Commentary

Biden's 30+ Departures From Catholicism Thus Far

By Bill Donohue | June 7, 2021 | 12:25pm EDT
Joe Biden attends a campaign event. (Photo credit: ROBERTO SCHMIDT/AFP via Getty Images)
Joe Biden attends a campaign event. (Photo credit: ROBERTO SCHMIDT/AFP via Getty Images)

The Catholic League has prepared this report, "President Biden's Policies: Departures from Catholic Teachings" that outlines many instances where his Biden's decision-making on important moral issues is at variance with established Catholic teachings. It has been sent to all the bishops in the United States.

  • Jan. 20, 2021 – Biden signed an executive order affirming that "children should be able to learn without worrying about whether they will be denied access to the restroom, the locker room, or school sports," affirming his campaign promise to allow minors to use facilities and participate in high school sports opposite their biological sex. While campaigning, in response to a question from a parent of a transgender child, Biden said that there would be "zero discrimination" when it came to minors seeking to change their gender.
  • Jan. 20, 2021 – Biden issued an executive order requiring all federal agencies to implement the ruling in the Supreme Court decision Bostock v. Clayton County, which treats sexual orientation and gender identity as protected classes. This is a grave injustice that erases the differences and complementary relationship between man and woman.
  • Jan. 22, 2021 – Biden issued a statement on the 48th anniversary of Roe v. Wade describing the 1973 U.S. Supreme Court decision as a "foundational precedent" to which all judicial nominees should commit. Biden called for Roe’s codification.
  • Jan. 23, 2021 – The Department of Justice announced that it would repeal a Trump administration memo that blocked the enforcement of the Bostock ruling in federal law.
  • Jan. 25, 2021 – Biden signed an order that would allow transgender persons to serve in the Armed Forces. As part of the order, Biden urged the Defense Department to create a process that would allow individuals to change sexes while serving.
  • Jan. 28, 2021 – Biden issued the "Memorandum on Protecting Women's Health at Home and Abroad." This memorandum revokes the Mexico City Policy, which is a U.S. government policy that requires foreign non-governmental organizations to certify that they will not "perform or actively promote abortion as a method of family planning."
  • Jan. 28, 2021 – Biden instructed the Department of Health and Human Services to immediately move to consider rescinding the Trump administration rule blocking health care providers in the federally funded Title X family planning program from referring patients for abortions.
  • Jan. 28, 2021 –Biden ordered that the necessary steps be taken to resume funding to the United Nations Population Fund, which promotes family planning through abortion.
  • Jan. 28, 2021 – Biden directed United States Agency for International Development and other United States government foreign assistance programs to ensure that adequate funds are being directed to support abortion rights.
  • Feb. 4, 2021 – Biden issued a "Memorandum on Advancing the Human Rights of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer and Intersex Persons Around the World." This will limit the ability of faith-based organizations to assist in foreign aid.
  • Feb. 4, 2021 –Biden signed an executive order allowing for nonmarried couples to be treated as married for the purposes of the refugee system in certain circumstances.
  • Feb. 25, 2021 – The House passed the Equality Act. Biden on the campaign trail had made enacting this legislation within his first 100 days in office a top legislative priority.
    • The act would effectively gut the 1993 Religious Freedom Restoration Act, eviscerating important religious rights.
    • State laws that protect religious liberty would be gutted.
    • Freedom of speech, belief, and thought, as U.S. bishops have said, would be put "at risk." Conscience rights are the most important of all rights. When they are attacked, all liberties are jeopardized.
    • Taxpayer-funded abortions would become a reality.
    • Bishops stress that "Houses of worship and other religious spaces will be turned into places of 'public accommodation.'"
    • Adoption and foster care providers would have their rights stripped.
    • Catholic hospitals would no longer be allowed to govern as Catholic facilities, threatening healthcare for everyone, especially the poor.
    • Starting in kindergarten, students would be indoctrinated in the LGBT agenda.
    • Parental rights would be decimated.
    • Men who transition to female could compete in women’s sports, effectively working against the rights of women.
    • Privacy rights would be a thing of the past. As has already happened, a man who thinks of himself as a woman would be allowed to use the women’s locker room
  • Feb. 25, 2021 – Rachel Levine, a transgender born a biological male, was Biden's nomination for Assistant Secretary for HHS. When questioned about sex transitioning of minors during his confirmation hearing, Levine did not oppose the idea of allowing minors to receive hormone therapy and puberty blockers.
  • March 4, 2021 – Biden supports the For the People Act (H.R. 1), a bill that calls into question the impartiality of those who have religious affiliations. The objectionable provision is directed at a person's suitability serving on a state's redistricting commission. It assumes that people of faith – but not atheists – are inclined to be partisan observers, thus coming dangerously close to invoking a "religious test."
  • March 8, 2021 – Biden issued a statement on the introduction of the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act (VAWA), voicing his support for VAWA’s reauthorization. Unfortunately, the reauthorization includes gender identity language that undermines the intended purpose of VAWA and thereby harms the very women it seeks to protect.
