Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Deacon Keith Fournier

3/11/2013 (3 years ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

This attack on religious freedom demands immediate congressional action

Nothing short of a full exemption for both non-profit and for-profit entities will satisfy the demands of the Constitution and common sense. In recent years, the Administration has committed unprecedented attacks against the religious freedoms guaranteed in the Constitution, all under the guise of 'access to health care.' Congress cannot ignore the relentless assault on the First Amendment right to religious freedom

Religious Liberty is under an assault

Religious Liberty is under an assault

Highlights

By Deacon Keith Fournier

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

3/11/2013 (3 years ago)

Published in Politics & Policy

Keywords: Health Care Conscience Rights Act of 2013, HR 940, Religious Liberty, Obamacare, Affordable Care Act, Conscience exemptions, Archbishop Lori, USCCB, Congresswoman Dianne Black of Tennessee, Congressman Jeff Fortenberry of Nebraska, Congressman John Fleming


WASHINGTON, DC (Catholic Online) - On March 4, 2013, HR 940, referred to as The Health Care Conscience Rights Act of 2013 was introduced by Congresswoman Dianne Black of Tennessee, Congressman Jeff Fortenberry of Nebraska and Congressman Doctor John Fleming of Louisiana. It is supported by fifty members of the US House of Representatives.  Its purpose is:  "To amend the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act to protect rights of conscience with regard to requirements for coverage of specific items and services, to amend the Public Health Service Act to prohibit certain abortion-related discrimination in governmental activities, and for other purposes." You can read the full text of the legislation here.

The three main sponsors held a press Conference on March 5, 2013. Congressman Fortenberry stated, "We have come together to act to protect Americans' most basic rights - our rights of conscience and religious freedom. The Health Care Conscience Rights Act simply restores the basic rights in health care that were widely accepted before the implementation of the new health care law. As the president said at last year's National Prayer Breakfast, we cannot leave our values at the door. This legislation will protect the time-honored tradition of respecting conscience rights in health care." Congresswoman Black stated, "Under the Obama Administration, we have seen an unprecedented growth in the size and scope of government. The administration has leveraged its expansion of government to trample on the religious freedom of private individuals, hospitals, non-profits, businesses, churches and universities - forcing many Americans to make an impossible choice: either defy your religious convictions or break the law and face financially-crippling legal penalties. As a nurse for more than 40 years, I am proud to introduce the Health Care Conscience Rights Act to protect religious freedom, disempower Obamacare, and stop the administration's assault on Americans' First Amendment rights."  Congressman Fleming stated, "As a family physician, who has treated thousands of patients during more than 30 years of practicing medicine, the integrity of the doctor-patient relationship is invaluable. Health care workers are dedicated to caring for their patients, and the religious freedom of these health care workers, and providers alike, must be protected. No individual should be forced or coerced to perform an abortion. Likewise, neither non-profit nor for-profit businesses, universities or other health care providers should be required to cover drugs that can lead to the destruction of human life. This legislation protects the First Amendment rights of the American health care community by allowing them to refuse to participate in procedures that violate their deeply held beliefs."

On February 27, 2013, thirteen women who are members of Congress supporting this legislative effort sent a letter to the leadership of the House of Representatives. They set forth several of the more egregious violations of conscience and the fundamental right to religious liberty occasioned by the Affordable care Act as applied through the now infamous HHS mandate.They wrote, "This attack on religious freedom demands immediate congressional action. Nothing short of a full exemption for both non-profit and for-profit entities will satisfy the demands of the Constitution and common sense. In recent years, the Administration has committed unprecedented attacks against the religious freedoms guaranteed in the Constitution, all under the guise of 'access to health care.' Congress cannot ignore the relentless assault on the First Amendment right to religious freedom."

They are absolutely correct! The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops strongly supports efforts to cure the threats to the fundamental right to religious freedom and freedom of conscience involved in the implementation of the Affordable Care Act as it stands. Archbishop William E. Lori of Baltimore, Maryland, a courageous champion of life, marriage, family and freedom, chairs the Bishops efforts. He welcomed the legislation in a letter which can be read in its entirety here.

The Archbishop supported the effort and commended its sponsors stating, "I am grateful to Congresswoman Black and other sponsors for their leadership today. I welcome the Health Care Conscience Rights Act and call for its swift passage into law. While federal laws are on the books protecting conscience rights in health care, this Act would make such protection truly effective. This overdue measure is especially needed in light of new challenges to conscience rights arising from the federal health care reform act." Over one hundred lawsuits have been filed by not for profit and for profit organizations, churches, mission outreaches and businesses. We urge our readers to stand in solidarity with the millions who are mobilizing around this vital defense of Religious Liberty, conscience and authentic human freedom.   This can be done by standing with a growing number of citizen coalitions which are mobilizing in this great response to defend freedom. In our opinion, there is a need for even more efforts to serve the true common good in the months ahead. We will be making an announcement after the celebration of Easter concerning our own plan to join this growing movement. The Birth Certificate of our Nation, the Declaration of Independence, affirmed the existence of inalienable rights and self evident truths. Those Rights of Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of happiness are endowed by our Creator and not conferred by a Federal Government. They cannot - they must not - be taken away by a Federal Government which fails to recognize fundamental human rights such as the Rights to Life and Religious Freedom. Religious Liberty is at the heart of the very understanding of the Right to Liberty in the Western tradition. It has long been called the first freedom for good reason. Without legislation such as the Health Care Conscience Rights Act of 2013, the HHS Mandate will require employers, including Catholic and other religious employers, to cover sterilization, abortion inducing drugs, and contraception in their health care plans or face the boot of fines and penalties. The fines and penalties will have the practical result of closing many of the Church's outreaches, ministries and institutions of care and compassion.  The HHS Mandate injures the Church and religious institutions. It injures businesses which are run by men and women of conscience. It injures American society. It harms the common good. The Federal Government of the United States is trying to force us to act against deeply held religious convictions and to violate conscience. The claim that such an edict is an unjust law is rooted in the western understanding of the nature of law itself. That is the foundation upon which the American founders grounded their insistence that there are inalienable rights, endowed upon us all by a Creator, which cannot be taken away by any civil government. It is time for citizen action. The Health Care Conscience Rights Act of 2013 has been introduced and deserves full support. 

