Loading
Obama using state coercion against religious, Rep. Smith charges
Rep. Chris Smith
Rep. Chris Smith

.- President Barack Obama’s decision to require religious employers to provide insurance coverage for contraception and sterilization is an “unconscionable” violation of religious freedom, Rep. Chris Smith (R-N.J.) says.

“President Obama is using the coercive power of the state to force people of faith and people of conscience to violate a fundamental conviction or suffer severe penalty,” Rep. Smith said Feb. 9.

“By coercing all health insurers including faith-based institutions to pay for all means of preventive programs including subsidizing abortifacients like Ella and Plan B, President Obama demonstrates a reckless disregard for conscience rights,” he stated.

“Everyone must comply regardless of moral convictions or religious tenets simply because Obama says so.”

The Department of Health and Human Services mandate will require many Catholic health care providers, educational institutions and charities to provide employees with no-co-pay insurance coverage for sterilization and contraception.

The narrow religious exemption for the mandate is narrow and does not cover many religious institutions.

The Catholic media network EWTN has filed lawsuit against the rule. Network president and CEO Michael Warsaw said the rule forces EWTN to use donations to pay for objectionable coverage and to tell employees how to obtain the drugs or procedures.

Failure to provide the mandated insurance policies means the network could face fines of over $600,000 annually. The HHS department will assess a fine of $2,000 per employee on an annual basis.
 
Rep. Smith charged that President Obama’s attitude on conscience fits “a dangerous emerging pattern.”

He cited the withdrawal of a federal grant to a U.S. bishops’ conference program that helps victims of human trafficking because the conference would not refer for abortions.

“If Obama’s attack on conscience rights isn’t reversed, faith-based employers will be discriminated against and fined, and employees who today benefit from health insurance plans provided by their faith-based employer will be dumped into government health exchanges,” he said.

The congressman said that Republican House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) has made religious freedom protection a “high priority.” Boehner announced on Feb. 8 that fellow congressman Fred Upton (R-Mich.) was preparing legislation to repeal the mandate.

While there have been rumors of a compromise on the mandate, Bishop William E. Lori of Bridgeport,Conn. told CNA in a Feb. 8 statement that no one from the Obama administration has approached theU.S. bishops’ conference for discussion.

Bishop Lori, chair of the bishops’ committee for religious liberty, said “the only acceptable solution” is for the administration to rescind “completely” the mandate to cover abortion-inducing drugs, sterilization and contraception.


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

New book 'The Vatican unknown'
New book 'The Vatican unknown'
A Look at India from Rome
3D Church mapping
#PAUSEforPeace Initiative
Dedicating art to San Juan de la Cruz
A state without territory elects new government
The renewal of the Legionaries of Christ
Presentation of the book "The Pastor"
Synod on the Family October 2014
Preferential option for the poor
God is alive, even in sport
'A forbidden God' named Best Film at the International Catholic Film Festival
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.
Aug
2

Liturgical Calendar

August 2, 2014

Saturday of the Seventeenth Week in Ordinary Time

All readings:
Today »
This year »

Catholic Daily

Gospel of the Day

Mt 14:1-12

Gospel
Date
08/02/14
08/01/14
07/31/14

Daily Readings


First Reading:: Jer 26: 11-16, 24
Gospel:: Mt 14: 1-12

Homily of the Day

Mt 14:1-12

Homily
Date
08/02/14
07/31/14
07/30/14

Ads by AdsLiveMedia.com

Ads by AdsLiveMedia.com
     HTML
Text only
Headlines
  

Follow us: