Skip to comments.Obama Administration Tries to Force Catholic Employer to Violate Beliefs or Pay $9,672,500 a Year
Posted on 08/14/2012 5:25:35 AM PDT by Mrs. Don-o
Hercules Industries, a Colorado-based HVAC manufacturer, is a family-owned business that has been operated for 50 years. Currently, the four Newland siblings James, Paul, William, and Christine own the business and employ 265 people. According to CNS News, the Department of Justice is taking action to ensure that this Catholic family complies with the demands of the contraceptive mandate in ObamaCare:
"The Justice Department last week presented the Newland family of Coloradowho own Hercules Industries, a heating, ventilation and air-conditioning businesswith what amounted to an ultimatum: Give up your religion or your business.
Who will win in the battle of Hercules vs. Obama?
The Newland family has taken the time to evaluate their own religious beliefs and has come to the conclusion that they are morally unable to provide contraceptives, abortifacients, abortion, or sterilization in their employee health care plan. Hercules Industries is self-insured by the Newlands. Despite the Newlands sincere religious beliefs, the Department of Justice insists that this Catholic family must comply with the contraceptive mandate.
The Newlands and Hercules Industries have brought a suit to stop the Obama administration from forcing them to violate their religious beliefs. The family and their business is being represented by Alliance Defending Freedom (formerly the Alliance Defense Fund). On July 25, Matthew Bowman an attorney for Alliance Defending Freedom argued for a preliminary injunction against the mandate.
According to the Newlands brief:
"They believe that according to the Catholic faith their operation of Hercules must be guided by ethical social principles and Catholic religious and moral teachings, that the adherence of their business practice according to such Catholic ethics and religious and moral teachings is a genuine calling from God, that their Catholic faith prohibits them to sever their religious beliefs from their daily business practice, and that their Catholic faith requires them to integrate the gifts of the spiritual life, the virtues, morals, and ethical social principles of Catholic teaching into their life and work.
I participated in a moot court session where Mr. Bowman gave his arguments and clearly laid out the Newlands case. Lest anyone think that the Newlands do not provide well for their employees, Hercules Industries current health care plan goes above and beyond many plans in its provisions for women. Mr. Bowmans arguments detail the health benefits given to pregnant women, those who miscarry, and those with other reproductive-related issues. All the Newlands want is the freedom to adhere to their own religious beliefs concerning abortion, contraception, and sterilization something that the First Amendment allows.
In order to force a person or in many cases a corporation to violate his or her religious beliefs, the government must have a compelling interest. The government is held to a strict scrutiny standard, and it must find the least restrictive means possible to enforce its rules. While the government claims that it has a compelling interest in forcing the Newlands to violate their strongly held religious beliefs, this claim rings false. In their filed brief, the Department of Justice, claims:
"Thus, it is just not true that the burdens of the [regulations] fall on religious organizations but almost no others.
However, written into ObamaCare is an exemption for grandfathered plans. Any corporation with this type of health care plan will not be forced to comply with the contraceptive mandate at this time even though such corporations will be forced to comply with other portions in the preventive care section of ObamaCare. By exempting certain companies even without religious reasons the Obama administration has demonstrated that there really is no compelling government interest in forcing the Newlands or other religious employers to violate their beliefs. How much sense does it really make to say, in effect, We will not force countless employers to provide contraception, but we will force companies owned by religious people to provide it? (Grandfathered health care plans cover millions of employees in the United States.)
In short, President Obamas Justice Department thinks the answer is simple: comply with our demands, pay millions of dollars in fines, or quit your family business:
"Hercules Industries has made no showing of a religious belief which requires that [it] engage in the [HVAC] business, the Justice Department said in a formal filing in the U.S. District Court for the District of Colorado.
In response to the Justice Departments argument that the Newlands can either give up practicing their religion or give up owning their business, the Alliance Defending Freedom, which is representing the family, said in a reply brief: [T]o the extent the government is arguing that its mandate does not really burden the Newlands because they are free to abandon their jobs, their livelihoods, and their property so that others can take over Hercules and comply, this expulsion from business would be an extreme form of government burden.
Employers who fail to comply with the contraceptive mandate will be forced to pay $100 per day, per employee, as a fine. (The provisions of ObamaCare are complicated, and under certain circumstances, the amount may be lessened.)
"With 265 employees, a business like the Newlands would need to pay the government $26,500 per day if they decided not to comply with Sebeliuss regulation and insured their employees anyway. Over 365 days that would amount to $9,672,500.
