A Daily Beast reporter who sat down with a religious conservative at the Republican National Convention last month gave us all a peek at just how effective the media blackout on the HHS mandate has been.
In a live broadcast, the interviewer asked businessman Foster Friess what the deal was with conservatives’ “obsessive dislike” of President Obama. Friess’ top answer, of course, was the fact that the administration has forced virtually all religious employers across the country to cough up coverage for free birth control, sterilizations, and abortifacient drugs under threat of severe fines.
“That’s just a weird idea that I don’t think anyone’s talking about,” was the reporter’s bewildered response.
Apparently the 125,000+ citizens pouring onto the streets of 160 American cities last spring and summer didn’t make an impression: aside from an NPR article, mainstream media coverage of the events was basically nonexistent. A third rally has been set for Oct 20.
Friess tried to explain the seriousness of the problem by likening the mandate to forcing a Jewish deli to carry pork. “It’s an issue of freedom. Should that decision be made between employer and employee, or should it be a government edict?” said the businessman.
Unfortunately, the communication rift between persons of faith and the religiously disinclined can be rather difficult: Friess didn’t appear to make a dent.
One only hopes that the court fight of Christian arts and crafts chain Hobby Lobby, fending off a $1.3 million-per-day fine, will force a chink into mainstream coverage, illuminating the vast discontent plainly visible on countless bulletin boards - not to mention voices and furrowed brows - in parishes and churches across the nation.
But that may be hoping too much.