The Obama Administration’s new mandate proposal is insufficient in adhering to individual rights of religious freedom. It is clear that the administration is now playing games and does not intend to respect religious liberty. The new mandate continues to refuse to respect the rights of Catholic institutions that are unaffiliated with a particular church. The administration fails to realize that religion does not stop at the church doors. Catholicism is a beautiful religion that extends beyond Sunday mass and is to be lived throughout the week by all practitioners. The Church teaches the enumeration of the corporal works of mercy as follows:
- To feed the hungry;
- To give drink to the thirsty;
- To clothe the naked;
- To harbor the harborless;
- To visit the sick;
- To ransom the captive;
- To bury the dead.
The new mandate also falls short of respecting the religious rights of for-profit Catholic employers who cannot provide insurance coverage that would be morally illicit.
As Archbishop Cardinal Dolan said earlier today, February 7, “In obedience to our Judeo-Christian heritage, we have consistently taught our people to live their lives during the week to reflect the same beliefs that they proclaim on the Sabbath.” He continued, “We cannot now abandon them to be forced to violate their morally well-informed consciences.”
The administration will draw this fight out as long as possible. They will keep forcing the law firm representing Catholic institutions, Jones Day, to file new cases and new motions in an attempt to bleed the firm dry in a war of attrition. In the end, it does not matter if the Church wins the legal battle or not; it cannot and will not comply. Some bishops have stated that they are willing to go to jail to defend their religious beliefs. That will look great on the administration, hauling men of the cloth out in cuffs for practicing their religion and defending the faithful.