Wake up! The Obama Administration and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services have launched a massive effort to mandate that all Americans pay for contraception, sterilization and abortion-causing drugs. Why? What dreaded disease in women’s health does this mandate protect us from? The Pill, the day after pill, the abortion pill and sterilization don’t protect women from AIDS or other sexually transmitted diseases. So what dreaded disease are the Obama Administration and the HHS trying to save us from? Oh yeah! It must be the dreaded disease of pregnancy. But wait, why is this mandate such a big deal? Well, I’ll tell you. It doesn’t matter how many good Catholic women or women of other religions use contraception, the Catholic Church is pro-life in their teachings and principles and shouldn’t have to provide or pay for it. Not for any of their employees working at any Catholic run institution or employees of any religious organization. We shouldn’t have to pay for any of theses services with our tax dollars either. I paid for my own and would never have asked someone else to cover the cost for my choices, and generally speaking, using any of these services are choices, not necessities.
Wake up! This is NOT about women’s health or some obscure war on women. This is about the Federal Government telling protected organizations what they can and can’t do.
Wake up! If they can do this to Catholics and other organizations of conscience today, then who will they boss around tomorrow? This is another in the series of slippery slopes toward the loss of our rights as Americans.
Once again I say, wake up! There was a mandate released last month that will violate our civil liberties and free exercise of religion by forcing every American and every U.S. employer, regardless of religion or conscience, to pay for abortion-causing drugs, like Ella, in health insurance plans.
“The Con” – a video presented by AUL:
Can you believe that two weeks ago, Secretary for the Health and Human Services Department, Kathleen Sebelius, admitted during a Congressional hearing that this Mandate is needed because, “reducing pregnancies will cut health care costs”? Are you kidding me? That’s insane. Contraceptives are available now on the cheap and some free and pregnancies have not gone down at all. Personally, I think these progressives are the racists because they think poor black and Hispanic women can’t get birth control unless it’s free.
Wake up! This mandate, due to take effect this summer, will violate the very principles our nation was founded on – your freedom of religion and conscience! Maybe you don’t think so. Let me give you an example of the administration picking and choosing which freedoms different religions can have.
The Northern Arapaho Tribe in Wyoming filed a federal lawsuit last year contending the refusal to issue permits for killing bald eagles violates tribal members’ religious freedom. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has taken the unusual step of issuing a permit allowing an American Indian tribe to kill two bald eagles for religious purposes. Federal law prohibits the killing of bald eagles, the national bird, in almost all cases. The government keeps eagle feathers and body parts in a federal repository and tribal members can apply for them for use in religious ceremonies. The lawyer for the tribe revealed in a legal filing this week that the federal agency had issued the permit on Friday. The report states that the federal permit will allow the Northern Arapaho to kill up to two bald eagles off the reservation.
Now, I don’t have any problem with Native Americans killing bald eagles for their religious ceremonies. What I do have a problem with is the government picking and choosing which religion is deserving of exceptions to federal laws. It’s okay for the Arapaho Tribe to have an exemption from the law, but not the Catholics or other Christian religions.
Wake up! If the president has the authority to violate our constitutional rights in this way, what else can he do? This time President Obama is targeting Catholics and pro-lifers, but next time he could target a group that you or I belong to.
If this mandate stands, then what limit will be put on the government as far as controlling our lives?
Roman Catholic Bishop William E. Lori of Bridgeport, Conn., testified before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee on Feb. 16, 2012. In his testimony he used an analogy to explain the Catholic Church’s argument against the contraception mandate. He submitted a statement in his written testimony called “The Parable of the Kosher Deli”.
According to CNSNews:
The bishop’s “parable” was not reported in the establishment press. Fox News did quote one line from it, as did ABC–not the ABC here in the United States, but the Australian Broadcasting Company.Bishop Lori’s parable, according to a Lexis-Nexis search of English-language news sources, was not reported in The New York Times, The Washington Post, or in any other major English-language newspaper.
I’ve included a copy of the Bishop’s testimony in full from CNSNews:
“THE PARABLE OF THE KOSHER DELI”Written Testimony of The Most Reverend William E. LoriRoman Catholic Bishop of Bridgeport, Conn.
For my testimony today, I would like to tell a story. Let’s call it, “The Parable of the Kosher Deli.”
Once upon a time, a new law is proposed, so that any business that serves food must serve pork. There is a narrow exception for kosher catering halls attached to synagogues, since they serve mostly members of that synagogue, but kosher delicatessens are still subject to the mandate.
The Orthodox Jewish community—whose members run kosher delis and many other restaurants and grocers besides—expresses its outrage at the new government mandate. And they are joined by others who have no problem eating pork—not just the many Jews who eat pork, but people of all faiths—because these others recognize the threat to the principle of religious liberty. They recognize as well the practical impact of the damage to that principle. They know that, if the mandate stands, they might be the next ones forced—under threat of severe government sanction—to violate their most deeply held beliefs, especially their unpopular beliefs.
Meanwhile, those who support the mandate respond, “But pork is good for you. It is, after all, the other white meat.” Other supporters add, “So many Jews eat pork, and those who don’t should just get with the times.”
Still others say, “Those Orthodox are just trying to impose their beliefs on everyone else.”
But in our hypothetical, those arguments fail in the public debate, because people widely recognize the following.
