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  • Adding Insult to Injury: Obama Admin Refuses to Protect Religious Liberty

    Colorado Christian University is one of many religious colleges, universities, and hospitals impacted by the Administration's refusal to provide them a religious exemption to an Obamacare mandate to cover contraceptives.

    Amidst the many policy prescriptions of last night’s speech, President Obama’s State of the Union address was notably void of comment on the religious liberty conflicts his own Administration has created.

    In yet another assault on religious organizations’ freedom, the Obama Administration released a decision Friday afternoon finalizing an Obamacare health insurance mandate that will restrict the religious liberty of employers to act in accordance with their conscience.

    Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Kathleen Sebelius released a finalized version of an Obamacare mandate that will require almost all insurance companies to cover contraceptives and sterilization without cost to the insured starting August 1 of this year. Like the interim version of the rule released this past summer, the final mandate requires coverage of all FDA-approved contraceptives, including controversial drugs like ella and Plan B that can cause abortions in early pregnancies.

    Employers with deep religious and moral objections to subsidizing coverage for such services are left largely unprotected by the mandate’s offensively narrow religious exemption. Indeed, the exemption covers only organizations whose primary duty is to “inculcate religious belief”—effectively excluding religious employers such as schools, hospitals, and social service organizations.

    Outcry from religiously affiliated employers, including two lawsuits against HHS over the lack of protection for religious freedom, had bolstered hopes that the Obama Administration would change the mandate or at least broaden its religious exemption.

    Those hopes failed last week as Secretary Sebelius announced the Administration would not provide robust protection of religious liberty but would give employers with religious objections an additional 12 months for “more time and flexibility to adapt to the new rule.” Apparently, according to the Secretary’s reasoning, dilemmas of conscience are easily dismissed when merely given enough “time and flexibility.”

    However, as Hannah Smith, legal counsel for the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, has pointed out, “Religious colleges, universities, and hospitals will never pay for abortion drugs in violation of their religious beliefs—this year or any other year.” The Becket Fund is leading litigation in two lawsuits against the mandate, representing Belmont Abbey College and Colorado Christian University, arguing that forcing religious employers to subsidize medications and procedures they find morally objectionable flies in the face of religious freedom.

    This latest episode isn’t the first time the Obama Administration has taken the wrong side in the fight to protect religious liberty. The Administration argued in a recent Supreme Court case, Hosanna Tabor v. EEOC, that religious employers should not have the ability to maintain the integrity of their institutions through religious hiring practices. In an embarrassing incident for the Obama Administration, the Supreme Court dismissed the Department of Justice’s argument, unanimously ruling in favor of institutional religious liberty. The Becket Fund also led the successful argument for religious freedom in that case.

    By providing education, health care, and countless social services, religiously affiliated organizations play a profound role in sustaining civil society. Policymakers should protect the religious freedom of these organizations—and all employers and individuals—to buy and provide insurance in accordance with their deeply held beliefs about life and health.

    Posted in Featured, Obamacare [slideshow_deploy]

    23 Responses to Adding Insult to Injury: Obama Admin Refuses to Protect Religious Liberty

    1. MJF in CT says:

      It all goes back to Roe Vs Wade and the Supreme Court being allowed to make law rather than interpret law.

    2. Jeanne Stotler says:

      Another violation of Constituional rights, 1st Admendment states firmly, "Congress shall make NO LAW respecting an establishment of religion, or PROHIBITING the FREE EXERCISE thereof;—–' If we allow this to continue ALL our rights that we hold dear, will dissappear one by one and we will see BHO as Pres. for life and the great USA become like Russia was after the the takeover of Communism.

    3. Homer N. Jethro says:

      It is regrettable that impeachment proceedings and Supreme Court reviews of the"Constitutionality" of laws take such a long time, otherwise; no doubt these two branches of government would be actively seeking to stop "Progressive" laws and policies in their tracks.

      No, Mr. President, Washington is NOT broken because you can no longer get your laws and policies enacted. It is working quite well; exactly as designed when the citizenry are in disagreement with the executive branch!

      • Jeanne Stotler says:

        It would do little to file articles of Impeachment, Dems. control the Senate and we know where Reid would put the Articles, now don't we?? Same place all bills from the house have ended up.

        • ASAvet says:

          If we voters continue to do nothing, to take no action at the polls, our Democracy and our Bill of rights will become relics of the Past ! Obama is our true "enemy from within" out to change our economy, our status in the world, indeed, our very form of government – with the help of a gradually ever-growing LEFTIST- DEMOCRATIC PARTY
          We must vote him and them out of office to save our country !

    4. haroldson says:

      The cure for the problem is really simple, Make sure all your conservative friends vote and lets get Obama out of office and our lives.

    5. CAkre says:

      I agree with the previous posts. We have to make a clear stand and not waver or our rights, guaranteed by the Constitution, will erode one by one. Though Obama has pledged and sworn to uphold the Constitution, given recent actions alone, it is clear he feels he and his administration are the only ones with the right answer. I would shiver to think what kind of "constitution" he would design if left on his own. Remember, people, it's an election year. Get out the truth that is being withheld or ignored by our media. Talk with friends and family, arm yourselves with the facts and the sources of them, pray, write, speak out.

    6. I think that a constitutional amendment allowing all forms of conscientious objection – could be passed right about now.

      It would be supported by a broad swath of the voting population. It needs to be simple, and clear that it applies to military service, religious conviction, consumer purchases, whistle blowers, employee dignity, and vendor decisions.

