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  • Morning Bell: Religious Liberty Under Attack

    Today is Ash Wednesday — the first day of Lent — the beginning of 40 days of prayer and fasting observed by Christians across the country, culminating in the Easter feast. Likewise in April, Jews will gather to celebrate Passover, one of many traditions observed under the religious freedom that the U.S. Constitution was designed to preserve. Now, though, that freedom is under direct attack by the very government that purports to represent the people, and that is but the first step in Obamacare’s re-writing of America’s blueprint.

    This week, two more Christian colleges joined other religious institutions in fighting back against that attack when they filed lawsuits against the Obama Administration for imposing an anti-conscience mandate under Obamacare. The controversial regulation forces almost all employers to provide health insurance coverage of abortion-inducing drugs, contraceptives, and sterilization, without a co-pay.

    Heritage’s Sarah Torre writes that Geneva College, a private institution in Pennsylvania associated with the Reformed Presbyterian Church of North America, and Louisiana College, a small Southern Baptist school located in the middle of the state, have deeply held moral objections to the mandate and are left with no choice but to take their case to court:

    With an offensively narrow religious exemption that will cover only some formal houses of worship, the mandate leaves many religious employers who hold moral objections to abortion and contraception without recourse. The mandate places the many non-exempted religious employers in an untenable situation: forced either to violate their beliefs by providing coverage of morally objectionable services or forgo providing employee health insurance altogether and pay hefty fines for doing so.

    To date, seven lawsuits have been filed in response to this mandate, and those legal actions are but the tip of the iceberg of opposition to the Administration’s despotic directive.

    The controversy began last August when the White House announced the anti-conscience policy as an interim final rule. Individuals and leaders from various faith backgrounds, including Roman Catholic, Jewish, evangelical, and Protestant traditions spoke out, prompting President Obama to announce an “accommodation” in response. But the proposal announced at a February 10 press conference would have done nothing to resolve the moral problem at the heart of the matter. In fact, more than 300 leaders to signed a letter deeming the gesture “unacceptable.”

    Moreover, the so-called “accommodation” turned out to be nothing more than a smokescreen, since the Obama Administration ultimately finalized the August version of the rule that had caused the controversy in the first place. Adding insult to injury, the White House finalized the rule within hours of holding a press conference in which the President implied further changes — repeating the disregard for accountability to the American people first seen when they were told that Congress would have to pass the bill to find out what was in it.

    The fight, though, extends beyond the issue of the anti-conscience mandate and speaks to the dangerous, endemic flaws at the root of Obamacare. In a new Heritage video, several political leaders speak out against the anti-conscience mandate while warning that this first assault on religious freedom is but a taste of what’s to come under the President’s health care law. George Weigel, a prominent Catholic scholar, says that Obamacare puts our society’s core in jeopardy:

    What is at stake here ultimately is whether civil society will survive, and whether voluntary institutions or voluntary associations ranging from the traditional family to multimillion member organizations like the Catholic Church to small businesses will be allowed to function only if they imitate the government, only if they imitate the state.

    Truly, the state will attempt to refashion society using Obamacare as its cudgel and awl. Matthew Spalding, vice president of American Studies at The Heritage Foundation, writes that this new, unaccountable regime of unelected bureaucrats — with regulatory authority over one-sixth of the American economy — will issue regulations that will fundamentally alter Americans’ way of life. Spalding says the anti-conscience mandate is but one of the ways that individuals will be affected under this new order of governmental dominance:

    What is happening has little to do with health care or even public policy and everything to do with the role of government in the most immediate and intimate matters of our lives. All is subject to government control, regulatory dictate, and administrative whim. Nothing will be allowed outside of the new regulatory scheme: no independent state programs, no individuals or businesses permitted not to participate, no true private market alternatives.

    In announcing his school’s Obamacare lawsuit, Louisiana College president Dr. Joe W. Aguillard declared, “The time for silence is over. Louisiana College will not sit by and allow this or any government to usurp our God-given religious freedoms and our time-honored Baptist heritage.” Like Louisiana College, Americans collectively are witnessing their time-honored liberties being trampled upon. They should not sit idly by, either. And Congress should repeal Obamacare forthwith in order to preserve the people’s freedom.

    Click here to watch our new video, Religious Liberty: Obamacare’s First Casualty, to learn more about this issue.

