Thursday, February 9, 2012

Jesus Would Not Qualify for the HHS Exemption

It's true.  Jesus the Christ would not qualify for the Obama administration's exemption from its new HHS regulation that requires religious entities to pay for not just birth control and sterilizations but also the Morning After (abortion) Pill.

NRO has a good primer that reveals the narrowness of the Obama administration's religious exemption.  According to Mark Rienzi,  senior counsel at the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty and a professor of constitutional law at the Catholic University of America,

The existing exemption is incredibly narrow and actually penalizes those charitable organizations that are kind enough to help people who are not members of their own faith. A Catholic soup kitchen, for example, would fail to qualify simply because they serve hungry Jews, atheists, and Muslims along with hungry Catholics. The same would be true for inner-city Catholic schools, which frequently educate poor children of all faiths. On top of that, the exception would apply only to organizations that refuse to hire members of other religions and that file tax returns as churches or religious orders. The conscience clause also applies only to organizations and not to individual business owners who may not want to pay for

How odd it is that the exemption excludes those who minister to people of other faiths -- or no faith.  The Obama administration has targeted "good acts" that might result in conversion.  It is almost as if the Obama administration is trying fight a contagion:  stop effective proselytizing before we end up with more bitter people clinging to their guns and Bibles.

It's a particularly hypocritical approach from an administration that loves to preach "tolerance."  In fact, the exemption punishes tolerance; the charities can only qualify for the exemption if they preach to the choir, and just the choir. So much for embracing diversity.

By this standard, Jesus and his apostles would have lost their exemption any time they ministered to a Gentile.  Don't let Kathleen Sebelius hear about that Samaritan woman at the well!

This is how Obama treats a major denomination that is a swing-vote block in what is sure to be a close election.  This is Obama in his restrained mode, seeking reelection.  Imagine what he will do if he no longer has to worry about being reelected?

The implication for religious freedom, indeed, for all aspects of freedom, is truly terrifying.

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