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  • Morning Bell: Obamacare's Latest Victim Is Religious Freedom

    It has not even been two years since Obamacare was enacted, and already the President’s health care law has taken another victim — the religious freedoms Americans hold dear, as reflected by the First Amendment.

    The Obama Administration recently reaffirmed a rule under Obamacare that requires many religious employers to provide health care coverage for all FDA-approved contraceptive methods, sterilization procedures, and related education and counseling. On the grounds that certain FDA-approved contraceptive methods can sometimes “cause the demise of embryos both after and before uterine implantation,” many groups also believe that the rule forces them to cover abortion.

    The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops is calling the contraception mandate an “unprecedented” attack on religious freedom. 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.” As Cleveland Bishop Richard Lennon explained, “Unless this rule is overturned, Catholics will be compelled either to violate our consciences or to drop health care coverage for our employees.”

    It’s not just Catholics affected by the rule, however. Leaders from other faith traditions have expressed their concern, and the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty has already filed a lawsuit on behalf of an interdenominational Christian college that objects to providing abortion and related education and counseling in its health care insurance. “The mandate is un-American, unprecedented, and flagrantly unconstitutional,” says an attorney for the college.

    As shocking as the Obama Administration’s action is, it should not come as a surprise. Heritage experts explained years ago that freedom of conscience in health care is closely linked to greater personal freedom over health care decisions. Health care expert James Capretta says that “it was inevitable — only a matter of time,” now that the government is calling the shots and making health care choices for the American people. “Just the sight of Catholic leaders’ being forced to go begging before federal officials ought to be enough to convince most Americans that handing over so much power over such sensitive matters to the federal government was a terrible, terrible mistake,” he writes.

    This erosion of fundamental religious freedoms at the hands of the Obamacare bureaucracy is the sort of clash of government versus religious freedom that the Founders foresaw when, in the First Amendment of the Constitution, they prescribed that “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.” Not withstanding that prohibition, the Obama Administration has imposed its will on the very institutions the First Amendment sought to protect. Though the rule provides a narrow exemption for “houses of worship,” it unfortunately burdens their affiliated institutions, schools, and hospitals — thereby violating the freedom of religion. David Addington, Vice President of Domestic and Economic Policy at The Heritage Foundation, explains that the Obama Administration should take action to exempt these institutions and preserve their religious liberty:

     

    The Department of Health and Human Services should broadly exempt religious institutions in its final regulations implementing the Obamacare contraception mandate, pending repeal of that mandate as part of the Obamacare statute repeal. Such an exemption would allow the religious institutions both to adhere, as they must, to the tenets of their faiths and to provide group health care plans for their employees. Absent such an exemption, many religious institutions, following their faiths, will have no alternative but to stop making group health plans available to their employees and pay any fines for failure to do so.

    Surely President Obama did not intend what he considers his signature legislative achievement to trample on freedom of religion and to result in the loss of group health care coverage for employees of religious institutions. This is, after all, the man who told us all in 2006 that “secularists are wrong when they ask believers to leave their religion at the door before entering into the public square.”

    New York Archbishop Timothy Dolan cautioned, “This latest erosion of our first freedom should make all Americans pause. When the government tampers with a freedom so fundamental to the life of our nation, one shudders to think what lies ahead.” Those dire words of warning sadly ring true. Obamacare was designed to place total power in the hands of the federal government — in an unelected bureaucracy with the power to dictate the operation of an industry that is fundamental to Americans’ health and wellbeing. With this decision, the Obama Administration has demonstrated just how far that power can go, what freedoms it can take away, and why this law must be repealed.

    Quick Hits:

    Click here to view this post in Spanish on Libertad.org

    Posted in Obamacare [slideshow_deploy]

    109 Responses to Morning Bell: Obamacare's Latest Victim Is Religious Freedom

    1. tnivens says:

      this is outrageous!! we can not allow this to happen!

    2. We need to vote out this administration and then make all these egregious laws defunct. November can't come soon enough.

      • Rich says:

        If it was valid to impeach President Clinton over Monica, why is there no movement to impeach or censor President Obama for slaughtering the constitution? November 2012 may be too late.

        • Alessandro says:

          Will the American people really be stupid enough to re-elect this man, knowing that he is an enemy of the Constitution and the Church? If he is re-elected, we will have only ourselves to blame for the disaster he will continue to bring upon our nation.

    3. B. Brave says:

      Decades ago, when politics and religion were removed from the general discourse, our country began to take a turn for the worse.

      It amazes me that people of faith and conscience continue to adhere to the ideas that you should never talk about religion and politics, and similarly that you shouldn't mix politics and religion.

      Our founders knew that only by creating a government based on belief in God, and adhering to God's Natural Law, could the United States avoid the pitfalls of the monarchies, dictatorships, and other forms of authoritarian government prevalent throughout Europe.

      We have strayed from their wisdom. By eliminating the powerful influence of Faith, our country has spiraled downward to a point where Bioethicists compare terminating human life to weeding a garden, and it doesn't even make the headlines. Participation in and acceptance of abortion is being forced upon everyone, regardless of religious convictions, and our pulpits are silent.

      Until we become a people brave enough to say we've had enough, we will continue to have our rights stripped from us, and our freedoms destroyed. That applies to us as individuals, as Americans, and as Catholics.

      We must become brave enough to bring our faith to the forefront and stand for what we believe in.

      We must unapologetically base our political decisions on our foundations of faith and morality, and not back down when confronted by those who wish to eliminate faith from the public square.

      We must discard the humanistic, progressive idea that politics and religion shouldn't mix, and embrace the fact that if we want a Godly leader we must ask God for His guidance in choosing that leader.

