Tuesday, February 7, 2012
Contraception mandate threat: Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere
Michael Gerson's excellent commentary in the Washington Post, "Obama plays hisCatholic allies for fools," highlights just two of the Obama administration's assaults on First Amendment freedoms in the faith community--mandating the subsidy of potentially life-ending contraceptives and lobbying the Supreme Court to restrict religious hiring rights.
President Obama has also gutted the only federal regulation protecting conscience rights in health care, and his administration has also pursued more covert means of pushing people of faith out of the public square. The U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services (HHS) deliberately diverted grant funding away from a faith-based organization that had been providing by all accounts excellent aid to victims of human trafficking. Despite an objective review score 20 points higher than the group ultimately awarded the money, the faith-based group lost the competition because of its moral objections to participating in abortion--a senseless new stipulation for grants to aid trafficked victims. Faith-based groups also have been quietly pushed out of partnerships with the federal government by grant stipulations under the President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR).
If we allow this administration's assault on people of faith, no one's First Amendment rights remain safe. As Dr. King proclaimed, "Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere."