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Showing posts with label Obama Administration Health Insurance Mandates. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Obama Administration Health Insurance Mandates. Show all posts

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Justice Sotomayor Blocks Contraception Mandate on Insurance in Suit by Nuns

Justice Sonia Sotomayor
Justice Sonia Sotomayor has temporarily blocked the Obama administration from forcing the Little Sisters of the Poor, and other Roman Catholic nonprofit groups, to provide health insurance coverage for birth control.  They and other Catholic organizations use a health-plan known as the Christian Brothers Employee Benefit Trust. 

The Obama regime mandate was to go into effect on New Year's Day  The administration now has until Friday to respond to the Supreme Court.

We'd like to think that some stirring of right reason, a Catholic conscience formed by family or the Sisters of Charity at Spellman High School, may have played a role in Madam Justice Sotomayor's deliberations.  It is encouraging to see one of Obama's own appointees standing up for the "one eternal and unchangeable law."  We hope, too, that this intervention will encourage massive civil disobedience to the regime's unprecedented assault on freedom of conscience.

The groups’ lawsuit is one of many challenging the federal requirement for contraceptive coverage, but a decision on the merits of the case by the full Supreme Court could have broader implications.  We hope that the Court will ultimately uphold the rights of conscience and religious liberty for all Americans and not merely those Church-affiliated groups bringing these lawsuits.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Court Sides with Catholic Schools, Hospitals Against HHS Mandate

Invoking the Religious Freedom Restoration Act of 1993, a federal district court judge has barred enforcement of the HHS mandate against two New York-area Catholic high schools and two Catholic health care systems. The Archdiocese of New York and the Diocese of Rockville Centre, which are currently exempt from the mandate, also joined the lawsuit. 

The “plaintiffs have demonstrated that the Mandate … compels them to perform acts that are contrary to their religion,” ruled Judge Brian Cogan, whom President George W. Bush appointed to the bench.

“And there can be no doubt that the coercive pressure here is substantial,” he added. “If plaintiffs do not comply with the Mandate, they are subject to fines of $100 per day per affected beneficiary. If they seek to cease providing health insurance altogether, they face an annual fine of $2,000 per full-time employee. The only other option available to plaintiffs is to violate their religious beliefs.” 

The New York ruling is important because it is the first case in which a federal court has granted a permanent injunction against the enforcement of the HHS mandate. (Other non-profit groups have won preliminary injunctions, barring enforcement until the case is settled.) The Obama administration has the option to appeal the ruling. 

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Catholic Bishops To Defy Obama's "Coercive" Abortion Mandate

 "No door is closed, except to capitulation."


The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops today issued a “Special Message” at the conclusion of their fall General Assembly, November 13, in Baltimore. They unanimously passed the special message, which can only be issued (at) such meetings and strongly condemned the HHS mandate.

They said that, with its “coercive mandate,” the Obama administration “is refusing to uphold its obligation to respect the rights of religious believers.”

Friday, June 14, 2013

Religious Freedom and the Need to Wake Up

By Archbishop Charles J. Chaput

“IRS officials have, of course, confessed that they inappropriately targeted conservative groups — especially those with ‘tea party’ or ‘patriot’ in their names — for extra scrutiny when they sought non-profit status. Allegations of abuse or harassment have since broadened to include groups conducting grassroots projects to ‘make America a better place to live,’ to promote classes about the U.S. Constitution or to raise support for Israel.

“However, it now appears the IRS also challenged some individuals and religious groups that, while defending key elements of their faith traditions, have criticized projects dear to the current White House, such as health-care reform, abortion rights and same-sex marriage.”

Terry Mattingly, director, Washington Journalism Center; weekly column, May 22

Let’s begin this week with a simple statement of fact.  America’s Catholic bishops started pressing for adequate health-care coverage for all of our nation’s people decades before the current administration took office.  In the Christian tradition, basic medical care is a matter of social justice and human dignity.  Even now, even with the financial and structural flaws that critics believe undermine the 2010 Affordable Care Act, the bishops continue to share the goal of real health-care reform and affordable medical care for all Americans.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Archbishop Chaput Rejects Obama's Phony Compromise on Contraception Mandate

To live well is nothing other than to love God with all one’s heart, with all one’s soul and with all one’s efforts; from this it comes about that love is kept whole and uncorrupted (through temperance).  No misfortune can disturb it (and this is fortitude).  It obeys only [God] (and this is justice), and is careful in discerning things, so as not to be surprised by deceit or trickery (and this is prudence).
– Augustine

By Archbishop Charles Chaput

The Catechism of the Catholic Church reminds us that prudence is the auriga virtutum, the “charioteer of virtues.”  It’s “right reason in action,” the guide to correctly applying all other virtues.  Rash action, no matter how well intended, violates prudence and usually does more harm than good.  God gave us brains.  He expects us to use them to judiciously pursue the highest moral good for others and for ourselves.