    Quick Hits:

    Posted in Obamacare [slideshow_deploy]

    69 Responses to Morning Bell: Religious Liberty Under Attack

    1. Ken Jarvis says:

      Religious Liberty? How does that differ from – JUST PLAIN Liberty?
      The GOP want to Dictate to women – to follow the GOP way, and take away the Liberty of ALL Women.
      LVKen7@Gmail.com

      • Jerry from PA says:

        This is complete rubish. I am not Catholic, I am not opposed to contraception. I AM opposed to allowing unelected beaurocrats dictating what I can believe, what I can do, and what I must do in order to participate in Communist Obamas vision of the Amerika he hates. Take a good long look in the mirror and ask yourself, "Am I really smarter, better, more entitled that any other person?" If your answer to yourself is "Yes", than move to a little uninhabited island , where your vision of life can reign supreme. Ohterwise, elect folks to represent your beliefs and try and vote the GOP'ers out of office. BTW – Where's the ACLU on this matter?

      • Mike says:

        How can it be when the GOp is running many female candidates for offices al over America. How can Bush be accused of fighting the wrong enemy(the Taliban) who maim and murder women and Obama wanting to abandon them to their brutal masters?
        What liberty are women losing? Abortions? The right to murder an innocent child? No candidate has said roll back Roe v. Wade. they have said that federal tax dollars should not pay for them. they have said religious institutions should not have to go against their principles and pay for them. How did women lose any liberty here?

      • Jack W Estes says:

        There should be no differentiation between certain aspects of liberty; the concept of liberty must apply uniformly. Liberals seek to ban the right to bear arms as deliniated in the 2nd amendment while conservatives strive to protect the rights of the new born and unborn, not strip women of their liberty.

    2. Ray from Alabama says:

      Can we not see the writing? Who out there needs more guidance? Is it still not clear? Question is, what do we… or you.. do about it? Answer is rather simple to me. You can't, and shouldn't, go outside of the law to fight these attempts to exclude you out of your rights. So, let's approach it by using the very laws these guys are trying to use against us. Let's all of us, everybody, FILE A LAWSUIT against Mr. Obama and his ICC's (Inner Circle Colds). Clog up their legal system with lawsuits on everything he has done that is in violation to our rights. Get the law school students in the game if you like… make it cheap for us… expensive for them. Let's see if the system still works! Or maybe, and on the other hand… is it already too late?

      • Chris says:

        3 points I would like to make. 1) Covering the cost of birth control is not nearly as expensive as paying taxes so these people can get welfare for the children they didn't want and could have been prevented. 2) If we "clog up their legal system with lawsuits" it will end up costing us MORE in time then just paying a little for birth control. 3) All the bill is doing is making it so that schools/hospitals have a contraceptive. It isn't like they're forcing you to take it. If you don't agree with it, then fine, don't take it. But don't force your religious views on to everyone else who doesn't want/have the means to support a family. I realize that this is the opposite of what most people on this site want to see, but please try to see the other side. I see why you don't want it, but the thing is, as I previously stated, it ISN'T FORCED.

    3. boberic says:

      Regardless of which side of this side of the issue one is on the foolowing is simply the truth- the President does not have the constitunal authority to unilaterally impose any mandate or for that matter any law. Laws must I repeat MUST originate in the House..

    4. Lee Lanham says:

      My fellow Americans, the trumpets are blowing the battle charge full blast! For the sake of yourselves and your children, stand up, stand strong, and defend our very foundation of freedom, from the onslaught of tyranny from our own halls of government!!! God save America!

    5. GCW says:

      This "compromise" on birth control is just the tip of the iceburg. First, it is not about BC, but a dictate from a president/dictator. Throw out a bone to pacify most objections to the current objections; and then, sometime in the future, government or whomever, will do what they tried to do in the first instance.

    6. sdfultz says:

      Wow, Obama gets blasted for mandated health care or personal responsibility and he gets blasted for inclusive healthcare. I really wonder what the bible says about healthcare and who should pay

      • Mike says:

        It doesn't say anything Per Se but it talks about individual responsibility throughout. The bible talks about a lot of things but health care is not one of them.

    7. Lisa Spear says:

      Just one question: have any prominent Muslim leaders in the United States raised an objection to the HHS mandates? (This is a serious inquiry, not a rhetorical question.)

    8. Ron Stewart says:

      Easter is comming!!!!!!!!!

