WASHINGTON, D.C., February 16, 2012 (LifeSiteNews.com) – Many observers have been buoyed by the stunning display of unity between Catholics and Evangelicals against President Obama’s effort to force religious institutions to cover sterilizations, contraceptives, and abortion-inducing drugs.
The sentiment was on full display at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) on Saturday, when former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee declared: “We are all Catholics now.”
Before an enthusiastic crowd, the Southern Baptist pastor opened by thanking President Obama: “You have done more than any person in the entire GOP field, any candidate has done, to bring this party to unity, and energize this party, as a result of your attack on religious liberty and the attack on the personhood of every human being in America.”
“I remember very vividly when John F. Kennedy said that ‘we are all Berliners’. Well in many ways, thanks to president Obama, we are all Catholics now,” Huckabee said.
Now famed radio host Glenn Beck, a Mormon, has turned Huckabee’s phrase into a lobbying movement, urging his fans to lobby their senators to support Sen. Roy Blunt’s conscience protection measure.
“It’s conscience. It’s not contraceptives,” he told listeners Wednesday. “This is an attack on your right to practice the religion in the way that you see fit. It’s an attack on conscience, not contraceptives.”
On Friday, President Obama announced an “accommodation” to the mandate after he faced heated pressure from Catholic and Christian leaders, claiming that he would require insurance companies to offer the coverage for free rather than requiring employers to pay.
But critics immediately slammed the “accommodation,” saying it was merely repackaging the original mandate because insurance companies will simply up the employers’ fees to cover the “free” contraceptive coverage.
Religion Dispatches points out that polling shows Evangelicals are even more opposed to the mandate than Catholics, even though it’s been portrayed as a Catholic issue.
Gov. Huckabee told CPAC that he is grateful for the controversy because it has put the “social issues” at the top of the agenda for the 2012 election.
He said the President’s actions have shown that “morality matters more than even money does, because where there is a nation who has lost its morals, that is a nation who will freely give up its money.”
“Because if we give up the basic right to life, we will certainly give up that which is in our pockets,” he continued. “Let us never act as if somehow the simple idea of how much money we get to keep is more important than whether or not we keep our very lives and our liberties under the Constitution of the United States. Lose those and money won’t matter.”
View Gov. Mike Huckabee’s full CPAC address.