As the Supreme Court heard oral arguments in the Sebelius v. Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc. case — brought by the Green family who own Hobby Lobby and the Hahn family who run Conestoga Wood Specialties — Tuesday, Americans concerned with religious freedom braved the snow to take a stand. We had the opportunity to speak with Fiona Moodie, a small business owner and entrepreneur from Maryland who said she will be personally affected by the outcome of this case.
The HHS anti-conscience mandate tramples on religious liberty, and all Americans have reason for concern, whether they are religious or not. Our elected representatives have a serious responsibility to protect religious freedom, though all too often they are responsible for its deterioration.
The Heritage Foundation has made the case for exempting Hobby Lobby and other organizations from the HHS mandate on religious liberty grounds. The Heritage Foundation explains that employers do not forfeit their deeply held convictions and religious freedoms by going into business, and therefore, they should not be required to comply with the anti-conscience mandate under the threat of debilitating government fines. The HHS anti-conscience mandate, which requires employers to provide coverage of abortion inducing drugs, is characteristic of the Obama administration’s “offensively narrow view of faith in public life,” and religious employers should be exempt.
Heritage Foundation visiting legal fellow Evan Bernick has added a new argument to bolster the religious liberty argument — and it’s one that should resonate with secular viewpoints.
With the Supreme Court’s decision to take up two cases challenging Obamacare’s HHS anti-conscience mandate, there is renewed attention on the mandate and on how it harms religious liberty in America.
Radio show hosts Leslie Marshall and Michael Graham debated the topic Monday morning on Fox News, specifically in reference to how Obamacare’s mandate harms the religious freedom of Catholic Christians in America.
In a recent op-ed, Mark Rienzi explains that religious freedom should apply to for-profit businesses, not just to corporations affiliated to a particular religious group. Companies make “decisions of conscience” all the time, and they should be free to do so without government intrusion.
Rienzi reminds us of Chipotle, which decided not to sponsor a Boy Scout event because the company disagreed with the Scouts’ policy on openly gay scoutmasters. Starbucks has ethical standards for the coffee beans it buys. The list goes on.
You can agree or disagree with the decisions of these businesses, but they are manifestly acts of conscience, both for the companies and the people who operate them. Our society is better because people and organizations remain free to have other values while earning a living. Does anyone really want a society filled with organizations that can only focus on profits and are barred from thinking of the greater good?
Last Friday, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) released its final rule outlining a so-called accommodation for its coercive Obamacare mandate. Heritage’s Sarah Torre explains in an article on National Review Online that this is typical of the administration.
Like the administration’s multiple previous attempts to “fix” the mandate, this final rule doesn’t provide any workable or adequate solutions to the mandate’s trampling on Americans’ fundamental freedoms.
At the renewal of health-plan years, employers still will be forced to facilitate coverage of abortion-inducing drugs, contraception, and sterilization — regardless of religious or moral objection to one or more of these practices.
Since it introduced the HHS mandate in 2011, the Obama administration repeatedly has brought out the best in bureaucratic theatrics. Through press conference promises, campaign absurdities, and hundreds of pages of complicated regulatory jargon, the administration has relied on a campaign of smoke and mirrors to hide the mandate’s assault on religious liberty.