    9. Concerned says:

      Will someone that knows the Law give me an definitve answer, it is my understanding that those of the islam religon is exempt from all of the healthcare law, for religous reasons.

      if this is true, where is the outcry

    10. KC-NM says:

      It is much more than the religious freedoms that we are quickly loosing, it is the overall demise of America. A large percentage of the population really do not care as long as they receive their freebies from the government. They have no idea of the importance of the Constitution and the real meaning of freedom. This uneducated, socialistic loving, group of liberals will continue to vote for democratic members in Congress and for Obama. The good times are over for anyone who has worked for many years and has gained from that work. It does not matter who you pray to anymore – government and liberal stupidity will prevail resulting in the overall destruction of America. It is time to wake up and communicate to all in this country what the real issues are.

    11. Jeanne Stotler says:

      When I was in eighth grade the Nun who was our teacher was telling us about Martyrs in church History, I remember her telling us that one day we might have to stand up for our faith and might even have to die for it. So far it hasn't come to Death squads but it's time , not just for Catholics BUT for all Christians to make sure the 1st Admendment is followed to the letter, "nor prohibiting the free exercise therof;" We, the people, as menioned in the preamble, MUST NOT allow any infringement on our rights, no matter how small. Once the first is taken from us, soon will follow more, already we have the Gov't. tellng us what we an feed our kids in shool lunches, what light bulbs we can use, soon it will be how big a house, and car, whre you can work, sound like the USSR?, does to me.

    12. Juan Martinez says:

      It is absurd to call this episode an "attack on religion". The Saint Bartholomew's Day Massacre, THAT's what you can call an attack on religion. This is about individual choice in health care. As it happens, religious institutions are free to discriminate in their hiring and employment of individuals based on religion, unlike any non-religious employer. The Catholic church could require all their employees to be catholic and agree to forgo the use of birth control and abortion. But they know it's ridiculous, as 90% of women who identify as catholic have used birth control. This is a controversy that doesn't exist. Religious institutions should not be imposing their specific views on each of their employees. That crushes individual choice.

      • Sharon says:

        This is just the beginning of a War on Religion~Have you not heard of the German Pastor,Martin Niemoller who's famous speech "They came for the Communists and I did not speak out as I was not a Communist;then they came for the Socialists and I did not speak out as I wasn't a Socialist;then they came for the Jews and I did not speak out as I wasn't a Jew. Then they came for me and there was no one left to speak out…………WAKE UP!
        Our financial system-our schools- our religion- soon there will be nothing recognizable in our beloved country…..

    13. Juan Martinez says:

      Jehovah's Witnesses, founded by Charles Russell in the 1870's, forbids blood transfusions, based on their interpretation of the bible. So should we then allow every religious employer to exclude blood transfusions, or organ transplants, from their health plans as a matter of religious conviction? Of course not. No, every church is entitled to its own views of things, and they may dictate whatever they wish to their adherents, and people will go on and make decisions for themselves, just a 90% of catholic women have chosen to ignore church teachings on birth control.

      • I'm doubting that percentage…show us some studies…where did you get 90%? BTW this isn't about contraception anyways….aren't you listening?

      • Bobbie says:

        excellent point, Mr. Martinez! and those that ignore the teachings of their "said religion" is between no one but them individually and God! Fed government doesn't belong in peoples' personal livelihoods.

        In regard to your previous comment, religion institutions shouldn't impose their specific views unless qualifications for the job require it as no employee should expect accommodations beyond what they were offered or applied to receive when hired. What kind of people want to work for an institution regarding a faith they have none in? Hypocrites to their own religious faith, troublemakers! People who go out of their way for attention and demands. The same people hating the American culture, taking advantage of it to get their way! Or it's the representatives of democracy that claim this to be urgent and speaking for 99% of women when 99% of women just became aware and why democracy isn't 99% of the people when anyone with government authority can claim 99% of anyone at any time for anything!

    14. Art Chartier says:

      Freedom of Religion is Freedom from Government Intervention… telling you what to believe and how to behave.

      • denise says:

        That's why the government wants to squash religion so we will eventually all think of government as "God". The government elites want us to look at them to solve everyone's problems. So many people who live on the Government Plantation gleefully give up personal responsibility for security and free stuff. Soon all of us will wake up some day and have neither. We were warned by our founding fathers.

    15. toledofan says:

      Great article and I hope everyone can finally start to understand how serious this intrusion by the government really is. I think that another Obama term would be devastating for America and for the world as well. If America falls into the socialist trap, who would be left to defend the world in general or the other democracies. We had beeter wake up pretty soon and understand what is happening and start to address it this November.

