Yesterday I wrote this column about the attack on religious freedom embodied in Obamacare, which will require religious employers to help provide abortion-inducing drugs to their employees.
Some conservatives want defenders of religious liberty to fight this fight behind the scenes. It’s not a winner with media, they say. They want attention focused on economic conservatism. I support the commitment to economic freedom and am buoyed that momentum is growing in our state for paring back government, reforming outdated policies, streamlining bureaucracies, and returning North Carolina to a position of economic strength and prosperity.
But that doesn’t mean I’ll be silent about the threat to religious freedom enshrined in Obamacare. To those who stand on the sidelines while HHS steamrolls, I say this: If the Obamacare mandate on religious employers survives, don’t be surprised when the next right taken away by government is yours.
Today, the National Catholic Register published this story about the response of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, led by Cardinal Timothy Dolan, to President Obama’s latest “accommodation” offer to try and convince believers that their right to practice their beliefs isn’t wiped away by Obamacare.
In a Feb. 7 statement, Cardinal Timothy Dolan of New York, the president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, said the latest proposed rulemaking failed to address the Church leaders’ long-standing objections to the federal rule, approved Jan. 20, 2012.
Cardinal Dolan’s statement also outlined the conference’s concerns about a complex proposed modification that required further study but did not appear to offer a reprieve for religious employers.
Cardinal Dolan said the conference would formally respond to the administration’s request for comments on the proposed rulemaking, but clearly signaled that the latest development would not affect the legal challenges to the mandate filed by many Church organizations.
“Thus, we welcome and will take seriously the administration’s invitation to submit our concerns through formal comments, and we will do so in the hope that an acceptable solution can be found that respects the consciences of all,” read Cardinal Dolan’s statement, released by the USCCB.
“At the same time, we will continue to stand united with brother bishops, religious institutions and individual citizens who seek redress in the courts for as long as this is necessary.”