Last week 43 Catholic institutions filed lawsuits against the Department of Health and Human Services charging that the ObamaCare abortion pill mandate violates their free exercise of religion rights.
The Washington Post points out that respect for religious beliefs has always been part of America:
Thomas Jefferson wrote that “no provision in our Constitution ought to be dearer to man than that which protects the rights of conscience against the enterprises of civil authority.”
Indeed, even before the Declaration of Independence was signed in 1776, the Continental Congress passed a resolution in 1775 exempting pacifists from military enlistment:
As there are some people, who, from religious principles, cannot bear arms in any case, this Congress intend no violence to their consciences, but earnestly recommend it to them, to contribute liberally in this time of universal calamity, to the relief of their distressed brethren in the several colonies, and to do all other services to their oppressed Country, which they can consistently with their religious principles.
The Catholic church has been clear and consistent in their opposition to abortion (which is what this is really about) and birth control (being used by the press as a distraction). The Obama Administration understood that when they drafted the mandate requiring the church to carry insurance that paid for both abortion and birth control.
The American Thinker points out the attempt in the law to change the definition of a religious organization:
It makes perfect sense, then, that our primary source of irony is not the free exercise clause, but progressive establishment clause dogma. For starters, the standard HHS uses to distinguish “secular” from “religious” organizational missions would never pass muster in an establishment clause setting. According to HHS, it’s the organization’s service to, or employment of, non-Catholics that counts, not its affiliation with the Catholic Church or its devotion to Catholic values. Kathleen Sebelius might as well have grabbed sixty years of progressive establishment clause dogma by the tongue and flicked it inside out. The Court’s progressives have spent decades beating it into our heads that precious little — if any — evidence of faith is required to establish a purpose to advance religion — but under the HHS mandate, the “secular” mission magically trumps church affiliation the moment a non-Catholic surgeon is hired or operates on a non-Catholic patient.
This is a total power grab by the Obama Administration. It is an effort to redefine the church as limited to the building where worship services occur. Under the definition of a religious institution in this bill, Jesus’ ministry would not have qualified as religious because he spoke to and helped people of different religious backgrounds. If this law is allowed to stand, it represents a threat to all people of faith–not just Catholics.