At the same time, the Catechism warns that prudence should never be used as an alibi for “timidity or fear, duplicity or dissimulation.”  Real prudence has a spine called fortitude, the virtue we more commonly know as courage.  And courage, in the words of C.S. Lewis, “is not simply one of the virtues, but the form of every virtue at the testing point, which means at the point of highest reality.”

Here’s why both these virtues are vital in the weeks ahead.  On Friday, February 1, the Obama administration issued for public comment a set of revised regulations governing the HHS “contraceptive mandate.”  At first glance, the new rules have struck some people as a modest improvement.  They appear to expand, in a limited way, the kind of religiously-affiliated entities that can claim exemption from providing insurance coverage for contraceptive and abortion-related services under the new Affordable Care Act.

White House apologists and supporters have welcomed the proposal.  The New York Times called it “a good compromise.”  Groups like the American Civil Liberties Union and NARAL Prochoice America have praised it.  And at least one Washington Post columnist implausibly called it a victory for America’s Catholic bishops.

The trouble is, the new rules are very complex.  And they may actually make things worse.  In the words of Notre Dame Law Professor Gerard Bradley:

“Gauging the net effect of the new administration proposal [is] hazardous.  But one can say with confidence the following: (1) religious hospitals are, as before, not exempt ‘religious employers’; (2) religious charities are very likely not exempt either, unless they are run out of a church or are very tightly integrated with a church.  So, a parish or even a diocese’s Saint Vincent De Paul operations would probably be an exempt ‘religious employer,’ whereas Catholic Charities would not be; (3) the new proposal may (or may not) make it more likely that parish grade schools are exempt ‘religious employers.’  But Catholic high schools are a different matter.  Some might qualify as ‘religious employers.’  Most probably will not.

“It is certain that Catholic colleges and universities do not qualify as exempt ‘religious employers.’ The new proposal includes, however, a revised ‘accommodation’ for at least some of these institutions, as well as some hospitals and charities.  The proposal refines the administration’s earlier efforts to somehow insulate the colleges and universities from immoral complicity in contraception, mainly by shifting — at least nominally – the cost and administration of the immoral services to either the health insurance issuer (think Blue Cross) or to the plan administrator (for self-insured entities, such as Notre Dame).  This proposal adds some additional layering to the earlier attempts to insulate the schools, but nothing of decisive moral significance is included.”

The White House has made no concessions to the religious conscience claims of private businesses, and the whole spirit of the “compromise” is minimalist.

As a result, the latest White House “compromise” already has a wave of critics, including respected national religious liberty law firms like the Becket Fund and the Alliance Defending Freedom.  And many are far harsher than Professor Bradley in their analysis.

The scholar Yuval Levin has stressed that the new HHS mandate proposal, “like the versions that have preceded it, betrays a complete lack of understanding of both religious liberty and religious conscience.”  In reality, despite the appearance of compromise, “the government has forced a needless and completely avoidable confrontation and has knowingly put many religious believers in an impossible situation.”

One of the issues America’s bishops now face is how best to respond to an HHS mandate that remains unnecessary, coercive and gravely flawed.  In the weeks ahead the bishops of our country, myself included, will need both prudence and courage – the kind of courage that gives prudence spine and results in right action, whatever the cost.  Please pray that God guides our discussions.

Thursday, January 31, 2013

U.S. Bishops Say They’re Willing To ‘Go To Jail’ Over HHS Mandate

As the Obama administration and the U.S. Bishops remain locked in battle over the HHS mandate, the question on the minds of many observers is: what lengths are the bishops willing to go to to oppose the mandate? 

The prelates LifeSiteNews spoke to after the Vigil Mass for Life in Washington, D.C. on Jan. 24th indicated that they intend to do everything they can to oppose the mandate, including risking imprisonment if necessary.

