Posts tagged “Religious Liberty

As available as bottled water

Posted on April 17th, 2012

LCMS President Matthew Harrison in the Lutheran Witness on the Obamacare Mandate and religious freedom: The issue is simple. We are not telling the government not to provide drugs or healthcare for women. We are not pushing for legislation to limit access to anything. Our own health plan does provide medications for specific health needs (which in other cases are used as contraceptives). I would argue that contraceptives (which the LCMS does not reject out of hand) and abortion-causing drugs are as available as bottled water in this culture of death. The “accommodation” offered by the president is a red herring. “Churches and their institutions won’t pay for offensive medications; their insurers will.” Oh? Most Catholic health plans are self-insured, just as the Concordia Health…

Krauthammer on the coercive power of Obamacare

Posted on March 26th, 2012

Oral argument begins this morning before the Supreme Court on the constitutionality of Obamacare. Charles Krauthammer of the Washington Post looks at the coercive power of the HHS mandate in his broader look at the constitutional problems of Obamacare: Serendipitously, the recently issued regulation on contraceptive coverage has allowed us to see exactly how this new power works. All institutions — excepting only churches, but not excepting church-run charities, hospitals, etc. — will be required to offer health care that must include free contraception, sterilization and drugs that cause abortion. Consider the cascade of arbitrary bureaucratic decisions that resulted in this edict: (1) Contraception, sterilization and abortion pills are classified as medical prevention. On whose authority? The secretary of health and human services, invoking the Institute…

The hatchet is in the air

Posted on March 22nd, 2012

In his Eugenics and Other Evils, G.K. Chesterton wrote, Most tyrannies have been possible because men moved too late. It is often essential to resist a tyranny before it exists. It is no answer to say, with a distant optimism, that the scheme is only in the air. A blow from a hatchet can only be parried while it is in the air. The hatchet is in the air. The government has taken one of our churches all the way to the Supreme Court. The President of the LCMS has testified before congress. The Roman bishops have spoken with one voice. Yet the offensive continues, and largely the clergy in our church are silent. Business continues as usual. Except the day is coming soon…

Stand Up for Religious Freedom: Rallies across the country this Friday at noon

Posted on March 20th, 2012

Religious freedom is under assault by the U.S. government. Rallies will be held in cities across the land this Friday, March 23, 12:00 noon local time. For more information, visit The Washington, D.C. rally will be held at the HHS building, 200 Independence Avenue Southwest. I’m planning to attend that one. Find one close to you and go! This is important on so many levels.

The core issue in the religious freedom debate

Posted on March 6th, 2012

Rep. Darrell Issa’s recent piece in Roll Call (“Distorting the Debate of Religious Freedom”) challenges the disinformation campaign being waged through the institutional media that religious conservatives are seeking to outlaw contraception. He sets the record straight on the purpose of the hearing at which President Harrison testified: It was the committee’s hope to engage in a robust debate about the First Amendment infringements created by the administration’s proposal. Unfortunately, Congressional Democrats directed by House Minority LeaderNancy Pelosi (Calif.) were more interested in political theater and decided to cast the hearing about something that it wasn’t. Our nation’s founders believed so fervently in religious liberty that they established the First Amendment so people of all faiths could practice free from the fear of persecution or…

Franks, McConnell defend religious freedom

Posted on March 5th, 2012

Rep. Trent Franks last week published an outstanding piece in the Daily Caller, “What’s behind the president’s assault on our religious freedoms?” It reads in part: The Founders believed in a hierarchy of rights, and they saw religious freedom as an “inalienable right” of all Americans. Alexander Hamilton, for example, eloquently wrote, “The sacred rights of mankind … are written, as with a sunbeam, in the whole volume of human nature, by the Hand of Divinity itself, and can never be erased or obscured by mortal power.” In drafting the Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom, Thomas Jefferson included in the conclusion that, “If any act shall be hereafter passed to repeal the present or to narrow its operation, such act will be an infringement…

Religion must be left to the conviction and conscience of every man

Posted on March 3rd, 2012

James Madison, “Father of the Constitution,” on religious liberty: We hold it for a fundamental and undeniable truth, “that religion or the duty which we owe to our Creator and the manner of discharging it, can be directed only by reason and conviction, not by force or violence.” The Religion then of every man must be left to the conviction and conscience of every man; and it is the right of every man to exercise it as these may dictate. This right is in its nature an unalienable right. It is unalienable, because the opinions of men, depending only on the evidence contemplated by their own minds cannot follow the dictates of other men: It is unalienable also, because what is here a right…

A measured and deliberate attack on religion’s moral influence

Posted on February 25th, 2012

Archbishop Charles Chaput is one of the leading lights in American Catholicism. His entire statement on the HHS Mandate is worth reading, but in the following two paragraphs he makes a point that I have not seen elsewhere, at least not so directly: The current administration prides itself on being measured and deliberate. The current HHS mandate needs to be understood as exactly that. Commentators are using words like “gaffe,” “ill conceived,” and “mistake” to describe the mandate. They’re wrong. It’s impossible to see this regulation as some happenstance policy. It has been too long in the making. Despite all of its public apprehension about “culture warriors” on the political right in the past, the current administration has created an HHS mandate that is…