Cardinal Dolan Explains Catholic Opposition to the HHS Mandate

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Cardinal Timothy Dolan gave a brief interview a few months ago concerning the HHS Mandate. The YouTube video above contains the entire interview. The lawsuits it refers to were filed at that time by many Catholic organizations around the country in opposition to the mandate.

I think we are fortunate to have someone like Cardinal Dolan who is willing and able to engage the public at this critical time in our history. The way he conducts himself in this interview does us proud. He provides us with one of the few examples we have right now of how to oppose an issue with civility and courtesy.

Religious freedom hangs in the balance in America. It is absolutely imperative that we turn this mandate back.

The fight isn’t just for the Catholic Church, or even for people of faith. It is for every American, even those who support the mandate. If the government continues down this path of attacking religious freedom, then the rights of all Americans are endangered.

Ironically, those who, in their zeal to attack Christianity, oppose religious freedom and the rights of individual conscience, are just as much at danger as the rest of us. A government which attacks its own Constitutional guarantees of religious freedom will not hesitate to attack them. The precedents they are seeking to establish in order to attack the exercise of religion can and almost certainly will, if they are allowed to stand, be turned against them on some day in the future.

That is because the precedents have to do with the power of government to overreach the Constitutional boundaries which have held it in check for over 200 hundred years. If a government can force religious institutions to bow to itself in the manner the HHS Mandate would do, then that government is verging on tyranny.

I say that because the right to believe and to act on that belief are the core freedoms that any individual possesses. If the institutions through which we express and act on this belief can be attacked, then that goes to the heart of the freedom itself. The practice of ignoring the actual wording of the First Amendment to justify this only works because our educational system has left people ignorant of what the Constitution actually says.

This is the First Amendment. Read it and cherish it. It is under attack from our own government.

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.

For more information about the HHS Mandate, go here.

In Defense of Chick-Fil-A

This article comes from Mother Jones, which is named after a famous supporter of organized labor and has a long tradition of backing liberal causes, including gay rights.

The article contains a quote from the American Civil Liberties Union defending Dan Cathy’s right to free speech. Dan Cathy is the president of Chick-Fil-A.

Hopefully this comment, however left-footed it may be, is a harbinger signifying that the ACLU has reverted to its roots and once again taken up supporting the Bill of Rights. Now, if  we can only get them to support the other half of the First Amendment and stop defending the HHS Mandate!

Mother Jones

In Defense of Chick-Fil-A

Democratic politicians should stop blocking Chik-fil-A restaurants over the anti-gay views of its president.

By Adam Serwer | Thu Jul. 26, 2012 9:19 AM PDT


Dan Cathy, the president of the fast-food franchise Chick-fil-A, doesn’t like same-sex marriage. He believes that [1] “we’re inviting God’s judgment on our nation when we shake our fist at him and say we know better than you as to what constitutes a marriage.” The company has put its money where its mouth is, lavishing anti-gay rights groups with millions of dollars in donations [2].

The Associated Press reported Wednesday that a Chicago Alderman named Joe Moreno has pledged to block construction of a Chick-fil-A restaurant in his ward [3] over Cathy’s anti-gay views. Boston Democratic Mayor Thomas Menino is also trying to block construction of a Chick-fil-a restaurant over its president’s anti-gay views.

Menino and Moreno have it wrong. Blocking construction of Chick-fil-a restaurants over Cathy’s views is a violation of Cathy’s First Amendment rights. Boston and Chicago have no more right to stop construction of Chick-fil-As based on an executive’s anti-gay views than New York City would have had the right to block construction of an Islamic community center blocks away from Ground Zero. The government blocking a business from opening based on the owner’s political views is a clear threat to everyone’s freedom of speech—being unpopular doesn’t mean you don’t have rights. It’s only by protecting the rights of those whose views we find odious that we can hope to secure them for ourselves.

“We think there’s a constitutional problem with discriminating against someone based on the content of their speech,” says John Knight, director of the LGBT rights project at the Illinois branch of the American Civil Liberties Union. And Illinois law does not demand that restaurants have anti-discrimination policies in place—”It’s a good idea for restaurants to have those policies,” Knight says, but the law doesn’t require it.

Even so, Illinois and Massachusetts residents are still protected. There are federal laws against discrimination in employment and public accommodation on the basis of race, sex, religion, and national origin. Federal anti-discrimination law does not yet protect people on the basis of sexual orientation, but Illinois state law does [5]. So does Massachusetts state law [6].

Chick-fil-A should not be prevented from opening business because of the views of its leaders, or his donations to anti-gay causes. But gays and lesbians in Illinois and Massachusetts have the right to be free from discrimination in employment based on who they are. They also have a right to protest, boycott, and make Chick-fil-A’s customers aware that their purchases fund anti-gay activism. If Chick-fil-A discriminates in hiring or refuses to serve customers on the basis of sexual orientation, the local authorities can and should hold him accountable.

Until then, the politicians should get out of the way.


Links:
[1] http://www.christianpost.com/news/chick-fil-a-president-says-gods-judgment-coming-because-of-same-sex-marriage-78485/
[2] http://equalitymatters.org/factcheck/201207020001
[3] http://www.washingtonpost.com/business/chicago-alderman-says-hell-block-chick-fil-a-expansion-in-northwest-part-of-the-city/2012/07/25/gJQAnPIt9W_story.html
[4] http://www.motherjones.com/kevin-drum/2012/07/rahm-emanuel-needs-back-chick-fil
[5] http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/ilcs5.asp?ActID=2266&ChapterID=64
[6] http://www.mass.gov/mcad/forEmployers.html


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