HHS Mandate Defies Separation of Church and State
What is really at risk is the fundamental right to religious freedom
Recently, in an unprecedented effort to preserve Religious Freedom and defend First Amendment rights, twelve different lawsuits were filed by forty three different Catholic organizations in Federal courts. As the impassioned debates continue, the supporters want to compel church institutions to distribute contraceptives, provide abortion inducing drugs and pay for sterilization. They claim there is some kind of "War on Women". The Church, through these lawsuits, insists it is a matter of religious freedom guided by moral conscience.
A rally for Religious Freedom
WASHINGTON,DC (Catholic Online) - Amongst the forty three organizations taking this bold move were the Archdiocese of New York, the Archdiocese of Washington, DC, a Catholic publisher, Catholic University of America, and Franciscan University.
Interestingly, the University of Notre Dame also filed suit, though UND president, Fr. John Jenkins, in 2009, invited President Obama to provide the university's commencement address and awarded him with an honorary Doctor of Law Degree.
These lawsuits serve as a sign of national, religious solidarity, as it has been reported that every Catholic Bishop in America has publicly expressed concern over this impending policy.
According to Harvard professor, Mary Ann Glendon, in an article published in the Wall Street Journal, "The bishops join a growing army of other plaintiffs around the country. Who are asking the courts to repel an unprecedented governmental assault on the ability of religious persons and groups to practice their religion without being forced to violate their deepest moral convictions."
The purpose of these lawsuits is two-fold, as they address the HHS mandate, a proposed federal policy that would violate both, the civil rights of workers, and the human rights of the unborn. Firstly, the lawsuits are in place to prevent the Health and Human Services mandate from becoming policy. It
The mandate would force employers, including Christian employers such as universities, food pantries,outreaches to the poor and needy and hospitals, to go against Church teaching and violate conscience. They would be compelled to fund and facilitate what supporters euphemistically call "reproductive services" in violation of Church teaching and moral conscience.
Secondly, the lawsuits are designed to send a clear message to President Obama about the vital importance of the [peaceful] preservation of Religious Freedom as a fundamental human right in the U.S. for people of all faiths.
Earlier this year, on March 23rd, the first national rally included an impressive 140 cities and 65,000 protestors. Despite the fact that media coverage of this debate was almost non-existent from the major media networks, ABC, NBC, CBS, and MSNBC, Civil Rights advocates are organizing a second "Stand Up for Religious Freedom" rally on Friday, June 8th, 2012.
In response to this time-sensitive debate over Church vs. state, citizens all across the U.S. will be gathering in the streets from coast to coast to promote the preservation of Religious Freedom, and peacefully express their opposition to the HHS mandate.
Adele M. Gill Copyright Distributed by NEWS CONSORTIUM
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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, Religious Freedom, Free Exercise, Obama, Sebelius, Adele M. Gill
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