Since January there has been much attention given to the very troubling Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) coercive mandate requiring almost all private health plans to cover contraception, sterilization and abortion-inducing drugs. For the first time in our nation’s history, the federal government will force religious institutions to facilitate drugs and procedures contrary to our moral teaching. And it will purport to define which religious institutions are “religious enough” to merit an exemption.
The HHS mandate is a serious conflict, and it is not the only threat to our most cherished freedom. In their recent statement, Our First, Most Cherished Liberty, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) discuss current concerns and urge all Catholics to join the effort to end this unprecedented government coercion of conscience and intrusion in religious affairs.
Religious liberty is more than freedom of worship. It is not only about our ability to go to Mass on Sunday or pray the Rosary at home. It is about whether we can make our contribution to the common good of all Americans.
As Catholics and Americans we have a solemn duty to be staunch defenders of religious liberty. Pray for our country and take a stand today by sending a message to our leaders with an urgent appeal to support this God-given right.