Read more at LifeSiteNews >>

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Federal Court Blocks Enforcement of HHS Mandate Against Michigan Company

ANN ARBOR, MI – The Thomas More Law Center (TMLC), a national public interest law firm based in Ann Arbor, Michigan, announced that yesterday (12/30/12) Federal District Court Judge Lawrence P. Zatkoff of the Eastern District of Michigan, granted its Emergency Motion for a Temporary Restraining Order of the HHS Mandate.  The motion was filed on behalf of Tom Monaghan.  

Tom Monaghan
Judge Zatkoff’s ruling effectively halts enforcement of the HHS mandate against Monaghan and his property management company, Domino’s Farms Corporation of which he is the owner and sole shareholder. Domino’s Farms Corporation manages an Office Complex owned by Monaghan and is not to be confused with Domino’s Pizza. Monaghan sold the Pizza company in 1998 and has no active affiliation with it at this time.
The HHS mandate refers to regulations adopted by the Department of Health and Human Services that forces employers, regardless of their religious convictions, to provide insurance coverage for abortion-inducing drugs, sterilization, and contraception under threat of heavy penalties.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Archbishop Chaput Concludes Fortnight for Freedom with Call for Heroism "In the Face of Suffering and Adversity"

Delivered during mass at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception, Washington, DC, July 4th 2012.

Philadelphia is the place where both the Declaration of Independence and the United States Constitution were written. For more than two centuries, these documents have inspired people around the globe. So as we begin our reflection on today’s readings, I have the privilege of greeting everyone here today — and every person watching or listening from a distance — in the name of the Church of my home, the Church of Philadelphia, the cradle of our country’s liberty and the city of our nation’s founding. May God bless and guide all of us as we settle our hearts on the Word of God.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Mother Church and the Nanny State

By Rev. George W. Rutler

That the film about the Cristero Rebellion, For Greater Glory, has been news to many and highlights the appalling ignorance of history in our culture. That isolation from the human experience has made it easy to confuse conscience with emotion and think religion is irrational. George Neumayer has written, “In one of his memoirs, Obama uses the Old Testament story of Abraham and Isaac to argue that secularism equals “reason” and religion equals crazy caprice.”

Such was the distillation of President Obama’s commencement speech at Notre Dame University in which he said, “It is beyond our capacity as human beings to know with certainty what God has planned for us or what He asks of us…”  Fast forward and the same university has joined a legal action against the consequences of the presidential speechwriter’s half-baked Kantianism.

If Fidel Castro is the unwitting founder of modern Miami, so Barrack Obama may be remembered for unintentionally energizing the Catholic bishops. He may even have brought some of Europe to a more sober frame of mind about his policies. The throngs in European cities welcoming the advent of Hope and Change during his campaign were unsettling enough for anyone who remembers the cheering crowds gathered in some of those same platzes in the 1930’s. In short order, the Nobel Peace Prize became the Nobel Promise Prize when it was awarded to someone who was expected to do great things even if he had not done so already. L’Osservatore Romano was pleased that the new president might bring an end to Reagan’s “neocon revolution” and hailed this election as “a choice that unites.”

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Over 100 Protestant Leaders Announce Opposition to HHS Mandate

Despots and heirs of Valerian and Diocletian
Despite their differing views on the morality of contraception, nearly 150 leaders of religious institutions, most of them Protestant, are opposed to the HHS mandate because it creates “two classes of religious organizations: churches—considered sufficiently focused inwardly to merit an exemption and thus full protection from the mandate; and faith-based service organizations—outwardly oriented and given a lesser degree of protection.”

In a letter written under the aegis of the International Religious Freedom Alliance, the signatories state:
It is this two-class system that the administration has embedded in federal law via the February 15, 2012, publication of the final rules providing for an exemption from the mandate for a narrowly defined set of “religious employers” and the related administration publications and statements about a different “accommodation” for non-exempt religious organizations.

And yet both worship-oriented and service-oriented religious organizations are authentically and equally religious organizations. To use Christian terms, we owe God wholehearted and pure worship, to be sure, and yet we know also that “pure religion” is “to look after orphans and widows in their distress” (James 1:27). We deny that it is within the jurisdiction of the federal government to define, in place of religious communities, what constitutes true religion and authentic ministry.
Signatories of the June 11 letter included the presidents of dozens of Protestant colleges and the leaders of the National Association of Evangelicals, the Salvation Army, and World Vision.

