For the present Administration their understanding of ethics and positive rights supersedes the freedom of churches to conduct their affairs as they choose. In doing so, they construct a very narrow understanding of religious liberty where what they see as individual entitlements trumps the faith of religious organizations.

This past January 11, the Supreme Court unanimously ruled against the Obama Administration and upheld the right of religious organizations to choose their ministers.  The Court ruled that the First Amendment “bar[s] the government from interfering with the decision of a religious group to fire one of its ministers.” Importantly, this non-intervention rule applies not only to priests, pastors, and  rabbis but also to any employee who “personifies” the beliefs of the religious community.

The rebuke offered by the Court characterized the Administration’s understanding of religious liberty as “extreme,” “remarkable” and “untenable.” And those descriptions are exact. The Administration argued that churches should enjoy no more freedom in choosing their leaders than any other social group. They added that even if religious groups enjoyed more freedom, such should only apply to employees who performed exclusively religious functions, rather than a mix of religious and secular ones.

The Administration’s extreme, untenable and remarkable view is not exclusive to this case.  This past August the Obama Administration mandated that abortion-causing drugs be offered for all employer-provided health insurance plans. The issue with contraceptives is serious as many of these drugs can produce abortions. Thus, the mandate from Obama was to force churches to pay for drugs that not only prevent pregnancies but kill human beings after conception!

What was the initial exemption?  Only religious organizations that primarily serve and employ members of their own faith. So, if you only clothe naked Catholics, feed hungry Catholics, heal sick Catholics, and invite for worship only Catholics, you were exempt.

In the mind of the Administration, an individual “right” to abortion or contraception trumps everything else. Have you had enough?

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