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  • Debunked: Biden Claims HHS Mandate Not an Assault on Religious Liberty

    When the vice presidential debate last night turned to the issue of religious liberty and Obamacare’s Health and Human Services (HHS) mandate, the discussion didn’t get all the facts straight.

    Vice President Joe Biden explained his view of the mandate, saying:

    With regard to the assault on the Catholic church, let me make it absolutely clear, no religious institution, Catholic or otherwise, including Catholic Social Services, Georgetown Hospital, Mercy Hospital, any hospital, none has to either refer contraception, none has to pay for contraception, none has to be a vehicle to get contraception in any insurance policy they provide. That is a fact.

    That is actually false.

    The real “fact” about the anti-conscience mandate is that it applies to almost all employers—including many religious organizations such as hospitals and social service providers. It requires them to provide coverage that pays for abortion drugs, contraception, and sterilization regardless of moral or religious objections.

    The mandate affords the narrowest religious exemption in federal law, effectively covering only formal houses of worship. As the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops explained in a statement today:

    The HHS mandate contains a narrow, four-part exemption for certain “religious employers.” That exemption was made final in February and does not extend to “Catholic social services,Georgetownhospital, Mercy hospital, any hospital,” or any other religious charity that offers its services to all, regardless of the faith of those served.

    If the Obama Administration had adequately protected the freedom of so many religious employers, one might ask—as Representative Paul Ryan (R–WI) did in last night’s debate—“why would they keep suing you?”

    In fact, over 100 individuals and organizations have been forced to file 33 lawsuits against the Obama Administration to demand respect of their religious liberty. The choice before these employers is untenable: either violate their conscience or refuse to comply with the anti-conscience mandate and face burdensome fines.

    These individuals, organizations, and businesses contribute mightily to civil society by providing education, health care, and countless social services. Heritage has profiled a few of the many victims of Obamacare’s coercive disregard for religious freedom. From charities faced with hefty fines for practicing what they preach to business owners told that their religious freedom stops at the door to colleges forced to end student health plans because of Obamacare’s costly provisions and threat to conscience, the health care law jeopardizes the work of countless institutions.

    Sadly, last night wasn’t the first time Biden has distorted the facts on the mandate’s serious assault on religious freedom. Contrary to what the Obama Administration would have Americans believe, there is no so-called “accommodation” for religious employers not covered by the mandate’s narrow religious exemption. The Administration’s press conference promises and bureaucratic announcements of a supposed “accommodation” neither changed the coercive mandate currently in effect nor provided any workable or adequate solutions to the mandate’s trampling on religious liberty. They are nothing more than a smokescreen to hide the mandate’s unconstitutional assault on a basic freedom.

    Policymakers and national leaders should understand the primacy of religious freedom in the American constitutional order and work to protect that freedom, not undermine it. A first step towards the greater protection of religious freedom is rescinding the anti-conscience mandate and repealing Obamacare with all of its liberty-crushing provisions.


    Heritage’s Jennifer Marshall recently spoke about the threat to religious liberty posed by the HHS mandate on the Colson Center’s Two-Minute Warning. Listen to that segment here.

    Fact Sheet: Obamacare Anti-Conscience Mandate: An Assault on the Constitution

    Fact Sheet: Let Religious Freedom Ring: Stop the Assault on Our First Freedom

    Obamacare’s Fine on Faith: Trampling on Religious Liberty

    Obamacare’s Many Victims

    Posted in Featured, Obamacare [slideshow_deploy]

    10 Responses to Debunked: Biden Claims HHS Mandate Not an Assault on Religious Liberty

    1. The HHS Mandate was only one of Biden's lies last night. If you agree that people and organizations whose religious beliefs prevent them from supporting abortions and contraception should be forced to provide them, that's a right you have to your opinion. But to deny the provisions of the anti-conscience mandate…well, you know what something that is not the truth is called.

