The Washington Post, citing anonymous White House Sources, reports that President Barack Obama will announce a "compromise" today on the contraceptive rule for religious institutions that has outraged Americans across the political spectrum as a violation of religious freedom:
President Barack Obama will announce a plan to accommodate religious employers outraged by a rule that would require them to cover birth control for women free of charge, according to a person familiar with the decision.
Obama was expected to make the announcement at the White House Friday.
The shift is aimed at containing the political firestorm that erupted after Obama announced in January that religious-affiliated employers had to cover birth control as preventative care for women. Churches and houses of worship were exempt, but all other affiliated organizations were ordered to comply by Aug. 2013.
It is not clear with whom Obama has negotiated a "compromise"; it would appear he has simply compromised with himself, modifying his rule in a way he believes he can sell politically.
The outrage is as much about the fact that the Obama administration tried to define what is, and is not, a religious institution as it is about the fact that it tried to impose its own dogmatic beliefs--in population control, among other things--on Catholics and other religious groups.
The last, best word belongs to Charles Krauthammer, who writes today:
To flatter his faith-breakfast guests and justify his tax policies, Obama declares good works to be the essence of religiosity. Yet he turns around and, through Sebelius, tells the faithful who engage in good works that what they’re doing is not religion at all. You want to do religion? Get thee to a nunnery. You want shelter from the power of the state? Get out of your soup kitchen and back to your pews. Outside, Leviathan rules.