The Federal Government’s Assault
on Your Religious Liberty
PLUS: The DVD That Can Help You Respond!
Dear Friend of Catholic Answers,
As I’m sure you’ve heard, the Federal Government recently announced a policy that would force Catholic individuals and organizations to violate their consciences by requiring them to pay for abortion-causing drugs, sterilizations, and contraception as part of the medical insurance they purchase.
The outrage that followed was swift and intense. The U.S. bishops pulled together in a way we haven’t seen in years and condemned the policy, with letters against it being read in countless pulpits across America.
An Unprecedented Assault on Religious Freedom
Even many Catholics who are otherwise favorable to the current Administration condemned the move, including the Washington Post columnist E. J. Dionne.
So shocking was this assault on religious liberty that former members of the Administration itself objected, such as Douglas Kmiec, who helped elect the President and who served as his ambassador to Malta.
The threat is so clear that many from other faiths joined the effort, with Protestant and Jewish leaders adding their voices to the swelling chorus, recognizing that if the religious liberty of Catholics can be violated today, theirs can be violated tomorrow.
The tide of opposition was so strong that the White House realized it needed to act, so President Obama called a press conference and announced an “accommodation” for religious groups—an accommodation that changed nothing.
“All the Threats to Religious Liberty Remain”
In his news conference, President Obama announced that insurance companies would be required to pay for abortion drugs, sterilizations, and contraception. But since insurance companies get their money from those who purchase their policies, the very same Catholics would end up paying for the services, with the insurance companies “laundering” the money.
In a recent letter to his brother bishops, Cardinal Timothy Dolan, the president of the U.S. bishops’ conference, explained the Obama administration’s policy.
As we know, on January 20, the Department of Health and Human Services announced a decision to issue final regulations that would force practically all employers, including many religious institutions, to pay for abortion-inducing drugs, sterilizations, and contraception. The regulations would provide no protections for our great institutions—such as Catholic charities, hospitals, and universities—or for the individual faithful in the marketplace. The regulations struck at the heart of our fundamental right to religious liberty, which affects our ability to serve those outside our faith community . . . .
On Friday, February 10, the Administration issued the final rules. By their very terms, the rules were reaffirmed “without change.” The mandate to provide the illicit services remains. The exceedingly narrow exemption for churches remains. Despite the outcry, all the threats to religious liberty posed by the initial rules remain.
The Administration’s invasion of the religious liberty guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution raises an important question . . .
Are Your Freedoms Just a “Privilege”
the Administration Arbitrarily Grants You?
We are in a grave situation. Cardinal Dolan explains:
Religious freedom is a fundamental right of all. This right does not depend on any government’s decision to grant it: It is God-given, and just societies recognize and respect its free exercise. The free exercise of religion extends well beyond the freedom of worship. It also forbids the government from forcing people or groups to violate their most deeply held religious convictions, and from interfering in the internal affairs of religious organizations.
Recent actions by the Administration have attempted to reduce this free exercise to a “privilege” arbitrarily granted by the government as a mere exemption from an all-encompassing, extreme form of secularism.
It is vital that Catholics and other people of good will push back against the “all-encompassing, extreme form of secularism” that the Federal Government is trying to implement through its policies.
That’s why people across America have been signing petitions and contacting their legislators to have the Administration’s policy overturned. We need to do those things, for this assault on our religious liberty must
But There Is a Problem
The problem is that the Administration has chosen its issues shrewdly. It’s no secret that the Catholic teaching on contraception is out of favor in our society today. It used to be that not only faithful Catholics but also faithful Protestants understood the evil of contraception.
Since the “sexual revolution” of the 1960s (and even before), Americans have embraced contraception in unprecedented numbers. Even the majority of Catholics don’t accept the Church’s teaching, as polls consistently show.
Because of this, as long as the Administration can frame things in terms of contraception, it will have many Americans on its side. In fact, that’s a crucial part of its political calculus.
