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  • Many Faiths Unite in Opposition to Obama Attack on Religious Liberty

    The Obama Administration’s mandate under the Obamacare statute that many religious employers provide health care coverage for contraception, abortifacients, and human sterilization tramples upon their constitutionally guaranteed free exercise of religion.  Secretary Kathleen Sebelius of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) recently announced the Administration policy.  Many faiths have united in opposition to the Obama Administration attack on religious liberty.

    On January 20, 2012, the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops said that “To force American citizens to choose between violating their consciences and forgoing their healthcare is literally unconscionable.”  Also on that day, the National Association of Evangelicals commented that “The HHS rules trample on our most cherished freedoms and set a dangerous precedent.”

    On January 26, the Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations of America stated, “In declining to expand the religious exemption within the healthcare reform law, the Obama Administration has disappointingly failed to respect the needs of religious organizations such as hospitals, social welfare organizations and more.”  On the same day, Agudath Israel of America stated:

    The Obama Administration had an opportunity to declare that there is a fundamental American value at stake here — religious freedom — and provide strong and unequivocal protections to religious employers.  Instead, it took a step backwards by imposing religiously-objectionable mandates on countless religious entities, and by devising a cramped limitation on what “religious groups” are and what their public mission in society should be.

    On February 3, the Lutheran Church Missouri Synod said, “This action by HHS will have the effect of forcing many religious organizations to choose between following the letter of the law and operating within the framework of their religious tenets.”  The Assembly of Canonical Orthodox Bishops of North and Central America noted that the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution guarantees the free exercise of religion and that “This freedom is transgressed when a religious institution is required to pay for ‘contraceptive services’ including abortion-inducing drugs and sterilization services that directly violate their religious convictions.”

    The Obamacare statute has concentrated in the hands of the federal government broad power over the one-sixth of the American economy that is health care.  Obamacare purports to invest in the federal government the power to force religious institutions, such as religious hospitals, charities, and schools, to provide health care insurance for contraception, abortion-inducing drugs, and human sterilization, contrary to the faiths of those religious institutions.

    As Ronald Reagan said, “Concentrated power has always been the enemy of liberty.”  The concentration of nearly all power over health care in the hands of the federal government has proved to be a drastic and dangerous experiment.  Congress should repeal the Obamacare statute, allow the country to have market-based, patient-centered health care, and restore our religious liberty.

    Posted in Obamacare [slideshow_deploy]

    23 Responses to Many Faiths Unite in Opposition to Obama Attack on Religious Liberty

    1. Charlie says:

      Obamacare needs to be stooped asap….Believe it or not, there are many people who don't really know how much they're going to hate this government run healthcare. If most of the general population got involved and researched to see what's in this bill, this bill would never have passed. people would of been out on the streets across America. I still think that's what is going to happen sometime in 2014…But it may be too late.

      • Mike T says:

        Calm down Charlie, you are having a misinformation attack. I prescribe 3 months off of Fox News, Rush Limbaugh and no reading Ian Rand. You should start seeing improvement by day 90! If not continue for another 3 months.
        Your welcome, no charge!

    2. Bowmanave says:

      Great article, Andy! Religious charities are often the only places that immigrants can go for work, food, clothing, etc. What will happen if resources for those charities are drained to nothing because of our current administration? Ridiculous.

    3. This looks and feels like a big time shift, because it reveals to religious liberals who has their back (conservatives who respect their rights) and who has a target painted on their back (Leftists and secular humanists, but I repeat myself).

      d(^_^)b http://libertyatstake.blogspot.com/
      "Because the Only Good Progressive is a Failed Progressive"

    4. dougindeap says:

      Our laws have long made health plans available to most people in the form of "employee benefits" received through their employers. Apart from political expediency, employers really did not need to be involved at all, but since the law put them in that position, they effectively have had a say in what types of plans are available to their employees. Some employers have even taken advantage of their position to tailor the plans they make available to fit their own religious views, rather than leave such matters to their employees.

      Now that the government has prescribed that health plans provide some services that do not conform to the religious views of some employers, those employers have complained they face a moral bind–that is they are forced to provide plans that include services they find objectionable. This moral bind could have been avoided if the law had not required employers to provide such qualifying health plans and, instead, simply made such plans readily and directly available to everyone, funding them, at least partly, through taxes or assessments paid by employers relieved of the burden of providing health plans. Had the government done that, employers would not face a moral bind and health plans would be widely available as the law intends.

      Oh. Wait. Does the current health law afford employers that very option? Why, yes, it does. http://pnhp.org/blog/2011/03/15/employer-sponsore… Eureka! No moral bind! (And the assessments, by the way, are hardly prohibitive as some commentators suppose. Some employers, indeed, are considering that option on the basis that it is economically advantageous.)

      Problem solved–except perhaps for an employer who really desires not just to avoid a moral bind, but rather wants to retain control of his employees' health plans, limit their choices to conform to the employer's religious beliefs, and avoid paying the assessments that otherwise would be owed. The employer could not do that–unless he obtained an exemption from the law.

      Oh. Wait. Aren't some employers clamoring for just such an exemption, so they can do just that? Why, yes, they are.

