Obama Shreds Religious Freedom

Wednesday, 08 Feb 2012 12:16 PM

By Frank Donatelli

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Bart Stupak was an eminently forgettable liberal congressman from Michigan who seldom deviated from Democratic orthodoxy — except on abortion.

He was a steadfast champion of the right to life for his entire career — until he confronted Obamacare, the monstrous government takeover of health care rammed through an unwilling Congress by the Obama administration.

Stupak held out against Obamacare until the last second — and then capitulated like most every other Democrat in Congress. The bill barely passed in the House soon afterward.

Stupak said he was persuaded to support the bill by Obama's promise to sign an executive order reaffirming the ban on federal funding for abortion.

He must have known the order was worthless against the federal government's new power to compel all employers, including Catholic institutions to fund contraception and abortion insurance coverage.

That's because another provision of Obamacare required the Department of Health and Human services to define "minimum requirements" for any health insurance policy offered by employers.

If a policy does not comply with these minimum requirements, the employer faces heavy fines from the feds. Stupak must have known that the Obama Administration would require employers to offer birth control including abortifacients, and sterilization services.

Stupak is no longer in Congress, having retired soon after his capitulation, but the bill came due last week when HHS issued its ruling requiring that all employers, including Catholic schools and hospitals, offer abortion related services.

Never mind that Catholic doctrine prohibits any support for abortion. Never mind the First Amendment's freedom of religious worship guarantee.

Obama the secular humanist has decreed that abortion is now a right that employers must subsidize under pain of enormous fines and possibly other legal action.

This administration has much practice ignoring the Constitution. It has asserted a right to require every American to buy a health insurance policy whether or not he or she wants one. Obama has thumbed his nose at the Constitution's requirement that the Senate confirm his nominees.

Dozens are making policy and writing regulations without the advice and consent of the Senate. He has put them in place anyway and dares anyone to stop him.

Now he is obliterating religious freedom.

Little did we know that the "momentary majority" conferred on him in 2008 and since renounced by the American people empowered him to rewrite Catholic religious beliefs.

Not surprisingly, this power grab has been ignored by the mainstream media. The cause for them this past week was the Susan G. Koman Foundation, a private organization, withdrawing modest funding from Planned Parenthood, the nation's number one abortion advocate.

Koman made the move because Planned Parenthood is under congressional investigation, but the media, led by The New York Times, apparently feels that a private organization's decision to withhold funding from another private organization is more important than the administration's bullying of the Catholic Church.

Fortunately, there are avenues available to stop Obama's latest power grab. Congress can, should and probably will use the appropriations process to prohibit any funding for the rule's implementation.

The federal courts are also available to strike down this gross violation of the First Amendment. The ultimate sanction would be for the public to add this to the bill of indictment that already exists against this president and vote him out of office in November.

The focus now turns to the Catholics of convenience who populate the upper reaches of the Democratic Party, the officials who are "personally opposed" to abortion but don't want to impose their views on anyone else. How do they feel about the Obama administration forcing Catholic employers to fund insurance payments for abortion?

Nancy Pelosi, John Kerry, Martin O'Malley head of the Democratic Governors Association, Tim Kaine former chair of the DNC, and Vice President Joseph Biden are in this category.

They've been MIA in this fight their entire political careers. The question now is will they allow Obama to force their church to subsidize a practice they say is abhorrent to them.

Frank Donatelli is Chairman of GOPAC, the center for educating and electing a new generation of Republican leaders.

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