On Sunday the Business Insider posted a copy that was read Sunday in almost every Catholic Church in America.
This is the letter:
Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ:
I write to you concerning an alarming and serious matter that negatively impacts the Church in the United States directly, and that strikes at the fundamental right to religious liberty for all citizens of any faith. The federal government, which claims to be “of, by, and for the people,” has just been dealt a heavy blow to almost a quarter of those people — the Catholic population — and to the millions more who are served by the Catholic faithful.
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services announced last week that almost all employers,
including Catholic employers, will be forced to offer their employees’ health coverage that includes sterilization, abortion-inducing drugs, and contraception. Almost all health insurers will be forced to include those “services” in the health policies they write. And almost all individuals will be forced to buy that coverage as a part of their policies.
In so ruling, the Obama Administration has cast aside the First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States, denying to Catholics our Nation’s first and most fundamental freedom, that of religious liberty. And as a result, unless the rule is overturned, we Catholics will be compelled to either violate our consciences, or to drop health coverage for our employees (and suffer the penalties for doing so). The Obama Administration’s sole concession was to give our institutions one year to comply.
We cannot—we will not—comply with this unjust law. People of faith cannot be made second class citizens. We are already joined by our brothers and sisters of all faiths and many others of good will in this important effort to regain our religious freedom. Our parents and grandparents did not come to these shores to help build America’s cities and towns, its infrastructure and institutions, its enterprise and culture,
only to have their posterity stripped of their God given rights. In generations past, the Church has always been able to count on the faithful to stand up and protect her sacred rights and duties. I hope and trust she can count on this generation of Catholics to do the same. Our children and grandchildren deserve nothing less.
And therefore, I would ask of you two things. First, as a community of faith we must commit ourselves to prayer and fasting that wisdom and justice may prevail, and religious liberty may be restored. Without God, we can do nothing; with God, nothing is impossible. Second, I would also recommend visiting www.usccb.org/conscience,to learn more about this severe assault on religious liberty, and how to contact Congress in support of legislation that would reverse the Obama Administration’s decision.
Sincerely yours in Christ,
+Alexander K. Sample Most Reverend Alexander K. Sample Bishop of Marquette
If you are not a member of the Catholic Church you may be wondering how this matters to you. It does! First of all, this provision to require the Catholic Church to provide medical care that violates its conscience is not the result of an actual law that was passed through Congress–this was enacted by the Department of Health of Human Services–unelected people not accountable to the voters. That alone is unconstitutional. Secondly, the law violates the right of the Catholic Church to freely practice their faith. The Catholic Church provides adoption services (now eliminated in some states due to being forced to allow homosexual couples to adopt children–against the Catholic faith), hospitals and many other charities. All the employees of those organizations will be included in this law.
The attack on the Catholic Church by the Obama Administration will spread to people of other faiths who believe in the Bible. If you are one of those people, it’s time to pay attention–your right to practice your religion is about to be violated.