Skip to comments.Religious leaders blast HHS over contraception mandate
Posted on 01/21/2012 5:26:48 AM PST by NYer
.- Numerous religious leaders slammed the Obama administration for violating consciences by refusing to reverse a contraception mandate and instead delay its full implementation by only a year.
Never before has the federal government forced individuals and organizations to go out into the marketplace and buy a product that violates their conscience, said Cardinal-designate Timothy M. Dolan, archbishop of New York and president of the U.S. bishops conference.
This shouldnt happen in a land where free exercise of religion ranks first in the Bill of Rights.
He called the decision literally unconscionable in a Jan. 20 response statement and said that the government is essentially saying we have a year to figure out how to violate our consciences.
The cardinal-designate vowed that the bishops will work to overturn the mandate and institute freedom of conscience protections for all Americans.
On Jan. 20, Department of Health and Human Services secretary Kathleen Sebelius announced that the administration would not expand a religious exemption for employers who object to its preventative services mandate.
The policy, originally introduced in an Aug. 2011 interim rule, requires health insurance plans to cover contraception including drugs that cause abortion and sterilization free of charge.
To qualify for a religious exemption under the policy, religious organizations must employ and serve primarily members of their own faith and must exist for the purpose of teaching religious values.
Many religious organizations objected to the rule, saying that they would not qualify because they provide education, health care and other services to people of all religions.
But the Obama administration dismissed their requests, saying that the religious exemption would not be expanded.
In what she described as an appropriate balance between religious freedom and preventative services, Sebelius announced that religious employers who object to providing the coverage will have an additional year to do so.
They will be required to comply with the new law by Aug. 1, 2013, one year later than the original deadline.
Americans United for Separation of Church and State said it was grateful that the Obama administration had rejected the arguments of powerful religious lobbies that are bent on imposing their theology on everyone.
However, religious groups across the country are arguing that the mandate violates their rights of religion and conscience.
This is nothing less than a direct attack on religion and First Amendment rights, said Franciscan Sister Jane Marie Klein, chairman of Franciscan Alliance, Inc., a system of 13 Catholic hospitals.
I cannot understand it at all.
We are very disappointed in the decision, added Galen Carey, vice president of Government Relations for the National Association of Evangelicals.
Carey told CNA on Jan. 20 that the mandate fails to uphold Americas historic commitment to religious liberty.
In December, the National Association of Evangelicals sent a letter to President Obama on behalf of more than 60 evangelical, Baptist and Jewish leaders.
The letter objected to the mandate, arguing that the Federal government is obligated by the First Amendment to accommodate the religious convictions of faith-based organizations of all kinds.
Carey said the association will continue to speak up and work with lawmakers in the hopes that Congress will pursue legislation that will restore protection to the religious liberty of all Americans.
Dr. Richard Land, president of the Southern Baptist Conventions Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission, said that the outrageous decision meant bad news for the protection of religious liberty and freedom of conscience in America.
Its analogous to giving a man on death row a one-year stay of execution, he said. You can follow your conscience for one more year.
Dr. Land added that the decision will likely lead many people to hope and pray that a new administration will be in place to provide a reprieve from this squelching of conscience before the deadline arrives.
|From:||Brian Burch - CatholicVote.org|
|Date sent||01/20/2012 01:01:58 pm|
|Subject:||Direct attack on Catholics|
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Dear CV Friend,
Get ready to pay.
This morning President Obama called New York Archbishop Timothy Dolan to break the news.
Secretary of Health and Human Services and pro-abortion Catholic Kathleen Sebelius just announced that the proposed mandate requiring all insurance plans to pay for contraception, sterilization and some abortion drugs is official -- and Catholics cannot escape.
...and the fig-leaf exemption for religious groups will not be modified, apart from allowing some groups an additional year to comply.
Cardinal-designate Timothy M. Dolan responded minutes ago, saying: “In effect, the president is saying we have a year to figure out how to violate our consciences.”
Beginning August 1, 2012 (less than eight months from today), the insurance premiums we pay, including the insurance premiums paid by Catholics for employees of churches and schools -- will be used to cover drugs and procedures that are in direct conflict with the teachings of our Church.
That's right. Our government will now force us to pay for insurance coverage for birth control, sterilization and even some abortion drugs.
President Obama ignored the organized efforts of Catholics across the country, including bold statements from the Bishops, university presidents (including Notre Dame's Rev. Jenkins), and even his Catholic allies like Sr. Carol Keehan.
