St. Pat's Day massacre of religious liberty



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ABSTRACT St. Pat’s Day massacre of religious liberty WND Follow WND Follow Login   | Register Logout   | Profile Frontpage Politics U.S. World Faith Health Education Opinion Commentary Email to the Editor Cartoons Forums Commentator Lineup Money Market Overview Sectors Stocks Mutual Funds & ETF's Currencies No More Red Ink Diversions TV Guide MovieGuide Reviews Joke of the Day WND TV Molotov Mitchell DJ Dolce Red Elephant's Café Radio America Superstore WND Exclusive: Sheriff Joe flays Fox News 'infobabe' WND Exclusive: Obama finally talks about Jesus WND Exclusive: Rush predicts Obama's response to Supremes WND Exclusive: 50 forbidden words in school get 2nd look WND Exclusive: Obama prepares to sue Sheriff Joe WND Exclusive: Sheriff Joe expands Obama probe to Hillary supporters WND Exclusive: Book Obama tried to kill – back from dead WND Exclusive: Condemned pastor gets birthday visit from son WND Exclusive: Court rejects claims of Israeli 'crimes' WND Exclusive: Michiganistan: Christians must waive rights > DOCTOR'S ORDERS St. Pat's Day massacre of religious liberty Obama expands contraception insurance mandate to Catholic university students Published: 03/17/2012 at 9:27 PM by Drew Zahn Email | Archive Drew Zahn is a former pastor who cut his editing teeth as a member of the award-winning staff of Leadership , Christianity Today's professional journal for church leaders. He is the editor of seven books, including Movie-Based Illustrations for Preaching & Teaching , which sparked his ongoing love affair with film and his weekly WND column, "Popcorn and a (world)view." More ↓ Less ↑ Follow author Subscribe to author feed Tweet Text smaller Text bigger While much of the nation was focused on the St. Patrick’s Day weekend, the White House quietly released news that has nonetheless caught the attention of – and outraged – many Catholics and defenders of religious liberty. In a late-week news release , the U.S. Department of Health & Human Resources announced it was taking “the next step” in implementing the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act – commonly called Obamacare – by finalizing a rule that requires universities offering insurance to students to add contraception coverage, regardless of the school’s moral or religious stance on the issue. In other words, if a Catholic university like Notre Dame offers students insurance plans, those plans must also, after a one-year transition period, include birth control coverage, despite Catholic doctrine to the contrary. Jeanne Monahan, director of the Center for Human Dignity at the Family Research Council, blasted the news as a “profound violation of religious liberty.” “The reality is that the HHS mandate forces women like me to violate our consciences by paying a premium to an insurer who will then provide free coverage of drugs and devices that can cause abortions,” Monahan said in a statement. “At the end of the day … the mandate forces religious organizations to pay health insurance companies for coverage to their employees with drugs and services that simply violates their religious convictions. “You may not agree with such religious beliefs,” she continued, “but freedom to exercise one’s religion is a constitutional right and should be protected by the president under the First Amendment.” The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops has yet to file a formal response, but conference spokeswoman Sister Mary Ann Walsh took exception to the White House “dumping” the announcement at the end of the week, when far fewer people are paying attention to the news. “I am surprised,” Walsh told the National Catholic Register, “that such important information would be announced late Friday of St. Patrick’s Day weekend and as we prepare for the fourth Sunday of Lent.” “Under the final rule, students will gain the same consumer protections other people with individual market insurance have, like a prohibition on lifetime limits and coverage of preventive services without cost sharing,” the White House announcement asserts. “In the same way that religious colleges and universities will no.......