    2. Bobbie says:

      Mr. Biden also said sympathetically he didn't feel it right to impose his views on people and yet he abuses his authority to take the views of some to legislate imposition of their views on ALL? Especially including those opposing? KEEP IT WITH THE MUSLIM AND JEWS that promote it (Joe Biden implies) AND AWAY FROM THOSE THAT DON'T!

      That simple, Mr. Biden and murder activists. Quit troubling establishments that promote life!

      Obamacare is unfair! REPEALING it will open minds to reason and respect making matters even simpler…

      If the population of women is so great in the Catholic church as Mr. Biden seems to suggest, wanting abortions then they're not apart of the faith and these women who might work for but not a part of, can have their pregnancies aborted through their own planned parenthood resource or work for an establishment that agrees to provide it. Simple again!! Opens the minds!! Personal responsibilities and choices belong with ones own. Quit infringing unconstitutional authority upon religious beliefs throughout society!!! Bigot!!!

    3. Myles. says:

      Your foolishness knows no limits.Religion deserves no special place and merits no special consideration in any just and decent society.
      Take your fairy tale beliefs and try to get some counselling.Mental health seems to be an issue you have to deal with.

      • Steve, OH says:

        the inanity of your statement is beyond belief. How can you define the words "just" and "decent" without religion? Religion is the basis of a civil society. Get a clue and go take your amoral ideas somewhere that cares, maybe some deserted island?

      • Todd says:

        Again, it is people like Myles here who put the idiot we have in the White House and his fool of VP in power to start with.

        Myles, I assume you are an American. If so, your level of education is definitely in question. Please go to a library and get a book on American history and read it, especially on our early history and why people first settled here and how religion played a part in the establishment of our country.

        A library is a building somewhere in your town that holds a lot of books. You can read them for free. Just ask some one to help you get there. The people who work in the library will help you find a book that is not beyond your education level.

        I think you will be surprised at what you can learn.

        You can be without religion but I will still pray for you and the lost souls like you.

        God Bless this Country and deliver us from the path we are currently on.

      • Bobbie says:

        how is government authority telling you what you can or can't do "just" or "decent?" You have allowed your own mind closed to a narrow!! The way the government likes you!

    4. R. Floyd says:

      incompetence is the reason for so many lies trying to cover the events so adverse that Americans can see through them and follow with voting the pair out of the White House. Lies about the reason four Americans were murdered, as caused by a video the Muslim community had not known about until Obama spoke and made an excuse to detract from his inability to understand and accept his failures. He blames others for his problems, not his inability to reach logical conclusions. This is similar to his mentor Rev. Wright.

    5. Jeanne Stotler says:

      Mr. Biden says he's a practicing Catholic?? If so he's a heritic, I am a Catholic, raised in Catholic schools and I was NEVER taught I could alter the teachings of the Church. It's very clear in the fifth commandment, :" Thou shalt not kill", no distinction made if in or out of the womb. There also is the first admendment that firmly states" No law shall be passed as to interfere with the paractice of ones religion" I've seen "so called "Catholics" stand up and say this law is OK, it's not OK when it goes against the conciences of many, and it's not just Catholics, there are Orthodox Jews, and many Protestants who also disagree with this measure. True there are many who do not live up t the teachings of thei religion, tis does not mean t's OK, they will nswer to God, BUT no MAN has the right to tell another to disobey thei conscience. What is happening is like wat happened in Germany prior to WWII,Read, Inheritors of the Storm", you'll see the likeness.

    6. zmegalooch says:

      Biden’s debate comments about Catholicism (that it’s private and he has no right to impose it on others) is like saying, “I’m against slavery but if you want to have slaves that’s just fine.” And further…it’s okay if you also want me to pay for you to have slaves.

      Forcing views onto others while saying they don’t want the others to impose their views is hypocritical.

      But Obamacare takes this a step further by forcing not only a thought but an action.

    7. Mike, Wichita Falls says:

      I don't remember hearing a response from Biden after Ryan asked, “why would they keep suing you?” It was one of the more memorable points. I don't remember the "moderator" even asking Biden to respond. As in all debates so far, they quickly change the subject to help their guys save face.

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