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February 10, 2012

Obfuscation and Broken Promises

Joe Charlebois

A death sentence has been handed down this week by President Barack Obama’s administration. The United States Constitution’s First Amendment was sentenced to death.


The First Amendment, which protects the people from the establishment of a state religion or prohibiting one’s free exercise of religion, was dealt a critical blow as the administration has just mandated that religious institutions will not be exempt from laws that are contrary to their teachings.


The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has ordered that religious institutions must provide for contraception and abortifacients to their employees through their healthcare plans.


Those that agree with the HHS decision against churches and other religious based organizations fail to acknowledge the Church Amendment of 1973, the Weldon Amendment and their protection of those same institutions and the “conscience clause.”


The obfuscation presented by the president, his administration, and supporters surrounding this attack on religion, cannot hide the fact that they are unable to promote a strong defense to their position.


Their position is that women who work for religion based organizations will be denied access to healthcare. It won’t


In fact, to counter their point – and to use their own defense against them – the August 2010 release of Use of Contraception in the United States: 1982 – 2008 by HHS and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows that over 99% of “all sexually experienced women have used some method of contraception…”


Is the argument currently being presented that the less than 1% of women not using contraceptives are all employees of religious organizations, and are unable to get a prescription?


Current law in the United States denies no women access to contraceptives that choose to use them, nor should it.


Those supporting the administration’s mandates on religious organizations seek to portray the Roman Catholic church as an organization that is set upon denying women their access to healthcare.


According to the moral beliefs and teachings of the Roman Catholic church, they don’t believe that abortion, abortifacients and birth control pills are “healthcare.” It is the taking of a life.


In fact one of the key moments toward the passing of “Obamacare” lay in the fact that President Obama assured Pro-Life Democrats – such as former Congressman Bart Stupak (D., MI) – to give him the votes to pass the universal healthcare bill and he in turn would guarantee to abide – through executive orders – by previous law assuring that the “Conscience Clause” would remain in effect.


During Wednesday night’s FOX News program “On the Record” the former congressman was interviewed by Greta Van Sustern.  Here is a portion of the interview.


From “On the Record” February 8, 2012:


Van Sustern: "Is the morning after pill – in your mind – contraception, or is it – as some Catholics would say – abortion?"


Stupak: "I think it's a contraceptive...ah...if you're destroying an embryo, you're taking a life therefore I'm not in favor of that. Nor does the Catholic Church."


Van Sustern: "So, if it is a contraceptive then it is not covered in the Executive Order that the president signed. Is that right that Executive Order you agreed to dealt with only abortion?”


Stupak: "Oh, no! No it dealt with not only abortion but also with the conscience clause. In fact if you look in Section 1 of the Executive Order it's very clear(ly) it says it cites the Church Amendment...way back in 1973 all the way to the Weldon Amendment which was in legislation that President Obama signed in 2009, in which they talked about the conscience clause and the rights of individuals and institutions such as the church to not provide these services if it violates their tenets of their faith and their principles and their conscience."


On Wednesday White House Spokesman Jay Carney tried desperately to ignore that the conscience clause was being dismissed, or that religious organizations would need to disavow their faith and bend to the federal government and their unconstitutional mandate.


White House Press Briefing, February 8th, 2012:


Jay Carney: "The president is very interested in finding the appropriate balance between religious beliefs and convictions - he takes those very seriously, and his commitment to making sure women of all faiths have access to these important healthcare preventative services."


What Mr. Carney fails to recognize is simple constitutional facts. The subject here is the failure of the state to allow religious institutions the free exercise of their religious beliefs. This is a direct encroachment upon the rights guaranteed in the 1st Amendment. Mandating that women must have religious organizations pay for contraception, abortifacients and abortion are not. You can’t delay the implementation of this mandate for 12 months and call it meeting “half-way.”


You can’t meet “half-way” or compromise on religious principles and values.


U. S. Constitution – Amendment I: 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 a redress of grievances.


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