CNS News editor-in-chief Terry Jeffrey writes about it on Townhall.
The Newland family owns and operates Hercules Industries, a Colorado-based corporation that manufactures heating, ventilation and air-conditioning equipment. Through their hard work and dedication, and through their willingness to reinvest their own money in building their family business, they have managed to create jobs for 265 people while exerting a positive influence on the communities they serve.
[…]The Newlands sued to protect their free exercise of religion in this regard because Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius issued a regulation, under the Obamacare law, that requires virtually all health care plans to cover — without cost-sharing — sterilizations, artificial contraception and abortifacients.
Under Obamacare, businesses that employ more than 50 people must provide their employees with insurance or pay a penalty, and the required insurance must include the mandated cost-sharing-free coverage for sterilizations, artificial contraception and abortifacients.
At Hercules Industries, the Newlands provide a generous self-insured health-care plan to their employees. It does not cover sterilization, artificial contraception or abortifacients.
[…]In response to the Newlands’ complaint that ordering them to violate the teachings of the Catholic Church in the way they run their business is a violation of their First Amendment right to the free exercise of religion, the Obama administration told the federal court that a private business has no protection under the First Amendment’s free exercise clause — especially if the business is incorporated.
[…]This is just as if the Justice Department were to tell a family owned newspaper that it must publish editorials calling for a confiscatory estate tax, basing its coercion of the newspaper on the supposition (which lawyers for the Alliance Defending Freedom argue DOJ is by analogy making) that as a for-profit secular and incorporated employer, the paper has no First Amendment right to freedom of speech.
I’m a Protestant, and even I could not comply with any regulation that forces me to subsidize behavior that I consider immoral – namely, dispensing drugs that cause unborn human children to die. I would like to go through my life without murdering any innocent people, thank you very much, and it’s not the government’s place to force me to murder people. And that’s one good reason right there to oppose Obamacare, although there are others.
Listening to William Lane Craig talk about current events and its relevance to theological and ethical concerns makes me very happy. I have 3 of his commentaries below, but if you have been following my blog, you know about all three of them already. Still, it’s great to hear a philosopher and theologian way in on practical issues. I like it as much as when Wayne Grudem does it. I never, ever get tired of hearing Christian pastors and scholars talk about practical things.
I think that all of you who are suspicious of my efforts to link Christianity to other issues should listen to these podcasts.
Here’s the MP3 file from the first lecture on religious liberty, dated January 22, 2012. (14 MB | 6:17 min)
- The issue is whether churches should be allowed to be exempt from hiring restrictions
- The Supreme Court ruling saying that the state cannot intervene in church hiring decisions
- The Obama administration tried to erase the religious liberty protections for churches
- The 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the Texas sonogram law
- The importance of an incremental pro-life approach
Here’s the MP3 file from the second lecture, dated January 29th, 2012. Get MP3 (21 MB | 9:10 min)
- The issue is whether Catholic organizations should be forced to cover abortion drugs
- The state is attempting to mandate what religious organizations must pay for
- The mandate would force churches to pay for abortion drugs: Ella and Plan “B”
- The issue is not contraception, which some Christians may support
- The issue is an issue of religious liberty and government control
Here’s the MP3 file from the third lecture, dated February 10th, 2012. (43 MB | 18:59 min)
- Obama’s “compromise”: making the insurance companies pay for abortion drugs
- Does the compromise really resolve the religious liberty issue?
- Many Catholic institutions have Catholic insurance companies
- Many faith-based organizations self-insure by pooling employee resources
- The compromise would require these groups to cover abortion drugs
- Another issue is the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals ruling against Prop 8
- Did Prop 8 really take rights away from gays and lesbians?
- No – Prop 8 defined heterosexual marriage as valid or recognized
- Prop 8 doesn’t even mention gays and lesbians
- Prop 8 says straights and gays have the same right to marry someone of the opposite sex
- Prop 8 says nothing about a person’s sexual orientation
- This attempt to push for same-sex marriage is an attempt to deconstruct marriage
- It is important to think of issues like this before voting
- Christians should care about politics and follow politics
- Christians who don’t know politics are “naive” and “have their head in the sand”
- The two judges in this decision were appointed by Democrats: Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton
I think this is good because I’m sure that a bunch of you think that Bill only ever talks about apologetics. But actually, he is very good about being practical about his faith. He does try to think through how current events, laws and policies affect the theological and moral positions of the Christian faith. I just recently e-mailed him about Rick Santorum’s comments about how the Catholic church supported Obamacare, and then how it later caused problems for their religious liberty. So there is a case where top-down control of the private sector created a situation where religious liberty was negatively impacted… exactly as predicted by F.A. Hayek in “The Road to Serfdom”.