Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Francis J Manion

11/30/2012 (2 years ago)

American Center for Law and Justice (www.aclj.org/)

Frank O'Brien's case was the first filed on behalf of a for-profit business owner.

Our client, Frank O'Brien, is a St. Louis business owner who takes his Catholic faith seriously; so seriously that he doesn't want the government to force him to pay for things he considers immoral. More than 40 cases have been filed around the country challenging the HHS Mandate on behalf of religiously affiliated schools, charitable institutions, and nonprofit organizations who say that the Mandate is a blatant violation of the Constitution's protection of religious freedom. 

Highlights

By Francis J Manion

American Center for Law and Justice (www.aclj.org/)

11/30/2012 (2 years ago)

Published in U.S.

Keywords: Francis J Manion, mandate, OBrien, abortion, Frank O'Brien, HHS Mandate, free exercise, religious freedom, ACLJ, Jay Sekulow, anti-Catholic, Obamacare


WASHINGTON, DC (ACLJ) - On Wednesday, the 8th Circuit Court of Appeals granted our motion for an injunction against the U.S. government's enforcement of the so-called "HHS Mandate," a series of regulations requiring virtually all employers to pay for their employees' contraception, sterilization, and early abortion-inducing drugs.

Our client, Frank O'Brien, is a St. Louis business owner who takes his Catholic faith seriously; so seriously that he doesn't want the government to force him to pay for things he considers immoral.

O'Brien doesn't care -- doesn't want to know -- what his employees do in their bedrooms. He just doesn't want Kathleen Sebelius or Barack Obama telling him he has to pay for what they do, even when doing so is against his religion.

More than 40 cases have been filed around the country challenging the HHS Mandate on behalf of religiously affiliated schools, charitable institutions, and nonprofit organizations who say that the Mandate is a blatant violation of the Constitution's protection of religious freedom.

Frank O'Brien's case was the first filed on behalf of a for-profit business owner. In September, the U.S. District Court in St. Louis threw out O'Brien's case, saying that the Mandate was not a "substantial burden" on his exercise of religion. We filed an appeal with the 8th Circuit before the ink was dry on the court's opinion.

The district court reasoned: O'Brien wasn't being forced to use contraception; he could still attend Mass; he could still send his kids to Catholic schools. What's the big deal?

The big deal is that in this country, from its founding, the right to the "free exercise of religion" has always meant much more than the mere freedom to worship within the walls of your church.

The Continental Congress, in the darkest hours of the Revolution, with the very existence of the newly birthed Nation threatened by the approach of the greatest military machine in the world, saw fit to exempt from military service "people who, from religious principles, cannot bear arms in any case." Congress didn't tell the Quaker and Moravian pacifists who asked for the exemption that they were still free to have their meetings and raise their children as they chose, so shoulder a musket and fight.

Congress told them that "this Congress intend no violence to their consciences" and exempted them from what most people in just about every country in the world would consider a paramount duty of any citizen.

That expansive idea of, "free exercise of religion," encompassing not only what a person believes, but also what a person does or refuses to do, in the public square, and yes, even in the commercial marketplace, is what the First Amendment and the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA) are meant to protect.

Nobody froze with Washington at Valley Forge to secure the right of government bureaucrats to coerce free men and women to violate their consciences. Nobody died on Omaha Beach so that someday all Americans would have the right to force their boss to buy them birth control pills.

The HHS Mandate, which compels employers to directly contribute to causes which they abhor, is, as Jefferson would put it, "tyrannical." We at the ACLJ will not stand by while this government, or any government, tries to grind the First Amendment beneath its heels.

-----

Francis J. Manion is Senior Counsel with the ACLJ who emphasizes First Amendment law and pro-life legal matters before state and federal courts.

---

The American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ) focuses on constitutional law and is based in Washington, D.C. This article is used with permission.


Rosaries, Crosses, Prayer Cards and more... by Catholic Shopping .com


Comments


More U.S.

On this Fourth of July, We Need a Declaration of Dependence Watch

Image of The real promise of the Declaration of the Declaration of Independence now cries out for those who believe in its promise to stand up for its true meaning and work to restore the unique experiment in ordered liberty which it offers for future generations.

By Deacon Keith Fournier

The Declaration of Independence was the birth certificate of the United States of America, a Nation often called the American Experiment because of the very fact that it was founded upon principles. The words are still memorized by schoolchildren and can bring a ... continue reading


Learning from the Wonderful Witness of 'Doubting' Thomas Watch

Image of Thomas the doubter became the Thomas the model believer, an example for each one of us. He is a great beacon of light for all of us as we cry out with him, MY LORD AND MY GOD!

