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Obama’s Attack on Religious Liberty

President's actions on contraception controversy shows blatant disregard for our constitutionally protected freedom of religion.

When President Obama mandated that religiously-based organizations violate core tenets of their faith, Americans were rightly outraged. In response, the president announced an “accommodation” policy to these organizations, but the so-called compromise is not a compromise at all because it does not take away the mandate that infringes upon religious liberty.

On Jan. 20, the secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services, Kathleen Sebelius, affirmed a rule that requires church-affiliated hospitals, agencies and universities to provide contraception and sterilization in the health insurance for their employees. The president later announced a false compromise, mandating that insurance companies offer free coverage of these services directly to the employees of religiously-affiliated institutions.

The announcement merely attempted to alleviate a political problem for the president, after Americans across the political spectrum spoke out against this intrusive government overreach and blatant disregard for our constitutionally protected freedom of religion.

However, the contempt for protecting the right of conscience remains. Religiously-affiliated institutions that have moral objections to contraceptives and abortifacients will still be forced to facilitate a government mandate that goes against their faith.

The new regulation, forcing insurance companies to provide contraceptives to employees, actually increases the power of government to mandate further items through its control of insurance coverage under Obamacare. 

And while the directive says that companies must meet the mandate without charging either the employer or the employee, there is no such thing as a free lunch. To say that insurance companies will provide free contraceptives and abortifacients is like believing in the Tooth Fairy. We all know in reality, someone pays. And in this case, religiously-affiliated organizations will foot the bill as the premiums go up to cover all of the government mandates.

Furthermore, religious-based organizations that are self-insured will be forced to buy insurance coverage under this mandate, and they will end up paying indirectly to violate core tenants of their faith, rather than directly.

This country was founded by those who came to these shores seeking relief from religious persecution. And the crafters of our Constitution explicitly protected religious liberty, writing that “Congress shall make no law” that violates freedom of religion. The Supreme Court has time and again reaffirmed that this right includes freedom to practice religion without government interference.

The president’s new regulation still represents a serious threat to religious liberty and erodes our right of conscience.

The only acceptable way to protect religious liberty is for the president to admit that he and his Administration have made a mistake and to withdraw the mandate over religiously-affiliated institutions completely.
 
Congress can, and should, act to restore the constitutionally-protected right to exercise religion.  I will work in the House of Representatives to reverse this policy and restore our constitutionally-protected freedom of religion.

William Eib February 22, 2012 at 05:53 AM
So you're suggesting a man who would not follow orders and a man who lied to improve his chances of winning an election. Plus he ran as a republican because they would buy his story hook line and sinker. Wow guys, look we have our Cuban!!!
Kathy February 22, 2012 at 01:54 PM
Hmmm Let's see if I understand this. So pretend I'm a nurse who is atheist and hired at Wheaton Franciscan Hospital. Does the employer have to disclose that my insurance will no cover birth control or will I just find out on my own? When I am alerted that because of religious reasons birth control and other sorted services for women the Church believes sinful are not covered, does this not open the employer up for discrimination suits? OH wait - that bill was passed that prevents discrimination suits from "wimmins folks!" Hoy boy you tricky little GOP devils bringing morals back to the people! *sarcasm*
vanidia mula March 04, 2012 at 12:34 PM
with tyme every thing will come to be known
Brian Carlson March 04, 2012 at 03:27 PM
Mr.S's logic, that the government forces people to violate core religious teachings, might well be made against the tax laws at large. Nowhere does Judaeo-Christian teaching sanction or advise raising armies, let alone spending billions to attack countries full of people who are just as much God's children as is Mr. S. Religious right to lifers ignore,by and large, the right to life of anyone this country determines is our enemy du journey... The right to life of the unborn AND the born! Why is this not passionately defended? Its complete hypocrisy to my mind.
Brian Carlson March 04, 2012 at 03:28 PM
Enemy du jour....

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