      A first step is to follow our conscience, rather than the theology of political correctness and refuse to follow this unjust law. The consequences of refusing it are earthly. The consequences of betraying our conscience are eternal.

      • Christopher Cilley says:

        Very well said, and VERY much to the point!
        "A first step is to follow our conscience, rather than the theology of political correctness and refuse to follow this unjust law. The consequences of refusing it are earthly. The consequences of betraying our conscience are eternal. "
        Thank you for putting it so succintly!
        Christopher

      • Caseyb48 says:

        This post of full of the radical conservative tendency to re-write history in their own view. Let's take a few of the points:

        First and most important point is that by insisting health care providers all provide complete contraceptive services is NOT an issue of religious freedom. In fact, it enhances religious freedom by allowing persons of all beliefs to obtain the health care they need. Any given person still has every right to accept, refuse or not ask for any part of these services. This is done all the time now, witness the many religious sects who do not believe in modern medical practices at all. They are not being forced to accept any modern medical services. There are no police raids on religious communities, dragging the folks into a medical center for care.

        "Our founders knew that only by creating a government based on belief in God, and adhering to God's Natural Law, could the United States avoid the pitfalls of the monarchies, dictatorships, and other forms of authoritarian government prevalent throughout Europe"
        The constitution in general and certainly the first ammendment do not mention any specific religion, and in fact several phrases in the constitution suggest the writer's were as fearful of religious radicals as some of us are today. Many of the founding fathers were in fact not active Christians, but a popular religious choice for the day, 'Deists'. These are folks that believe in a God, but do not subscribe to teachings and biblical interpretations of large religious organisations. This means they were as skeptical of the power of big churches as they were of big government, and that is one reason the first ammendment was added. What do you folks have in mind, to turn out country into a religion-dominated one, similar to the Islamic and Jewish states that are so obviously doing tremendous damage to world peace currently? Do you really think the people of these states are happy, and have enough freedom? I don't!

        As for abortion, there can not possibly be any mention of abortion in the books of the bible, the writers of the bible had no clue about body function or the biology of human reproduction. So the religious objections to abortion are a modern interpretation, not based on a strict reading. The time or event that creates the human soul is a matter of debate, even among Christian sects, and should not be dictated by a powerful central government committee or a bunch of bureaucrats. Until the growing fetus becomes a viable entity (sometime in the 3rd trimester), it is part of a woman's body and should be treated as such by the legal system.

        So, feel free to "become brave enough to bring our faith to the forefront and stand for what we believe in". You have every right to do that in your personal life, just don't be in favor of huge government entities that impose your beliefs on me.

      • Susan says:

        I agree please help a beginner to become actve and help in this fight. What can I do and how do I go about helping to get this fixed?

    4. Mary......WI says:

      This country is going the way of China. As I recall Obama praised China on being a well run country…..uh, that would be communism!

      Stay tuned folks because I can guarantee there will be more dictates where this one came from if Obama is re-elected.

    5. Tony says:

      President Obama has gone too far on this one. Who does he think he is in telling religious organizations what they can and can not offer in benefits. He should stay out of my church and its teachings. I'm willing to bet he would not try to tell Muslims how to administer their benefit program? Where does it all end? Hopefully it will end in November.

      • Did you know everyone in American will be required to be covered under some kind of insurance or they will be fined? With the exception of Muslims since it against their religions beliefs to have medical insurance. Therefore, they are exempt from Obamacare all together.

        (see Senate Bill, H.R. 3590, pages 273-274 which states – being a member of a religion that does not believe in insurance is one of them. Islam is one of those religions. Muslims believe that health insurance is “haraam”, or forbidden; because they liken the ambiguity and probability of insurance to gambling. This belief excludes them from any of the requirements, mandates, or penalties set forth in the bill. Other excluded groups include Amish, American Indians, and Christian Scientists.)

    6. Chesterton says:

      I'm confused by these articles. Wasn't Heritage instrumental in getting Obamacare passed?

      • Clearhead says:

        You ar SOOOOO right !! You are confused. Terribly confused. I suggest you write Mr. Brownfield and ask him to give you his views, both present and historical on this abominable issue.

    7. toledofan says:

      All of the mandates imposed by Obama and his administration have been a lesson in why the Democrats can't be trusted with managing the government, the military or the economy. It's clear to me that everything they are doing is to dismantle the Constitution and grow the government, so large, they will control every aspect of peoples lives. What is ironic is that there are actually people who accept what is going on, that's what's really scary in all of this.

      • Caseyb48 says:

        I would fear for my freedoms much more under an administration that would interpret the Constitution as a big-government mandate to support a particular religious point of view, as expressed by toledofan, compared to what Obama is trying to put together.

    8. Jules says:

      The government has no place in our lives dictating what we should or should not do with our lives, much less what our religions should be teaching or not teaching. The attack on our religious freedoms, that is what it is, are not the main issue, It is an attack on the Constitution and Bill of Rights which will weaken the resistance to the attacks on the rest of the documents upon which this nation is founded.
      This needs to be challenged and fought at every opportunity by all true patriots.

      • Caseyb48 says:

        I am a patriotic American, and I find this ruling to be perfectly consistent with religious freedom. This ruling insures that every person can obtain the health care they desire and need, without some big-government bureaucrat dictating that particular services are not available.

    9. MJF in CT says:

      I do not agree with any exemptions for anyone when it comes to "Obamacare". The entire thing is so full of Constitutional violations that the whole mess needs to be thrown in the trash and burned to a crisp – and that goes for the authors of the bill, too!

