Catholics Will Not Comply With New Healthcare Law
Today we intersect with current events. There is an interesting development with regard to Obamacare (the new national healthcare law coming into effect little by little over the next two years) and religion.
>Specifically, healthcare law mandates that employers provide coverage for their employees that incudes coverage for contraception and abortions.
As you can imagine, some view this as a violation of religious conscience and, therefore, practice. As such, it is a violation of the First Amendment–you know, the whole separation of church and state. The government is supposed to be barred Constitutionally from dictating how we may worship, right?
The first to take a stand? Catholics. And we should stand with them.
While the requirement doesn’t apply to houses of worship, it will force Catholic colleges, hospitals and other Christian groups to provide these drugs despite their faith-based opposition to them.
So Catholic leaders began their stand this weekend. Catholic churches across America read a letter to congregants that perfectly summarized the church’s stance against the coming federal requirements. It is posted below. It will be interesting to see how this develops.
>We need to bring attention to this issue and stand with them as people of faith.
Here’s the letter:
Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ:
I write to you concerning an alarming and serious matter that negatively impacts the Church in the United States directly, and that strikes at the fundamental right to religious liberty for all citizens of any faith. The federal government, which claims to be “of, by, and for the people,” has just been dealt a heavy blow to almost a quarter of those people — the Catholic population — and to the millions more who are served by the Catholic faithful.
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services announced last week that almost all employers,
including Catholic employers, will be forced to offer their employees’ health coverage that includes sterilization, abortion-inducing drugs, and contraception. Almost all health insurers will be forced to include those “services” in the health policies they write. And almost all individuals will be forced to buy that coverage as a part of their policies.
In so ruling, the Obama Administration has cast aside the First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States, denying to Catholics our Nation’s first and most fundamental freedom, that of religious liberty. And as a result, unless the rule is overturned, we Catholics will be compelled to either violate our consciences, or to drop health coverage for our employees (and suffer the penalties for doing so). The Obama Administration’s sole concession was to give our institutions one year to comply.
We cannot—we will not—comply with this unjust law. People of faith cannot be made second class citizens. We are already joined by our brothers and sisters of all faiths and many others of good will in this important effort to regain our religious freedom. Our parents and grandparents did not come to these shores to help build America’s cities and towns, its infrastructure and institutions, its enterprise and culture,
only to have their posterity stripped of their God given rights. In generations past, the Church has always been able to count on the faithful to stand up and protect her sacred rights and duties. I hope and trust she can count on this generation of Catholics to do the same. Our children and grandchildren deserve nothing less.
And therefore, I would ask of you two things. First, as a community of faith we must commit ourselves to prayer and fasting that wisdom and justice may prevail, and religious liberty may be restored. Without God, we can do nothing; with God, nothing is impossible. Second, I would also recommend visiting www.usccb.org/conscience,to learn more about this severe assault on religious liberty, and how to contact Congress in support of legislation that would reverse the Obama Administration’s decision.
Sincerely yours in Christ,
+Alexander K. Sample
Most Reverend Alexander K. Sample
Bishop of Marquette