Freedom of Worship or Freedom of Religion: Just Semantics?
Bioedge Newsletter

HHS Mandate

As you know, volunteers from Holy Cross parish have been collecting signatures to express disagreement with the federal government's executive mandate to employers to provide morally objectionable medications and treatment, e.g. contraceptives and abortifacients. 

I don't have the final signature tally, but it was substantial, even for this time of year when parishioners travel. As our volunteers were inviting people to sign the petition and announcing its purpose, one person reported, "Oh, I'm not signing it, I agree with contraception."

That's a misconeption. The issue isn't whether or not one personally agrees with the Church's teaching, or practices it - the petition expresses concern that the government now mandates that companies not excused by the restrictive definition of "religious employer" provide health insurance which pays for contraceptives.  The mandate doesn't simply allow them, it mandates that those who morally object to their use provide them and pay for them.

Whether such an intrusion on religious liberty will be permitted will ultimately be decided when the record breaking number of cases challenging it come before the Supreme Court. It would have been more heartening if the proposal had to be withdrawn because of public outrage.