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Obama Declares “Religious Freedom Day” As His Admin Denies It

by Steven Ertelt | Washington, DC | LifeNews.com | 1/16/13 12:06 PM

National

President Barack Obama declared today Religious Freedom Day as his administration is working overtime to deny religious freedom to pro-life Americans who do not want their companies, schools or businesses to pay for drugs that may cause abortions.

While the Obama Administration is furiously working to push the HHS mandate on religious employers, Obama issued a proclamation today calling religious freedom “sacred.”

“Foremost among the rights Americans hold sacred is the freedom to worship as we choose,” the ironic proclamation reads. “Today, we celebrate one of our Nation’s first laws to protect that right — the Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom. Written by Thomas Jefferson and guided through the Virginia legislature by James Madison, the Statute affirmed that “Almighty God hath created the mind free” and “all men shall be free to profess . . . their opinions in matters of religion.” Years later, our Founders looked to the Statute as a model when they enshrined the principle of religious liberty in the Bill of Rights.”

The remainder of the proclamation reads as follows:

Because of the protections guaranteed by our Constitution, each of us has the right to practice our faith openly and as we choose. As a free country, our story has been shaped by every language and enriched by every culture. We are a nation of Christians and Muslims, Jews and Hindus, Sikhs and non-believers. Our patchwork heritage is a strength we owe to our religious freedom.

Americans of every faith have molded the character of our Nation. They were pilgrims who sought refuge from persecution; pioneers who pursued brighter horizons; protesters who fought for abolition, women’s suffrage, and civil rights. Each generation has seen people of different faiths join together to advance peace, justice, and dignity for all.

Today, we also remember that religious liberty is not just an American right; it is a universal human right to be protected here at home and across the globe. This freedom is an essential part of human dignity, and without it our world cannot know lasting peace.

As we observe Religious Freedom Day, let us remember the legacy of faith and independence we have inherited, and let us honor it by forever upholding our right to exercise our beliefs free from prejudice or persecution.

NOW, THEREFORE, I, BARACK OBAMA, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim January 16, 2013, as Religious Freedom Day. I call on all Americans to commemorate this day with events and activities that teach us about this critical foundation of our Nation’s liberty, and show us how we can protect it for future generations at home and around the world.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this sixteenth day of January, in the year of our Lord two thousand thirteen, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and thirty-seventh.

While Obama touts religious freedom, the Obama Administration is still trying to enforce its abortion pill mandate against a Bible publisher which filed a lawsuit against it.

In an email to LifeNews, Susan B. Anthony List (SBA List) President Marjorie Dannenfelser deplored the proclamation as hypocritical in light of his administration’s mandate that employers and organizations – regardless of deeply held religious beliefs or moral objections – must offer insurance plans that cover abortion-inducing drugs and sterilization.

She said, “Our religious liberty and rights of conscience have been threatened like never before under President Obama, who has mandated that employers must cover abortion-inducing drugs in their health care plans, regardless of their moral or religious objections. President Obama must first rescind his HHS mandate before making any proclamations on the subject – this is blatant hypocrisy.”

The mandate has generated massive opposition from pro-life groups because it forces employers, regardless of their religious or moral convictions, to provide insurance coverage for abortion-inducing drugs, sterilization, and contraception under threat of heavy penalties.

The Obama administration opposed an order a judge gave temporarily stopping enforcement, arguing that Tyndale House Publishers isn’t religious enough for an exemption from the mandate, a component of ObamaCare that forces employers, regardless of their religious or moral convictions, to provide insurance coverage for abortion-inducing drugs, sterilization, and contraception under threat of heavy penalties.

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Yesterday, LifeNews reported on how a pro-life legal group representing Tyndale, says the Obama Administration is taking the battle to the next level.

Alliance Defending Freedom Senior Legal Counsel Matt Bowman emailed LifeNews regarding the decision of the Obama administration Tuesday to continue trying to force the Bible publisher to act contrary to its religious beliefs in Tyndale House Publishers v. Sebelius:

He said: “Bible publishers should be free to do business according to the book that they publish. Regrettably, the administration does not want religious freedom to stand in the way of imposing ObamaCare. The district court rightly halted ObamaCare’s abortion pill mandate against Tyndale House, but the administration continues to argue that a Bible publisher isn’t religious enough to qualify as a religious employer. For the government to say that a Bible publisher isn’t religious is startling. We will continue to argue on appeal that the administration cannot disregard the Constitution’s protection of religious freedom to achieve certain political purposes.”