NCR Covers Rally for Religious Freedom

Stand Up for Religious FreedomThe Nationwide Rally for Religious Freedom continues to attract great media coverage.

Just this morning, a lengthy article appeared in the National Catholic Register:

The Nationwide Rally for Religious Freedom is set to take place on Friday, March 23, in more than 100 cities across the country. From Hawaii to Maine, citizens are preparing to let their voices be heard on the value of religious freedom. Meeting places include historic sites, congressional offices and federal buildings. The theme for the rally is “Stand Up for Religious Freedom — Stop the HHS Mandate!”

The rallies, which are scheduled to take place on the second anniversary of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (commonly called Obamacare), are being organized by the Pro-Life Action League and by Citizens for a Pro-Life Society in response to the recent Department of Health and Human Services mandate requiring most employers’ health-insurance plans to provide co-pay-free sterilization, contraception and abortion-causing drugs.

The mandate is unacceptable to Eric Scheidler of the Pro-Life Action League, who is spearheading the rallies. While he says there are numerous objections to the mandate, opposition to it can be broken down into two key points. The first, he says, is that “in principle, this mandate treats fertility, which can be seen as the very definition of health, as a disease. This is being talked about as ‘preventive care,’ as if motherhood, fatherhood and childhood are diseases to be avoided. This is extremely offensive.”

The second point, which Scheidler sees as even more important, is the violation of religious freedom. “This mandate would force employers to pay for sterilization, contraception and abortion-causing drugs, even in violation of their consciences. This is a direct attack on religious freedom itself, despite what many are being led to believe,” he said.

“Some think that because a so-called ‘accommodation’ was offered, everything is fine,” Scheidler said. “The Church, not the insurance companies, would still be forced to pay for things which violate Church teachings. The only way around it would be if a Catholic hospital, for example, would only hire Catholic employees and serve Catholic patients. This is ridiculous — the corporal works of mercy are not meant for Catholics alone. The HHS ’accommodation’ is so narrow that Jesus and his apostles would not qualify for it.”

Read the whole thing here.

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