    10. Cynthia T. says:

      Until we make more of an issue regarding the exploitation of infectious disease for profit by physicians and pharmaceutical companies, then and only then will we be able to convey to those that support this kind of thing how ObamaCare will affect them. No conservative has ever delved into this topic and it is rich with enough horrible statistics to make ObamaCare much more than contemptuous towards religion. The fact that the recent Lyme disease epidemic (that affects 97% of the white population) is not questioned in its "science" (except by one or two scientists quoted in the NYTs) is frightening beyond belief. Moreover, showing the truth of how women who get abortions are exploited afterwards by physicians for profit would deter women not only from considering abortion, but equally terrified of having sex.

    11. Benton H Marder says:

      This action by the Obama regime reflects an incredible arrogance or an incredible stupidity or an incredible contempt for th decencies of life. How else does the Obama regime justify picking a fight with the Roman Church during an election year. However, it could just as easily indicate a great confidence that the Roman Church will capitulate to this demand that it conform to the ungodly whims of the Obama regime. Which is it? Heaven protect us all.

    12. rockncoal says:

      Catholics make up about 23% of the US population – not enough to single-handedly put someone in or out of office, but enough to be a major force in any election. There is no way that Obama could have been elected president unless a number of Catholics voted for him despite his pro-abortion stance.

      If you are Catholic and are getting weary of the Obama Administration's disregard for your religious beliefs, make the committment to get out and vote against him in November. If Catholics unite as one, we can remove Obama and his henchmen from office!

    13. Howard Skidmore says:

      Even if HHS broadly exempts religious institutions the rest of us are still forced to supplement 'reproductive' 'family planning' services, either through our employers health plans or through the pool of plans the government will provide. There should be an overall religious exemption so that employer's plans and the government pool of health plans includes optional plans that won't force people to violate their own conscience.

      Allowing the government to take over healthcare is such a huge, huge mistake. I'm sure there are more nightmares to come.

    14. Russell Thomas says:

      How ironic! the liberals eager to embrace Obama's notions of social justice now find their support backfiring upon them. What was President Kennedy's quote about those who ride the tiger's back winding up in the tiger's mouth?

    15. Cynthia T. says:

      Not sure if my comment went through. I wrote that unless conservatives delve into and make an issue about the exploitation of infectious disease (i.e., like the bad science of the epidemic Lyme disease whose victims are 97% white despite what real scientists say about it), and the exploitation of women before and after abortion (like when fetal tissue left behind in the uterus causes cancer) the enormous potential of abuse not yet realized (except in elite circles) by the left-wing uneducated electorate will be realized. It is tragic that only the liberals (many physicians in practice are "liberal") understand how medicine can be used to exploit people and groups but the conservatives have been silent about it (i.e., rackateering in medicine, exploitation of women [high hysterectomy rate], etc.). The statistics are there and it is horrible. I am inclined to think that both parties engage in it so our voting electorate is blinded to not only Obama's policies towards religion, global warming, etc., but also the policy plans for population control.

    16. Just keeps getting better and better.

    17. Wendell Harrold says:

      The Holy Bible mandates we pray for our leaders. I pray Proverbs 26:27 and Psalm 109:8 for this Administration.

      • Christopher cilley says:

        Prov. 26:27, "Whoso diggeth a pit shall fall therein : and he that rolleth a stone, it will return upon him." (KJV)
        Psalm 109:8, "Let his days be few ; and let another take his office." (KJV)
        I agree that we need to pray for Obama and his people. Above are acceptable prayers for them! In the name of Jesus Christ Amen.
        Christopher

      • Chris says:

        Funny!

    18. jimyardley says:

      I can't imagine anything that isn't totally confrontational, and not amenable to being buried by the main stream media, having any impact on the institutionalized arrogance of the White House. However, I made a suggestion that's been published on American Thinker that might do the trick. Here is the link:
      http://www.americanthinker.com/blog/2012/01/obama

    19. Max Gill says:

      This is where separation of church and state needs to be.

      • guest says:

        When a country was founded upon the principles of the Word of God by leaders, how can you have seperations of church and state? The founding fathers stated that the government could not establish a church, not that the church could have a place in the government. Ther founders were leaving a hostile environment which had emposed a religous state, that is where the danger comes in.

    20. Oscar Brown says:

      Two thoughts on this post: one, as often as this administration has been called for blatantly uncontitutional moves, any pretense of respecting the document has long since been proven to be a lie; and two, when it's a choice of idiology or religious principle, idiology wins, hands down. It's who they are.
      "By their fruits shall ye know them."

    21. ThomNJ says:

      "Surely President Obama did not intend what he considers his signature legislative achievement to trample on freedom of religion and to result in the loss of group health care coverage for employees of religious institutions. This is, after all, the man who told us all in 2006 that "secularists are wrong when they ask believers to leave their religion at the door before entering into the public square.""

      OF COURSE HE INTENDED THAT – he was lying then and he is lying now. Face it, hussein is of the Democratic Socialists party – why else would they also create an agency OUTSIDE of the federal government and under the auspices of the Federal Reserve and under the guise of consumer protection? They are looking to dismantle our Republic. The dems and some republicans constantly trample our Constitution and the American people in the process. The Democrats have become the Communist Party while the Republicans vaguely resemble what was the Democratic Party – veering left when the country wants to be conservative…but a conservative majority won't allow the Congress and the president to stay in power forever, will it? So they have to try and kill it off.

    22. This is just one more reason why ObamaCare must be repealed if the administration does not modify it immediately. If President Obama taught classes on Constitutional Law I would have loved to have sat in his class to see just what he taught, especially what he taught about the First Amendment. The administration had better keep their hands off my religious beliefs.

    23. al ros says:

      It appears that Chavez was right in his statement about Obama that, "he's more socialist that I am".

      So, why aren't the Republicans in the House & Senate and the RNC Chairman yelling from rooftops just as the Bishops and Cardinals are doing to their congregations. Why aren't the Republican candidates shouting and enumerating the number of times this administration has trampled on the Constitution without fear of any repercussions from anyone in power?