    16. Just because a man lives in a garage and calls himself a Buick does not make it so. Mad King Barry claims to be a "Christian" but his words, his deeds, and especially his taking of Holy Writ out of context proves he is not. Even sitting for twenty years under the teachings of Jeremiah Wright and the false "black liberation theology" does not make him a "Christian."
      Since he is not a Christian and has no idea of what Scripture teaches, he has no regard for those who profess their faith in Messiah; hence, his attitude towards those who believe. This is not about religion per se, it is about religious liberty.

    17. ThomNJ says:

      Some may disagree with me, but as far as I am concerned the same level of outrage ought to be directed against the new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau that is housed at the Fed, overseen by the Fed, rules will be created by an unelected bureaucrat and funded by taxpayers. Both issues, the obamacare mandates and the consumer issues are violations of our freedoms and conscience – and direct violations of our Constitution.

      Be outraged and do something by voting out any and all persons who voted for this garbage – or you will have no further chances in a few years.

    18. Turner says:

      The Church already offers free contraception coverage to everyone, it is called "abstinence."

    19. Kupe says:

      You point out the importance of this season to Christians and Jews, yet chose to ignore the Milad un Nabi (Birth of the Prophet) Islamic celebration from last week. Is this an indication of anti-Islamic sentiments in your organization, a blind eye to one of America's major religious groups, or simply the general conservative feeling that Muslims are inherently not something one should talk about – except as an example of one of the world's evils? This Op-ed is nothing but a rehash of how the US Constitution is just about Christianity (oh yeah, and the Jews <wink, wink>) while effectively ignoring the Establishment and Free Exercise Clauses of the 1st Amendment. How predictable.

    20. Daver says:

      Obamacare's mandate that all health insurance policies contain certain provisions–whether contraception, transgender expropriation, mental health, inclusion of 26 year-olds, etc.. it is a form of union representation that individuals as well as employers, should have the right to reject through a local vote.

    21. Lynn says:

      When is ACTION going to be taken against all the illegalities Obama has perpetrated upon the American populace? Talking about all the injustices & his ignoring our foundation (The Constitution) does not change anything. The old adage ":talk is cheap" is brought to mind. ACTION is imperitave to stop the loss of our everyday freedoms, especially our spiritual ones. Without our Almighty God, our once great Nation will go as all the former civilazations of the world; it will meet it's demise.

    22. Bill says:

      I have a "worry"! I have and do tøtally support "Freedom of Religion", EXCEPT…(which must mean "I really don't"…totally). "Totally" would have to include Islam, and within søme as yet undefined "guidelines", I can. But that would have to exclude the whole concept of Jihad, and Sharia "law", and "suicide bombers, and dhimmitude, and other "unsavory" rules, attitudes, and behaviors. (unsavory to me, at least, and most of the civilized world). In fact, I am not at all certain that Islam is a "religion" at all. Praying five time a day doesn't convince me of its authenticity. Naming a Supreme Being" as "Allah" doesn't convince me. I am not impressed with the insanity of "honor killings" of wives and children for imagined slights against the fathers and brothers who commit these horrid murders.

      So, a word of caution to all those politicos, pundits, commentators et al who loudly champion "freedom of religion". Perhaps some further thought is needed on this subject. Are you-we- ready to accept the demands of the millions of Islamic adherents in this country for "freedom of THEIR religion, the tenets of which are inimical to the best interests of this country, and to all religions consisting of "non-believers" in Islam?

    23. Fred Trautlein says:

      Having watched this entire video, my opinion is that it is misleading.

      First "Obamacare" is a term disrespectful to President Obama.

      Let's remember it's really The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act and according to http://dpc.senate.gov/healthreformbill/healthbill… it "will ensure that all Americans have access to quality, affordable health care and will create the transformation within the health care system necessary to contain costs. The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) has determined that the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, as amended, is fully paid for, provides coverage to more than 94 percent of Americans, bends the health care cost curve, and reduces the deficit by $118 billion over the next ten years, with additional deficit reductions in the following years."

      Why do organizations like yours not respect President Obama?

      Remember the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act was passed with Republican support.

      We have separation of church and state in our country to allow government to provide the best place for all of the the people to live free

      As the preamble of our constitution says "in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity"

      The general welfare of our citizens includes the right to have affordable healthcare for all including access to contraception and all other reproductive services which are legal.

      I doubt that my comments will remain here but it's 2012.

      What are we talking about here? 98% of women have used birth control at some time.

      Let's get real. How about feeding the poor and hungry. Providing clothing and shelter for the needy. Educating our youth for the challenges of our times.

