Tag Archives: Religious Freedom

Religious Freedom

“Obamacare won’t just ruin health care.  It is also a cultural bulldozer.  Before the law is even fully in effect, Health and Human Services bureaucrats have begun wielding their sweeping new powers to assault freedom of religion in the name of their preferred social order.”  Wesley J. Smith, The Weekly Standard, October 29, 2012, p. 20

“The promulgation of the free birth control rule indicates the regulatory road ahead.  The government now requires every covered employer to provide health insurance that offers birth control and sterilization surgeries free of charge—even if such drugs and procedures violate the religious beliefs of the employer.”  Ibid

The other consequences of Obamacare.

THE WEEKLY STANDARD • OCT 29, 2012, VOL. 18, NO. 07 • BY WESLEY J. SMITH

Obamacare won’t just ruin health care. It is also a cultural bulldozer. Before the law is even fully in effect, Health and Human Services bureaucrats have begun wielding their sweeping new powers to assault freedom of religion in the name of their preferred social order.

Protesting against Obamacare in New York, March 23, 2012 The promulgation of the free birth control rule indicates the regulatory road ahead. The government now requires every covered employer to provide health insurance that offers birth control and sterilization surgeries free of charge—even if such drugs and procedures violate the religious beliefs of the employer. Only houses of worship and monastic communities are exempt. Religious institutions have until August 1, 2013, to comply.

The lawsuits are flying. In August, the Catholic owners of Hercules Industries, a Colorado air conditioning and heating manufacturer, won a preliminary injunction against enforcement of the free birth control rule against their company (Newland v. Sebelius). The case hinges on the meaning of the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA), enacted in 1993 to remedy a Supreme Court decision allowing federal drug laws of “general applicability” to supersede Native American religious ceremonies in which peyote is used. Since many laws not aimed at stifling a specific faith can be construed to do so, the threat to religious liberty was clear. A Democratic Congress passed, and President Clinton signed, RFRA.  Continue reading

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