Time for Citizen Action: Health Care Conscience Rights Act of 2013 Deserves Full Support
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.
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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: 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
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