Healthcare Collides with Religious Freedom

Last summer, Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius announced that new regulations under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) will require religious organizations to provide free birth control—including the abortion-inducing “morning after pill.”

With this proclamation, we saw the real agenda of the “pro-choice” and “separation of church and state” adherents. They want to foist their choice and their vision of Utopia upon the Church. And anyone who disagrees will be vilified.

Faith-based opposition to the ruling is being labeled as a “War on Women.” This is utter propaganda.

The real issue is that the Catholic Church (and others) will be forced (albeit indirectly) to provide a de facto abortion service to its employees in the form of the morning after pill. While the Catholic Church professes that birth control itself is wrong, admittedly a belief not held by most, it more importantly stands steadfast that human life begins at conception, a view very likely shared by a majority of Americans.

It is vital to understand that no one is out to deny a woman’s access to birth control. That argument is laughable on its face—birth control is readily available to all adults at any corner drug store. Not a single woman in America is being denied access to birth control.

The debate is whether the federal government has the power under the ACA to force a church to assist in what it considers the murder of an innocent human being. On this matter it seems, no freedom of conscience or constraint of government power will be tolerated.

Granted, the Obama Administration was unprepared for the storm of opposition from religious groups over the initial announcement. It sought to backtrack and placate with a subsequent ruling that insurance companies, not the church organizations that contract with them, would provide the prescription-based abortifacient.

This is a distinction without a difference. For the record, the latest pronouncement still requires churches to contract with what will amount to be abortion providers. In doing so, churches will help fund abortion. Apparently, the Administration thinks we’re stupid enough to believe the problem is now solved.

The Catholic Church certainly is not fooled. Its immediate negative reaction to the Administration’s insurance company gambit has now coalesced into legal action—a big one.

At least 43 Catholic institutions, including the University of Notre Dame, the Archdiocese of New York and the Catholic University of America last week filed suit in federal court to block the HHS ruling. We applaud them.

The Catholic Church and evangelicals are of course often divided on matters of doctrine, but in this conflict we should all stand united. Your prayers are urgently needed. Pray for wisdom for the judges assigned to the case. Pray that the Catholic Church will ultimately prevail in its defense of religious liberty in America.

I believe it was God’s intent that we use money contributed to the Church to save lives, not to destroy them.

*******

By the way, it was bittersweet to see that my last column was correct in advising caution with the Facebook IPO. Some are now calling it the worst IPO of the last decade. Now if I could just call a stock early that I think might go the other direction!

Also, we are keeping our eyes on the storms that are brewing in Greece with the pending national vote on June 17th and the potential contagion in the Eurozone. We will write about this soon as events develop. In the meantime, remember Matthew 6:34, Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.”

Chuck Bentley

About Chuck Bentley

CEO, Crown Mininstries
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4 Responses to Healthcare Collides with Religious Freedom

  1. Marie Riedel says:

    Chuck,
    As a Catholic who has supported Crown Ministry since the days of Larry Burkett and ‘Christian Financial Concepts’, I thank you for your encouraging all to support our Right to Religious Freedom here in the United States. This battle, if you will, is about one being able to practice their religious beliefs, not being forced to subsidize something so contrary to one’s beliefs as the abortion-inducing pill, and as a Catholic, sterliizations. Our Bishops are encouraging prayer and fasting, especially during what they are calling the “Fortnight for Religious Freedom, which runs from June 21-July 4. I encourage all of your listeners to your Radio Program and supporters to join with us as we fight for religious freedom for all Americans! I’m happy to see many faiths came together recently to participate in the 2012 National Religious Freedom Award Dinner in Washington D.C. “Together we can achieve great things”, as new Baltimore Archbishop William E. Lori told the gathered people of faith. With God, all things are possible.

  2. Mary R. Martin says:

    As a Catholic, I appreciate the solidarity.

  3. Kent Usher says:

    All life is God’s creation. Evangelicals should be the leaders in promoting the sacticty of life. Short of that, we should at least stand arm-in-arm with the Catholic Church, and any other organization, if so doing.

  4. Mike says:

    The HHS issue is a difficult one. On one hand you have a religious organization (Catholic Church) that has a doctrine of NOT allowing the use of birth control or abortion for any reasons, including to save the life of the mother.

    On the other hand you have employees (who are NOT of that faith belief) who’ve been hired to work at hospitals, schools, and colleges (not churches) to do “secular” jobs (doctors, nurses, janitors, food handlers, building maintenance, clerical, etc, not pastoring who do want those medical benefits. Both have rights. Obama tried to solve the issue by saying that fine, the parent church organization doesn’t have to provide those medical benefits, it will be provided by the insurance company for free.

    Where the fly in the ointment comes in is, THE CHURCH IS THE INSURANCE COMPANY as they are self insured, so in effect they still would be forced to pay for those things for which they have moral/faith objections to providing.

    How do you solve that problem and protect the rights of both groups? The odd thing about this is, apparently 95% of American Catholic women have used some sort of birth control or abortive medical thing at least once in their lives (so it would appear that a majority of American Catholic women are not following part of their beliefs). So do the Catholic women who work at those same Catholic secular jobs also want those things available to them too? It would seem so, thus muddying up the waters even more.

    I totally agree that the Catholic Church should NOT be forced to do something against their beliefs. I also agree though that those women who are not of the Catholic faith who are working in secular jobs should be able to get that stuff via their healthcare plan IF its available for all other women in the nation via Obamacare, and apparently it is.

    The Catholic women who work there, might have a tougher row to hoe as their church, their faith, teaches against that and as any church is not going to want to look the other way about one of their faithful committing a sin that they know about. Kind of like a Baptist wanting his church to start having “happy hour” on Friday nights. What may have to happen to solve this problem would be that Obamacare talked about having freedom to shop around for different insurance from other states. So why couldn’t those Non-Catholic women get their coverage from another provider rather than the Catholic Church, thus protecting the Catholic Church’s right to NOT have to have anything to do with birth control or abortion, yet protecting the rights of those women who are NOT Catholics to their belief. Problem solved for both sides of the issue.

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