For the University of Mobile's Center for Leadership, I penned this piece last week about the latest on the fight for religious liberty against the HHS abortifacient mandate.
Unfortunately, the HHS mandate is a direct assault against the very apex where these two great rights, to life and religious liberty, come together. The mandate forces financing for the destruction of the most innocent of all human life, depriving such life of the right even to exist – and it denies to the faithful the right to refuse to participate, according to the dictates of their faith, in this gravest of sins. Liberty and life are both seriously and directly undermined by the HHS mandate – and, despite some media accounts of the issue, it is not only Catholics whose rights are being trampled.
In fact, just this week, on Oct. 9, East Texas Baptist University (EBTU) and Houston Baptist University jointly filed a federal lawsuit to block the mandate. It is the 32nd such suit to have been filed. EBTU President Dub Oliver explained:
“As the famous Baptist preacher George W. Truett once remarked, ‘A Baptist would rise at midnight to plead for absolute religious liberty for his Catholic neighbor, and for his Jewish neighbor and for everybody else.’ We are rising today to ensure that religious liberty, the first freedom guaranteed in the First Amendment of the United States Constitution, is protected and preserved.”
This is a battle for the soul of America.
To quote James Madison (with a hat tip to Matthew Franck and Imprimis): "[The "duty" of every man to render "homage" to "the Creator"] is precedent, both in order of time and in degree of obligation, to the claims of Civil Society.... Religion is wholly exempt from [the] cognizance" of political authority and "exempt from the authority of the Society at large."
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