Obamacare designed to target Catholic Church, Archdiocese fights back
Catholic Church is well accustomed to political hostility.
The Archdiocese of Washington D.C. is suing the government asking for protection of the First Amendment rights of Catholics. In a court document filed in September, the Archdiocese listed those entities which are compelled to contract with a third party provider that will participate in the unethical HHS mandate.
Kathleen Sebelius says she's Catholic, which makes it painful to see her support an inherently anti-Catholic law.
Religious employers have fired back, saying that even with the ability to apply for an exemption, the process if such applications is itself hardly an accommodation:
The filing reads, "For example, in order to be eligible for the so-called "accommodation," Plaintiffs who do not qualify for the "religious employer" exemption must provide a "certification" to their insurance provider or third-party administrator setting forth their religious objections to the Mandate. Once this "certification" is provided, it automatically triggers an obligation on the part of the insurance provider or third-party administrator to provide or procure the objectionable products and services for these Plaintiffs' employees. For self-insured Plaintiffs, moreover, before they can even provide the certification, they must first find and identify a third party administrator who is willing to provide the very coverage Plaintiffs find objectionable, and their self-certification constitutes the religious organization's "designation of the third party administrator(s) as plan administrator and claims administrator for contraceptive benefits." 78 Fed. Reg. at 39,879 (emphases added). Plaintiffs' actions, therefore, directly result in the provision of the objectionable products and services to their employees, contrary to their sincerely held religious beliefs."
The end result is several Catholic agencies, which do not qualify for the "religious exemption" could still be compelled to choose between contracting a plan that does provide the objectionable services, or paying "crippling fines" for non-compliance.
In essence, the entire HHS Obamacre mandate threatens to destroy Catholic charities and other organizations by forcing them to choose between violating their conscience or financial ruin.
The case will proceed in U.S. District court.
CNS News is also covering this case and explaining that much of the motivation for the mandate is an anti-religious, particularly anti-Catholic bias.
CNS News reported:
"This anti-religious bias," says the memorandum, "is further confirmed by the fact that it was directly modeled on a California statute, see 77 Fed. Reg. at 8726 (explaining that the federal Mandate was modeled on state law); . whose chief legislative sponsor made clear that its purpose was to strike a blow against Catholic religious authorities: '59 percent of all Catholic women of childbearing age practice contraception.' ' percent of Catholics believe . . . that someone who practices artificial birth control can still be a good Catholic. I agree with that. I think it's time to do the right thing.'"
"Thus," says the memorandum, "not only the 'real operation' but also the intended effect of the mandate is to target and suppress plaintiffs' religious practices."
Why the Obama administration has such an axe o grind against the Catholic Church is unclear, but it is probably linked to the fact that while most smaller organizations will simply capitulate to his immoral demands, the Catholic Church, long accustomed to political hostility since its earliest days, will never assent to the demands of an unjust edict.
Interestingly, perhaps the most hurtful blow comes from the fact that the plan's chief architects, Jackie Speer (D-CA), who crafted a California law on which the edict is modeled, HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius who issued the edict, and even Vice President Joe Biden, all profess to be Catholic.
Obamacare isn't entirely horrible. There are many favorable provisions that make it popular with most Americans, even Catholics. However, it has some offensive flaws. The HHS edict is one. Another is the gap in coverage that will develop for the lower-middle class, who even with subsidies still can't afford the extra hundreds of dollars per month it will cost them. A third is the dumping by businesses of all their employees into the public marketplace. Businesses are learning it's cheaper to pay the penalties than the premiums.
Other problems include the likelihood that costs will increase once everyone is compelled to buy and use insurance.
These problems must be addressed. One possibility would be to simply repeal the law and allow free market competition to return. Another possibility would be to allow a religious exemption for every individual and entity that asks for one.
It is a sick and twisted world in which "healthcare" provides for free, the ability to subject women to chemical warfare and the murder of their unborn children, while people with life-essential medical requirements such as medications for hypertension or asthma, must break their bank to pay for it.
For our part, let us pray that our District Judges rule with clarity of mind and restore our freedom.
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