PRESS RELEASE-FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Albuquerque Tea Party Media Contact:
Rick Harbaugh, 1709 Indiana NE, Albuquerque, NM 87110
Date of Release: Sunday, February 4, 2012
A Knife to the Heart of the First Amendment
The first amendment to the Constitution says, "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibit the free exercise thereof. . ."
When Congress passed Obama Care, it provided the Obama Administration with authority to promulgate regulations to implement that law. The Administration, in keeping with the provisions of the law as passed by Congress has promulgated a regulation that directly and purposely prohibits the free exercise of the Catholic religion and that of many other Christian religions. Obama has opened up an attack upon Christians whose religions teach that any aspect of abortion is a violation of God's law. And if those Christians stand on their beliefs they will be punished by the Government. This is state-sponsored religious persecution pure and simple.
While ObamaCare was working its way through Congress, the Obama Administration made a verbal commitment with the Catholic Church that the church would be exempted from provisions of the bill that require companies to include sterilization, abortion-inducing drugs and contraception coverage in all health insurance plans. In the past few weeks, the Obama administration has said they will honor that pledge for the health plans covering church employees but will not honor that pledge for plans designed for the staffs of the thousands of church owned hospitals, schools, colleges and other church-owned activities. Instead, they will give the Catholic Church's other institutions a reprieve for a year, but then those plans must follow the ObamaCare mandates. There is an old saying that when you play with snakes, you expect to get bit. The Catholic Church has just learned the truth in that old adage.
The Progressives' agenda does not mix well with religion. Churches believe in individual salvation while the Progressives believe in collective salvation through centralized, government-controlled programs. Since the values of the Progressives and the Church cannot occupy the same space, one must go. The first major blow in this progressive destruction of religion in the United States was struck in 1947 when the Everson v. Board of Education Supreme Court decision first manufactured the "separation of church and state" concept and said it required the Federal Government to keep religious expression out of government. Yet nowhere in the records of the Constitutional Convention or in the Constitution is the term "separation of church and state" even mentioned. Reversing 150 years of Supreme Court decisions, the 1947 court said, "The First Amendment has erected a wall between church and state. That wall must be kept high and impregnable. We could not approve the slightest breach." Slowly, but surely, that breech in the Constitution has been expanded, which brings us back to the current issue.
Over 1000 groups have been exempted from sections of ObamaCare since its passage. The United Federation of Teachers and several other labor unions as well as McDonalds and Jack in the Box restaurants are examples. But the Obama Administration apparently prefers to pick and choose onto which of its friends it will lavish its goodies.
The Catholic Bishops in the United States have issued letters which were to be read to all congregations in the USA at mass. As an example, here is an excerpt from the letter sent out by Thomas Olmsted, Bishop of the Diocese of Phoenix:
"In so ruling, the Administration has cast aside the First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States, denying to Catholics our Nation's first and most fundamental freedom, that of religious liberty. As a result, unless the rule is overturned, we Catholics will be compelled either to violate our consciences , or to drop health coverage for our employees (and suffer the penalties for doing so). The Administration's sole concession was to give our institutions one year to comply. We cannot-we will not-comply with this unjust law. People of faith cannot be made second class citizens. We are already joined by our brothers and sisters of all faiths and many others of good will in this important effort to regain our religious freedom."
Having been bit once, one can only wonder if the Catholic Church will be a little more careful in accepting more pledges from the power elites in Obama's Washington DC.
The Albuquerque Tea Party stands on its three principles of preserving the Constitutional Rights of the citizens of the U.S.A. by limiting government; constraining government spending and taxation; and advancing a free market economy. Normally, we would not take a stand on religious issues. However, this action by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) in the Obama administration so thoroughly tramples the First Amendment that we must vehemently speak out on this issue. This action is an egregious effort to turn a religious community of tens of millions of people in our country into a large social club devoid of the principles under which it was established 2000 years ago. It eviscerates the First Amendment. This action by Obama is every bit as unconstitutional as nationalizing our country's automotive industry three years ago. If Obama gets away with this with the Catholic Church, we can be sure that he will deal with other religious organizations just as harshly and just as much in opposition to the First Amendment. It looks like the Catholic Church is to the point where it will take a stand. Are we ready to do the same?
The Albuquerque Tea Party encourages all who read this release to contact their congressmen and senators to express outrage over this action by Obama and HHS.