|The Holy Father with Ambassador Glendon|
No other than former US Ambassador to the Holy See, Prof. Mary Ann Glendon wrote this article and explained the position of the Church in the USA.
This week Catholic bishops are heading to federal courts across the country to defend religious liberty. On Monday they filed 12 lawsuits on behalf of a diverse group of 43 Catholic entities that are challenging the Department of Health and Human Services' (HHS) sterilization, abortifacient and birth-control insurance mandate. [We will see the same action once RH becomes a law, if it becomes a law.]
Like most Americans, the bishops have long taken for granted the religious freedom that has enabled this nation's diverse religions to flourish in relative harmony. [Wake up call for modernists Vatican II promoters who love dialogue and tolerance, at the expense of our SILENCE and ACCOMMODATION for what is against our morals and Faith.] But over the past year they have become increasingly concerned about the erosion of conscience protections for church-related individuals and institutions. [Thanks for sleeping on the job!] Their top-rated program for assistance to human trafficking victims was denied funding for refusing to provide "the full range of reproductive services," including abortion. For a time, Catholic Relief Services faced a similar threat to its international relief programs. The bishops fear religious liberty is becoming a second-class right. [It is including Americanism worshiping Filipinos.]
Along with leaders of other faiths who have conscientious objections to all or part of the mandate, they hoped to persuade the government to bring its regulations into line with the First Amendment, and with federal laws such as the Religious Freedom Restoration Act [This will be the next target of the Obama Administration once the demon in the flesh gets reelected.] that provide exemptions to protect the conscience rights of religious institutions and individuals.
On Jan. 20, however, HHS announced it would not revise the mandate or expand its tight exemption, which covers only religious organizations that mainly hire and serve their co-religionists. Instead, the mandated coverage will continue to apply to hospitals, schools and social service providers run by groups whose religious beliefs require them to serve everyone in need. [And the HHS was crafted by a liberal feminist Catholic who thinks she can craft her own dogmas! Oh, sorry. Happens to every Choose-Your-Own...Smorgasbord Catholic.]
Continued attempts to solve the problem by negotiation produced only an announcement by the Obama administration in February that insurance providers would pay for the contested services. Since many Catholic entities are self-insured and the others pay the premiums, the bishops' concerns were not alleviated.
Protesters rally against the HHS mandate in front of Independence Hall in Philadelphia on March 23.
The main goal of the mandate is not, as HHS claimed, to protect women's health. [Like the RH Bill!] It is rather a move to conscript religious organizations into a political agenda, forcing them to facilitate and fund services that violate their beliefs, within their own institutions. [The mandate forces its beliefs on Catholics, like RH. Ironically, this is the charge that pro-RH politicians charge those against RH!]
The media have implied all along that the dispute is mainly of concern to a Catholic minority with peculiar views about human sexuality. But religious leaders of all faiths have been quick to see that what is involved is a flagrant violation of religious freedom. That's why former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, a Baptist minister, declared, "We're all Catholics now." [And the media's silence on the issue is deafening! They did not even bother to cover this news of the filing of the suit against the Obama Administration! See the bias the US media and the current White House has against the Obama Adminsitration?]
More is at stake here than the mission of all churches, including the Catholic Church, to provide social services like health care and education to everyone regardless of creed, and to do so without compromising their beliefs. [And which church in the US operates more hospitals and schools? Yup, the Catholic Church, which those damn atheists love to attack. Incidentally, the atheists cannot claim a school or hospital operating on charity! So who is the hypocrite now!] At the deepest level, we are witnessing an attack on the institutions of civil society that are essential to limited government and are important buffers between the citizen and the all-powerful state.
If religious providers of education, health care and social services are closed down or forced to become tools of administration policy, the government consolidates a monopoly over those essential services. As Cardinal Timothy Dolan, president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, put it, we are witnessing an effort to reduce religion to a private activity. [the line seem familiar to you? "Hey, the Church has no business what my partner and I do inside our bedroom!" Right! The RH people use this too. And this is the same tactic they are using in the USA.] "Never before," he said, "have we faced this kind of challenge to our ability to engage in the public square as people of faith." [It takes a storm to rock the Bark of Peter and for those in the boat to wake up and call upon the Lord!]
With this week's lawsuits, the bishops join a growing army of other plaintiffs around the country, Catholic and non-Catholic, who are asking the courts to repel an unprecedented governmental assault on the ability of religious persons and groups to practice their religion without being forced to violate their deepest moral convictions.
Religious freedom is subject to necessary limitations in the interests of public health and safety. The HHS regulations do not fall into that category. The world has gotten along fine without this mandate—the services in question are widely and cheaply available, and most employers will provide coverage for them.
But if the regulations are not reversed, they threaten to demote religious liberty from its prominent place among this country's most cherished freedoms. That is why Cardinal Dolan told CBS's "Face the Nation" on April 8: "We didn't ask for this fight, but we won't back away from it."
Ms. Glendon is professor at Harvard Law School.
Obama in the USA and the pro-RH politicians here had it coming.