- Category: U.S.
- Published on Saturday, 18 January 2014 18:59
- Written by CP Staff Report
American Family Association Says Little Sisters of the Poor’s Constitutional Religious Rights Are Being Trampled
TUPELO, Miss.—American Family Association is heralding the words of Judge Andrew Napolitano, a guest commentator on FoxNews.com, who wrote today about the Catholic nuns group, the Little Sisters of the Poor, and how its disagreement with the Affordable Care Act’s birth control mandate is creating a debate about religious rights.
The Little Sisters of the Poor is an order of Roman Catholic nuns who have taken vows of poverty, chastity and obedience. The nuns operate nursing homes for those who cannot afford care and employ more than 50 people at their facilities. The Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare, requires all employers of 50 or more to obtain health insurance coverage for all of their employees—coverage that pays for birth control via contraception, sterilization and abortion.
The sisters have objected to the requirement, as paying for birth control directly violates Catholic teachings and beliefs. Now, the Obama Administration has asked the Little Sisters of the Poor to provide a statement of their faith in order for the request for an exemption to the federal health care law to be considered.
The Obama Administration, however, has handed out 1,231 Affordable Care Act waivers to other companies and labor unions, with no question about their religious beliefs.
“When it comes to politics, our leaders inexcusably forget that there is protection for religious freedom under the First Amendment,” said Tim Wildmon, president of American Family Association. “The government is absolutely not allowed to judge and determine how Christians (or those from any other religion) should believe. The ‘Theologian-in-Chief,’ is making a grand inquisition into the faith beliefs of its citizens—nuns, no less!—but the U.S. Constitution is VERY clear that an outrageous act like this, requiring a faith statement from them, is indeed, unconstitutional. Freedom of religion is a fundamental provision in our Constitution, yet our government is abusing that freedom for personal pride and gain.”
Churches and other houses of worship are exempt from the birth control requirement, but the Affordable Care Act was written in a way that does not exempt Catholic and other religiously affiliated hospitals, colleges and charities. Now, Catholic and other religious groups, Christ-centered colleges and even businesses owned by Christians have filed challenges to the rule.
According to an editorial in USA Today, although religiously affiliated non-profits do not have to supply birth control coverage themselves, they must sign a certification that allows their insurance companies to provide it instead. The Little Sisters of the Poor and others have argued that this makes them complicit in an act that violates a tenet of their faith. Non-profits that refuse to sign could face fines in the millions of dollars.
For more information on American Family Association, visit www.afa.net.