Loading
Judge grants HHS mandate injunction to Bible publisher
Tyndale House employees at a company meeting. Credit: Tyndale House Publishers.
Tyndale House employees at a company meeting. Credit: Tyndale House Publishers.

.- A federal court has granted an injunction protecting Protestant Christian Bible publisher Tyndale House Publishers from the Department of Health and Human Services mandate that requires it to provide insurance coverage for abortion-causing contraceptives.

U.S. District Judge Reggie Walton said Nov. 16 that the mandate “affirmatively compels the plaintiffs to violate their religious beliefs in order to comply with the law and avoid the sanctions that would be imposed for their noncompliance.”

The judge, an appointee of George W. Bush for the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, said the government has not proven that mandating Tyndale provide the coverage furthers the government’s compelling interests in promoting public health.

“First Amendment rights are among the most precious rights guaranteed under the Constitution,” his decision said.

The Carol Stream, Ill.-based company has 260 full-time employees. It is the largest privately held Christian publisher of books, Bibles and digital media in the world. The 50-year-old business directs over 95 percent of its profits to religious non-profit causes.

The company provides its employees with some coverage for contraception, but objects to requirements that it provide drugs that may cause abortions.

The D.C.-based legal group Alliance Defending Freedom is representing the company and its president and chief executive Mark D. Taylor.

“Bible publishers should be free to do business according to the book that they publish,” the group’s senior legal counsel Matt Bowman said Nov. 16. “The court has done the right thing in halting the mandate while our lawsuit moves forward.”

The Obama administration opposed the injunction on the grounds that the publisher does not meet its religious exemption qualifications. That exemption applies only to non-profit organizations that primarily employ and serve people of their own religion, and that have instilling religious values as their primary purpose.

“For the government to say that a Bible publisher is not religious is startling,” Bowman said. “It demonstrates how clearly the Obama administration is willing to disregard the Constitution’s protection of religious freedom to achieve certain political purposes.”

The court’s opinion said that Christian principles, prayer and activities are “pervasive” at Tyndale and its ownership structure is “designed to ensure that it never strays from its faith-oriented mission.”

It noted that the company’s primary owner is the non-profit Tyndale House Foundation.

Legal challenges against the mandate are proceeding in federal courts across the country. There are at least 40 cases with over 110 plaintiffs, including Catholic dioceses, charities, universities, and health care systems. Several Protestant colleges and other businesses have also filed suit.

The suits contend that the mandate violates the U.S. Constitution and federal religious freedom protection laws.

While the Obama administration has proposed a broader religious accommodation, its details and acceptability to objectors are still unclear. The Obama administration has also fought against proposed legislation to broaden the religious exemption and President Obama’s re-election campaign attacked his Republican rival Mitt Romney for supporting the proposed exemptions.

Tags: Contraception mandate, Religious freedom, Obama Administration


Ads by AdsLiveMedia(What's this?)

* The number of messages that can be online is limited. CNA reserves the right to edit messages for content and tone. Comments and opinions expressed by users do not necessarily reflect the opinions or beliefs of CNA. CNA will not publish comments with abusive language, insults or links to other pages

RESOURCES »

Ads by Google (What's this?)

Featured Videos

Vatican backs a 'Pause for Peace' during World Cup final
Vatican backs a 'Pause for Peace' during World Cup final
The effects of religious violence in Sarajevo 
The origin of Corpus Christi 
Corpus Christi at the Vatican 
Homage to an Indian Cardinal
Train of the Child's Light
New book explaining gestures of the Mass
Encounter between Pope Francis and the Charismatic Renewal in the Spirit Movement.
Religious tensions subside amid Balkan floods
John Paul II Center for Studies on Marriage and Family
Saint John Paul II on cartoon
Syrian Christian refugees
Papal Foundation Pilgrimage
Exorcism or prayer of liberation?
First meeting of Commission for Protection of Minors
Paintings of Saint John Paul II and Saint John XXIII
Pope Francis opens papal summer residence to the public for the first time in History
Russian prison chaplain witnesses stories of conversion, hope
Testimonies from two people who met two Pope Saints at the papal summer residence
Manoppello's Face of Christ
Jul
14

Liturgical Calendar

July 14, 2014

Saint Kateri Tekakwitha, Virgin

All readings:
Today »
This year »

Catholic Daily

Gospel of the Day

Mt 10:34-11:1

Gospel
Date
07/14/14
07/13/14
07/12/14

Daily Readings


First Reading:: Is 1: 10-17

Saint of the Day

Blessed Kateri Tekakwitha »

Saint
Date
07/13/14

Homily of the Day

Mt 10:34-11:1

Homily
Date
07/14/14
07/13/14
07/12/14

Ads by AdsLiveMedia.com

Ads by AdsLiveMedia.com
     HTML
Text only
Headlines
  

Follow us: