Americans across the religious and non-religious spectrum alike have taken umbrage to the President’s demand that they pay for contraceptives and abortion pills for other Americans whether they like it or not. And as a result, they’re banding together to remind the nation that this affront to religious freedom is a fight created not by religious groups, but wholly by the Obama administration.
President Obama, for his part, claimed he would augment the mandate so as to “accommodate” those who wanted to opt-out on religious grounds. However, on the same day he published his discriminatory rule “without change.” But even if some change materializes it will more or less be a fiction, because it will pretend that objectionable items are “free” while still requiring religious organizations to provide plans that employees can use to get those same items.
And isn’t it ironic that the people doing the forcing are of a political persuasion that usually seizes on the claim of constitutional “separation of church and state” every time such a separation benefits their cause? Now these same people claim state power to define who is and who isn’t religious.
The president seems to have dug in his heels at this point. And it appears he hopes recent public exchanges, like the one between Georgetown University law student Sandra Fluke and talk show giant Rush Limbaugh, will ultimately distract Americans from what’s being crammed down the throat of their consciences by the Obama administration.
While this tactic by the administration is duplicitous, it is not politically foolish. As columnist James Taranto has pointed out, the administration is benefiting from ignorance over the mandate: polls show that the less people know about “the ObamaCare mandate, the more likely [they] are to support it.” [related]
However, it remains a tactic that strains the patience of the American citizenry as much as the mandate itself has strained their patience. In the midst of an atrocious economy and soaring gas prices, the president picked a needless fight about birth control. For those who know what the mandate says and how it tramples upon our rights of conscience, this ploy only contributes to the outrage Americans feel for being forced to do what they find unconscionable.
The Obama mandate is a complete affront to religious liberty, [and] persons of faith or no faith at all should be alarmed at Obama riding rough-shod over the conscience of American citizens. We are calling on all people of good will to rise up and vigorously oppose this ruling.
It is important that all Americans stand as standard bearers on this cause. For in attacking our rights of conscience, Obama’s mandate has struck a blow against freedom itself.
LifeNews Note: Matthew S. Bowman is legal counsel with the Alliance Defense Fund (www.telladf.org), a legal alliance employing a unique combination of strategy, training, funding, and litigation to protect and preserve religious liberty, the sanctity of life, marriage, and the family.