US Senate Denies Free Exercise of Religion, Tables the Blunt Amendment
mandated health care program. It is not about Republicans or Democrats, conservatives or liberals. It is about people of faith. This is first and foremost a matter of religious liberty for all."
"If the government can, for example, tell Catholics that they cannot be in the insurance business today without violating their religious convictions, where does it end? This violates the constitutional limits on our government, and the basic rights upon which our country was founded."
It is apparent that President Obama and his administration do not respect fundamental human rights including the Right to life and the Right to Religious Freedom. The Nation we love is slowly devolving into a secularist State.
A legislative response, The Respect for Rights of Conscience Act, was introduced in Congress (H.R. 1179, S. 1467) to ensure that all who participate in the health care system "retain the right to provide, purchase, or enroll in health coverage that is consistent with their religious beliefs and moral convictions."
Language from this legislation became the "Blunt Amendment" voted on in the Senate on Thursday, March 1, 2011. Unfortunately, the opponents of the Free Exercise of Religion managed to table it by a 51 to 48 vote. Though the vote followed mostly Party line, Bob Casey of Pennsylvania, Joe Manchin of West Virginia and Ben Nelson of Nebraska, all Democrats, voted with Republicans to defend the Free Exercise of Religion.
Several Federal court challenges have been filed against the unconstitutional mandate, including a recent one filed by the Attorneys General of seven States. I am sure this is only the beginning of similar lawsuits. The strategy behind the lawsuits is intended to ensure a fast track to the United States Supreme Court.
Rallies are already scheduled - with many more to follow. There is talk of a massive March on Washington. This unjust edict - and its defense by the shrill opponents of religious freedom - have unleashed a massive civil resistance movement only in its infancy.What is now eminently clear is that Catholics, other Christians, other people of faith and all people of good will who recognize the real threat to religious freedom, will not back down.
In addition to the Right to Religious Freedom, what is also at risk is access to Catholic Health Care in the United States for those who need it the most. Make no mistake; the Church will continue to minister healing to the sick because she must. It is at the heart of her mission.However, the current Administration seems "hell bent" on squeezing the Church out of providing health care to millions of Americans who currently receive it at Catholic Institutions.
In a section entitled "Christ the physician", the Catechism of the Catholic Church reminds the faithful that "Christ's compassion toward the sick and his many healings of every kind of infirmity are a resplendent sign that "God has visited his people" and that the Kingdom of God is close at hand. Jesus has the power not only to heal, but also to forgive sins; he has come to heal the whole man, soul and body; he is the physician the sick have need of. (Mk. 2:17)
"His compassion toward all who suffer goes so far that he identifies himself with them: "I was sick and you visited me." (Mt. 25:36) His preferential love for the sick has not ceased through the centuries to draw the very special attention of Christians toward all those who suffer in body and soul. It is the source of tireless efforts to comfort them." (Catechism of the Catholic Church #1503)
The Gospel imperative catholics follow is found in these words of Jesus "Heal the Sick". (Matthew 10:8) The early Christians understood that this call to heal involved the ministry of the Sacraments as well as ministry to the physical needs of those who were ill. That is because the Church proclaims the unity of the human person, body, soul and spirit.
The Catholic Church proclaims the dignity of every human person from conception, through every age and stage up to and including natural death. In those who are sick, Catholics see the very face of Christ. The Church views those who are sick as "the poor" and in caring for them one cares for the Lord Himself who identifies with the poor.
This is the heart of the Catholic understanding of the call to give a love of preference to the poor. Caring for the sick is a part of Church teaching on our obligation in solidarity to one another. In the middle Ages in Europe, religious communities of both men and women were formed with the mission of carrying on Christ's mandate to "Heal the Sick!"
In the history of the United States of America, from the beginning, Catholic Hospitals existed to care for the sick. The Catholic Church is currently one of the very largest health care providers in the United States of America. If this Administration persists in its iron handed effort to compel the Church to bend the knee to a new Caesar, that service to the Nation is placed in jeopardy.
The excellence of the care provided by Catholic Medical Professionals and health care institutions flows not only from their excellence in training and preparation but from the very reason why the Catholic Church is involved in health care to begin with, fidelity to the Gospel. Catholic Health care is not simply about business, it is about ministry. It is about love. Now, because of an unjust edict by a new Caesar, those who need this care the most may not be able to receive it, because of the Obama Administration.
Make no mistake; the Catholic Church will not back down on this. It appears that the Obama Administration wants to remove the vital role of mediating institutions such as the Church in serving the Common Good of society. One must now ask, Why?
- - -
Pope Benedict XVI's Prayer Intentions for January 2013
General Intention: The Faith of Christians. That in this Year of Faith Christians may deepen their knowledge of the mystery of Christ and witness joyfully to the gift of faith in him.
Missionary Intention: Middle Eastern Christians. That the Christian communities of the Middle East, often discriminated against, may receive from the Holy Spirit the strength of fidelity and perseverance.
Keywords: HHS Mandate, Obama Mandate, Kathleen Sebelius, Blunt Amendment, Free Exercise of Religion, Religious Freedom, Cardinal Dolan, Catholic Health Care, Deacon Keith Fournier
Rate This Article
Leave a Comment
More U.S. News
- Cheers Star: We Didn't Need Surveillance When We Were Kids - 'We Had God'
- Poorly prepared teachers steering nation's classrooms
- Did Pocahontas save explorer John Smith here? Native American site of Werowocomoco fascinating regardless
- No-one Can Change the Truth About Fatherhood. Love Your Father. Be a Good Father
- IN SEARCH OF SUNKEN TREASURE: Divers plunge into Lake Michigan to search for 17th Century ship
- Courageous Bishop Paprocki Shows Us How To Contend for the Truth About Marriage
- Courageous Cardinal George of Chicago Defends Marriage, Calls for Public Conversion
- Archbishop Chaput Cuts Through the Double Talk About Religious Liberty
- CENSUS: Non-Hispanic whites hits all-time low of 63 percent
- Fr. Paul Schenck: Finding Living Faith on Catechetical Sunday
- The Movie Yellow: Incest as 'Normal' and Cassavates's Slides Into the World of Woes
- The Chicago School Teachers Strike Reveals the Need For School Choice
- The Sexual Barbarians and the Dissolution of Culture
- The Happy Priest Challenges Us to Ask: Who is Jesus to Me?
- Michael Coren on Canadian Public Schools: Teachers, leave those kids alone
- We Cannot Ignore Our Consciences: Cardinal Dolan On Religious Liberty
- In the Face of Danger, Successor of Peter Travels to Lebanon as a Messenger of Peace
- Reflections on the Dignity and Vocation of Women: Who or What?