The Obama administration seems intent upon pushing people of faith out of the public square. It has telegraphed its intent by the president and his minions consciously and consistently referring to a “freedom of worship” — something that is restricted to religious services — rather than the freedom of religion. The text of the First Amendment is pretty unambiguous on that point:
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof;
Even though it is embroiled in a long running fight over its imposition of government mandates, such as requiring the health insurance carried by religious orders to cover abortions and contraception, it has now picked another fight. On Christmas Eve… that would be the day before the religious holiday celebrating the birth of Jesus Christ… the Obama administration, in Herod-like manner, published draft rules, fast-tracked for approval, requiring religious groups involved in relief work to refer women for abortions:
“The Obama administration is getting ready to issue new rules requiring charities to provide abortions to child refugees entering the US without their parents. Faith-based groups say this is a contravention of the rights of parents and a violation of the conscience rights of faith-based groups helping resettle the children,” says Susan Yoshihara of the pro-life group C-FAM.
“The rules require faith-based providers to make referrals for emergency contraception, partner with groups which provide abortion, or notify the federal government which would make arrangements for the abortion. If groups do not do so, they are not eligible for federal aid,” she said.
Yoshihara says Catholic organizations affected by the proposed rules conveyed their objection to the new rules to the Obama administration.She said the groups’ said their comment on the proposed rule is that the requirement to perform, partner or refer for abortion or contraception are a violation of conscience rights.
The administration says it would be “contrary to the public interest” to wait “until a public notice and comment process is complete.” The administration also asserts that no Congressional review is required and that there is no issue with federalism or any impact on families in the new guidance,” she said.
This is calculated to force groups, like Catholic Charities, from the field and thereby create demand for more federal funding or groups amenable to the slaughter of children. It is just another step in converting the free exercise of religion to a freedom to go to church; the change a way of living to a curious set of cultural practices.