Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Belmont Abbey Sues Federal Government Over Obamacare Contraception Mandate

Due to medical bills from all my health issues and my finances taking a huge hit due my inability to work my husband and I had to change internet service providers to meet our needs so until Friday when my internet access is hooked up I will have limited access to blogging.  Friday I will visit all your great blogs. 

I don't usually copy and paste entire articles but since I'm under time constraint here is a good article.

McDonald's & teachers' unions get exemptions but Catholic and all religious colleges do not



"A monk at Belmont Abbey may preach on Sunday that pre-marital sex, contraception, and abortions are immoral, but on Monday, the government would force the same monk to pay for students to receive the very drugs and procedures he denounces," said Hannah Smith, Senior Legal Counsel at the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty. "This is much worse than an un-funded mandate; it is a monk-funded mandate."


WASHINGTON,DC (Becket Fund for Religious Liberty) - On November 10, 2011, the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty filed a lawsuit against the federal government on behalf of Belmont Abbey College over the "Affordable Care Act" (aka "Obamacare"), that forces the College to violate its deeply-held religious beliefs or pay a severe fine.


The heart of the lawsuit involves the recently issued Health and Human Services' mandate that requires thousands of religious organizations to provide, against their conscience, contraceptives they consider to be abortifacients-namely Plan B and Ella-and sterilization.


Although the government has already provided thousands of waivers for a variety of special interest groups including McDonald's and teachers' unions, often for reasons of commercial convenience, it refused to accommodate religious organizations. Instead, the government permitted a religious exemption so narrowly defined that it prompted the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops to note that even Jesus' ministry would not qualify.


"A monk at Belmont Abbey may preach on Sunday that pre-marital sex, contraception, and abortions are immoral, but on Monday, the government would force the same monk to pay for students to receive the very drugs and procedures he denounces," said Hannah Smith, Senior Legal Counsel at the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty. "This is much worse than an un-funded mandate; it is a monk-funded mandate."


The current exemption from the mandate excludes only certain religious employers whose purpose is to instill religious values and that employ and serve only individuals of their same faith. Accordingly, many religious colleges and universities will not qualify for the exemption.


Belmont Abbey, as a small Catholic liberal arts college, teaches that contraception, sterilization, and abortion are all against God's law. The government mandate forces Belmont Abbey and others to make the Hobson's choice of either violating their deeply-held religious beliefs or paying a heavy fine and terminating their health insurance plans for employees and students.


"The mandate is nothing other than a deliberate attack by the government on the religious beliefs of millions of Americans," added Hannah Smith. "In the end, the government is forcing religious orders and believers to pay for services they find immoral or pay a stiff fine."
The Becket Fund for Religious Liberty is a non-profit, public-interest law firm dedicated to protecting the free expression of all religious traditions. The Becket Fund has a 17-year history of defending religious liberty for people of all faiths. Its attorneys are recognized as experts in the field of church-state law.

The Becket Fund for Religious Liberty is a non-profit, public-interest legal and educational institute that protects the free expression of all faiths.

21 comments:

Most Rev. Gregori said...

After the report that came out about Nancy Pelosi helping her husband to manipulate the Market so that her husband, Paul Pelosi, could make millions of dollars on a VISA deal, I cannot help but believe that if our elected Senators and Representatives can make a financial killing off of the Obamacare deal, that no matter what promises they make now, there is no way that they will ever repeal the health care Act, even if the SCOTUS should declare it unconstitutional, which I really believe they will not do. My deepest gut feeling is that the Supreme Court will decide in favor of Obama.

Check out my blog post that will be posted tomorrow evening and you will see why I feel as I do.

Leticia said...

It galls me and disgusts to me no end that my money, my hard-earned money, is going to be paying for something I strongly oppose.

Quite Rightly said...

Of course Jesus Christ's ministry "would not qualify" for a government exemption under the current administration. On the other hand, if a teacher at Belmont Abbey feels a call to visit Mecca in the middle of the school year, an exemption will be sought by the Attorney General of the United States, PDQ.

WomanHonorThyself said...

the govt coerces us to support every abomination..ugh!

Ron Russell said...

Teresa, I pray that everything works out for you and family. Life is full of those setbacks, but for the most part they are temporary and better times await those who maintain that inner strength which I see in your writing. I haven't visited much lately, but trying to catch up now!

MK said...

This is the sort of thing that riles me up about the fascist left, they tell us it's about choice, but where is their choice not to fund baby-killing, where is my choice not to fund baby-killing.

Katherine said...

Although the government has already provided thousands of waivers for a variety of special interest groups including McDonald's and teachers' unions, often for reasons of commercial convenience, it refused to accommodate religious organizations.

LIE.

Belmont Abbey College has not even applied for a waiver.

Teresa said...

Most Rev. Gregori,

But, if the Supreme Court declares Obamacare to be unconstitutional then it is effectively nonexistent. I think it all depends on whether Kennedy decides Obamacare is unconstitutional or not. We'll see...

Teresa said...

Leticia,

It ticks me off too. Tax revolt?

Teresa said...

Quite Rightly,

Good point. Such hypocrisy with freedom of religion and preferential treatment given to one specific religion over others.

Teresa said...

WHT,

This government equals tyranny.

Teresa said...

Ron,

Thanks so much for your kind words of encouragement. God, family, and friends will help us get through this tough time. God Bless.

I'm playing the catch up game now too.

Teresa said...

MK,

Exactly! They only want you to have one option - their choice - and no other, which isn't giving people a choice at all. Fascist Left - You can say that again. They irk me to no end.

Teresa said...

Katherine,

Why should a college need a waiver to be able to express their constitutional right to religious freedom?

What you perceive to be a lie is actually the truth. It would be nice if you lefties had the ability to recognize the truth.

"Nearly a million workers won't get a consumer protection in the U.S. health reform law meant to cap insurance costs because the government exempted their employers.
Thirty companies and organizations, including McDonald's (MCD) and Jack in the Box (JACK), won't be required to raise the minimum annual benefit included in low-cost health plans, which are often used to cover part-time or low-wage employees.

The Department of Health and Human Services, which provided a list of exemptions, said it granted waivers in late September so workers with such plans wouldn't lose coverage from employers who might choose instead to drop health insurance altogether.

Without waivers, companies would have had to provide a minimum of $750,000 in coverage next year, increasing to $1.25 million in 2012, $2 million in 2013 and unlimited in 2014."

http://www.usatoday.com/money/industries/health/2010-10-07-healthlaw07_ST_N.htm

Katherine said...

Why should a college need a waiver to be able to express their constitutional right to religious freedom?

If you think they shouldn't need a waiver, then say that. Don't lie and say they were denied a waiver. Just tell the truth.

Teresa said...

Katherine,

According to this administration you need a waiver to have any exemptions with regards to Obamacare regardless of whether the reason is religious or not. Was Belmont Abbey given a waiver? Was there request (not meaning a waiver) to be excluded under this provision of Obamacare denied? Yes. So, if the federal government didn't grant a waiver I didn't lie. Try facing the truth and reality Katherine.

Katherine said...

Was Belmont Abbey given a waiver?

Waivers are given in reponse to a request for a waiver. No request has been made by Belmont Abbey College.

Can you show me a copy of their waiver request? No. Can you even show me a statement by the College that they sent in a waiver request? No.

If a waiver request was sent in, it is a public document. You can FOIA it, but I don't know why the College wouldn't just provide a copy.

Teresa said...

Katherine,

A waiver is meant to exempt the organization or business from the entire health care law and not just one provision of Obamacare. At the very least this particular provision which requires group health plans to cover “[FDA-]approved contraceptive methods, sterilization procedures, and patient education and counseling for all women with reproductive capacity,” goes against their Church's teachings, is against religious liberty, and is unconstitutional.

If Obama & Co really cared about religious freedom he and Sebelius would not be forcing this provision down the American peoples throats.

The Obama admin has granted Muslims with waivers without a waiver request so why hasn't this happened with other religious groups?

Well, gee its just a wee bit coincidental that as this assault on our religious liberty came to light and was brought to the HHS's attention that in September HHS stopped granting waivers.

The Obama granted waivers as political favors to those who kissed their butts, those who agree with that horrible piece of legislation.

Katherine said...

The Obama admin has granted Muslims with waivers without a waiver request so why hasn't this happened with other religious groups?

No. In order to get a waiver, you have to submit a waiver request. Thre is no one at HHS just sending out unrequested waivers just for the jollies of it.

How would HHS even know where to send the waiver? Just look up names in the phone book?

Teresa said...

Katherine,

"No" Proof?

Sending out waivers or respecting ones civil or religious rights would take individuals with some intellect and respect for our constitution. This admin clearly is lacking in both of those.

Katherine said...

I am unclear. First you said that the Adminitration sent out waivers to McDonald's, etc. and now you say they have not.

We could have a discussion at some point as to if HHS has used good judgment or not in processing waiver requests as they have been received. But I think we first have to get some agreement has to which organizations have sent in waiver requests, and then which requests were granted and which were denied.

These are all matters of public record.