The First Amendment And Obamacare

“Conscience is the most sacred of all property.”

James Madison

Yet another aspect of the American Affordable Care Act has caused the Obama Administration to come-a-cropper with the United States Constitution. The act has already inspired a dense thicket of law suits over its individual mandate provision that forces people to buy insurance or pay a penalty tax for not so doing. Recently, Health and Human Services Secretary, Kathleen Sibelius, has added more fuel to the legal bonfire that has erupted over ObamaCare.


The law entails that all health plans provide “preventive services” free of charge. This previously included the sorts of things you would want to have to prevent disease. This would include child vaccinations, physical check-ups and other practical medical services that wise people would want from time to time. Now Kathleen Sibelius has decided to add contraception to include RU-486. Secretary Sibelius issued the following news release.

Today the department is announcing that the final rule on preventive health services will ensure that women with health insurance coverage will have access to the full range of the Institute of Medicine’s recommended preventive services, including all FDA -approved forms of contraception. Women will not have to forego these services because of expensive co-pays or deductibles, or because an insurance plan doesn’t include contraceptive services.


Archbishop Timothy Dolan had previously made his concerns about this plan known to President Obama in a personal audience with the president at the White House. He had been informed that the Obamacare mandate would not be forced upon the various services and schools run by The American Catholic Church.

However, like most of what Barack Obama promises, this guarantee came with an expiration date. That expiration date was 20 January 2012. Secretary Sibelius explains below.


After evaluating comments, we have decided to add an additional element to the final rule. Nonprofit employers who, based on religious beliefs, do not currently provide contraceptive coverage in their insurance plan, will be provided an additional year, until August 1, 2013, to comply with the new law.

Timothy Dolan responded to this obvious betrayal in language that was about as forceful as you could expect to hear from a man of the cloth. He explains how the decision has now forced The Catholic Church to start funding insurance coverage for abortions and sterilizations as of 1 August 2013.

On Friday, the administration reaffirmed the mandate, and offered only a one-year delay in enforcement in some cases — as if we might suddenly be more willing to violate our consciences 12 months from now. As a result, all but a few employers will be forced to purchase coverage for contraception, abortion drugs and sterilization services even when they seriously object to them. All who share the cost of health plans that include such services will be forced to pay for them as well. (See individual mandate).

I’m not a Catholic. On a very limited, personal level, I have no skin in this particular power-struggle. But then I stop and realize the fact that our current, statist administration has once more done rough and intentional violence to the fundamental precepts of the US Constitution and its accompanying Bill of Rights. The First Amendment thereof reads as follows.


Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

(HT: Wikipedia)

Catholics are bound by the Law of Moses expressed in The Decalogue not to commit murder. The Catholic Church considers an unborn child a fully-corporate, living human being. Abortion, kinetic or chemical, terminates this life and hence violates the Sixth Commandment of the Ten. Paying for this act to take place (by buying insurance or paying the penalty fee for not providing the insurance) would make the Church morally culpable for every one of these murders that occurred under the auspices of an ObamaCare-approved employer insurance plan. Sec. Sibelius has just ordered the Catholic Church to directly violate a fundamental precept of their faith.

To understand where to go from here, the church will have to ask itself a lot of questions. Do they actively enforce a moral law, or do they just dress a guy up in a clown-suit on Sunday and pass around the collection plate? Do they limit their activities to legalistic challenges and then accept any ruling that goes against their stated doctrine on when human life begins? Do they change church doctrine to appease Barack Obama and NARAL?


If they do enforce a moral law and they will not change it in search of political consensus, does The American Catholic Church shut down in protest and put The United States under interdict until our government changes its regulatory course? Or if they don’t believe they are directly subsidizing the murder of unborn children through their compliance with the mandates of ObamaCare, do they now believe in Leprechauns? Such are the questions that the power-hungry statists have posed to one of the oldest religious organizations on the face of the planet.


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