Christians and liberty-loving Americans across the theological and political spectrum are coming together in defense of one of our most foundational unalienable rights: the right of every person to exercise their religious beliefs according their conscience, without interference or coercion by the government.
We will not stand by silently as our freedoms are taken away!
The outcry in response to the Department of Health and Human Services’ declaration of war against religious civil liberties has been nothing short of enormous. Catholic Bishops in more than 164 locations have publicly denounced the administration’s actions.
In a bipartisan letter to Kathleen Sebelius, 154 Members of Congress voiced their “strong opposition” to the HHS mandate and urged the secretary to reconsider the mandate in light of “constitutionally protected conscience rights.” Senator Rubio has introduced legislation to protect and preserve the religious civil liberties of those charities that would otherwise have to choose to follow their religious conscience or close their doors.
The groundswell in opposition to HHS’ actions has been so massive that both David Axelrod, political advisor to the President, and Press Secretary Jay Carney are now making noises that the administration might be willing to compromise. Axelrod said that it was never the intention of the administration to “abridge anyone’s religious freedom.” Carney stated that the administration is willing to work with religious organizations “to see if the implementation of the policy can be done in a way that allays some of those concerns.”
This is all well and good, but standing alone, not worth a dime.
It is President Obama that declared this war on religious civil liberties, personally calling Archbishop Dolan of New York to tell him that HHS would not budge. It is the administration that took affirmative steps to pick this constitutional fight with religious groups, who have only asked to be left alone. It is HHS that dug in its heels after receiving thousands of comments in opposition to the proposed rule last year. In fact, it was the White House press secretary who publicly stated just last week, “I don’t believe there are any constitutional rights issues here…”.
Axelrod has suggested that we “lower our voices” on this matter. No we shouldn’t, Mr. Axelrod, and no we won’t. When the government abridges the civil liberties of its citizens, citizens should voice their outrage loud and clear. The surest safeguard of civil liberties lies with the people themselves — not the President, not Congress, not even the courts. Once citizens no longer raise their voices in defense of their liberties, our democratic system of government has failed.
Citizens and groups nationwide have made themselves heard. They will not go away; they will not quiet down.
Penny Young Nance declares that “We are all Catholics now“:
President Obama violated Americans’ fundamental right to religious freedom when he signed into law a mandate forcing religious organizations (using their donor/member dues) to pay for health insurance that covers sterilization, controversial abortifacients, and contraceptives. [...]
Catholics, Baptists, Jews, Mormons, Muslims, and atheists alike should be seething at the White House-directed Department of Health and Human Services mandate, which goes far beyond the issue of birth control to threaten our freedom of conscience.
Americans across partisan and religious lines are infuriated by the Obama administration’s ruling, and the backlash is just beginning. [...]
Concerned Women for America and others will not tolerate this unprecedented trampling of our First Amendment rights!
We will fight it in the Halls of Congress.
We will fight it in the courts.
We will fight it in the pulpits and, if necessary, we will fight it in peaceful demonstrations on the streets of America.
Our Founding Fathers died for this right.
Mr. President, how dare you?!
Mike Brownfield at the Heritage Foundation observes:
It is a rare moment indeed when faith denominations of all stripes unite together in common cause, and it is rarer still when that cause is a political one, with a sole piece of legislation as its principal target. But when that law eviscerates the very foundation of religious liberty in America as protected under the First Amendment, it should not be surprising that Catholics and Jews, evangelical Christians, and mainline Lutherans alike find common cause in defense of their liberties.
Such is the case with the firestorm of opposition to Obamacare and the Obama Administration’s attack on religious liberty. [...]
The Obama Administration’s actions, though entirely counter to the freedom of religion, should not be surprising given the nature of the President’s health care law. Obamacare has given the federal government broad power over one-sixth of the American economy and thereby purports to grant Washington the power to force religious institutions to take actions contrary to their faith. Addington writes that this kind of concentration of power “has proved to be a drastic and dangerous experiment.” America’s religious leaders and the faithful have awoken to this wolf at their door and are lashing out in defense of their freedoms. Congress, too, should act now by repealing Obamacare and restoring the religious liberty that is so central to our way of life.