The Fight for Religious Freedom! Action Required!
by Sonja Harris on February 16, 2012 at 2:02 PM
Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil, who change darkness into light, and light into darkness, who change bitter into sweet, and sweet into bitter!
As a Catholic and Christian, it is difficult for me to digest the contempt that Obama has for the Catholic Church and all Christians. Why is it that Obama has decided to crush the Church? Catholics did not choose to start this fight; it was the government who started the altercation with Roe v Wade. I hate hearing that it is not a Republican or a Democrat problem because it is. It is a cultural WAR, it is a political WAR, it is a spiritual WAR. It is the Democrats who violate our rights and it is the Republicans who make an effort to restore our rights. It was Obama who first mentioned that America was not a Christian nation. It’s not like he just decided to take away the right of Americans to worship freely as we choose. He had a plan. During his bid for the presidency, he told all who cared to listen that he wanted to ‘transform’ America. It was not a secret. He began his task by elevating weak examples of so called Catholics. It was easy for Obama to select from the wide array of Democrat Catholics who place their party before God. First he chose as his running mate, Joe Biden, who delivered the Catholic vote in 2008 by 54% to John McCain’s 45%. There were other appointees who were Catholic Democrats and Obama knew where to place them.
Then in 2009 Obama nominated Kathleen Sebelius, a Roman Catholic, to replace Tom Daschle as the Secretary of Health and Human Services. Even though there was opposition to her appointment because of her abortion stance she was confirmed in April 2009. Obama and Sebelius could not have been a better fit to promote the abortion agenda. Another tool used by the Obama Administration was Sister Carol Keehan, head of the Catholic Health Association. She stood side by side with Obama on ObamaCare. Rumor has it that Sister Keehan was privy to the information on the compromise before Obama’s announcement. How cozy is this situation that the good sister knew before the US Conference of Catholic Bishops…
Unfortunately many Catholics and non Catholics fell for the empty promises Obama offered, and voted for him. Today they might feel betrayed but it is too late. Obama is in office and doing what he promised the American people he would do, ‘transform’ America. Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi another Catholic who feels compelled to interpret the Church’s standing on the Health and Human Services Mandate says she stands with Catholics. What she does not tell you is that she is standing with the Liberal Catholics. Catholics can not continue to believe the lies that come from the Obama Administration. We must act by informing our family and friends of the true nature of Obama’s intentions, as all evidence points to this, which is to take away our religious freedom. We can not be made to act against our conscience.
Archbishop Timothy Broglio, Archbishop to the Military Services was asked to remove a sentence in his letter by Secretary of the Army John McHugh, ‘we can not – we will not – comply with this unjust law’ so that it would not be misinterpreted as ‘civil disobedience’. It was agreed that the sentence would be removed before reading to the families of the soldiers during mass. It is interesting that the Secretary of the Army McHugh, while cautiously trying to prevent ‘civil disobedience’, was blinded by the fact that the Commander in Chief saw fit to arbitrarily take our first Amendment, Freedom of Religion and Freedom of Speech, away from Americans fighting to protect our freedoms. Can any directive be more confusing than this?
As you might already know, I believe in the power of prayer but I am a firm believer in action with prayer. Christians from every denomination will begin to fast and pray so that Obama might change his mind and grant back to us our Freedom of Religion, but I say to you we cannot rest until we enter the voting booth in November and elect a Republican to office. OBAMA MUST NOT BE REELECTED! Catholics and all Christians must stand firm if we intend to keep our religious freedom. Next will be our right to bear arms…
Republican Senator Roy Blunt has introduced Senate amendment 1520, Respect for Rights of Conscience Act, to the Transportation Authorization Bill (S. 1813). Please contact your senator and ask him to support this amendment.
1. The rule that created the uproar has not changed at all, but was finalized as is. Friday evening, after a day of touting meaningful changes in the mandate, HHS issued a regulation finalizing the rule first issued in August 2011, “without change.” So religious employers dedicated to serving people of other faiths are still not exempt as “religious employers.” Indeed, the rule describes them as “non-exempt.”