      • KHM says:

        @Fred Trautlein,
        The phrase you took "provide for the general welfare" does NOT mean that government should provide welfare, housing, food stamps, or universal medical care. Trillions of dollars have been spent in the past five decades on the war on poverty. People in the USA who are considered poor have more than many others in many other countries. But it is never enough and has led to a multi-generational dependence and sense of entitlement.
        As to contraception, abortion, or abortion pills. Again this is not about women's health. Media Matters and several women's groups and other Soros funded groups met with the WH and in order to win back Dem women who defected from the party in the 2010 by creating this firestorm and making it seem that the Republicans were against women's rights.
        The one point on which we agree is that our youth are not being educated properly to meet the challenges of these times. They're not taught how to think logically.

      • Nobody Important says:

        Mr. Trautlein, while I will allow others to challenge the other mistaken assertions in your Comments, I would like to point out that your claim that the term "Obmacare" is disrespectful is contradicted by Obamacare's own author and primary supporter — Barack Obama.
        http://www.politicususa.com/en/obama-obamacares

        If you would like to research some of the many available refutations to your other assertions, feel free to peruse the following two libraries of research citations.

        Obamacare http://anotherslownewsday.wordpress.com/obamacare

        Obama & Abortifacient Contraception http://anotherslownewsday.wordpress.com/obama-abo

      • Christina says:

        I agree that I find this misleading. It seems that when people are looking for something to be upset about, they will find it. Simply because your coverage includes the cost of contraception does not mean that your employees have to use it. It seems that if your deeply held religious convictions say not to use birth control, then the employees you have hired would share that conviction and not use it anyway. And if they choose to… are you wanting to legislate your own beliefs on someone else? I think that is the very thing this bill is trying to prevent. I am a Christian, but I do not believe that by us proclaiming that we are being "persecuted" and trying to look for ways that our freedoms are being taken away is helping our cause at all. Jesus lived during Roman occupation of Israel, he did NOTHING about the persecution of himself and others. He had no rights, and died because of it. Clearly he didn't get the right to a fair trial…What he stood for was real and didn't need to be recognized by a government- in fact that is why it was so dangerous to the government. Why can't we be more like Him… and less like the rest of the world?? If contraception is a problem for your people meet their needs- don't try to make their only option illegal.

    24. Eileen says:

      Hi Heritage – Keep a running list of all schools and places that file lawsuits to combat this arrogant mandate. They need to be supported. We've never had to be forced to support an immoral product or service as a condition to live in America. Anyone who votes for Obama is not a real American. This is not what we are about. In fact, there are too many good actors living in our country who pretend to be constitutionally law abiding citizens. Another word for these actors is hypocrites. Too many attain legislative and judicial positions and need to be stopped.

    25. Lloyd Scallan says:

      We're making a huge mistake to keep falling for Obama ploy that this is about "religious freedom". It's Not!
      It's about power. The power Obama is demanding to completely take control of every aspect of our lives.

    26. Wayne Peterkin says:

      It is hard to express just how wrong the Obama administration is on this issue, and I'm not Catholic. Their position is indefensible. Forcing anyone who is morally opposed to something to not only support it but to actually pay for it is stunning. In my opinion, the people forced to violate their principles should, if the Obama mandate is not reversed, simply refuse to comply. There is a point where passive resistance must be adopted, and this may be one of those times.

    27. Brendan says:

      I'm am confused. The real law mandates the insurers are forced to provide coverage for these services. The employer is required to provide insurance. Why do you insist on making arguments not grounded in reality? It makes our party look bad. War is against my Methodist faith, and I pay taxes which pay for war. This argument pretty much states that taxes go against my religious freedom. Therefore the United States cannot go to war because it violates my religious freedom. I guess I should file a suit too, because my case holds up just as much if not more.

    28. Blair Franconia, NH says:

      Obama doesn't care who he hurts.

    29. dagbat says:

      The new video is outstanding. It is one of the best news reports I have seen of the religious liberty flaws of the administration's health care mandates. It clearly presents the grave dangers that we are facing, now and long term. This video should be broadly distributed so that the word can get out and people can be better informed when casting their ballet come this November.

    30. Patsy Two says:

      Obama does not have the right to tell Churches and any other institutions that they must pay for all of their workers healthcare. Healthcare is a personal thing, and even tho we have Medicare and (Medicaid for the poor). there really is not right to healthcare. I was raised Catholic, and I myself do not believe in Abortions, but I do not judge others who believe in it. On the other hand, I do not want to pay for someone else to have an aborthion or even pay for the birth control. I would not expect someone to pay for my healthcare. . Grow up people, we should all take care of our selves. We do not need to pay for their contraceptives, birth control and surely not ABORTIONS, when we are opposed to them. Let them pay their own way.

