Tony Perkins’ Washington Update
Nothing seems to stand in the way of President Obama’s political agenda–not Congress, not the Constitution, and certainly not the church. When he ordered faith-based groups to turn their backs on church teachings and fund life-destroying drugs, the White House was asking for a fight. And yesterday, they got it.
After months of trying to negotiate, the Catholic Church bombarded the Department of Health and Human Services with 12 lawsuits, representing an army of dioceses, hospitals, schools, and charities across eight states and the District of Columbia. A total of 43 entities–including Catholic powerhouses like Notre Dame, Catholic University, Catholic Charities, the entire Archdiocese of New York and Washington, D.C.–will fight to end the strangling of religious freedom in America.
With the first wave of mandate rules scheduled to take effect on August 1, Cardinal Timothy Dolan said, “Time is running out, and our valuable ministries and fundamental rights hang in the balance. We have to resort to the courts now.” Even the Fighting Irish, who once invited President Obama to speak at their university, recognize what’s at stake:
“[I]f one presidential administration… can use religious organizations to advance policies that undercut our values, then surely another administration will do the same for another very different set of policies, each time invoking some concept of popular will or the public good, with the result these religious organizations become mere tools for the exercise of government power, morally subservient to the state, and not free f rom its infringements. If that happens, it will be the end of religious organizations…”
Never in the history of our nation has the federal government reached into the church and imposed its will over the protest of the faithful. “When did the government get into the business of defining for us the extent of our ministry?” Cardinal Dolan wanted to know. This isn’t about birth control. It’s about government control. And every time religious freedom conflicts with this administration’s agenda, freedom seems to lose. Together, America’s faith community is rising up to say “enough!” If this President wants to drive religion out of the public square, then his administration will have to go through thousands of priests, pastors, and rabbis first.
They understand, as we do, that this war has implications–not just for religious liberty–but for every liberty. If the church can be conscripted to advance a liberal political agenda, then anyone can. “At the deepest level, we are witnessing an attack on the institutions of civil society that are essential to limited gove rnment,” writes Mary Ann Glendon, “and are important buffers between the citizen and the all-powerful state.”
FRC will continue to stand and fight alongside church leaders like Cardinal Dolan who refuse to surrender their most fundamental right-to live and exercise faith without compromise. For more on the debate, check out FRC’s Jeanne Monahan on Fox’s “American Newsroom” yesterday.