It appears that the Obama administration has a major problem with the concept of freedom of religion. First, it tried to stop a church from firing an employee with ministerial duties. Fortunately, the Supreme Court ruled 9-0 in the case Hosanna-Tabor Evangelical Lutheran Church and School v. EEOC that under the First Amendment to the Constitution, the government does not have any say in the hiring and firing practices of employees with those duties.
Now, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has ruled that religious organizations could delay but not opt out of a requirement that all health plans must cover contraception (including the morning-after pill) and sterilization with no co-pay. This goes against the moral teachings of the Catholic Church and some other Christian denominations.
Should the government be allowed to dictate to religious organizations obligations that they vehemently oppose? I realize that many readers oppose the tenets of the Catholic Church but do they also believe that the Church should abandon its principles and conform to the wishes of the government?
Will Catholic schools and hospitals comply with this intrusion into moral beliefs? If push comes to shove, I believe that they will drop healthcare for all their employees rather than submit to government dictates. Is this the optimal result?
There is a solution. There is legislation in Congress exempting Catholic institutions from HHS requirements. I urge all of our legislators to support this bill.
I would like to ask the Chronicle to follow up on this issue and report on how our representatives plan on voting.