By Deacon Keith A Fournier

What conclusion, dear brethren, do you come to? Surely it was not by chance that this chosen disciple, was missing in the first place? Or that on his return he heard, that hearing he doubted, that doubting he touched, and that touching he believed? It was by ... continue reading


Catholic Church in U.S. has weathered adversity before - and will emerge triumphant, historian says Watch

Image of As bishops warn of current threats to religious liberty in the United States, Catholics can take heart that such challenges have faced them before, and they have persevered, one Church historian says.

By Matt Hadro, CNA/EWTN News

As bishops warn of current threats to religious liberty in the United States, Catholics can take heart that such challenges have faced them before, and they have persevered, one Church historian says. Washington D.C. (CNA/EWTN News) - "It's okay to realize that ... continue reading


After same-sex unions legalized, polygamous Montana trio demands same Watch

Image of The 46-year-old Nathan Collier owns a refrigeration business in Billings. He married 40-year-old Victoria in 2000. His second wife, Christine, was wed in a religious wedding ceremony in 2007 without a marriage license in order to avoid bigamy charges.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

It was bound to happen. After the Supreme Court ruled same-sex unions legal in all 50 states, other proponents of non-traditional arrangements are clamoring for equality under the law. Nathan Collier, along with his wives Victoria and Christine have applied at ... continue reading


350-pound dolphin accidentally lands on cruise ship severely injuring woman Watch

Image of

By Talia Ramos (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

To kick off the summer break and celebrate Father's day, a family went aboard a cruise that ended with a traumatizing accident. As the cruise started to sail back to the harbor, a group of dolphins started to swim alongside the boat. However, as the passengers started ... continue reading


Episcopalians overwhelmingly vote to let same-sex weddings in churches Watch

Image of Episcopalians voted overwhelmingly this week to allow religious weddings for same-sex couples.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Episcopalians voted overwhelmingly this week to allow religious weddings for same-sex couples. The Episcopal Church has long been on the forefront of equal rights for homosexuals, ever since electing it first openly gay bishop 10 years ago.  LOS ANGELES, ... continue reading


TERROR LEAK: ISIS learns of FBI command centers across U.S. for Fourth of July Watch

Image of One such likely ISIS candidate, 23-year-old Alaa Saadeh, was believed to be part of a group interested in detonating a pressure cooker bomb at a New York landmark.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

It appears that an important bit of counter-terrorism may have landed into the wrong hands. The Federal Bureau of Investigation, or FBI is installing command centers around the nation to prepare for possible terror attacks for the coming Fourth of July holiday ... continue reading


Remaining U.S. troops in Afghanistan 'feel forgotten' Watch

Image of Several US Troops felt abandoned and forgotten by the US government

By Linky C. (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

A total of 10,000 American troops remain in Afghanistan. These troops believe they have been forgotten by the Obama administration, as the US Government shifts its attention to ISIS. MUNTINLUPA, PHILIPPINES (Catholic Online) - The US Troops, 10,000 men and women left ... continue reading


Risk for massive earthquake in California increases as scientists find dangerous helium coming from fault zone Watch

Image of

By Talia Ramos (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Researchers recently discovered helium leaking from a giant fault in the Earth's crust near Los Angeles, as well as discovering an increase in chance for California to have an 8.0 magnitude earthquake. MUNTINLUPA, PHILIPPINES (Catholic Online) - They did not expect the ... continue reading


United States prepares for Fourth of July amidst threat of ISIS attacks Watch

Image of The U.S. Government prepares for possible terrorist attacks this coming Independence Day celebration in the U.S.

By Linky C. (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Three days before the United States' Independence Day, the FBI has already began setting up command centers in all of the 56 field offices across the country prior to the fourth. The U.S. Government is preparing for possible terrorist attacks and terrorist threats that ... continue reading


All U.S. News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Genesis 27:1-5, 15-29
1 When Isaac had grown old, and his eyes were so weak ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 135:1-2, 3-4, 5-6
1 Alleluia! Praise the name of Yahweh, you who serve ... Read More

Gospel, Matthew 9:14-17
14 Then John's disciples came to him and said, 'Why ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for July 4th, 2015 Image

St. Elizabeth of Portugal
July 4: Elizabeth was a Spanish princess who was given in marriage to ... Read More

Inform, Inspire & Ignite Logo

Find Catholic Online on Facebook and get updates right in your live feed.

Become a fan of Catholic Online on Facebook


Follow Catholic Online on Twitter and get News and Product updates.

Follow us on Twitter