    31. Casey Carlton says:

      This is only a first step, I believe, toward another statist (socialist) goal, and that is population control. Abortion permits eliminating birth of unwanted children (Down syndrome, heart problems, and other imperfections which can be identified before birth). It allows for a purer race, such as Hitler dreamed of in his regime. It also, although the administration denies it, allows for death panels for older, no longer productive citizens.

    32. MA Grant says:

      While I favor the use of birth control (it's a small planet) and do not even hold strong religious beliefs, NEVERTHELESS, this is just obvious fascism at work and it cannot be allowed to continue. I strongly support the rights to freedom of choice for those who disagree with me and do not believe that I or anyone or any government have the right to tell us what to believe and certainly not what to pay for. What about Jehovah's witnesses who do not believe in the intervention of medical care in God's will? Why should they be forced to pay for something they will never use? This is unconscionable, and made worse by the fact that the Democrats want want want but they have no idea how to pay pay pay for their choices. What can be done?

    33. FlaJim says:

      Just watch: If they get away with this, the next step will be to mandate 'free' sex change operations.

    34. mickeywhite says:

      Republicans passed the BIGGEST HEALTH CARE Bill since Medicare:
      But 400 BILLION to 1 TRILLION on unconstitutional health care is ok?
      Prescription Drug Benefit.
      The final version (conference report) of H.R. 1 would create a prescription drug benefit for Medicare recipients. Beginning in 2006, prescription coverage would be available to seniors through private insurers for a monthly premium estimated at $35. There would be a $250 annual deductible, then 75 percent of drug costs up to $2,250 would be reimbursed. Drug costs greater than $2,250 would not be covered until out-of pocket expenses exceeded $3,600, after which 95 percent of drug costs would be reimbursed. Low-income recipients would receive more subsidies than other seniors by paying lower premiums, having smaller deductibles, and making lower co-payments for each prescription. The total cost of the new prescription drug benefit would be limited to the $400 billion that Congress had budgeted earlier this year for the first 10 years of this new entitlement program. The House adopted the conference report on H.R. 1 on November 22, 2003 by a vote of 220 to 215 (Roll Call 669).
      Marsha Blackburn Voted FOR this bill.
      Marsha Blackburn is a Hypocrite.
      Marsha Blackburn is my Congressman
      See her unconstitutional votes at : http://mickeywhite.blogspot.com/2009/09/tn-congre
      Mickey

    35. Gregory Norton says:

      It is not religious liberty that is being attacked; what is under assault is the Church's claim to be exempt from Obama's assault on the liberty to contract if the exemption is somehow based on some religious doctrine. The Church doesn't care if I (or you) are required to purchase insurance; the Church doesn't care if my company is required to purchase (contract for the provision of) insurance I don't want for my company or that includes provisions I don't want to offer to my employees. The Church is happy if you or I or any private company lose the liberty to enter into or not enter into contracts, or to negotiate the terms of a contract. Ah, but if the Church, or something owned by the Church loses its liberty to refuse to enter into a contract to provide abortion or birth control (or anything else the Church doesn't like) suddenly it's an assault on Freedom of Religion.

      The Government's position is plain and time-tested: you can believe whatever you want (for example, religions are free to believe and teach that widows should be buried alive with their dead husbands) but they are not free to DO whatever they want (for example, no church is permitted to bury widows alive, no matter what they believe.) Similarly, the Catholic Church is free to teach that birth control is an offense against God, but the Church is not free, anymore than any of the rest of us are free, to offer medical insurance that does not cover birth control or anything else the government decides must be included.

      The Church's position is clear: while the rest of society may lose liberties and can become enslaved by government decrees, the Church is exempt because it is a Church. And, like fools, the Conservatives rush to defend an institution that has already sold us out.

      Why would any liberty-loving individual rush to the defense of an institution that has stood by when liberty was taken from everybody else?

    36. recce1 says:

      Fred Trautlein, where's separation of church and state mentioned in the Constitution, the Declaration of Independence, the Articles of Confederation, or any other founding document? Since when are the Establishment, Commerce, Proper and Necessary, or Supremacy Clauses meant to invalidate Article 1 Section 8 or the first Ten Amendments to the Constitution?