Catholic signatories included officials of the Association of Catholic Colleges and Universities, Aquinas College (Tennessee), Belmont Abbey College, Catholic Distance University, Christendom College, DeSales University, John Paul the Great Catholic University, the College of St. Mary Magdalen, Mount St. Mary’s University, and St. Gregory’s University. 

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Catholic Bishops Unanimously Adopt 'United for Religious Freedom' Statement

The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops approved by unanimous vote on Wednesday a statement reaffirming the church's long standing opposition to President Obama's health care mandate requiring employers and insurers to provide free contraceptive care to employees. The group is meeting in Atlanta, Ga., for their annual conference.

Friday, June 8, 2012

Bishop David Zubik: 'We Did Not Pick This Fight'

Writing in today's USA Today, Bishop David Zubik, of the Catholic Diocese of Pittsburgh, asks why the Church should negotiate for religious freedom already guaranteed in the United States Constitution.

A protest in Belleville, Ill., against the contraception mandate.
Last August, the Department of Health and Human Services issued a mandate requiring religious institutions to facilitate activities that violate their religious and moral convictions. The only church-sponsored organizations exempted are those that primarily employ and serve people of the same faith. This means that none of our social service agencies — hospitals, universities, free health clinics and soup kitchens — would be exempt.

As the law now stands, church institutions must comply by August 2013. Despite President Obama's promise of some kind of "accommodation" to religious institutions, the mandate remains firmly in place.

Should the church negotiate more before filing lawsuits?

We already have. But what exactly can we negotiate when it comes to religious freedom already guaranteed by the Constitution? Why are we now forced to concede to the government religious freedom that has always been guaranteed by the Constitution?

Much of the so-called accommodation is just smoke and mirrors, an accounting sleight-of-hand over who directly pays the tab. There's been no "accommodation" to broaden the very narrow so-called religious exemption. Church-related institutions will still be subject to the mandate.
These lawsuits have nothing to do with politics. We did not pick this fight nor this timing during a presidential election year. The government chose to impose this on us now. In fact, the lawsuits take the issue out of partisan politics and place it before courts that exist to protect our constitutional freedoms.

These lawsuits ask that religious freedoms be recognized and respected as they were before the mandate. The church cannot be forced to violate its own sacred beliefs. To do so starkly contradicts everything we have been taught and know about religious freedom in the United States.

David A. Zubik is the bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Pittsburgh.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Let Freedom Ring!

Archbishop Lori delivers an address on the Obama administration's assault on religious liberty.

The Archbishop of Baltimore, William Lori, chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops' Ad Hoc Committee for Religious Liberty, delivered the keynote address at the Ethics and Public Policy Center’s National Religious Freedom Gala Reception and Award Dinner in Washington May 24. 

It has now been just over a week since I became the archbishop of Baltimore, and I find myself surrounded by history there. I live near the Basilica of the Assumption, the oldest cathedral in the U.S. The cornerstone was laid in 1806. The nation’s first bishop, John Carroll, is buried beneath the basilica, as are many of my predecessors.

John Carroll was a cousin of Charles Carroll, a signer of the Declaration of Independence. Charles Carroll’s story — and indeed Maryland’s early history — teaches us about the fragility of religious liberty and the importance of exercising vigilance in protecting it.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Rallies for Religious Freedom Scheduled for June 8

The Pro-Life Action League and Citizens for a Pro-Life Society are pleased to announce that the next Stand Up for Religious Freedom Rally will take place on Friday, June 8, in cities and towns across the United States.

The June 8 Stand Up Rally builds on the tremendous momentum created by the first Stand Up Rally on March 23.

On that day, over 63,000 Americans came out in 145 cities coast to coast pushed back against the new mandate from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) that requires all employers provide free contraceptives, sterilization and abortion-inducing drugs through their health plans, even in violation of their consciences.

Now the fight continues with the next Stand Up Rally on Friday, June 8.

Right now the entire Obamacare law, with its oppressive mandates and abortion loopholes, is under review by the United States Supreme Court. A ruling is coming at the end of June.

If the Supreme Court strikes down Obamacare, the June 8 Rally sets the agenda for future health care reform, demanding respect for religious liberty and freedom of conscience.

But if the Court leaves Obamacare intact, the June 8 Rally advances our demand that the HHS Mandate must go.

