O’Brien Industrial Holdings, LLC Sues the HHS Department

O’Brien Industrial Holdings, LLC Sues the HHS Department March 15, 2012

And the reason? The unconstitutional HHS Mandate, of course. As Frank O’Brien notes, the mandate doesn’t just violate the conscience of religious institutions, but those of all free peoples. The Catholic News Agency has the report,

A Missouri business owner has become the first employer of a for-profit, secular company to bring a lawsuit challenging the Obama administration’s contraception mandate.

“Religious liberty is not limited to institutions,” said attorney Francis J. Manion, who says his client believes the administration is forcing him to violate his conscience under the new federal rule.

Manion told CNA on March 15 that the lawsuit is important for private business owners because it asserts that “they too have religious rights, and the government has to respect those rights under the Constitution.”

The most recent lawsuit against the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services was filed March 15 in a federal district court in St. Louis.

Manion, who serves as senior counsel for the American Center for Law and Justice, is representing Frank R. O’Brien and the company that he chairs, O’Brien Industrial Holdings, LLC.

The holding company, which is based in St. Louis, Missouri, operates numerous businesses that explore, mine and process refractory and ceramic raw materials. Its products go to more than 40 countries around the world.

O’Brien says his right to religious freedom is being threatened by a federal mandate announced Jan. 20 that would require employers to offer health insurance plans that cover contraception, sterilization and drugs that cause early abortions, even if doing so violates their religious beliefs.

His company, which employees 87 people, now join numerous religious organizations that have brought lawsuits against the mandate.

The most recent legal challenge asks the court to issue a permanent injunction to halt the implementation of the mandate for all those who have religious objections to it.

Manion said that the mandate would require business people such as O’Brien to abandon their religious beliefs in order to continue running their companies.

O’Brien says that his Catholic faith serves as a foundation for the operation of his business and his company’s website explains that its mission is “to make our labor a pleasing offering to the Lord while enriching our families and society.”

Read it all, because the phony “war on women” meme is starting to unravel. What’s being revealed is the war on the long held freedoms that we do not want to see go away.

Because as Blessed Pope John Paul II wrote in his encyclical Centesimus Annus,

The Church values the democratic system inasmuch as it ensures the participation of citizens in making political choices, guarantees to the governed the possibility both of electing and holding accountable those who govern them, and of replacing them through peaceful means when appropriate. Thus she cannot encourage the formation of narrow ruling groups which usurp the power of the State for individual interests or for ideological ends. Authentic democracy is possible only in a State ruled by law, and on the basis of a correct conception of the human person. It requires that the necessary conditions be present for the advancement both of the individual through education and formation in true ideals, and of the ‘subjectivity’ of society through the creation of structures of participation and shared responsibility.

Which is why the courts will decide this issue. Because the separation of powers is not only a great American invention that the authors of the Federalist Papers, and the Constitution, came up with, but it is also heartily approved of by the Church.

The Magisterium recognizes the validity of the principle concerning the division of powers in a State: “it is preferable that each power be balanced by other powers and by other spheres of responsibility which keep it within proper bounds. This is the principle of the ‘rule of law’, in which the law is sovereign, and not the arbitrary will of individuals”.

Guess where I found that quote? Good ‘ol Chapter 8 of the Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church. The same place I suggested the Administration go to avoid the shoals and reefs that the Church has clearly marked for our safety.

This resource wasn’t around when G.K. Chesterton was thinking and writing about the Church’s “Map of the Mind.” But we have this handy guidebook, which is the outline of that map. It belongs on every Catholic’s bookshelf. Get your copy today.

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