  • March 11, 2021 – As part of Biden's American Rescue Plan Act, there was no language that reflects the longstanding, bipartisan consensus policy to prohibit taxpayer dollars from funding abortions domestically and internationally. The policy was needed because this bill includes many general references to healthcare that, absent the express exclusion of abortion, have consistently been interpreted by federal courts not only to allow, but to compel, the provision of abortion without meaningful limit.
  • March 17, 2021 – Biden's White House issued a statement in support of the House resolution to remove the ratification deadline for the Equal Rights Amendment. The ERA would mandate federal funding for abortion and eliminate sex distinctions in the law, thus eliminating the existing legal protections for biological women.
  • March 18, 2021 – The Office of Population Affairs at HHS announced the Biden administration’s plan to repeal the Trump-era Protect Life Rule governing Title X by the end of the year. This announcement was in direct response to President Biden’s executive order issued on Jan. 28.
  • March 30, 2021 – Secretary of State Antony Blinken disbanded the "Commission on Unalienable Rights" because it overemphasized religious liberty. This was commissioned by Secretary Pompeo to "provide...advice and recommendations concerning international human rights matters...[and] fresh thinking about human rights discourse where such discourse has departed from our nation’s founding principles of natural law and natural rights." Instead, Blinken would rather treat religious liberty as a coequal right, diminishing its status and freeing the State Department to promote LGBT and abortion rights.
  • March 31, 2021 – The Department of Defense released a statement affirming Biden's executive order on transgender persons in the military stating that the Department will "provide a path for those in service for medical treatment, gender transition, and recognition in one’s self-identified gender."
  • April 13, 2021 – Under Biden, the Food and Drug Administration is no longer enforcing the "in-person dispensing requirement" for the chemical abortion pills.
  • April 13, 2021 – Under Biden, the USAID Middle East Bureau renamed the "Religious and Ethnic Communities Office" to the "Equity and Diverse Communities in the Middle East and North Africa Office" to shift the Bureau's focus away from protecting the rights of religious minorities in the Middle East and emphasize other groups such as LGBT.
  • April 14, 2021 – HHS introduced the Title X changes outlined by Biden's "Memorandum on Protecting Women's Health at Home and Abroad." Under these new rules, grantees would be required to refer for abortions, despite moral or religious objections, effectively banning otherwise pro-life grantees from participating.
  • April 16, 2021 – Under Biden, the National Institute of Health removed restrictions on human fetal tissue research.
  • April 20, 2021 – After a group of Catholic doctors and hospitals won a case over an HHS rule that would compel them to provide gender-transition surgeries, regardless of their conscientious beliefs, the Biden administration appealed to keep this mandate in place.
  • April 22, 2021 – The Department of Housing and Urban Development announced changes to the Equal Access Rule, which would require participants in the Department’s Office of Community Planning and Development programs to accommodate transgender persons based on their gender identity. This would compel Catholic shelters to house individuals of the opposite sex.
  • April 25, 2021 – The DOJ issued a statement of interest in favor of a Georgia transgender prisoner who is suing the Georgia Department of Corrections for failing to house him based on his gender identity because Georgia does not want to house people of one biological sex with those of the other.
  • May 10, 2021 – The Department of Health and Human Services announced that it would reinstate an Obama-era rule that would remove exemptions for religious and Catholic hospitals that refused to provide transgender services and procedures that go against their religious beliefs. The rule interpreted "sex discrimination" under Section 1557 of the Affordable Care Act to include "gender identity." This is a major blow to the religious liberty rights of Catholic doctors and hospitals. It would force doctors and hospitals to provide sex reassignment surgeries, even if these surgeries go against their religious beliefs, as well as cover these surgeries and procedures in their insurance policies.
  • May 12, 2021 – HHS Secretary Xavier Beccera, who voted against a law that banned partial-birth abortion when he was a congressman, was asked if he would respect this law. He made it clear he would not. He justified this stance by falsely claiming that there is no such law. In 2003 Congress passed the Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act and President George W. Bush signed it.
  • May 14, 2021 – The White House Office of Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships met with leaders of six secular organizations: Freedom From Religion Foundation, the American Humanist Association, American Atheists, Center for Inquiry, ExMuslims of North America and the Secular Coalition for America. They expressed their displeasure with the pro-religious liberty policies of the previous administration, accusing it of fomenting “Christian nationalism.”
  • May 17, 2021 – After the Supreme Court said it would take up a case involving Mississippi's ban on abortion after 15 weeks, White House press secretary Jen Psaki informed reporters that Biden was "committed to codifying" Roe v. Wade no matter what the Court decides.
  • May 28, 2021 – Biden released his budget proposal for FY2022, and it allocates money for abortions since it has no Hyde Amendment language. This is the first budget proposal since 1993 that does not include conscience protections to ensure federal funds are not used for abortions.

Bill Donohue is president and CEO of the Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights, the nation's largest Catholic civil rights organization. He was awarded his Ph.D. in sociology from New York University and is the author of eight books and many articles.

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