The local pastor in his writing, however, reverses the chronology and accuses these churches of interfering in politics! The pastor distorts the truth and blames the victim.
Currently, the HHS mandate of Jan. 20, and its “accommodation” of Feb. 10, are in effect. Except for houses of worship, all employers will be required to provide free of cost through their insurance companies, abortifacient drugs, sterilizations and contraceptives, even if this requirement violates the consciences of the individual or corporate provider. Numerous churches, religious institutions and state attorneys general have filed suit against this unconscionable mandate.
Allow me to quote from the Feb. 22 letter of the Office of the President of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops: “Religious freedom is a fundamental right of all. This right does not depend on any government’s decision to grant it. It is God-given, and just societies recognize and respect its free exercise. The free exercise of religion extends well beyond the freedom of worship. It also forbids government from forcing people or groups to violate their most deeply held religious convictions, and from interfering in the internal affairs of religious organizations.”
May I offer an observation about the current controversy. Many politicians and journalists appear intellectually unable to conceive of and appreciate principles. They seem incapable of thinking beyond numbers: populations, percentages and costs. Their thinking is limited to what is physical. They seem incapable of appreciating what is meta-physical. Principles elude them and confuse them. They seem to value free contraception over freedom of religion, and political policy more than First Amendment principle.
Secularism threatens our first and most fundamental liberty — that of religion. If secularists and their supporters succeed in imposing governmental decisions contrary to the First Amendment, our country will have lost its founding principle. Four hundred years ago, puritans and pilgrims fled from religious oppression in England to secure religious freedom in the American colonies. Now, government once again, in our time and place, threatens our religious freedoms; and in effect, all subsequent freedoms.
— By the Rev. Vincent J. O’Malley, director of St. Lazare Retreat House in Spring Lake Township.