[Reason #666 why the LCWR had to be investigated]
Sister Patricia Miller: Obama represents good Catholic values
Jul 19, 2012
Written by Sister Patricia Miller
[Hat-tip to Catholic World News ( www.catholicculture.org/news/headlines/index.cfm?storyid=14990 )]
Iowa nun’s op-ed: Obama embodies Catholic values
In an op-ed piece for the Des Moines Register, a Catholic nun, Sister Patricia Miller, claims that President Barack Obama represents “the values Catholics cherish.”
Sister Miller argues that as a health-care administrator, she can appreciate Obama’s sweeping health-care reform. In a passing reference to the US bishops’ complaints about the contraceptive mandate embedded in that health plan, she says that when the bishops protested, “President Obama obliged” with a plan, “but it was refused by the bishops.”
SISTER PATRICIA MILLER of Davenport is a nun in the Catholic Church. She was a nurse and health care administrator for much of her career.
In contrast to Tom Quiner’s statements (“Assault on Religious Rights Could Tip Vote from Obama,” July 12), I believe President Obama’s vision to advance the common good and provide justice for all is aligned with the values Catholics cherish.
In this election, it has been unseemly to see partisanship and ideology above our call to serve the needs of the elderly and poor. As a lifelong Catholic, I have dedicated my life to care of my fellow human beings and tending to the needs of the poor and vulnerable in line with the tenets of the Catholic Church. I believe in President Obama’s commitment to provide health care for all citizens.
As a nurse and health care administrator for many years, I can say unequivocally our old health care system that left so many people without care and uninsured needed to be reformed. Our emergency rooms were overcrowded with people seriously ill with no prior records, with costly tests, treatments and follow-up. We spend twice more than any country in the world on health care with fewer results. Forty-five million citizens were without health care. That has dropped to 30 million already.
With the Affordable Care Act, no one can be denied care. It is the first time in history that a national commitment has been made to provide adequate care for all our citizens. The act is based on the Christian values that every person has the right to health, and we are responsible for each other.
Therefore, it is inclusive, accessible, affordable and accountable. It is already benefiting millions by offering preventive care and allowing our young people to stay on their parents’ health insurance, eliminating lifetime limits on policies, prohibiting dropping people from coverage when they become very ill or receive extensive treatments.
The president is diligent in viewing the needs of all citizens. Iowa, in 2000, was one of the first states to require our insurance companies to cover contraception. The bishops requested that those whose beliefs were against contraception not pay for others who use them. President Obama obliged with a plan that persons not using contraceptives, because of their beliefs, would not have their insurance increased, but it was refused by the bishops.
Through all actions and laws, President Obama is not taking away our religious freedom as Catholics. He has always considered the value systems of the different religions and tries to accommodate as best possible.
The president has been a faithful and loyal partner for Catholics starting as a community organizer in Chicago working with Catholic parishes in poor neighborhoods. His salary was funded by a grant from a group of the Catholic Church.
He knows that local churches often do more good for a community than a government program ever can. The Obama administration has proven its support for Catholics worldwide in the increase of funds directed toward charities, education and volunteer services to lift the vulnerable communities at home and abroad.
I believe President Obama’s values to advance the common good and provide justice and opportunity for all Americans are aligned with those Catholics cherish. This is in stark contrast with Mitt Romney’s support of the Ryan budget, which he has praised for being “marvelous.” The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops has assailed the Ryan budget, stating, “A just spending bill cannot rely on disproportionate cuts in essential services to the poor and vulnerable persons; it requires shared sacrifice by all.” That letter was led by Des Moines Bishop Richard Pates.
The Nuns on the Bus tour to highlight the devastating impact of the Ryan budget noted “it’s not who we are as a nation, it is not in keeping with who we are, and we must speak out against it.”
The Ryan budget, which was passed by House Republicans, is an affront to Catholic social teaching by gutting programs, targeting the homeless, housing, nutrition, Medicaid, and Medicare while granting even more tax cuts to the wealthiest among us. This comes as we just learned the number of Iowans receiving food stamps has increased 7 percent in the last year.
President Obama has stood up for the Christian principles of loving our neighbor, caring for the disadvantaged and promoting the common good. I have seen his faith leading him to restore economic fairness and an economy where hard work and responsibility pays off, if everyone does their fair share and plays by the rules, our country will be better off.
That’s a vision Iowa’s citizens of all religions can agree on.