First, although people may reasonably debate whether pork is good for you, that’s not the question posed by the nationwide pork mandate. Instead, the mandate generates the question whether people who believe—even if they believe in error—that pork is not good for you, should be forced by government to serve pork within their very own institutions. In a nation committed to religious liberty and diversity, the answer, of course, is no.
Second, the fact that some (or even most) Jews eat pork is simply irrelevant. The fact remains that some Jews do not—and they do not out of their most deeply held religious convictions.
Does the fact that large majorities in society—even large majorities within the protesting religious community—reject a particular religious belief make it permissible for the government to weigh in on one side of that dispute? Does it allow government to punish that minority belief with its coercive power? In a nation committed to religious liberty and diversity, the answer, of course, is no.
Third, the charge that the Orthodox Jews are imposing their beliefs on others has it exactly backwards. Again, the question generated by a government mandate is whether the government will impose its belief that eating pork is good on objecting Orthodox Jews.
Meanwhile, there is no imposition at all on the freedom of those who want to eat pork. That is, they are subject to no government interference at all in their choice to eat pork, and pork is ubiquitous and cheap, available at the overwhelming majority of restaurants and grocers.
Indeed, some pork producers and retailers, and even the government itself, are so eager to promote the eating of pork, that they sometimes give pork away for free.
In this context, the question is this: can a customer come to a kosher deli, demand to be served a ham sandwich, and if refused, bring down severe government sanction on the deli. In a nation committed to religious liberty and diversity, the answer, of course, is no.
So in our hypothetical story, because the hypothetical nation is indeed committed to religious liberty and diversity, these arguments carry the day.
In response, those proposing the new law claim to hear and understand the concerns of kosher deli owners, and offer them a new “accommodation.” You are free to call yourself a kosher deli; you are free not to place ham sandwiches on your menu; you are free not to be the person to prepare the sandwich and hand it over the counter to the customer. But we will force your meat supplier to set up a kiosk on your premises, and to offer, prepare, and serve ham sandwiches to all of your customers, free of charge to them. And when you get your monthly bill from your meat supplier, it will include the cost of any of the “free” ham sandwiches that your customers may accept. And you will, of course, be required to pay that bill.
Some who supported the deli owners initially began to celebrate the fact that ham sandwiches didn’t need to be on the menu, and didn’t need to be prepared or served by the deli itself. But on closer examination, they noticed three troubling things. First, all kosher delis will still be forced to pay for the ham sandwiches.
Second, many of the kosher delis’ meat suppliers, themselves, are forbidden in conscience from offering, preparing, or serving pork to anyone. Third, there are many kosher delis that are their own meat supplier, so the mandate to offer, prepare, and serve the ham sandwich still falls on them.
This story has a happy ending. The government recognized that it is absurd for someone to come into a kosher deli and demand a ham sandwich; that it is beyond absurd for that private demand to be backed with the coercive power of the state; that it is downright surreal to apply this coercive power when the customer can get the same sandwich cheaply, or even free, just a few doors down.
The question before the United States government—right now—is whether the story of our own Church institutions that serve the public, and that are threatened by the HHS mandate, will end happily too. Will our nation continue to be one committed to religious liberty and diversity? We urge, in the strongest possible terms, that the answer must be yes. We urge you, in the strongest possible terms, to answer the same way.
Thank you for your attention.
To see the video of the Bishop’s testimony, please go to CNSNews.
All I can say is boy I love, love, love the idea of politicians telling me what it’s okay to believe. I mean wow! If only the founding fathers hadn’t worked so hard at breaking us away from that pesky king.
I saw a link for a great article about this on Facebook (h/t Denise) and I had to share it with others. Mark Steyn’s comparison to The Church of England is great. (highlights are mine)
[…]The church model the young American state wished to separate from was that of the British monarch, who remains to this day supreme governor of the Church of England. This convenient arrangement dates from the 1534 Act of Supremacy. The title of the law gives you the general upshot, but, just in case you’re a bit slow on the uptake, the text proclaims “the King’s Majesty justly and rightfully is and ought to be the supreme head of the Church of England.” That’s to say, the sovereign is “the only supreme head on earth of the Church” and he shall enjoy “all honors, dignities, pre-eminences, jurisdictions, privileges, authorities, immunities, profits, and commodities to the said dignity,” not to mention His Majesty “shall have full power and authority from time to time to visit, repress, redress, record, order, correct, restrain, and amend all such errors, heresies, abuses, offenses, contempts, and enormities, whatsoever they be.”
Welcome to Obamacare.
The president of the United States has decided to go Henry VIII on the Church’s medieval ass. Whatever religious institutions might profess to believe in the matter of “women’s health,” their pre-eminences, jurisdictions, privileges, authorities, and immunities are now subordinate to a one-and-only supreme head on earth determined to repress, redress, restrain, and amend their heresies. One wouldn’t wish to overextend the analogy: For one thing, the Catholic Church in America has been pathetically accommodating of Beltway bigwigs’ ravenous appetite for marital annulments in a way that Pope Clement VII was disinclined to be vis-à-vis the English king and Catherine of Aragon. But where’d all the pandering get them? In essence President Obama has embarked on the same usurpation of church authority as Henry VIII: As his Friday morning faux-compromise confirms, the continued existence of a “faith-based institution” depends on submission to the doctrinal supremacy of the state.