      The new mandate is not about women's healthcare,or even the First Amendment, it's about forcing all Americans to conform to Federal dictates. Remember the effort to force Catholic doctors and hospitals to provide abortion services or for Catholic adoption agencies to allow adoption by homosexuals? How about the effort to stop Jewish circumcisions?

      If you think calling Mr. Obama's healthcare plan ObamaCare is disrespectful, how about the Democrats calling Bush Hitler or a Nazi? What of the movie advocation his assassination? Or will you next say using ObamaCare is racist? Bedsides, why should we respect a president who holds the Constitution is disdain as he has shown on a number of occasions.

      As for Republicans supporting it, ObamaCare passed the Senate by a vote of 60–39 with all Democrats and two Independents supporting it and all Republicans against it. It passed the House 219–212 with 34 Democrats and all 178 Republicans voting against the bill. So much for your "facts."

      As for 98% of women having used birth control at some time, are you arguing that because a majority support an idea they have the right to suppress a minority? By that standard slavery at one time was OK, wouldn't you agree? To be specific, we don't live in a democracy where the majority can persecute a minority. That's called mobocracy. We live in a democratic Republic under the rule of constitutional law so as to protect minority views, or at least we used to.

    37. Nobody Important says:

      As usual, well done, Heritage.

      I added links to this video on two (of well over 200) pages on the Another slow News Day blog
      ( http://anotherslownewsday.wordpress.com/ ), which blog cites decades worth of research
      from the Heritage Foundation more often than any other research institution in the world. Many other sources are cited often as well.

      If readers would prefer not to navigate through the extensive maze of Update Topics menu
      trees on ASND to find articles and research data on Obamacare in general and/or the recent
      abortifacient contraception "accommodation" in particular (which many who visit ASND prefer to
      do, and often end up staying and/or returning to read the reams of reports and data published
      on ASND), they may access the two aforementioned pages directly from the following links.

      Obamacare http://anotherslownewsday.wordpress.com/obamacare

      Obama & Abortifacient Contraception http://anotherslownewsday.wordpress.com/obama-abo

    38. Sharon says:

      This is a matter of the Constitution~1st amendment that guarantees us freedom of religion. No one can force us to worship or not to worship according to our most important document. Not even Obama who makes up his own rules as he goes along with no respect to the Constitution or to the citizens he has sworn to protect.

    39. RennyG says:

      Do you think those in congress will get the hint from all the religious organizations and what they are doing????
      STAND UP AND FIGHT, NOT DISCUSS WITH THE "KING!!"

    40. John of N. Ft. Myers says:

      Just a correction because words mean things. Your article says that Lent is celebrated by Christians all across the country. You need to correct that because Lent is a part of the Roman Catholic Church. Roman Catholics all across the country celebrate Lent. Christians do not celebrate Lent because it is a Roman Catholic tradition. Thank you for your correction.

    41. Rochelle says:

      This is more a power grab by the government, specifically Obama. To think he can tell the Catholic Church in America, other Christian and Orthodox people that it does not matter what they believe. They must provide a service(they morally oppose.) America was started to have freedom from religion and conversely, freedom to practice our own religions. This law is continually crossing the constitution and stomping on our rights as citizens. It is high priority to stop Obama care.

    42. Dana says:

      Where was all the religious freedom outrage when Obamacare was passed? Christian Scientists are being forced to buy medical insurance against their beliefs. Now because Obama has stepped on the toes of the Roman Catholic Church, infringement of First Amendment rights is suddenly much more important? I'm not trying to pit two religions against each other. Just making the point that when First Amendment rights are abrogated by the government, no matter how large or small the group, it is the beginning of the erosion of ALL First Amendment rights for ALL Americans.

      • Rochelle says:

        Dana, you are right to say where was everyone at the beginning. Many individuals and groups were thinking they would benefit from this law or not be affected. They did not recognize the scope of this power grab. Many people are numbed by their sources of information. Beginning in the schools, children no longer are taught American history and demonstrate what is great about America. They know very little about the Declaration of independence and almost nothing about the Constitution. The news media in print and on TV, is left leaning. Their efforts are to hide Obama's mistakes and exaggerate the Right We have much to fix in this nation. The political decisions that succeed with the next President and positions in Congress will be very important. We need to keep talking about what solutions are good and who promotes them. We need to vote carefully.

