I’ve told you that the Obama administration is intentionally restricting religious freedom. I’ve told you we are in danger of losing the right to exercise our faith in public.
Well, maybe I’ve been too understated. The attack is relentless.
Just recently, the Obama administration announced that the Affordable Healthcare Act, otherwise known as ObamaCare, requires that employers pay for contraception, including abortifacients, and that Catholic institutions are not exempt from this requirement.
Well, Catholic Bishop David Zubik of Pittsburgh and other bishops are blowing the trumpets on the ramparts. And my hat’s off to them. They see the administration’s actions for what they truly are.
In an open letter released last week, Zubik said that, “Kathleen Sebelius, and through her, the Obama administration, have said ‘To [h---] with you’ to the Catholic faithful of the United States. To [h---] with your religious beliefs, to [h---] with your religious liberty, to [h---] with your freedom of conscience.” I’ll leave it to your imagination what the "h---" stands for.
In the administration’s twisted way of thinking, contraception is “preventive care” that helps prevent illness in the same way that cholesterol, high blood pressure and diabetes screening do — even though pregnancy is the means by which life is perpetuated and the species’ existence continued.
Even worse is the willful refusal to accommodate the beliefs of the nation’s largest religious body.
Sibelius defended the decision as “striking the appropriate balance between respecting religious freedom and increasing access to important preventive services.” This is the same Kathleen Sebelius who told the crowd of abortion supporters at a NARAL fund-raiser “we are at war” over the “pregnancy prevention” issue.
This the same Kathleen Sebelius whose department has issued hundreds of waivers for plans that fail to meet other Health and Human Service standards, including those offered by McDonalds. “Appropriate balance,” my foot!
Every Christian, not just Catholics, should be outraged by the Obama administration’s decision. The regulations represent a move to define religious liberty in the narrowest possible terms. As one wag put it, the exemptions in these regulations are so narrow Jesus would not have been able to get through them.
Given the Catholic presence in areas such as health care, education and other social services, this is folly. Think of the public serves that won’t be delivered to people in need. And, Catholics are being asked to make a choice no Christian should ever be forced to make: heeding your conscience or serving your neighbor.
Folks, we’ve got to stand with all Christians and protest the administration’s outrageous assault on religious liberty. Our religious freedom is in grave peril. Today, now, I want you to go to BreakPoint.org. We will link you to Bishop Zubik’s letter. I want you to read it and then send it to everyone you know.
And then today, as well, go sign the Manhattan Declaration. Again, we’ll link you to it. In the coming months, you will be hearing much more from us on efforts to defend life, marriage, and religious liberty, for we have no time to lose.
Chuck Colson's daily BreakPoint commentary airs each weekday on more than one thousand outlets with an estimated listening audience of one million people. BreakPoint provides a Christian perspective on today's news and trends via radio, interactive media and print.
Publication date: February 2, 2012