      For a group of so-called "smart" people, our representatives in both parties, sure are looking dumber by the day just letting this Great Nation go down the tubes. Isn't this mandate, of telling everybody what they are and aren't going to do what brought the people to the famous American Revolution? The people of America have to wake up before our doors come crashing down and we find ourselves in predicaments of dictatorship that occurred in Poland and Hungary in the 1950's with the communist, socialists, marxists.

    24. Whicket Williams says:

      Will Americans fight? the obamacare, the Patriot act the NDAA who is fighting? Only RON PAUL.

    25. Dave says:

      Where was the Catholic church when they supported Obama's hope and change? The guy has voted for the termination of life so many times but they now have an issue. If your a Christian and support Obama or any politician who support abortion then you just as guilty as the one performing the procedure. I would not want to stand in front of God having to explain why I voted for a known support of abortion.

    26. American Miles says:

      This has NEVER been about Healthcare. It ALWAYS has been about CONTROL over the American people. You either work in the healthcare industry or are a patient or both. This "law" MUST BE REPEALED. We don't want waivers, we don't want exemptions, the PEOPLE of the United States want it REPEALED, REMOVED and thrown in the trash where it belongs. This will only be the tip of the iceberg, just wait til Obama "Appoints" his 9 member panel to decide whether YOUR MOTHER can have life saving surgery via Donal Berwick. Wake up America and see what is happening to your freedoms.

    27. Lloyd Scallan says:

      Pelosi said it. Now, are we happy with ObamaCare since we are "finding out what's in the bill"? Just wait until we "find out" the other wonderful parts of the bill that was deliberately hidden from Americans, but the Dems like Mary Landrieu (D-LA) and Ben Nelson (D-NE) knew exactly what was in it, yet still accepted bribes to pass it.

    28. Open Eyes 87 says:

      Catholics need to understand that the population is getting too big. This is not an infringement on rights, it's more of another right added. The people should have the choice to do what ever they want in regards to children, otherwise, we should begin to call the country this: America, the land of socialistic, religious ruled, idiocracy. There aren't enough jobs and too many people, this is obvious. The choice of abortion and contraceptives help people who cannot support a child and are not fit to raise one. This is saving people from having to ruin their own lives and the life of a child that will never have a snowball's chance in heck. Also, just because there has to be health care offered, doesn't mean you have to use it!! Come on… this is a repulican propaganda scheme….

    29. Joe Silvestrini says:

      Many nuns and priests tend to be from liberal to very liberal. I speak on this with 16 years of catholic education and lots of exposure to religious people. Almost all of them backed and voted for Obama that I know even though he clearly stated that he was a supporter of a woman's right to choose. They also thought Obama care was the best thing since sliced bread. Now they have a conundrum due to the fact that they got what they wanted and are all of a sudden outraged over this decision. Message to the Catholic Church: you can't have it both ways. It is about time that the catholic church follows its own dictum's that it doles out the parishioners.

    30. Nancy says:

      I just heard part of his address at The National Prayer Breakfast (all I could stand to listen to) and he portrays himself as the greatest Christian since John the Baptist. What a hypocrite and the phoniness is absolutely amazing! He must think we are stupid and can't see through this sham but he is so wrong. I pray the American people will be disturbed and outraged by what he is doing to our religious freedom. God help us see the TRUTH!

    31. Don Herr says:

      What President Obama said in 2006 does not mean anything today. All he is concerned about is being re-elected and imposing Obamacare upon this nation. His past clearly shows that he is not a man of his word

    32. Therese Kelly says:

      This fraud of a man needs to be tossed out as soon as posible.How dare he tell Catholics,and others to defy God!!!

    33. Melissa says:

      Not only does this directly hit the integrity of our Constitution, it reiterates what God has said will come to pass unless we change and turn away from all that isn't of Him. Our constitution was written with God has the center.

    34. boberic says:

      you allways have to remind yourself what Relosi said. You have to pass the bill to know whats in it. Virtually none of the members of congress or our wonderful dear leader read the damn thing. Now we are all paying the price. If we reelect our dear leader in another 4 years this republic will be unrecognizeable.

      • Charles Webb says:

        Is it time to ALTER OR ABOLISH? The best way to correct our current elected political problems, is through the power of the vote. We must be peaceful, aware and trust in God to get us through this challenge.

    35. Bobbie says:

      Why isn't any specific questioning of his constitutional authority being done? People WOULDN'T EXIST if they couldn't take care of themselves using personal resources where government authority doesn't apply! Obamacare or GOVERNMENT NEED NOT INTRUDE! Private is what private says! Get this antiAmerican government away from American freedoms! Stop letting unconstitutional, undisciplined, inhumane government cross the line!!!

    36. Sylvia says:

      All that the law requires is the providing of health care. It's not forcing anyone to accept abortion or abortifacent drugs. The insurance plan covers those provisions, but no one is obligated to HAVE those procedures or TAKE THOSE DRUGS. The prescription plans and health care coverage are products that the insurance companies offer — no one is obligated to be consumers of them. No one is tampering with religious freedom here. It's a generic policy to cover all situations. In no way is anyone forced to support abortion by providing insurance.

    37. Juan Martinez says:

      Shouldn't it be the the individual employee's decision whether or not to use contraceptives or have an abortion? Isn't this like a Christian Scientist church saying they don't want their health coverage to include anti-biotics or medical procedures, because they violate the church's beliefs. This whole thing is a little wacky. I would bet that people who identify themselves as catholics probably use contraceptives and have abortions at the same rate as everyone else. It seems like rhetorical overreach to call this a violation of religious freedom. Isn't it rather just a support for an individual's freedom?

