The Obama administration’s contraception mandate has awakened the American Catholic church, or at least stirred things up. Last weekend Catholic churches across the country read to their congregations a letter that outlined the Church’s position regarding the federal requirements.
In part, the letter read:
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.
Bill Donohue, president of the Catholic League said this week, “Never before, unprecedented in American history, for the federal government to line up against the Roman Catholic Church. This is going to be fought out with lawsuits, with court decisions, and, dare I say it, maybe even in the streets.” [The Blaze]
Today 65 Orthodox Church bishops call on Obama to ‘rescind’ the ‘unjust’ contraception mandate [LifeSiteNews.com]. Their statement said “The First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution guarantees the free exercise of religion. This freedom is transgressed when a religious institution is required to pay for ‘contraceptive services’ including abortion-inducing drugs and sterilization services that directly violate their religious convictions.”
Todd Starts at Fox News Reports, “The Obama administration has been accused of telling Catholic military chaplains what they can and cannot say from their pulpits after the Army ordered Catholic chaplains not to read a letter to parishioners from their archbishop.” Fox Reports that no other branches of the military issued such orders.
Bobby Eberle at GOPUSA says, “These actions go way beyond any particular religion. They are a sign of Obama’s disdain for people of faith. His religion is the radical, left-wing agenda, and he is high-priest.”
The Heritage Foundation says that Obamacare Awakens a Sleeping Giant
The Catholic Church is not alone in its opposition to Obamacare’s onslaught against religious freedom. David Addington, The Heritage Foundation’s vice president of Domestic and Economic Policy, details the growing ranks of the faithful who say the Obama Administration has crossed a very dangerous line. The National Association of Evangelicals commented that “The HHS rules trample on our most cherished freedoms and set a dangerous precedent” and the Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations of America stated, “In declining to expand the religious exemption within the healthcare reform law, the Obama Administration has disappointingly failed to respect the needs of religious organizations such as hospitals, social welfare organizations and more.” The Agudath Israel of America stated its opposition, as did the Lutheran Church Missouri Synod and theAssembly of Canonical Orthodox Bishops of North and Central America.
Will the Obama Administration back down? Or will they do as they have almost every other time they’ve been cornered and double down?
They’ve already had to respond. On Sunday HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius wrote an Op Ed for USA Today.
But even USA Today said “in drawing up the rules that will govern health care reform, the Obama administration didn’t just cross that line. It galloped over it, requiring employers affiliated with the Catholic Church to include free birth control in their health insurance plans. That’s contrary to both Catholic doctrine and constitutional guarantees of religious freedom.”
It is a given that there is no friend of life in the White House.
It’s beyond time for people of faith who believe that life is sacred to recognize that.
And then to act accordingly.