    43. Jose Luis Lira says:

      By now, it's become evident that, Pres. Obama has no interest in complying to the full extent of his sworn obligation to his oath of office. And the same attitude of disregard appears to be a shared constant among those of his supporters … the acolytes and choir who follow like sheep. His latest intrusion, and crime against our Constitution … he claims; that, because of his (pretended) "concern for women's health", he's willing to reach a'compromise'. Well .. my dear beautiful ladies in the world of fashion, particularly those of you who love to wear them high-heels … BEWARE!!!, 'cause for what it looks like, it wont be long before their production stops and you'll be "ordered" no to wear them at all; since its also been proven that, them high-heels are bad for you feet/health. Just remember that, the pres. "cares"

    44. Randy says:

      True liberty takes into account the limits of an individuals GOD GIVEN RIGHTS as all true Christians know, one's rights stop where they overshadow another's right. The unborn in our society has a GOD GIVEN RIGHT to exist and to be born. That is our basic GOD GIVEN RIGHT starting at conception and is the mother's sacred trust to protect the rights of her unborn baby. With out this there are no GOD GIVEN RIGHTS that can be protected by our government. There are only privileges granted by our government and that means the government can curtail them at will. We have no right to be here if there is no right to be born!!!!!!

    45. Diana Davies says:

      National health care, UK style :
      Today on the news, I heard that a 13 year old girl's mother was angry because her daughter had been given a contraceptive implant at school six months earlier, without her parents permission or without even telling them! a couple of years ago a 14 year old was given abortion inducing drugs at school by a 21 year old guidance councilor . The girls mother found out when a friend's mother stopped to offer her sympathy. Shortly before that, her daughter had had an appendectomy. For that procedure, her mother had to sign numerous permission forms.
      If things are allowed to carry on as they appear to be going, this is what America has to look forward to, but on a much bigger scale

    46. Not one of y'all says:

      Issues don't matter.
      Just always hate Obama.

    47. Tylerr Summerlin says:

      I'm Only 17, I dont really know what most of this means. But the comments I have been reading terrify me.
      Everybody in my family have been hard working Americans. My grandma, Uncle, and Mom had it rough. They lived in a bad neighborhood and had trouble getting back and fourth from school. My Uncle bought 6 acres of land, put himself through school, Became a Industrial Engineer, and had a house built by the time he was 27. I've Always wanted to be exactly like him, Have everything for my Girlfriend (future wife) and family. Now I'm scared I wont be able to have that because I see all these comments about our freedom getting taken away and such.

    48. Marie says:

      Nut up. Stay out of others' business you nosy neighbors. I'm pretty sure Jesus wouldn't want his followers to get all up in my vagina business. And heaven forbid we let others who are in less fortunate situations than ourselves be able to have access to healthcare. Help me understand, is the bible about love and forgiveness or telling everyone what to do according to what the majority thinks?

    49. Sara Firno says:

      Would you rather there be children born to mothers who do not love them, who would dump them in the trash, be cruel and abuse them, or send them away? I think it would be better that they would never be conceived, so they do not have to deal with those cruelties. Contraceptives also keep people safe from STDs.

      Though it may be sin to have sex for pleasure, there are plenty of sins that I'm sure you have committed at some point in your life. Jesus died for your sins, so as long as you pray, and keep in mind the true meaning and messages of the bible, then you will be held blameless.

      Do not force your ideas on others, the information exists, and people will find it if they need it. It is unkind to force your ideas onto another, and how are you showing the principal of "love thy neighbor" if you do not treat them with kindness and respect.

      If you truly believe, and think that it is wrong, you must look through your bible and see all the "wrong" the average person does in their daily lives. Unless you can follow ALL the tenants of the bible, you should not force others to do what you cannot. "treat others as you would be treated."

      "Obamacare" does a lot more harm than good, it helps the poor who cannot afford healthcare, and not all use it for sin. Please, consider the repercussions it would have, people would die from small injuries because they do not have good access to healthcare. Obamacare is not evil, and Obama is doing what he believes to be right, as you are by not using contraceptives. However, when you do so, you are creating a populous which the earth cannot sustain. We have 7 billion people on the earth, and as the number grows, we will not be able to sustain this great gift this earth is to us. would you sacrifice the world just so you can follow your book's edicts?

      I respect your right to choose how you live your life, but you should respect others right to do so as well. you will be doing more harm than good by taking down obama care. read your book, then think hard on it. what is most important? and do not go to another, this is something you must decide for yourself.

    50. voice of reason says:

      nothing but religious and right wing ignorance.

    51. stevw says:

      i think everyone on this earth should be treated equally ..

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