The HHS Mandate to force Catholic institutions to pay for sterilizations/abortion inducing drugs/contraception is a freedom of religion issue. The bishops have vehemently and forcefully said we WILL NOT COMPLY. This will mean that the institutions will have to drop healthcare coverage for all employees and face a stiff penalty for not following this unjust law. The Obama administration is deliberately doing this to weaken the Church and cut it out of health care. The fact that he is willing to do this in an election year means he thinks he can get away with it – mostly because it is about contraception. He thinks Catholics will capitulate and this shores up his base voters. But this is a strong attack on religion and it is only the start. If this is allowed to continue, other beliefs of religious people will be under attack if the elite in the gov’t do not agree with it. Other freedoms are at stake if we don’t stop this now.
As the head of Catholic Charities USA observed,
“the ministry of Jesus Christ himself” would not qualify for the exemption. Nor will Catholic Charities, Catholic Relief Services, Catholic hospitals, food banks, homeless shelters, most Catholic schools, and even many or most diocesan offices, much less Catholic business owners who strive to conduct their businesses in accordance with their religious beliefs.
The USCCB (US Conference of Catholic Bishops) has an Urgent Action Alert and lots of important information – go there first.
Letter to Parishes from Archbishop Thomas Wenski (other letters went out from other bishops with the same message, supported by the Vatican)
Birth Control Mandate Meant to Squeeze Churches out of Healthcare (written by Democrat & Republican Representatives):
Contact Your Senators & Representatives: http://www.senate.gov/general/contact_information/senators_cfm.cfm and https://writerep.house.gov/writerep/welcome.shtml
The White House has a petition website where you can directly make your views known. Sign the petition at the White House Petition Site. You only have to register with your name and email address.
Archbishop Timothy Dolan noted that ”The Amish do not carry health insurance. The government respects their principles. Christian Scientists want to heal by prayer alone, and the new health-care reform law respects that. Quakers and others object to killing even in wartime, and the government respects that principle for conscientious objectors. By its decision, the Obama administration has failed to show the same respect for the consciences of Catholics and others who object to treating pregnancy as a disease.” This injustice is not something that need solely concern the Catholic Church — if the federal government can force Catholics to act against their consciences, they can force anyone to act against their conscience, Jew, Muslim, Hindu, Buddhist and Atheist, and by the same pitiful reasoning.