Jenn Giroux
Religious liberty is the American way
FacebookTwitterGoogle+
By Jenn Giroux
January 27, 2012

For many years there has been an ominous silence here in America about arguably the most controversial and devastating issue of our day: contraception. It is also a topic that has been intentionally avoided by many pro-family organizations. Medical science has now revealed both the physical harm that birth control causes to women and the 'silent killer' element of most forms of contraception that cause women and young girls to self-abort their babies often without even knowing it. I have long wondered just how, in God's timing and mercy, the issue would ever take center stage. As a result of the aggressive attack by the Obama administration on Religious Liberty, the hour is now upon us. It is a defining moment for our country and Americans of all faiths. Standing together for the truth will make all the difference. We are very grateful to Cardinal-designate Timothy Dolan for his eloquence and clarity in speaking out this past week in USA Today:
    Cardinal-designate Timothy Dolan: HHS contraception mandate 'un-American'

    USA Today

    January 25, 2012

    Americans are nothing if not fair.

    We share with those who are down and out. We salute excellence and the honest effort to achieve it. And something in our character draws us to the underdog.

    That's why the new federal edict mandating sterilization and contraception coverage in all health care plans has set off alarm bells around the country. And for the record, the contraceptives mandated as "preventive services" will include abortifacients.

    Critics charge that this is an attack on the cornerstone First Amendment freedom that is the very foundation of our democracy. It is. Others assert that it threatens a violation of conscience for millions of Americans. It does. And still others insist it will force an unprecedented choice for many employers to either subsidize what they believe to be immoral, or withdraw health care coverage for their own families and those of their employees. It will.

    But the new Health and Human Services ruling is wrong for another reason.

    It is egregiously unfair, and as such, it cuts against the grain of what it means to be American.

    The great and historic 236-year American achievement has been built on a broadly accepted social understanding. Working Americans pay taxes on what they earn. In return, their government protects them from external dangers, and from threats to the rights that our Declaration of Independence held to be God-given.

    In a word, Americans expect government to be fair in how it governs, with respect for the exercise of the liberties and rights guaranteed all citizens under the U.S. Constitution.

    Indeed, this basic American notion of fairness, the principle of equality under the law, was the animating force behind the great Civil Rights movement and the expanded recognition of rights for women and minorities in this past century. Americans, when presented with all the facts, support what is fair.

    Which is precisely why the Obama administration's decision to force Catholic and other religious employers to violate their conscience will not stand. Americans will recognize it for the unconstitutional detour that it is, and urge their elected representatives to repeal it.

    I believe the trigger for this will be a very simple question. Americans will ask themselves: If this, what next?

    What other constitutionally protected freedoms might an increasingly powerful federal government revoke? What other mandated violations of conscience lie ahead for other groups of American citizens, in pursuit of what their government declares is in the common interest? For whom doth the bell toll next?

    There are many reasons to decry this HHS mandate. But perhaps the most important reason is that it is simply un-American.

    Cardinal-designate Timothy Dolan is archbishop of New York City and president of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.
© Jenn Giroux

 

The views expressed by RenewAmerica columnists are their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of RenewAmerica or its affiliates.
(See RenewAmerica's publishing standards.)

Click to enlarge

Jenn Giroux

Jenn Giroux has been a Registered Nurse for 29 years, where she has witnessed firsthand the physical, emotional, and spiritual fallout of the women's movement, especially in the areas of contraception and abortion. In response, she has answered God's call to be a witness to the hidden truths on these subjects... (more)

Subscribe

Receive future articles by Jenn Giroux: Click here

More by this author

October 11, 2016
Ohio Catholics forgive and embrace Donald Trump for President


February 19, 2016
Catholic teaching on contraception cannot be changed by Pope Francis


April 1, 2015
Indiana: You do not stand alone


November 13, 2012
Will the Kansas Supreme Court remove Phill Kline's license on November 15?


August 9, 2012
Three words, Cardinal Dolan: "Cancel the Dinner"


July 1, 2012
Allegations and lawsuit about Fr. Tom Euteneuer: Can we believe anything this woman says?


June 7, 2012
Choose 'Divine Love'


May 19, 2012
Don't enforce abortion laws or this feminist judge might ruin your life


April 10, 2012
Cardinal Burke explains: Catholic employers cannot provide contraceptive coverage because they would be materially and formally cooperating with sin


March 28, 2012
The "War on Women" began with the "War on Words"


More articles