As Mr. Bowman states:
"The government shouldnt punish people of faith for making decisions in accordance with their faith. Every American should know that a government with the power to do this to anyone can do thisand worseto everyone. The abortion pill mandate unconstitutionally coerces the leadership of Hercules Industries to violate their religious beliefs and consciences under the threat of heavy fines and penalties. That is simply not acceptable in America.
It's been reported previously in the conservative press, but I wanted to make sure FReepers see the amount of that threatened fine.
This is the government's intent: submit or they will destroy you. And they mean sooner rather than later.
The only thing missing from this story is requiring the mark of the beast.
This so clearly violates religious freedom as called out in the 1st amendment as to be laughable. But it’s not funny.
I’d be willing to bet the farm that a company run by Islamic owner would NOT face this kind of harassment from the government...
A “slight correction”. The company is fighting a ‘mandate’ by the U.S. Government Department of INjustice.”
That’s more accurate.
“With 265 employees, a business like the Newlands would need to pay the government $26,500 per day if they decided not to comply with Sebeliuss regulation and insured their employees anyway. Over 365 days that would amount to $9,672,500.”
The governments way of getting their share of the health insurance pie. They don’t care if companies have to close their doors, there will just be more people coming to them for their needs.
Convert to isSlime.
All fed pressure will be alleviated.
Bravo to them and the Alliance Defending Freedom, they are fighting the good fight.
It’s great to see a company like this stand on their principles, but I’d like to think there is the army of Catholic lawyers and CPAs out there working behind the scenes to craft documents for corporate entities that legitimately circumvent these outrageous provisions of ObamaCare ... by breaking Hercules into separate companies with fewer than 50 employees, for example.
Islamic owner would NOT face this kind of harassment from the government...
Are Islamic owners required to hire homosexuals? I bet not.
Obama is forcing America to start “Falling Down” such as the beleaguered Michael Douglas, who only wanted to get home but along the way decided it was time to just react.
While that clown Archbishop Timmy Dolan runs around preparing for his appearance with Romney and Obama at the Al Smith Dinner, he ought to take a few minutes to call Kathy Sebelius and tell her to get the f#$& off the backs of these Catholic business owners who are trying to live their lives according to their Catholic faith.
So, if I understand this correctly, the Government can force you to violate your religious beliefs. Now we must sue the Muslim meat markets to make them carry Kosher meats, as well as bacon/pork sausage/ham. Seems that what’s good for one is good for all. Under the current administration, those that have need to support those who don’t want to work for it. So let’s be good citizens and sue for pork.
While I WAS very disappointed that the Catholics in Western NY initially sided with communism and this muslim’s CommieCare system all in the name of Social Justice, I see they have come to their senses and it behooves all of us to support any religious organization which will fight against this completely out of control government.
The foundation of this country is being chipped away from so many directions is it hard to know where to gather the most forces to protect what little remains. It is quite possible it is too late.
The country had one revolution on the same issues and that little war went badly for the last King who tried to get in between us and our God given rights.
If the November election isn't enough a revolution against the current demonrat royalty, another revolt more like the original model likely will follow.
Is that why NOAA(?!?) needs 46,000 rounds of ammo? And DHS ordered an additional 750 million rounds?
From the article: In response, the court issued an order on July 27 that halts enforcement of the mandate until the lawsuit is settled. The order came in spite of strenuous opposition from the Obama administration, whose attorneys actually argue in blatant contrast to the Constitution that people of faith forfeit their religious liberty once they engage in business.***********
The legal arguments of this administration in this case should be front and center this election cycle. They're engaging in religious and economic terrorism.
Forcing an employer to provide Promiscuity Pills to their hired help is NOT ‘social justice’.
The order came in spite of strenuous opposition from the Obama administration, whose attorneys actually argue in blatant contrast to the Constitution that people of faith forfeit their religious liberty once they engage in business.***********”””
What kind of ‘attorneys’ are we graduating in the USA now???
Do NONE of them have any religious beliefs???
“Forcing an employer to provide Promiscuity Pills to their hired help is NOT social justice.”
Maybe someday they will also figure out there is NO justice in Social Justice.
I'm all for resistance at every Constitutional level.
I do wonder whether it is still possible to get in on a "grandfathered" medical sharing plan. There are a couple small ones which got an exemption.. Anybody got the latest on that?
Try everything, is what I say.