Daily links, Mon., Feb. 13, 2012: I give up! This is all about the mandate

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First, the bishops' response to the federal accomodation: In short, no deal. Rocco Palmo has some of the inside baseball stuff, including the "bishop only" letter from the five bishops leading the effort against the mandate. Atlanta Archbishop Wilton Gregory argues that the freedom of all people is at risk if the mandate stands. On the distant other side, Sarah Posner at Religion Dispatches says the bishops don't have a legal leg to stand on.

On to Catholic media: At Commonweal Margaret O'Brien Steinfels recovers former Boston Archbishop Richard Cushing's attitude toward the issue in his own day: "I have no right to impose my thinking, which is rooted in religious thought, on those who do not think as I do." He was speaking of the legalization of contraception in Massachusetts, if I read Steinfels correctly. Also at Commonweal, John Schwenkler tries to suss out whether the accomodation actually accomodates. Over at Vox Nova, Mark Gordon suggests that religious freedom demands that pacifist Christians be allowed to withhold 60 percent of their taxes--the portion of the federal budget devoted to the Pentagon.

And finishing out in the MSM: Andrew Sullivan says President Obama has set up the religious right for a fall with this mandate--meaning that he thinks the U.S. bishops are part of the religious right. Ouch.