George Demos, a GOP contender for the Suffolk County congressional seat currently held by Tim Bishop, launched an effort today to tie the Democrat to Barack Obama’s decision to require religious affiliated hospitals to provide contraceptive insurance.
Mr. Demos, who ran for the seat in 2010, sent his supporters an email petition with the goal of trying to “get Bishop to oppose the ObamaCare mandate forcing Catholic charities and hospitals to provide abortion-inducing drugs – an outrageous violation of their religious freedom.”
“Voters of the 1st District will no longer tolerate Tim Bishop’s strategic silence. People ask me, ‘What has he said about this?’ In a word: Nothing. He has refused to confirm or deny his support for this Obama policy just as he has on the Keystone Pipeline and so many others,” Mr. Demos writes.”By signing our petition, Americans of all faiths can send a powerful message to congressmen like Silent Tim: It’s disgraceful for you to remain mute as President Obama forces our religious institutions to violate their most deeply cherished beliefs.”
The Obama administration decision is quickly becoming a political football, with some pundits predicting that it will cool Catholic support for the president in the fall. That message seems to have been drowned out over the past week however as newly energized pro-choice voters came to the defense of Planned Parenthood after the Komen Foundation threatened to pull funding for the group in response to pressure from the right.
Mr. Demos is locked in a tight battle with another contender from 2010, Randy Altschuler. Mr. Bishop is one of the few Democratic congressman in marginal seats who won re-election in 2010.
The rest of Mr. Demos’ call to arms is below:
“Over the coming weeks, we will gather signatures online and at churches all across this district, uniting our voices so that Tim Bishop can hear them all the way in Washington. Mr. Bishop may have ignored New York Cardinal-designate Timothy Dolan, but can he so easily dismiss the voters of the 1st District? Not when nearly half of them are Catholic.
“As our congressman, I won’t have to be pushed to do the right thing on issue after issue. On day one, I will support theReligious Freedom Restoration Act introduced by Senator Marco Rubio, and together we will end all mandates that infringe on the liberties of faith-based institutions.
“I once heard a parable in church: A man can go his whole life and never utter a word, but his actions will still speak for him. Silent Tim’s actions have spoken louder and clearer than any words ever could, and Long Islanders have gotten the message:
“Bishop isn’t our representative in Washington.
“He’s just another one of Obama’s pawns.