      • Bobbie says:

        gosh Mr. Martinez, why would anyone want the support of "government authority" regarding personal freedoms? Especially when it comes to this matter of personal choice of behavior and the personal responsibilities that goes with it? As the world displays a clear picture of warning to America, the worst and most dangerous for free people to lose freedoms, is place personal responsibilities into the role of government.

    38. Tak Okabe says:

      Abortions and contraceptions are not illnesses, and should not be covered by any healthcare insurance. It is same as cosmetic surgery or "face lift". I think the healh insurance should only cover treatment/diagnosis of illnesses.

    39. Theophile says:

      No one is bound to obey a unconstitutional law, and no court is bound to enforce it. John Jay 1st supreme court Justice.
      If somethings not broken, fix it until it is, has been the governments approach to nearly everything: Education, foreign relations, economics, employment, etc, and now your health.
      Guess what people, the US government, and all the medical personnel in the US, along with every medical device known to date, cannot replace, repair, or renew Your health. Only God can fix You there, and Obama ain't God, and neither are any of the treasonous illiterates that voted this "the governments job is to be God" bill into law. Could we apply the words of Jesus in Matthew 16:25? For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it?
      The very 1st gift to man from God Genesis 1:29 "herb bearing seed upon the face of all the earth" tells us the story:
      Who other than Satan would: #Claim ownership of (Devils weed), # Tax, regulate, restrict, or make criminal through lies and deception, God's first gift to man?

    40. sdfultz says:

      Seems to me that the balancing of insurance coverage is a good thing, if the Church demands that it's employees must meet the Church standard, then they shouldn't have to worry about any employees going and getting services they don't allow, I mean their employees are obedient right. So just because the insurance companies are mandated to cover these issues, The church people don't have to use them, Right?

    41. rayr says:

      Wasn't it these same religious zealots that in 08 were touting how great Obama was. They got what they deserve.

    42. Ken Marx says:

      This is yet another case of the Obama Administration's continuing "war" against the Constitution. They are a lawless bunch who care nothing for the rule of law including religious freedom. If we can't find a way to repeal Obamacare, and in fact, remove this bunch from office, America as we know it will cease to exist.

      • Earl Mann says:

        Another case of the a organization trying to drink for free. If you don't like the government rules, be self sufficient and opt out of government funding. That way you can insure whomever you want, and however you want. Seems simple.

    43. By forcing competors out, as candidate Obama did while running for non-presidential offices, he will be incharge of GovCon with no other means of helping the people (Machiavelli, The Prince, last sentence in chapter 4.)
      The advantage of an older President? Not tempted to make it President for Life. Of course he could be using this, as some suspected of Clinton, of using this as a stepping stone to savior of the world either with, or in cometiton with Soros (or as some think their leader).

    44. timhowa1 says:

      It was always the goal of President Obama to drive everyone into the government insurance pool. Either through pricing employers and insurers out the business of providing for individuals or employees, or through restrictions and mandates placed upon them. Many, many individuals saw this coming and drew attention to it during the debate and subsequent passage of this monstrosity.
      Looks like the chickens are starting to roost.

      • Earl Mann says:

        No one can force you into the govenment pool. Private insurers exists. Was this also Mitt romney plan while governor of Mass. I think he said 92% of the people in Mass. have PRIVATE Insurance.

    45. DANNY CARTER says:

      the government is going to far they always say ( the separation of church and state) i think the idiot is acting like this GREAT NATION is going more and more to communism every day and i'm not afraid to voice what i think DANNY CARTER

    46. Alcon says:

      The present administration if left in control will destroy our freedom and make us slaves to government dictate and desires. This president is the greatest threat to the American way of life we have every encountered. He is more dangerous than German NAZI's of the 30's and 40's or Stalin's attempt at enforcing and growing communism in the USSR.

      • Juan Martinez says:

        Ummm, your comment is meant a hyperbole, right? You don't literally mean what you said, do you?

    47. Alan says:

      My vote is always given with who I align my beliefs with. Pro Life is a christian value. The right (republicans) represents this basic belief the best. The last presidential election a lot of Christians voted left for hope and change, putting at risk many freedoms including religous ones. We can take control by uniting as christians and vote with moral concious. Our politicians should be held to high moral standards instead of the current status quo. No one can stop us from taking back many of the freedoms we have already lost all we have to do is turn out in numbers to vote..

    48. cindi says:

      He still has the Catholic vote!! sadly

      • Sandi says:

        not this Catholic!! If I wanted to live in a socialist country I would move. But it looks like we are going to get one whether we want one or not. Everything is being shoved down our throats. Our ancestors are rolling over in their graves.

    49. Leith N. Wood says:

      Of course Obama intended what is going on with health care. Wake up! Obama wants government to control our lives totally. Socialism is here now and only getting worse. We must all pray that the Catholics fight hard and win this battle and the country throws out Obama and his thugs.

    50. STEVEN says:

      When will the mentally challenged, realize that this….this "president" is stomping on their freedom, liberty and happiness! He is coldly and deliberately trying to destroy the constitution! This president and all that support him are a cancerous tumor , incidious in its progress toward our destruction!

    51. sam says:

      Where is the ACLU now?

    52. Earl Mann says:

      In short, they want federal funding and the right to use it as they see fit. Federal funding doesn't work that way, as rampant fraud would occur without specific standards. So while I understand the argument on Principal, the easiest solution would be to "opt out of any federal funding" the organization may be receiving, and that way they can maintain their beliefs without federal intervention and preserving their freedoms.

    53. Eugene says:

      In my opinion, all the previous comments fail to understand the basic issue. It seems to me the question is this: Do the religious convictions of an employer allow him to control the benefits he is willing to give his employees who may not share his religious views? The new rule does not limit an individual's freedom of religion as guaranteed in the FIrst Amendment. It limits the power of corporations (e.g., hospitals and colleges) which are subject to laws that intend to prevent discrimination and ensure equality of opportunity.

