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  • White House Picks Fight with Conscience; Congress Can Fight Back

    A remarkable page in the history of American conscientious objection is being written by citizens throughout the United States who are standing up and saying, “We cannot—we will not—comply with this unjust law.”

    These are not unemployed, bedraggled 20-somethings looking for a free pass on student loans and camping trips in downtown parks, nor are they unknowns with little influence.

    These citizens are Roman Catholic bishops throughout the United States. And in statement after statement issued in diocese after diocese, many bishops are publicly declaring that they “cannot” and “will not” comply with “this unjust law.”

    The unjust law in question is a mandate issued last August by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) that requires non-exempt private health insurance plans to provide coverage for all FDA-approved contraception methods, sterilization, and counseling and education.

    On the ground that certain FDA-approved contraceptives can sometimes cause chemical abortions, many sources are also arguing that the mandate requires private health insurance plans to provide coverage for abortion.

    As James Capretta observes at National Review, not only does this new regulation require religious objectors who work for secular employers to pay for such products in their premiums, but “HHS also wants religious employers to cover such products in their health plans.”

    This is a religious freedom problem for many employers, including two religious colleges that have recently challenged the mandate in court.

    To make matters worse, HHS recently announced it will not broaden the rule’s exemption for religious employers. As Heritage has previously explained, religious employers qualify for the exemption only if they have the inculcation of religious values as their purpose and primarily employ and serve people who share the employer’s religious tenets.

    The Becket Fund for Religious Liberty says this is “the stingiest definition of a ‘religious’ organization ever to appear in federal law.” The definition clearly does not include a wide range of objecting institutions, including religious charities, hospitals, colleges, nursing homes, and universities. In addition, the exemption provides no protection to individuals who conscientiously object.

    The government itself has stated that, “Most workers in employer-sponsored plans are currently covered for contraceptives,” and “many private employers already cover these services.” Another source claims that “Nine in ten employer-based insurance plans cover a full range of prescription contraceptives.”

    The Obama Administration has nevertheless decided to implement a scorched-earth, last-mile policy of mandating that nearly every health insurance plan provide these morally controversial services. In so doing, the Administration has backed what the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops is calling an “unprecedented” attack on religious liberty.

    Congress can take steps to protect religious freedom in health care.

    For example, the Respect for Rights of Conscience Act of 2011 (H.R. 1179, Representative Jeff Fortenberry, R–NE, and S. 1467, Senator Roy Blunt, R–MO) is designed “to ensure that health care stakeholders retain the right to provide, purchase, or enroll in health coverage that is consistent with their religious beliefs and moral convictions.”

    In addition, Senator Marco Rubio (R–FL) has announced plans to introduce the Religious Freedom Restoration Act of 2012, which specifically addresses the religious freedom problems caused by the HHS regulation.

    Freedom requires vigilance and action. Religious freedom is no different.

    When government officials violate freedom instead of protecting it, American citizens have a duty to take a stand and do what’s right.

    Posted in Featured [slideshow_deploy]

    18 Responses to White House Picks Fight with Conscience; Congress Can Fight Back

    1. Bobbie says:

      private means "stay out!" where is the intrusion of government necessary when it comes to "private" anything? how about mandating personal responsibility to pay their own costs? seems apparent the Americans the President serves refutes personal costs to personal chosen acts of behavior so the President governs to put the cost on everyone else while those he serves spread their irresponsible ignorance on those in society, they can. wow!!!! The American government "change" doesn't promote honorable personal qualities using American tax dollars to pay for something people have a duty to be personally responsible for, all the way through. The President spends way too much on people for no good reason…

    2. Emily says:

      They are perfectly dismantle OUR America. Globalists are determined to create another "third country" on this continent to control the "little" people. Remove the money, jobs, homes and the children…how can they fail?

    3. Myrtlelinder says:

      Congress fight back??? Congress is the problem!!!!

    4. Slick says:

      Thank GOD for the Catholic Church and their willingness to take a stand. And if the majority of Americans are anywhere near as smart as I think they are, they will SUPPORT this action before such actions are deemed "against the law" by executive order! How far can we push back before SOMEONE declares martial law?????

      One thing to keep in mind is that in order to take control of our lives, the government MUST control our food, our water, the air, our health care, and our religious lives. The main hurdle in the control of religion is the HUGE organization of the Catholic Church. Hey progressives, Good Luck with that one.

      Progressives know that if they push hard enough and long enough, they will cause the natives to rebel. Then they are totally "justified" in taking action to restore order . . . . because the natives MADE them do it!!! On the other hand, all it takes for the masses to rise up is one united cause which sparks the hearts of those being oppressed!

