The recent ruling, concerning the Catholic Church and contraception, reinforces the evidence that President Obama is attacking religious liberties. Prior to this ruling the administration adopted a new phrase that is supposed to sum up our constitutional religious freedoms by saying the people of the United States have the freedom to worship.This is not what the constitution says. Freedom to worship is an effort to privatize all religious practice and remove all vestiges of religious symbols and practice from the public square. The first amendment of the constitution reads: Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances. Notice this amendment only limits government from forcing their will upon the people. It supports our personal freedom of religious expression public and private. This political move by the current administration, to frame it as freedom to worship, is an attempt to limit our religious liberties, without violating our first amendment rights. It is a veiled attack on all religious expressions.
Currently, we are witnessing an attack against the Catholic Church by the Obama Administration. I believe this ruling on contraception and insurance is just one example of what is going to happen to any and all religious beliefs in the future if we reelect President Obama. The following are highlights of a recent post by Chuck Colson concerning this ruling.
The Time is Nowby Chuck Colson
As you know by now, Obama Administration has refused to grant religious organizations an exemption from purchasing health insurance that covers abortion-inducing drugs, surgical sterilization, and contraception.
The Catholic bishops responded quickly, decrying the Administration’s decision for what it is — an egregious, dangerous violation of religious liberty. And folks, we evangelicals must stand with them. While all of us may not share the Catholic view of contraception, all true Christians believe that the taking of human life in utero, whether surgically or by abortifacient drugs, violates the basic human right to life.
Many bishops have already declared that they will not obey this unjust law. The penalty for such a move would be severe. Catholic hospitals, universities, and other organizations would be forced to pay punitive fines ($2,000 per employee) for refusing to purchase insurance that violates the teachings of their church.
But Catholic institutions aren’t the only ones affected by this mandate. Prison Fellowship, for example, which employs 180 people, could not morally purchase insurance for its employees that covers abortifacients. Nor could we afford the fines we would incur.
For some faith-based institutions, it would spell the end of their existence — and their far-reaching service to the public and to the needy. As Mike Gerson pointed out in his excellent Washington Post op-ed on Tuesday, it’s crazy that the government would drive charities like the Salvation Army and other Christian groups out of business. The government simply can’t afford to replace the services they provide — such as “homeless shelters, food banks, health care, welfare-to-work, prisoner re-entry programs” and much more.
I am not a member of the Catholic Church. However, this issue is one of religious freedom and not about one particular church. Decisions like this are a great threat to all religious liberty. German pastor Martin Niemoeller, reflecting on the Nazi terror, said this:
First they came for the Socialists, and I
did not speak out — Because I was not a Socialist.
Then they came for the Trade Unionists,
and I did not speak out — Because I was not a Trade Unionist.
Then they came for the Jews, and I did
not speak out — Because I was not a Jew.
Then they came for me — and there was
no one left to speak for me.
We must stand in support of our Catholic brothers and sisters on this issue. I encourage you to read and sign the petition prepared by the Becket Fund. I am open to other ways to fight this injustice. Please email me your suggestions by your comments.