      If I am a Protestant Christian employed by a Catholic hospital which provides only a medical plan which excludes family planning and abortion coverage, I would find that a unfair restriction on my freedom to avail myself of these services which are perfectly legal. Such a restriction on my benefits would be seen by me as an affront to my free exercise of religion because my religious beliefs about God's love permit women to use their God-given reason and conscience to make decisions about their own bodies.

      Finding an appropriate balance between personal freedom and responsibility for our neighbors is often difficult to achieve. Thoughtful people can disagree. Calling people derogatory names rather then trying to understand their point of view will lead to the deterioration of our democracy!

      • Juan Martinez says:

        Thank you, Eugene. Your comment is a breath of fresh air, and a too rare (on this web site) expression of reason and tolerance.

    54. LuluBelle says:

      Dear Mr. Addington: Pres. Obama surely DID intend that his signature legislation do exactly what it is doing. It's about government control. That is his entire agenda: destroying our freedom, and having control over our lives. I know the truth is hard to swallow, but there it is.

    55. Richard says:

      I cannot image any organization more opposed to religious freedom than the Republican Party. This Party is trying to establish this nation as a religious dictatorship where the state is more important than the people. Where women are treated as second class citzens. It reminds me more and more of Islam and Iran. And like Islam they murder tens of thousands of their own people. Every year the Repulicans kill 50,000 innocent American men, women and children in order to support the aristocracy (almost 50,000 Americans killed every year by lack of health insurance based on the 10 year study by Harvard Medical School and the Cambridge Institution published in 2009). In fact in the span of time from 9/11 tragedy to today the score is terroists killed on American soil about 3,100 while the Republicans, a staggering 500,000. The greates threat to Americas existence is the Republican Party, not offshoring jobs, not China, not Russia, not terroists, but the axis of evil, the Republican Party

    56. DCampbell says:

      You know Obamacare is just an expansion of the county health care system that is already burdened by the homeless and uninsured. The expenses are already encountered. This will provide a little more tax income for the system. Even when Mitt issues every state a waiver, most states will take up the challenge. States are not forbidden from enforcing commerce, only federal government is. Only a few states will try to impose abortion funding on the taxpayers, but that will be a fair fight at the state level. The states can't print money either so their fights will be limited by debt battles too. Find Freedom2Care for more info on concience protections.

    57. Jeanne Stotler says:

      Obama thinks 1st admendment about free speech and taking over Gov't. owned parks is OK but he sure missed the first part of the 1st Admendment and is violating it BIG TIME: It says" Congress shall make NO LAW respecting an estasblishment of Religion, OR PROHIBITING the FREE exercise thereof; this so called act is violating my rights and those of thousands of others, as a Catholic I sorely object and when I was working I told supervisors I would not work on a floor where abortions were performed NOR take part in them, this was respected everywhere I worked. NOW our POTUS is destroying another right..

    58. Doc Hilliard says:

      "When you're nervous and in doubt run in circles, scream, and shout" – that's where Obama has got you. There some who have a more positive, American, agenda, and that is to fire Obama and every one who supports him regardless of who (they think) they are. When in doubt throw them out.

    59. orofthepress says:

      I think the Catholics position of contraception is absurd. But they should have every right to that belief. If a member of the Church is insured by them, and wants access to birth control, then they have every right to leave the church and get that service elsewhere. At the same time, the Church shouldn't be able to force non-members to follow their silly rules. Thus, the true meaning of separation of Church and State. In my vision of it, we wouldn't have Obamacare and the Catholic Church wouldn't have the power to pass laws restricting my liberty. Individuals would choose their own morals and buy their own insurance that fits their needs. None of us would be forced to buy it.

      More on my blog: http://orofthepress.wordpress.com/2012/02/02/fede

    60. Don Pratt says:

      Be careful about what you wish for. You can be sure the Islamist are watching this fight very closely. If the Catholic church is granted any exceptions you know the Islamist will want the same exception, and the doorway to Sharia Law will be cracked open at bit more. The Islamist will demand exemptions for all of the Sharia Laws.
      Don Pratt

    61. Ken Kok says:

      This seems to me to support the idea that medical insurance should be an individual choice and purchased independently like auto insurance. This would take the employer completely out of the loop and leave it up to the individual what kind of medical coverage they wished to purchase.

    62. Wayne Peterkin says:

      There comes a time when the people need to simply say "NO"! No to a dictatorial government that is blatantly un-American. Obama can try to dictate healthcare policy to religious institutions if he wishes, but we as a people should tell him to stuff it; we will not comply. Make him try to impose his will by force. I somehow doubt he will push this issue in an election year but even if he does, he would be sealing his own fate in the process.

    63. Mike, Hickory, NC says:

      The title of the article "Obamacare's Latest Victim Is Religious Liberty" tells it exactly as it is, but then, there is marching straight into the game of "exemption, exemption", as if making exemptions makes ok.

      Then, it seems as if there is a display of something called "denial", as in "surely he didn't mean this and that", when everything about "Obamacare", it's evident, obvious, historically repeated purpose and intent to take complete control, a la the Statist/Progressive "administrative State", is evident and obvious enough for anybody to see, "exempting", of course, those who refuse to see.

      Fortunately, at the end, it seems as if the article turns right back into fact and reality as it is finished with reason why Obamacare must be (entirely) repealed, which is right-on.

    64. This administration is now going to force religious institutions to provide health coverage for employees that covers contraception and very likely abortions. The president ignores previous National Days of Prayer but honors Ramadan with a formal diner. Franklin Graham is dis-invited from speaking at the pentagon, Tony Perkins is cancelled from speaking at the Air Force Academy and General Boynkin is forced to withdrawal from speaking at West Point. There is no WAR ON CHRISTIANITY being conducted by the Obama administration. People of faith please wake up!