Come out on June 8, 2012—the 223rd anniversary of the day our Founding Father James Madison introduced the Bill of Rights, with its guarantee of religious freedom, to the First Congress—and stand up for religious freedom!

The Nationwide Rally for Religious Freedom was a peaceful, family-friendly, non-partisan, ecumenical event. For more information, please see the Rally Guidelines and Protocols, below.

133 cities in 46 states, organized alphabetically by state

Monday, May 21, 2012

43 Catholic Institutions File 12 Lawsuits Over the Obama Regime's Assault on Religious Liberty

Kathleen Sebelius, Obama Quisling for Catholic Persecution.
Today 43 Catholic institutions, including the Archdioceses of New York and Washington, D.C., the Catholic University of America and Notre Dame, joined a lawsuit to block implementation of the mandate by the Obama regime that would require them to provide health insurance coverage for surgical sterilization, prescription contraceptives, and drugs that cause early stage abortions.

The Jones Day law firm has filed the suit in the United States District Court for the District of Columbia.  (For a complete list of the plaintiffs, click here.)

We deplore the Obama regime's assault on the Catholic Church and its disregard for the Constitution, religious liberty and conscience rights.  Nevertheless, it is wonderful to behold what a whiff of oppression can do to clear political thinking and unite the Church militant in a way that it has not been united for at least a half century.  

Onward, Christian soldiers!

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Organization Representing 1 million Pennsylvania Christians Supports Catholics on HHS Mandate

By Ben Johnson

Rev. Donald Green, surrounded by Abp. Robert Duncan (Anglican) and Bp. David Zubik (Catholic).
An organization representing one million Christians in southwestern Pennsylvania has pledged its support for the Roman Catholic bishop and asked the Obama administration to change the law requiring religious institutions to provide contraception and abortion-inducing drugs in their health care plans.

The Christian Associates of Southwest Pennsylvania, a group representing 2,000 congregations and 26 denominations in ten counties in the region, released a statement last Friday expressing anxiety about the HHS mandate.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Lutherans Stand with Catholics in Opposing Tyranny

By Tim Johnson

Bishop Kevin C. Rhoades welcomes Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod congregations to stand together for religious liberty.
Church leaders, students and members of the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod congregations in Fort Wayne expressed their solidarity with Bishop Kevin C. Rhoades and Catholics of the Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend to “stand together for religious liberty.”

Gathering April 17 at St. Paul Lutheran Church, just a few blocks from the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in downtown Fort Wayne, Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod held a procession to the cathedral. There they gathered in prayer and song with Catholics and Bishop Kevin C. Rhoades on the plaza in front of the cathedral and presented letters of support and encouragement “as we stand together with (the bishop) on this issue of religious liberty,” noted Dr. Charles Gieschen, academic dean of Concordia Theological Seminary in Fort Wayne, one of two Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod seminaries in the U.S.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Bishop Jenky: "Heroic Catholicism" Needed to Confront Government Threats

Bishop Jenky meets with Pope Benedict XVI
Bishop Daniel R. Jenky of Peoria recently told a men's conference in his diocese that "heroic Catholicism, not casual Catholicism” is required to confront the Obama administration's threats to religious liberty and the public ministries of the Church.  In the strongest language and, we believe, one of the best homilies ever delivered by an American bishop, he warned that Catholic ministries of all kinds -- schools, hospitals, charities and Newman Centers -- could be shut by the fall of 2013, rather than "cooperate with the intrinsic evil of killing innocent human life in the womb."

The full text of Bishop Jenky's address follows:

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Paul A. Rahe: "Obamacare's Assault on Religious Liberty"

Paul A. Rahe delivered this address on Friday, April 13, 2012 at the Allan P. Kirby, Jr. Center for Constitutional Studies and Citizenship of Hillsdale College.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

US Bishops Launch Major Offensive to Protect Religious Liberty

With a strong new statement on religious freedom, the US Conference of Catholic Bishops has launched a nationwide campaign to protect “our most cherished freedom.”

“It is the first freedom because if we are not free in our conscience and our practice of religion, all other freedoms are fragile,” explain the US bishops in their statement, entitled Our First, Most Cherished Freedom. The USCCB statement, lengthy and strongly worded, signals the beginning of a major drive by the hierarchy to alert Americans to current threats to religious liberty.