2. The rule leaves open the possibility that even exempt “religious employers” will be forced to cover sterilization. In its August 2011 comments, USCCB warned that the narrow “religious employer” exemption appeared to provide no relief from the sterilization mandate—only the contraception mandate—and specifically sought clarification. (We also noted that a sterilization mandate exists in only one state, Vermont.) HHS provided no clarification, so the risk remains under the unchanged final rule.
3. The new “accommodation” is not a current rule, but a promise that comes due beyond the point of public accountability. Also on Friday evening, HHS issued regulations describing the intention to develop more regulations that would apply the same mandate differently to “non-exempt, non-profit religious organizations”—the charities, schools, and hospitals that are still left out of the “religious employer” exemption. These policies will be developed over a one-year delay in enforcement, so if they turn out badly, their impact will not be felt until August 2013, well after the election.
4. Even if the promises of “accommodation” are fulfilled entirely, religious charities, schools, and hospitals will still be forced to violate their beliefs. If an employee of these second-class-citizen religious institutions wants coverage of contraception or sterilization, the objecting employer is still forced to pay for it as a part of the employer’s insurance plan. There can be no additional cost to that employee, and the coverage is not a separate policy. By process of elimination, the funds to pay for that coverage must come from the premiums of the employer and fellow employees, even those who object in conscience.
5. The “accommodation” does not even purport to help objecting insurers, for-profit religious employers, secular employers, or individuals. In its August 2011 comments, and many times since, USCCB identified all the stakeholders in the process whose religious freedom is threatened—all employers, insurers, and individuals, not just religious employers. Friday’s actions emphasize that all insurers, including self-insurers, must provide the coverage to any employee who wants it. In turn, all individuals who pay premiums have no escape from subsidizing that coverage. And only employers that are both non-profit and religious may qualify for the “accommodation.”
6. Beware of claims, especially by partisans, that the bishops are partisan. The bishops and their staff read regulations before evaluating them. The bishops did not pick this fight in an election year—others did. Bishops form their positions based on principles—here, religious liberty for all, and the life and dignity of every human person—not polls, personalities, or political parties. Bishops are duty bound to proclaim these principles, in and out of season.
Nancy Pelosi HHS Mandate
CLICK to view video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=miPg7wZJ8mE
A statement by U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius
ADDRESS OF HIS HOLINESS BENEDICT XVI TO THE BISHOPS OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA ON THEIR "AD LIMINA" VISIT EXCERPT: it is imperative that the entire Catholic community in the United States come to realize the grave threats to the Church’s public moral witness presented by a radical secularism which finds increasing expression in the political and cultural spheres. The seriousness of these threats needs to be clearly appreciated at every level of ecclesial life. Of particular concern are certain attempts being made to limit that most cherished of American freedoms, the freedom of religion. http://www.vatican.va/holy_father/benedict_xvi/speeches/2012/january/documents/hf_ben-xvi_spe_20120119_bishops-usa_en.html
What: Faith and Freedom 1st Rally
When: Saturday, February 18th, 2012
Where: Main Plaza, downtown San Antonio (San Fernando Cathedral plaza)
Time: 12 Noon to 1:30 pm
ASK YOUR SENATOR TO SUPPORT
Respect for Rights of Conscience Act
Senate Amendment 1520 to the Transportation Authorization Bill (S. 1813).
Sen. Roy Blunt (R-MO) is the prime sponsor of both the Respect for Rights of Conscience Act and its amendment version.
Support Senate Amendment 1520 to the Transportation Authorization Bill (S. 1813).
THE BATTLE BEGINS AT HOME!
US SENATORS: http://www.senate.gov/general/contact_information/senators_cfm.cfm US CONGRESSMEN: http://www.house.gov/representatives/
SENATOR JOHN CORNYN 202 224 2934
SENATOR KAY BAILEY HUTCHISON 202 224 5922