Cardinals Flock to Court to Fight Mandate

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.


  1. I have lived in America sixty-eight years. I was born and raised in Kansas and I am a Mexican but an American first. Living in poor conditions in a neighborhood of Catholics (my father was a Baptist Minister) I was able to compare how I viewed God and how my Catholic neighbors viewed God.
    We all believed in Jehovah and prayer has always been how we speak to the Father although the Catholics have the priest as a go between.
    We lived side by side and intermarried and had children. Of course the predominant religion is Catholic in this city. I am still a Baptist and believe that I can go directly to Jehovah in the name of Jesus with my petitions and worship.
    Being a follower of Jesus Christ gives me authority to bind the devil and his demons when they move among the believers and unbelievers with sicknesses and diseases. Before Jesus ascended into heaven he passed the power to do everything He did and more to his believers. In order to find out what Jesus did while He was ministering to the Jew first and then the Gentile you must read the Holy Bible.
    The Catholic Church as well as all Christian believers are here to witness the faith and open the eyes of the unbeliever. We tell people about why accepting Jesus is life changing and who He is.
    There are men on this earth with much wealth and power that comes from the devil and they do the devils bidding. Satan wants to shut down the believers in Jesus because we as Christians become soldiers in Gods army and he is losing his army.
    Satan has no authority or power unless we give in to his lies and then he works through misguided men and women. This country was founded on the Word of God in Jesus name. I am a child of the most high God and so I come in authority to tell you that this country belongs to Jesus and every believer is His child and we are His army and He is our King not Obama and not the Federal Government in it’s present state.

  2. Notwithstanding the bishops’ arm waving about religious liberty, the health care law does not force employers to act contrary to their consciences. Contrary to bishops’ assertions and the widespread belief of those who trustingly accept their claims, the law does no such thing.

    Many initially worked themselves into a lather with the false idea that the law forces employers to provide their employees with health care plans offering services the employers consider immoral. The fact is that employers have the option of not providing any such plans and instead simply paying assessments to the government (which, by the way, would generally amount to far less than the cost of health plans). Unless one supposes that the employers’ religion forbids payments of money to the government (all of us should enjoy such a religion), then the law’s requirement to pay assessments does not compel those employers to act contrary to their beliefs. Problem solved. Solved–unless an employer really aims not just to avoid a moral bind, but rather to control his employees’ health plan choices so they conform to the employer’s religious beliefs rather than the law, and avoid paying the assessments that otherwise would be owed. For that, an employer would need an exemption from the law.

    Indeed, some have continued clamoring for such an exemption, complaining that by paying assessments to the government they would indirectly be paying for the very things they opposed. They seemingly missed that that is not a moral dilemma justifying an exemption to avoid being forced to act contrary to one’s beliefs, but rather is a gripe common to many taxpayers–who don’t much like paying taxes and who object to this or that action the government may take with the benefit of “their” tax dollars. Should each of us be exempted from paying our taxes so we aren’t thereby “forced” to pay for making war, providing health care, teaching evolution, or whatever else each of us may consider wrong or even immoral? If each of us could opt out of this or that law or tax with the excuse that our religion requires or allows it, the government and the rule of law could hardly operate.

    In any event, those complaining made enough of a stink that the government relented and announced that religious employers would be free to provide health plans with provisions to their liking (yay!) and not be required to pay the assessments otherwise required (yay!). Problem solved–again, even more.

    Nonetheless, some continue to complain, fretting that somehow the services they dislike will get paid for and somehow they will be complicit in that. They argue that if insurers (or, by the same logic, anyone, e.g., employees) pay for such services, those costs will somehow, someday be passed on to the employers in the form of demands for higher insurance premiums or higher wages. They evidently believe that when they spend a dollar and it thus becomes the property of others, they nonetheless should have some say in how others later spend that dollar. One can only wonder how it would work if all of us could tag “our” dollars this way and control their subsequent use.

    The bishops are coming across more and more as just another special interest group with a big lobbying operation and a big budget—one, moreover, that is not above stretching the truth. The bishops want the government to privilege their business enterprises by allowing them to offer their employees health care plans conforming to the bishops’ religious beliefs rather than the law. They’re so keen on this that they have resorted to a media blitz centered on the false claim—sometimes uttered in priestly tones by bishops themselves—that the law forces employers to act contrary to their consciences. Bunk!

Leave a Reply