      The net effect of people realizing they don't need to support employer behavior would cause some stir among businesses which operate with ingrained bad decisions. That wouldn't be too bad a result.

      • Judy says:

        This is a great idea. I am disgusted with this administrations treatment of conscience rights. we need something simple that clearly states what is intended to be covered so that administrative rule-making, executive order or congressional act cannot be use to obfuscate the issue. The religious exemption should cover any religious organization weather a church or a ministry related to a faith group.

      • Mike, Wichita Falls says:

        The Constitution already protects us in this regard by the simple fact that the document is silent on the issue of healthcare which leaves it up to the states and the people to manage. I know the statists love to tell us that the founders would have never imagined the problems of the 21st century. Agreed. They did however give their posterity the ability to give the federal government authority to manage the problems of the 21st century. So far they have not done so on matters of healthcare.

        I'd like to point out to HHS that the first amendment does not say "…nor prohibit the free excercise thereof unless the public health care is compromised." Or maybe I have the abridged version.

    7. John Deitchman says:

      Their long term goal is to force religious views out of the public square and out of "community" services. If the organizations are too "religious" then they are prevented from getting public funding; if not "religous" enough then (as in this case) they will be forced to play by secular rules regardless of conscience conflicts. Besides challenging these decisions in court and at the ballot box, it is perhaps getting to the point where non-violent civil disobedience – Martin Luther King style – should be considered.

    8. Red Baker says:

      "Obama Administation refuses to protect religious liberty" is one way to put it. Another would be "Øbama attacks religious values". The Catholic bishop of her hometown ought to excommunicate her. The Catholic bishops of America should take to the pulpit to condemn the Obama administration for this attack on religion. The Catholic bishops should mount an attack on socialism as a false religion, a tyrannical, godless philosophy which enacts depravity. Other religions should follow suit. The drip, drip, drip of socialist authoritarianism is upon us. The socialists' war on religion is in full swing. It is time to stand and fight.

    9. jessie says:

      What is the big deal can't anyone fix a problem anymore?
      Any company that has a problem with this set up an office in San Francisco apply for a permit not to buy into this garbage send some money to House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and she will give you waver.

      • Clare says:

        We have a year for this law to be implemented; a lot can happen and change in one year. We cherish our individual rights and many of us pray for true liberty and righteousness in America! We speak and explain to the younger generations; It is up to us, our "Responsibility" actually!

    10. Alcon says:

      This president is intent on destroying the religious freedoms of the citizens and obviously has little consideration for GOD or our constitutional rights. He is focused on socializing our nation into a "Godless" society.

    11. Phil says:

      Did you really expect anything different from a "President" who has never done an honest day's work in his life advised by West Wingers who collectively have never done an honest year's work in their lives. This collection of fools think that the way to improve medical care is to force competent doctors to retire and make all medical decisions by a board that is exempted from administrative and legal review. The big "O" is making A.H. look a saint.

    12. Spyderman says:

      I find it difficult to be patient until November rolls around.

    13. Jules says:

      It's irrelevant what "We the People" want with this administration in power. They are not interested in our opinion nor operating under the Constitution. See everything this administration does in the light of the Constitution. Most of it does not stand up to the strict standards of being Constitutional.
      It's the pushing of a socialist/communist agenda designed to remove power from "We the People" and make the government only answerable to itself and the elites in power. Think Chavez, and every other totalitarian dictator in the world.
      It surprises me that everyone seems surprised by the actions of the current potus and his cronies. Like he never wrote a book detailing what his aims were and what he would do. Its pretty much all in his books.
      Liberalism is a mental disorder.

    14. Suzie-Q says:

      I pray ALL people and religious colleges, universities, and hospitals, etc. will find the courage to do whatever it takes to rise up against this total disregard and inflamatory assault on our God-given right under our Constittuion, 1st Amendment which plainly states: "Congress shall make NO LAW respecting an establishment of religion, or PROHIBITING the FREE EXERCISE thereof;—–

      We must unite and boldly PUSH BACK against ALL such violations, from where ever they orginate, knowing we have the truth on our side. There is more of us than their is of them…when we truly understand the POWER of our "vote and voice" which when joined with hundreds of thousands of others around the Country who believe in our God-given right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, NOTHING WILL STOP US.

    15. Suzie-Q says:

      Here is a link of a speech to our Founding Fathers regarding the profound responsibility each citizen has in choosing carefully our "public servents" (leaders/rulers) and the far reaching consequences and ramifications if we do not choose wisely. http://www.sodahead.com/united-states/a-speech-to

    16. Bobbie says:

      Obama's administration refuses to protect religious liberty because they only protect their own and are extremely intimidated by faith that promotes human qualities their religion doesn't. Obama's administration insists on weakening everyone because their religion doesn't rise above anyone so they have to put all others down. In their eyes, they will. In our faith, they won't!

    17. Joe the Plumber says:

      First its a gentle type of socialism, then it morphs into Type II sociaism, then communism, then facism. We must avoid at all costs a state "planned society" just as we would avoid a "planned economy." Should "Indians" (from India) be ruled by "Swedes"? Selah.

    18. Stirling says:

      This administration clearly wants to poke his finger at Religion (except Islam, which he is clearly catering to). The problem is once you attack one religion others will follow. I hope this is the finger in the hornets nest that swarm and bite back. This will be the 3rd rail that ends this presidents election in it's tracks. Government will never have a higher place in peoples hearts then God, and it's insulting and arogant for an administration to actively pursue this goal.

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