      So I say, support the Catholic Church because they are big enough to require a serious response from the POTHUS!

    5. Jill Maine says:

      BHO is getting so increasingly in your face blatant. He is arrogant beyond belief. I am deeply offended even though I'm not Catholic. Just plain Christian but I'm standing with them.

    6. Warner says:

      There is so much to say but I will keep this short. This president and his administration must "GO"and not in 4 more years but by the end of 2012.
      The damage being done is catastrophic and will take a genertion to fix.

    7. Anniem says:

      From the beginning of the abortion debate (which this issue isn't) I have felt that child-bearing – to do – or not to do – is a private matter to decide responsibly. (i stress "responsibly.") I see no reason why any one wishing to start a family, to have a baby, should have someone else pay for that private (so far!) decision as to when and how. To have associated costs with this private decision (and also in the event of irresponsible, private behavior) be included in any mandated health insurance of any kind is, – shall I use the current in-vogue word not "fair." This is an intrusive Obamacontrol from the getgo.

    8. George Lacharite says:

      It is becoming more apparent that there is an element who wishes to eradicate all forms of Christian beliefs. I It must stop. Our ancestors came to America for religious freedom and become free of oppression and this is what they fought for. For the worship of our Creator I'll fight against the same type of oppression and this administration be damned.

    9. Kathleen says:

      Why should we who have strong beliefs in the sanctity of life be dictated to by the depraved administration of Obama. We are being oppressed in our religious freedoms and being told by a dictator what the entire nation NOW must do.
      Let each one of us stand up and fight the incredible damage this will do to our private institutions and the whole nation. We thank God for the leaders of the Catholic Church for taking a strong stand – let us join forces and back them 100% and pray that God rescue us from another 4 years of this administration.

    10. Tom Moxley says:

      The overriding objective of this administration is to extend government control. This is just another opportunity to do so.

    11. Patricia says:

      I am a Catholic and am glad to see the Church finally waking up to the Obama agenda. When the Church was supporting Obamacare from a "social justice" viewpoint, I was astounded that they did not see through this man's plan for the reshaping of our country. Apparently they have now realized that he and his regime want to control all aspects of our lives, including our religious freedom. This administration must be voted out of power or there will be no stopping this madness.

    12. Carl says:

      I am thankful that the Catholic Bishops have issued this proclamation against the dictates of the Health Care Bill, but let's have some intellectual honesty here – it was the same Bishops who, prior to the 2008 election, came out IN FAVOR of Barack Obama, despite all of the available evidence pointing to his socialist/marxist proclivities. As far as I'm concerned this is a classic example of "reaping what you sow."

      • James says:

        The US Bishops have never come out in favor of electing President Obama or for and candidate for public office. They take positions on issues not political candidates. The Church would lose its tax exemption if it engaged in partisan politics.
        James

    13. Frank Birri says:

      President Obama wants the govenrment to run everything in our lives and the Constitution be Damed! This man must be removed from office during h the next election or else we will not recognize America anymore.

    14. Ginnymay says:

      Not only is this president ignoring our constitution regarding religioius freedom, but he is giving power to the united nations that in 4 different agreements he is allowing the un to decide if America can go to war or not, it doesn't matter what anyone does to us like the twin towers; they are going to have the right to tell us where our children may go to school and have control on our rights with our children; the president is giving away our freedoms and completly undoing any control the US uses with our constitution as our guidelines that have worked for ovr 200 years.If you wish to learn more details of what the president is giving to the UN while everyone is so busy with the elections etc., you will see how he is trying very hard to have the US governed by world powers and theUN – our freedoms will be gone and whether we get a conservative president or not – he will not be able to change the agreements. Things are very bad with what he is doing secretly – and Americans have no idea. The rights for christians is only the start.

    15. L.B. says:

      We really do have to demand that Congress put a stop to this. How do we do this when so many are in his camp or are serving their own interests and not ours? Maybe continual letters and e-mails to our representatives will be effective if we bury them in paper.

    16. Chris says:

      A majority American Catholics condone use of birth control and find it appalling the church hierarchy is entangling themselves in a false political argument. The point of the administration's ruling was to PROTECT religious institutions from having to provide something they don't believe in — NOT to force them to do ANYthing. Typical, ill-informed hysteria that happens too often in this country– fueled by agenda media such as this, and politics, both sides hoping for no productive outcome just continued battle for battle's sake. Shame on all who take part in such ungodly brawling.

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