    5. David in Austin says:

      Is it a right to deny a right to others? Is this a case of the Catholic Church demanding the right to deny the rights of its employees — specifically their right to equal treatment under the law with respect to access to birth control?

      • Pragmatic says:

        I have to agree with David. It could very easily be argued that the Catholic Church is denying the freedom of religion to others and, thus, the Obama administration is actually defending the Constitution. However, I also understand the Catholic Church's moral objection to the provision. This is indeed a very tricky subject.

      • James says:

        First, there is no "right" to birth control. Second, even if there were one the Catholic Church isn't denying their employees the access to birth control, they are just saying that they won't pay for it. Everyone is still perfectly capable of purchasing it on their own. If enough of their employees wanted to have it covered under insurance I am sure that they could get an insurance company to create a specific policy that would cover medical procedures not covered by the Church.

      • Trish says:

        Fallacious to the core. The catholic church does not deny anyone any rights. Birth control can be obtained just about anywhere, and very very inexpensively. Catholic refusal to fund birth control (which, by the way is not a 'right' in and of itself) does not limit access to birth control, which can be obtained for free for low income women who would like to use it.

        To suggest that Catholics should be forced to fund something that directly contradicts their beliefs about morality is a complete intrusion upon their legitimate religious liberties specifically mentioned in the Constitution. I am not a Catholic. I am a Baptist, but I will stand right beside them and fight with them on this because this is an absolutely tyrannical act by this administration.

      • Mike T says:

        I also agree with an added comment about the issue. No one is saying the church itself has to adhere to this law. The church is exempt but when the church opens another business, be It a charity or a school or a hospital they must had here to the same laws that apply to all other businesses. Truly one can see that silly side of this … What if the church opened a laundry or a store or a car dealership or any other business. Where do you draw the line allowing discrimination of their employees? In addition it is a fact that 99% of adult women have used or are using birth control including 98% of catholic women. It is also a fact that when questioned off the record many catholic bishops around the word dealing with devastating poverty due to over population are praying for contraceptives to be made available but for the hirearchy in the outdated catholic church they cannot discuss it openly. Let's face it, this outrage is purely political about a program that eliminates open discrimination of workers. No one is forcing anyone to take birth control, just to make it available to employees like all other businesses. If Catholics are devote to their teachings they should have a very low percentage of people taking the option… My guess is the same percentages will apply. That's the real fear.

      • ktcat says:

        So if you don't buy me a Lotus Esprit, are you denying me my right to have one?

    6. gogogodzilla says:

      98% of Catholics use birth control anyway.

      • Trish says:

        What does that have to do with this administration's infringement on religious liberties?

      • Rose says:

        So what? The issue here is not who does or can….everyone has access to birth control products if they want them, the issue here is who is forced to pay for them! The premiums I and my employer pay into our group health plan go to pay for all the participants' health care expenses covered under the plan. If one employee wants to purchase some health care service or product not covered in the plan, they can certaily choose to do so. Thye just have to pay for it themselves, or go to one of the many free providors in their community.

    7. Mariann in Ohio says:

      No, people have the right to make their own choices–we just don't want to have to pay for and support their choices with our dollar. We must have the right to choose where our dollar goes, according to our belief system–don't need or want someone making that decision for me. This country was based on, not only individual freedom, but also individual responsibility. By the way, why is it when a pregnant woman is murdered it's a double homocide, but abortion is a right I have to pay for??? Something doesn't jive!

      • Sensible Dude says:

        Curious….did you support every war, or for that matter, every bomb that your tax dollars paid for? No? Where did you get the idea you have the right to choose how your tax dollars are spent based off of your religious beliefs…because you don't.

    8. @Sulien77 says:

      Oh, for crying in a bucket, they're not saying that people MUST use contraceptives or that they MUST get an abortion, but that their employees have a right to receive that care, if they need or desire it, through their health insurance. Stop pushing your own religious agenda off onto other people! 'Freedom of Religion' does NOT give the right to oppress others who may not have the same beliefs!

      • Miami says:

        No one is saying you MUST go to a Catholic hospital. If you want birth control or abortion inducing drugs you can purchase them on your own or get them for free at any number of widespread state hospitals.

      • Rose says:

        In this day and place, everyone has access to these products and procedures….. there are clinics and providors, some for free or reduced cost, folks can turn to if they want these. The issue is whether or not Employer Sponsored Health Plans need to PAY for them. The premiums the employers and employees pay into these plans are what the insurance companies use to pay the providors. So, yes, WE pay for services and products WE may not in all good conscience, care to pay for. That's what I object to. I won't deny you access to what you want, I just don't want the government to force me and my employer to pay for you.

      • ktcat says:

        So they won't receive it if someone else doesn't pay for it?

    9. fearSharia/Cathlaw says:

      do Catholic hospitals/universities mandate Jewish doctors/professors to wear a crucifix?

    10. Sweets says:

      Another prophecy of the bible. It states clearly in the scriptures that the Government would try or stop religion in time, and when that happens, well, the government won't be liking their ultimate result.

    11. Sensible Dude says:

      I'm really curious about the religions that shun all medicine and medical treatment. Is Obama trampling their religious beliefs by making them provide health care for their employees?

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