Tuesday, March 27, 2012

One Reason Why the HHS Mandate is Bad for ALL Americans

The HHS Mandate certainly has been in the spotlight lately.  The Catholic Church is doing what she can to fight it.

Many people mistakenly believe all the resistance to this mandate is due to the Catholic Church and her stance on contraception.  Now, I am a Catholic and I do stand with the Church.  However, even if I were an atheist or if I had zero objections to contraception I would still be siding with the Catholic Church on this one.  


Because this mandate clearly goes against the Freedom of Religion, which as an American I hold dear.  It is clearly trying to force a religious organization (the Catholic Church) to act in a manner opposed to its belief (paying for abortions/contraception).  This is a serious issue for all Americans, not just the Catholics.  

If you need a refresher, the First Amendment states:

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof . . .

But the President said there are exemptions, right?  So the Catholics are excluded if need be, right?  Yeah . . . The so called "exemptions" are so limited that Catholic schools, Catholic hospitals, Catholic charities, etc would be subject to participate.  Individuals in the general workforce would also be forced to comply with something in violation of their beliefs.  It isn't much of an exemption if most Catholics would still be forced to comply, is it?  In talking about this "exclusion" Charles Kadlek, contributor to Forbes, states: 
The insurance company will be required to offer the service, but will be forbidden from explicitly billing the Catholic organization for providing this benefit . . . the Church is still being forced to support what it believes are sinful acts. This “equitable solution” is simply an attempt to soften the blow of forcing the Catholic Church to accommodate the dictates of the . . . federal government.

My question to you is simple, how is my "being forced to support . . . sinful acts" not prohibiting my free exercise of religion?  Also it is worth noting that the above author also says:
I am not a Catholic, nor do I believe in the Church’s opposition to contraception. But I pray that the leadership of the Catholic Church will have the faith and courage to stand for its core beliefs and use all of its moral power and political influence to defeat the President’s edict. I pray they will reach out across the political spectrum to people of all faiths, agnostics and atheists in the name of religious freedom and individual liberty. By so doing, they, and the institution of the Catholic Church, will have my love and respect for the rest of my life.

My opposition to this mandate does not mean that I am trying to force other people to follow the my set of rules.  Richard W. Garnett recently had an article in USA TODAY, in which he made the following point:

The burdens on religious freedom and diversity imposed by the mandate have been obscured by several widespread mistakes and misconceptions. First, it is said by some that those who resist the mandate — the Catholic bishops make particularly appealing villains in this account — are trying to "impose their morality" on employees, or to "deny access" to items and services to which most people — indeed, many Catholics — have no objection. This charge is false. Religious institutions are not trying to control what their employees buy, use, or do in private; they are trying to avoid being conscripted by the government into paying for what they teach are immoral acts. It is the administration, and not the Catholic Church, that is imposing its values on the vulnerable and unpopular.

This is an important issue--for all Americans, no matter what their religious affiliation happens to be.  I am a Catholic American Woman, but I speak for men and women of all religions and non-religion.  

There is much at stake.

Stop the HHS Mandate--Sign the Petition

Further Food For Thought:
Six Things Everyone Should Know about the HHS Mandate

Timothy Dolan: HHS contraception mandate 'un-American'

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