---


Pope Francis: end world hunger through 'Prayer and Action'


Copyright 2016 - Distributed by THE CALIFORNIA NETWORK

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for May 2016
Universal:
Respect for Women: That in every country of the world, women may be honored and respected and that their essential contribution to society may be highly esteemed.
Evangelization: Holy Rosary: That families, communities, and groups may pray the Holy Rosary for evangelization and peace.



Comments


More Politics & Policy

Obama proposes shocking $1.3 billion for illegal minors entering US Watch

Image of Children illegally cross the border from Mexico into the US (Breitbart Texas Release).

By Kenya Sinclair (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

With US President Barack Obama's plans to provide $17,613 for every illegal minor child entering America, the first six months of 2016 has seen a jump of 78 percent in unaccompanied minors crossing the Mexican-American border. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - ... continue reading


Romanian hacker, 'Guccifer' drops two NEW bombshells over Clinton email server Watch

Image of Guccifer has dropped two new revelations about Clinton's email server.

By David Drudge (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Fox News has interviewed the Romanian hacker, Guccifer, who claims it was easy to hack Hillary Clinton's email server and that others did so as well. Guccifer is being held in an American jail on unrelated hacking charges, but he agreed to speak exclusively to Fox ... continue reading


Too little too late: $75.5 million anti-Trump ads not enough Watch

Image of Who can stop Trump? Apparently, no one (Twitter).

By Kenya Sinclair (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Donald Trump has several critics, most of whom have invested in a $75.5 million anti-Trump campaign, but the American people have spoken and Donald Trump remains the last standing Republican nominee. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Donald Trump has been criticized ... continue reading


Hoosier Daddy: Trump wins Indiana in a Landslide Watch

Image of With Cruz out of the race, the nomination is in the bag for Trump (starcasm).

By Kenya Sinclair (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Donald Trump beat out Ted Cruz in Indiana's primary, leading Cruz to make a startling announcement and Kasich to drop out. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - "I've said I would continue on as long as there was a viable path to victory; tonight I'm sorry to say it ... continue reading


ICE gets more money, deports fewer illegals. Where's the money going? Watch

Image of Illegal immigrants cross the border with little risk of repercussion.

By David Drudge (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Where is the money going? Congress continues to allocate money to get people who don't belong in our country back home, but deportations are dropping according to new numbers. So, where is the money going? LOS ANGELES, CA (California Network) - Breitbart News has ... continue reading


New report finds religious freedom on the decline Watch

Image of Coptic Christians are among the most persecuted group in the world, and nobody is attempting to help them.

By Marshall Connolly (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Religious freedom worldwide is "under serious and sustained assault." This finding is the work of the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCRIF). LOS ANGELES, CA (California Network) - A new report which examines religious oppression around ... continue reading


'He deserves what he gets:' Latino youths violently protest Donald Trump in Orange County Watch

Image of Trump protestors broke out in a violent riot during his Orange County rally (Reuters).

By Kenya Sinclair (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Thousands attended Donald Trump's Orange County rally - then broke out in violent protest. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The Trump rally in Costa Mesa's Orange County Amphitheater was overflowing with supporters. There were several supporters who couldn't fit ... continue reading


New White House rules leave religious groups open to government abuse Watch

Image of Religious groups question the government's new regulations (Shutterstock).

By Kevin J. Jones (CNA/EWTN News)

The Obama administration's new rule for faith-based partnerships has drawn various reactions: one observer warned they could cause problems for partnering religious groups, while another said the action also strengthens these groups' protections against government ... continue reading


EXCLUSIVE - America, King of Propaganda: U.S. government spends billions to spew LIES to the American people. And guess what you foolish Americans, Congress made it all perfectly legal without your vote Watch

Image of

By David Drudge (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Have we won the ground war in Afghanistan? According to the government reports and the media, we sure have. However, this is not what one whistleblower has said, warning as early as 2012 that the American people are being deceived by the government. LOS ANGELES, CA ... continue reading


Bill De Blasio's ongoing investigation scandal fails to stop him from new fundraising efforts Watch

Image of Mayor Bill de Blasio won't talk - but his staff will (Wikipedia).

By Kenya Sinclair (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

New York Mayor Bill de Blasio's closest aides have been issued subpoenas to aid the investigation into his shady fundraising strategies. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The scandal surrounding de Blasio's fundraising has made headlines since 2014, when a leaked ... continue reading


All Politics & Policy News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

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

Subscribe to Catholic OnlineYouTube Channel

the FEED
by Catholic Online

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Acts 1:1-11
1 In my earlier work, Theophilus, I dealt with everything Jesus had done ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 47:2-3, 6-7, 8-9
2 For Yahweh, the Most High, is glorious, the great king over all the ... Read More

Gospel, Luke 24:46-53
46 and he said to them, 'So it is written that the Christ would suffer ... Read More

Reading 2, Ephesians 1:17-23
17 May the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, give you a ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for May 5th, 2016 Image

St. Hilary of Arles
May 5: Bishop of Arles, France, and friend and relative ... Read More