The Little Sisters of the Poor are returning to court to defend themselves against lawsuits from Pennsylvania and California that seek to take away the nuns’ recently received conscience exemption from the Health and Human Services (HHS) rule. In October, HHS had rolled back the Affordable Care Act’s federal mandate that employers must provide abortion-inducing drugs and contraception in their health insurance plans.
“If the freedom of speech is taken away, then dumb and silent we may be led, like sheep to the slaughter.” George Washington
ALERT! Watch EWTN’s “Pro-Life Weekly” coverage of Catholics for Freedom of Religion
http://bit.ly/2jsvyCe the final 4 minutes of the show
In a related case, after years of litigation, on Oct. 11, the Department of Justice reached a settlement that marks relief for two similar ministries in relation to the HHS mandate.
“The last 3 years of litigation could have been avoided entirely if … administration had simply recognized that the First Amendment protects the rights of conscience of these religious ministries against an administration intent on coercing their obedience,” said First Liberty Institute.
Proclamation: Thanksgiving Day 1789
“I do recommend and assign Thursday the 26th day of November next, to be devoted by the People of these States to the service of that great and glorious Being who is the beneficent author of all the good that was, that is, or that will be … our sincere and humble thanks.” President George Washington
“We have become certain of two things: religious freedom is under attack, and we will not cease our struggle to protect it.”
-Cardinal Timothy Dolan
* More than 1/3 (37%) could not name a single right protected by the First Amendment.
* Only 15% could name Freedom of Religion as a right.
* Only 26% can name the 3 branches of government.
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech , or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for redress of grievances.
~First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States
“When you see a successful business, someone once made a courageous decision.”
Peter F. Drucker, consultant and author
On Oct. 6, the president issued a new rule replacing the coercive HHS (Health & Human Services) mandate that had required all employers, including religious charities like the Little Sisters of the Poor, to provide contraceptives, abortion inducing drugs and sterilization, which clearly denied their deeply held religious beliefs.
In 2012 when this mandate (not a law) was issued by the HHS secretary, over 100 leaders of many different religions were critical of the mandate. They understood that such an imposition by government was destructive of religious liberty for all. They stated that, “The HHS policy is coercive and puts the administration in the position of defining – or casting aside – religious doctrine. This should trouble every American.”
The new ruling states, “entities that have sincerely held religious beliefs against providing such services (contraception, abortion drugs, sterilization) would no longer be required to do so.” These same protections apply to “organizations and small businesses that have objections on the basis of moral conviction which is not based in any particular religious belief.” With this action, Americans no longer have to prove that they deserve their religious liberty. Now, any action by the federal government that would “substantially burden religious freedom” is held to an “exceptionally demanding standard.”
(hhs.gov, 10/6/17; Attorney General’s Memorandum on Religious Liberty)