Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Do we still have religious freedom in America?

The Obama Administration has made Obamacare even more oppressive with its latest U.S. Department of Health and Human Services guidelines requiring insurance coverage of women's preventive health services that include a full range of reproductive health services, including all approved methods of contraception.

Up until this ruling, faith-based healthcare insurers and providers were exempt from being forced to cover or provide services that go against their religious beliefs. But HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said, "After evaluating comments, we have decided to add an additional element to the final rule. Nonprofit employers who, based on religious beliefs, do not currently provide contraceptive coverage in their insurance plan, will be provided an additional year, until August 1, 2013, to comply with the new law. Employers wishing to take advantage of the additional year must certify that they qualify for the delayed implementation."

In other words, Catholic and other religious institutions have a year to accept that they will be forced to violate the very tenets of their faith in order to obey a government ruling that's based on public officials' own ideology. That is, if they can convince the government that they are indeed a religious institution. Congratulations to the Obama Administration: It is now fully in charge of deciding what constitutes religion.

Does this Administration forget - or just reject - the First Amendment's guarantee of religious liberty without government interference? Does it have no regard for an individual's right to live moral codes and religious beliefs that are in keeping with his own conscience, as long as those beliefs bring no harm to others?

Forcing someone to go along with something considered to be personally morally wrong violates our freedom of conscience and the Constitution. It's one thing for government policy to dictate measures designed to prevent harm, such as safety codes, but forcing people to partake in actions they believe cause harm - whether physically or spiritually? That's unconscionable.

As for those who are in full support of contraception - and the "full range" of reproductive measures like abortion and sterilization -- don't be lulled into thinking it's okay the government is doing this, just because you're not personally opposed to the actions in question. The problem here is a government so out of control that it's imposing its will at the expense of our Constitutional rights. That is something every American should oppose.

View the full column in The Source.

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  1. Obamacare needs to be repealed.

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