    65. Blair Franconia, NH says:

      Why does Obummer hate religion?

    66. JohnL2 says:

      Hopefully, every Cathilic in the USA will vote AGAINST Obama in the 2012 election with the exception of Nancy Pelosi, who obviously isn't much of a Catholic anyway!!!
      OBAMA MUST BE STOPPED!!!!

    67. how is it that this president has a right to tell us how to run our faith I urge all relgious groups not to vote for this man he has gone to far Robert Sawyer

    68. Campuscoll says:

      The offering of the various birth control options should be mandatory. Whether or not the individual takes advantage of those options should be left to the individual's religious beliefs and/or conscience and not the employer's beliefs.

    69. B.Dugan says:

      If Pres. Obama is not stoped here and now – he will move further and further into the dissolution of Constitutional freedom of choice and right to worship of the American people.
      Rise up America – else we waken one morning to find a new Marxist Manifesto of the United States.

    70. Mike Malone says:

      In Obama's perfect world……"Vat ar u talking about. Zer is no religious descimunation……Christian's just must ver a cross on der lapel in public.. vy is dis a problem?"

    71. Doug Nicholson says:

      "Catholics will be compelled either to violate our consciences or to drop health care coverage for our employees." And once dropped, they will HAVE TO sign up with Obamacare. That is the aim of the Obamacare program. To get EVERYONE on mandated, government run, health care.

    72. dorie says:

      can someone PLEASE correct the spelling of "assault" on the tv commercial/ad for defending america.It would be great to have better proof readers.

    73. Gary Mozur says:

      This is a sad commentary on America. Our government is being guided by immoral and Godless people. Americans need to stand together and vote the Obama administration out and anyone in Congress who supports this agenda. I am convinced these people are evil and are set on destroying the freedoms Americans live under.

    74. Charles Webb says:

      I have enjoyed reading all of these comments. This obama guy that was somehow voted in is following his promised goal, to fundamentally change America. He has only just began and needs another four years to really mold this country to fit his beliefs. This man did go to the Prayer Breakfast the other day and I thought he was going to choke when he said " as a Christian" blah-blah-blah. I turned the channel. This man is NO CHRISTIAN!!!!!!

      • Caseyb48 says:

        Who are you to say whether any person is a good christian or not? This view to me is extraordinarily offensive. By so severely criticizing another Christian, I would YOU are the weak Christian!

    75. dougindeap says:

      Notwithstanding wild-eyed cries to the contrary, THE HEALTH CARE LAW DOES NOT FORCE EMPLOYERS TO ACT CONTRARY TO THEIR BELIEFS–unless one supposes the employers' religion forbids even the payment of money to the government (all of us should enjoy such a religion).

      Questions about the government requiring or prohibiting something that conflicts with someone’s faith are entirely real, but not new. The courts have occasionally confronted such issues and have generally ruled that the government cannot enact laws specifically aimed at a particular religion (which would be regarded a constraint on religious liberty contrary to the First Amendment), but can enact laws generally applicable to everyone or at least broad classes of people (e.g., laws concerning pollution, contracts, fraud, negligence, crimes, discrimination, employment, etc.) and can require everyone, including those who may object on religious grounds, to abide by them. Were it otherwise and people could opt out of this or that law with the excuse that their religion requires or allows it, the government and the rule of law could hardly operate. When moral binds for individuals can be anticipated, provisions may be added to laws affording some relief to conscientious objectors.

      Here, there is no need for such an exemption, since no employer is being "forced," as some commentators rage, to act contrary to his or her belief. In keeping with the law, those with conscientious objections to providing their employees with qualifying health plans may decline to provide their employees with any health plans and pay an assessment instead or, alternatively, provide their employees with health plans that do not qualify (e.g., ones without provisions they deem objectionable) and pay lower assessments.

      The employers may not like paying the assessments or what the government will do with the money it receives. But that is not a moral dilemma of the sort supposed by many commentators, but rather a garden-variety gripe common to most taxpayers–who don't much like paying taxes and who object to this or that action of the government. That is hardly call for a special "exemption" from the law. Should each of us feel free to deduct from our taxes the portion that we figure would be spent on those actions (e.g., wars, health care, whatever) each of us opposes?

    76. Freedomprevail says:

      Obama, Harry Reid, Nancy Pelosi and all those progressive socialist Democrats knew exactly what we were letting ourselves in for when they overwhelmingly voted for Obama Care. Senator Stupak sold out to Obama because of an Executive Order given by Obama that said Federal funds would not pay for abortions. Obama was lying then and he is lying now. Anyone who follows the Obama Administration knows full well that he is trying to destroy the freedoms given to us By God and protected thus far by our Constitution. Obama taught Constitutional Law so do not be fooled into thinking that he does not know exactly what he is doing and why. Vote Obama out in November 2012 and all those Progressive Democrats who voted for Obama Care.

    77. Susan Gate says:

      Wasn't Obama invoking Jesus at some prayer breakfast last week, on why the government needs to take more of others money… there goes the Christian vote…blashphemy out of satan himself.

      • Caseyb48 says:

        Why do you radical conservative Christians cherry pick so severely? I agree with what Obama said at the prayer breakfast.
        "But I also [impose regulations on Wall Street] because I know that far too many neighbors in our country have been hurt and treated unfairly over the last few years, and I believe in God's command to "love thy neighbor as thyself." I know the version of that Golden Rule is found in every major religion and every set of beliefs — from Hinduism to Islam to Judaism to the writings of Plato."
        "And I think to myself, if I'm willing to give something up as somebody who's been extraordinarily blessed, and give up some of the tax breaks that I enjoy, I actually think that's going to make economic sense. But for me as a Christian, it also coincides with Jesus's teaching that "for unto whom much is given, much shall be required." To answer the responsibility we're given in Proverbs to "Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves, for the rights of all who are destitute.".
        John tells us that, "If anyone has material possessions and sees his brother in need but has no pity on him, how can the love of God be in him? Dear children, let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and in truth.""

