By Andy Kirchoff
Gov. Rick Perry (R-TX) is right. There is a “war on religion” in the United States today, and it’s being perpetrated in no small part by the Obama Administration. First came the administration’s refusal to allocate grants to the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, simply because the US Bishops oppose abortion. It didn’t matter that the USCCB had been given the grant money for years, and were by every measure the most qualified organization to receive the money; no, for Obama’s HHS, there’s now a “strong preference” for applicants offering referrals for family planning and the “full range” of “gynecological and obstetric care’’ (in other words: abortion). Just another day of putting ideology ahead of common sense in the Obama Administration!
Then came the Justice Department’s attack on religious freedom in Hosanna-Tabor vs. EEOC. Rather than let Lutherans decide for themselves if an employee of their church-affiliated organization was following their own religious prescriptions, the Obama Administration argued that it is a function of the government to tell a religious group how to operate. This position was apparently so extreme that even Obama’s handpicked Justices thought otherwise; SCOTUS shot down Eric Holder’s Department of Justice with a defiant and unanimous 9-0 ruling.
Now comes more new directives from Health and Human Services that compel all religious institutions to pay for and provide contraceptives, including abortifacients (that is, abortion-inducing drugs such as RU-486) to employees. For those that don’t see this as “something to get angry about,” just imagine if HHS decided that Hindus had to purchase beef as part of an employee benefit package. Preposterous, right? Well, if you’re Catholic, Kathleen Sebelius apparently thinks that government should force you to violate your own religious beliefs, and at YOUR expense. This decision has even dyed-in-the-wool liberals up in arms; Washington Post columnist E.J. Dionne went so far as to call it a “Breach of Faith.”
For immigrants in particular, this “breach of faith” is particularly alarming. Immigrants are already ineligible for most federal aid, and rely on religious organizations for basic charitable services. If the Obama administration, in its seemingly unquenchable thirst for more governmental power, is content to even have religious institutions be forced out of charity work, just where are immigrants (legal or illegal) going to be able to turn to? And with faux-conservatives in Alabama aiding Obama’s assault on religious freedom by criminalizing charity work to immigrants, just what is the GOP Presidential nominee going to say when this issue rears its head in election 2012? All remaining GOP Presidential candidates sans Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX) have endorsed Alabama’s new immigration law, including Cafe con Leche Republicans’ endorsed candidate, Newt Gingrich. If religious freedom ever becomes an issue this election cycle, you can bet Obama can and will use Alabama’s immigration law as a “tu quoque” against the GOP nominee – and the sad part is, it wouldn’t be unfair for him to do so.
Conservatives, why are we giving Obama more ammo to use against us? In the 3 years since Barack Obama was inaugurated the 44th President of the United States, the threats to religious freedom are perhaps greater than at any point in a century. It’s time to take a stand for religious freedom, against the Obama Administration’s relentless “war on religion,” and against Alabama’s new immigration law.