?”

follow me on Twitter @AlecMacGillis