The bishops are trying to alert people of the danger to their religious liberty, but the Administration is counting that there will be enough people who say, “Hey, it’s contraception. Get over your medieval thinking and join the twenty-first century.”
If enough people say that, then the Administration will win, and its policy of forcing abortion drugs, sterilizations, and contraception coverage on the American people will prevail.
That’s why it’s vitally important that we educate the American people on the true nature of contraception and why the Church’s teaching on it is right.
There’s a Crucial Piece of the Puzzle Missing
Yes, we need to push back to defend our religious liberty. Yes, we need to sign petitions. Yes, we need to contact our legislators. But we also need to seize the opportunity to make this a “teachable moment.”
We need to use this opportunity, while the contraception issue is in the public eye, to help people understand and embrace the Church’s teaching.
That’s why our brand new DVD from Jason Evert is so timely. Titled Life-Giving Love: Understanding Chastity in Marriage, Jason’s dynamic new DVD is the perfect way to help people close to you see the wisdom of the Church’s teaching on contraception (and sterilization and abortion).
Let’s face it, we all know people—including Catholics—who don’t accept what the Church says on these points. For many of us, these people are friends or co-workers or even members of our own families.
But This Is Our Chance
Right now, while this issue is being discussed in the press, is the moment when we can seize the initiative and help them understand.
In this exciting and informative talk, Jason uses both Church teaching and the latest science to reveal:
- How contraceptives harm women with artificial hormones and devices that upset their bodies’ balance
- Pope Paul VI’s dire warnings about the effects of contraception on society—and how they all came true
- How Natural Family Planning helps us to space births safely and effectively, while strengthening marriages and helping spouses grow in virtue
- How Catholic teaching on marriage and sex is rooted in the Bible
- Why raising children—despite the challenges—is a joy that no earthly thing can replace or surpass.
Life-Giving Love is a magnificent short course. It’s guaranteed to teach you things you didn’t know about God’s design for married love and procreation.
More than that, it’s an antidote to the anti-life mentality so prevalent in our age. And it’s just what we need to help people understand and accept the Church’s position in this “teachable moment.” Watch it and you’ll learn how to combat the lies that threaten married couples in body, heart, and spirit. Show it to your friends, co-workers, and loved ones, and it will help open their eyes on this crucial subject.
In a moment I’m going to explain how you can get your copy of Life-Giving Love absolutely free—but there is one other thing I need to mention first . . .
We Need Your Help!
Keeping Catholic Answers going requires your help. We need your assistance to create and distribute, faith-building content like this brand new DVD—as well as all the other forms of outreach we use to advance the kingdom of God and the teaching of the Church.
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But we can’t do it without your help.
Won’t you please make your most generous donation today to help us continue all our good work? [Click here to donate.]
For too long Catholics have been on the defensive in America, and the government’s latest assault on our religious liberty is a sign that the Church’s opponents think they have the strength to cow American Catholics into submission.
That’s why it’s vital that we fight back, and Catholic Answers is an important part of that effort, helping spread and defend the Catholic message, regardless of obstacles.
If Catholics Don’t Educate Our Fellow Americans
with the Truth About Abortion, Sterilization, and Contraception, Who Will?
But we need your help to do it. Please be as generous as possible at this time. [Click here to donate.]
As our thank-you for your donation of $40 or more, we will send you a free copy of Life-Giving Love to help you defend the Church’s teaching about human life—and to help those you know understand this crucial teaching that is under attack today.
Don’t wait. It’s important that we act while this subject is still in the public eye, while we still have a “teachable moment.”
May I hear from you today?
President, Catholic Answers
P.S. Don’t miss out on the brand new DVD from Jason Evert, Life-Giving Love: Understanding Chastity in Marriage. It’s our thank-you for your gift of $40 or more. Seize this “teachable moment” to show others the wisdom of the Church, and help push back against the assault on our religious liberty as Catholics.