Instead, President Obama stood with his real friends -- Planned Parenthood.
Make no mistake, this decision is a direct attack on you, our Church, and the religious liberty of all Americans.
Just yesterday, Pope Benedict XVI addressed the bishops from the United States who were completing their "Ad Limina" visit in Rome. The Holy Father specifically cited the "grave threats" to the freedom of the Church in America, and urged the Catholic community to respond, especially with "an engaged, articulate and well-formed Catholic laity."
He's talking to you and me. The Holy Father's brief address is a must read (link below).
Finally, today marks exactly one year from Inauguration Day. In exactly 12 months, America will welcome a new president, or usher in four more years of Barack Obama and his assault on our liberties. This irony is not lost on us.
We built CatholicVote into a movement to advance the cause of life, family, and freedom. Today's decision is an assault on all three. And it MUST be defeated.
You have our pledge that we will do everything possible to educate and mobilize the Catholic vote in 2012.
For on a day such as this, we realize that elections indeed have consequences.
The Catholic vote must rise up like never before.
Brian Burch, President
U.S. Bishops Vow to Fight HHS Edict
Read the Holy Father's Address to the US Bishops:
Read the text of the HHS Announcement:
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Forcing insurance companies to provide free birth control is one small step from forcing people to use it.
“And it MUST be defeated.”
Obama and RADICAL Democrats MUST be defeated!
MORE of our priests and bishops need to speak up even louder...
Wasn’t that oath to uphold the Constitution? Time to impeach!!
It is becoming clear that the only people who should be given birth control are liberals.
They have no right to DICTATE birth control or anything else. Come Nov I pray we are rid of this scourge on our country. God is watching and He is not happy.
Mark Levine said it best when he stated that we live in a post-Constitutional America. Half the people are communists without realizing it. The sooner the other half realizes this the better.
All the objections are from Christian, Catholic and Jewish leaders. No Muslim objections or did I miss it?
I remember several years ago I went to serve food at a food kitchen with members of my parish. People were lining up and we volunteers huddled in the kitchen and said a prayer and then went out and started serving the food. My thought then and now is that whether they prayed with us or not, we should have said the prayer out loud and in the room with the people coming to eat. If it offended them, they could leave. The Church has let this sort of stuff slide too much. Everything that the Church does should involve prayer and proselytizing. All who do anything connected to the faith should be able to proudly wear the label “I have been called to this ministry.” If that’s the case then 9 members of the SC will support us when we say, we are not going to offer free abortion.
Monday we will have more than 100,000 pro-life demonstrators in Washington protesting Obama,the most pro-death Prersident in the history of the U.S.
The solution to the problem is simple....... don’t obey the ruling. Do not abide by the regulation.
When the Messiah is crucified, it will all just go away
The spirit behind “birth control” is the same spirit behind abortion murder.
It is the rejection of children as God’s blessing.
> Wasnt that oath to uphold the Constitution?
Oaths mean nothing to Marxists in particular, and people who don’t believe in God in general.
It was only a century ago that the testimony of an atheist was inadmissible in many courtrooms for this very reason.
Well, we have the USCCB to thank in large part for Obamacare. The Church has been so naive to back the “social justice” of Obamacare, thinking that the objections to birth control would be listened to “later.” The Church, sadly, is now protesting too little and way way too late. Shame!
> No Muslim objections or did I miss it?
As the Mahometans love to say, “The enemy of my enemy is my friend.”
Mahometans consider Christians and Jews bigger enemies than Marxist atheists. Once the Christians and Jews are out of the way, they will deal savagely with the infidel Marxists, if they can get the upper hand.
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You are right that he and his administration have broken their oaths. Recent events not limited to this HHS scandal (and it IS one), the financial rape of MF Global customers, Fast and Furious, all point to a lack of law enforcement, outside of those elements which have benefit to the administration and their masters. At the risk of sounding cynical (something I am not), I would likewise venture that enough of our side of things are either complicit or weak enough that we’re unlikely to see the needed, and indeed called-for, law enforcement activities.
While we must continue to press the left for proper behavior (and proper upholding of the law), and to stand for what is right, I think we should also prepare for further encroachments on our liberties, especially religious ones, but that we must persevere anyway. Never to give in or to give up.
Bingo. These moron religious groups sold their souls a long time ago.
Please copy and paste and send to your congresman and Senator.
So all those liberal Catholics are waking up?????