On Thursday CNS News reported that Cardinal Timothy Dolan of New York, president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, had stated that the Catholic Church will not accept an offer by the Obama Administration that would exempt the Catholic Church from the Heath and Human Services (HHS) mandate on contraception, but not exempt Catholic business owners. The mandate forces employers to provide health insurance that covers sterilizations, contraceptives and abortion-inducing drugs, all of which violate the tenets of Catholicism.
The article quotes Cardinal Dolan:
“In obedience to our Judeo-Christian heritage, we have consistently taught our people to live their lives during the week to reflect the same beliefs that they proclaim on the Sabbath,” said Cardinal Dolan. “We cannot now abandon them to be forced to violate their morally well-informed consciences.”
We need to look at what is actually going on here. Oddly enough, this is not about money–it is about principle. The principle involved is simple, “Will the government allow people of faith to practice their faith outside the walls of their churches?” This is a very important argument. Right now the Obama Administration is targeting the Catholic Church. The Catholic Church is one of the largest denominations in America, and many Catholics do not necessarily agree with the stand the Catholic Church has taken on abortion and birth control. Therefore it should be fairly easy to push that principle back inside the walls of the church. The idea here is to set a precedent. If Catholics can be forced to practice their religion only inside the walls of their church, who is next? What about Bible-believing churches who believe the Biblical teaching about homosexuality? Can they be forced to perform gay marriages? What about Bible-believing Christians who own businesses? Can they be forced to cater a homosexual wedding? That is where this is headed. The goal of the Obama Administration, for whatever reason, is to force believing Christians back into their churches. As Christian charities shut down (as Catholic adoption agencies were forced to do in Massachusetts), the government will exercise more control over the lives of the average American. This is not good for religious freedom or individual freedom in America.
As I stated, this is not about money. There are many affordable forms of birth control that are available–some through government agencies or planned parenthood. Most people of the age where this would be an issue spend more per month of their cell phones than they would or do on birth control. Money is not the issue–the freedom to practice your religion outside the walls of your church is.