        Whjat is wrong with this logic? Why cant you folks agree to make personal sacrifices?

    78. Ray says:

      Let's assume this is a Religious freedom issue. Why is it, then, that the rights of the employer are held over those of the employees? These are not Churches, these are businesses, hospitals, and schools that hire people with all kinds of beliefs and backgrounds. If this were imposed on churches, then YES, it would be wrong. But their is nothing here that violates any religious freedom. They are not required to administer birth control; They are not required to change their view on the matter; they are not required to use it themselves nor to mandate their employees use it; they are required to follow a law – like every other employer/company – that provides coverage to anyone who chooses to exercise their freedom to make the decision for themselves. The employers must respect the beliefs of their employees (which is really how the freedom argument should be applied in this instance), and by arguing here for an exception, they are putting their rights over the individual. They are blatantly saying "We don't care. What we believe is more important than you and your rights." Besides, it turns out a majority Catholics don't see a problem with most forms contraception (their issue is predominantly with abortion – which is not covered), so whom is this fight for? Merely a new angle to fight universal health care as a whole, waving a falsified banner for people to rally under.

      We need to stop acting like spoiled teenagers, throwing tantrums instead of objectively problem-solving; to stop pushing a concept of absolute and extreme individualism over the more important rights of all Americans. "Pro Life" should also mean something for those already born. Isn't that one of our three guaranteed rights, life? Even Pope Benedict XVI has said health care is a "moral responsibility of government" and an “inalienable right,” regardless of social and economic status or ability to pay. Doesn't his word mean anything to the Catholic Church?

      If conservative Americans have a problem with the health care laws, then – by all means – make am argument. But disguising it as a violation of religious freedoms is only one more thing that will polarize the country further, politically. These aren't points at stake, they are people's lives.

    79. Ray says:

      Let's assume this is a Religious freedom issue. Why is it, then, that the rights of the employer are held over those of the employees? These are not Churches, these are businesses, hospitals, and schools that hire people with all kinds of beliefs and backgrounds. If this were imposed on churches, then YES, it would be wrong. But their is nothing here that violates any religious freedom. They are not required to administer birth control; They are not required to change their view on the matter; they are not required to use it themselves nor to mandate their employees use it; they are required to follow a law – like every other employer/company – that provides coverage to anyone who chooses to exercise their freedom to make a decision for themselves. The employers must respect the beliefs of their employees (which is really how the freedom argument should be applied in this instance), and in this case by arguing for an exception, they are putting their rights over the individual. They are blatantly saying "We don't care. What we believe is more important than you and your rights." Besides, it turns out a majority Catholics don't see a problem with most forms contraception (their issue is predominantly with abortion which is not covered), so whom is this fight for? Merely a new angle to fight universal health care as a whole?

      We need to stop acting like spoiled teenagers, throwing tantrums instead of objectively problem-solving; to stop pushing a concept of absolute and extreme individualism over the more important rights of all Americans. "Pro Life" should also mean something for those already born. Isn't that one of our three guaranteed rights, life? Even Pope Benedict XVI has said health care is a "moral responsibility of government" and an “inalienable right,” regardless of social and economic status or ability to pay. Doesn't his word mean anything to the Catholic Church?

      If conservative Americans have a problem with the health care laws, then – by all means – make your argument. But disguising it as a violation of religious freedoms is only one more thing that will polarize the country further, politically.

    80. Swhit says:

      About religion, look up the definition in the dictionary. It contains a little word called "beliefs". If you are an Atheist, believe in the tooth fairy or believe aliens live on Mars it is NOT exactly something you want to get rid of and needs to be known it is not strictly for the church or a god. It is something that both sides of the coin can unite on!

      The 1st Amendment:
      Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

      The phrase "separation of church and state" does not appear anywhere in the Constitution. Thomas Jefferson wrote that the 1st Amendment erected a "wall of separation" between the church and the state (James Madison said it "drew a line," but it is Jefferson's term that sticks with us today). The phrase is commonly thought to mean that the government should not establish, support, or otherwise involve itself in any religion.

      The 10th Amendment states that "The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people."
      Social issues are the problems of the States not the Federal Government. No where does it say in the constitution the Feds or states can tell you what to do with your body, who you can sleep with or mandate you to buy their insurance.

      Article 1, Section 8, Clause 12
      To raise and support Armies, but no Appropriation of Money to that Use shall be for a longer Term than two Years;
      How many years have we paid for these illegal wars that have no end because they are illegal and now the warmongers want more.

      What we want is our 1st Amendment, constitution and Bill of Rights and we do not need or want guys like Santorum, Romney, Obama and Gingrich taking it away. Research voting records.

      Ron Paul will reinstate our Constitution and the States powers with MORE voter control

    81. msbetz says:

      Obama is eligible for REMOVAL NOW! Do it NOW! November is too late, he would rather start a WAR than loose the White House…..And he's capable of doing that. Obama is committing crimes against Humanity and could possibly Destroy humanity, it's that serious. REMOVE OBAMA NOW.

    82. Dee says:

      This is not about religon. It's about CHOICE. You as a beleiver can not tell someone else they can not take birthcontrol. Obaama is also not saying YOU have to take birthcontrol. It's no different than providing for those who smoke and drink. IThey bring those illness on themselves yet NO ONE is screaming about paying for their healthcare.

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