“The Constitution is not an instrument for the government to restrain the people, it is an instrument for the people to restrain the government — lest it come to dominate our lives and interests.” — Patrick Henry
Christians across America – including Arizona – are outraged at President Obama’s mean-spirited attack on religious freedom through an Obamacare mandate.
On Jan. 20 Kathleen Sebelius, Secretary of Health and Human Services, made an announcement shocking for its attack on religious organizations and religious freedom. She said:
“Today the department is announcing that the final rule on preventive health services will ensure that women with health insurance coverage will have access to the full range of the Institute of Medicine’s recommended preventive services, including all FDA-approved forms of contraception.”
This includes contraception – opposed by the Catholic Church – and Plan B drug which induces abortion. The rule goes into effect this August.
Under Obamacare, all employers must provide this coverage or pay a fine. Religious organizations are being given a year to comply.
Colorado Christian University and Belmont Abbey College, North Carolina are already filing lawsuits against HHS over this unconstitutional mandate.
The Phoenix Diocese of the Catholic Church said it will civilly disobey. Bishop Thomas J. Olmsted said in a Jan. 25 letter::
“We cannot — we will not — comply with this unjust law.”
“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.”
Chuck Colson, of Breakpoint Ministries, spoke of the greater problem – Obama’s unprecedented attack on religious freedom:
“I’ve told you that the Obama Administration is intentionally restricting religious freedom. I’ve told you we are in danger of losing the right to exercise our faith in public.
“Well, maybe I’ve been too understated. The attack is relentless.
“Every Christian, not just Catholics, should be outraged by the Obama Administration’s decision. The regulations represent a move to define religious liberty in the narrowest possible terms.
“Folks, we’ve got to stand with all Christians and protest the Administration’s outrageous assault on religious liberty. Our religious freedom is in grave peril.”
Rev. Albert Mohler Jr., a Baptist leader, spoke for evangelical Protestants when he said:
“In actuality, the Obama Administration trampled religious liberty under the feet of the leviathan state, forcing religious employers to do what conscience will not allow. Religious organizations such as schools, colleges, and hospitals will be required to pay for services that they believe to be immoral and disobedient to God.
“The edict from President Obama to religious institutions is this — violate conscience and bend the knee to the government, or face the consequences.
“The inclusion of Plan B and other forms of ‘emergency contraception’ raises the stakes considerably, since the issue of abortion is now unavoidable. Will evangelical colleges and institutions now comply with a law we know to be both unjust and unconscionable?”
U.S. Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) made an important point when he said the exemptions are not the main point of contention: “The problem is not that religious institutions do not have time enough to comply, It’s that they are forced to comply at all.”
Members of Congress agree.
Earlier this week, U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) introduced the Religious Freedom Restoration Act of 2012. The bill is designed to repeal the narrow religious exemption included in the federal rule. Arizona’s entire congressional delegation needs to sign on to and pass this bill to put a stop to Obama’s outrageous and unprecedented attack on religious freedom.