Aggressive Decision Against Religious Liberty

The Official Decision:

Keep praying, this attorney thinks it will be overturned by the appeals court

Francis J. Manion, a pro-life attorney with the American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ), provides details to LifeNews about one of the cases:

Late Friday afternoon, the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri granted the Obama Administration’s Motion to Dismiss the case we filed against the HHS contraception/abortifacient mandate back in March of this year. In that case, we represent Frank O’Brien, Jr., a St. Louis businessman whose Catholic religious principles forbid him from paying for services such as contraception, sterilization and abortifacient drugs as part of his employee health plan. O’Brien is one of about 80 individuals, businesses and institutions that have sued the federal government on the grounds that the Mandate represents an unprecedented infringement upon our most cherished liberty, the right to the free exercise of religion.

In a legally and logically flawed opinion dismissing O’Brien’s Amended Complaint, the Court held that being forced to pay for services that are directly contrary to someone’s religious beliefs was not a “substantial burden” on that person’s right to religious liberty. The court saw no difference between paying the salary of an employee who might use that salary to go out and buy things the boss objects to, and having the boss buy the objectionable things directly and hand them to the employee. Put another way, the court saw no difference between an employee cashing his paycheck and (unbeknownst to his boss) buying a gun, and shooting his neighbor, and a government mandate requiring the boss to set aside a specific amount of the employee’s paycheck each week in an expressly designated “gun buying/neighbor shooting fund” to be tapped into by the employee if and when the employee feels the need. In the court’s view, the government would not be placing a “substantial burden” on the religious liberty of any employer who might have religious scruples about the shooting of neighbors, since the employer wouldn’t be the one doing the shooting and he could never be sure if any of his employees would ever access the fund to actually shoot their neighbors.

Far from ending the case, Friday’s ruling was just the end of Round One. Cases of great constitutional import – like this one – are never decided at the District Court level. The losing side almost always appeals to the Circuit Court of Appeals and, after that, asks the U.S. Supreme Court to hear the case. And so in this case, the ACLJ, on O’Brien’s behalf, has already filed the necessary papers to bring the case before the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals in St. Louis. We expect that court to hear the matter within a matter of months.

We are confident that Court of Appeals will reverse the decision of the district court. One of the ironies of the district court’s ruling is that the basis of the court’s decision, i.e., that the HHS Mandate does not impose a substantial burden on the exercise of religion, is a position that the DOJ, in defending the Mandate, hardly mentioned in its briefs. There are two reasons for this: first, as shown above, it defies logic, common sense and applicable law; and, second, the government itself has acknowledged that the HHS Mandate does, in fact, impose a substantial burden on religious believers. After all, that’s why the Mandate as currently written already contains a “religious employer exemption,” albeit a weak and limited one. The Obama Administration recognizes the burden imposed by the Mandate. The fight has been over whether and in which cases that burden is outweighed by the other interests the Mandate seeks to advance. Nobody involved in this prolonged public controversy has seriously contended that that the Mandate does not burden religious believers. Until now.

To paraphrase Churchill; with Friday’s ruling by the District Court, this is not the end. Nor is it the beginning of the end. But it is the end of the beginning. The case moves on. The challenge continues. The ACLJ remains fully committed to seeing this struggle through to a successful end, whether at the U.S. Court of Appeals or, if necessary, at the Supreme Court of the United States.

Tyndale House Publishers filed a lawsuit against the HHS mandate today

And if Obama gets re-elected, he gets to appoint at least 2 more Justices to the Supreme Court. If that happens, which way do you think they will decide?
In addition, you will also be able to kiss the 2nd Amendment goodby!

He’d most likely try to gut the whole Bill of Rights. :D:eek:

It was very difficult to know what that article was trying to say because of the unexplained acronyms (HHS mandate, OIH, RFRA). I suppose it’s alright for those who know what these acronyms mean. Readers not familiar with those acronyms and people outside the country would barely have a clue.

**A Debate on Religious Liberty in America (VIDEO)

As part of Heritage’s seriesPreserve the Constitution, four distinguished experts on religious liberty with divergent views discussed whether religious institutions and individuals are being treated fairly or like second-class citizens under the U.S. Constitution.

“This Court rejects the proposition that requiring indirect financial support of a practice, from which plaintiff himself abstains according to his religious principles, constitutes a substantial burden on plaintiff’s religious exercise.”

Perfect…what I have been saying for a while.

The problem is that it is not just forbidden by our faith to perform the practice, but also to support, in any way, even financially, the practice. So it is still a violation of religious liberty regardless. It most certainly constitutes a substantial burden on the plaintiff’s religious exercise. And really, why would it have to be substantial anyway? We are guaranteed religious freedom full stop. Not religious freedom only if the practice is a substantial one.

If this argument were valid a religion against war should be able to ask for their taxes back that go to various wars.

Many do, or stipulate that the taxes they pay not contribute to war. But this is besides the point because it’s a completely different situation.

We pay taxes. It then becomes the government’s money, and it is on them when they use it for sinful purposes.

The HHS mandate, however, says that Catholic companies must pay directly for the insurance, not pass it through a third company. and Catholic insurance companies, or private insurers, or self insurers? It’s even worse.

Perfect…what I have been saying for a while.

So it’s another excuse to support the democrats?

Yup. First amendment is toilet paper according to this judge.

The supremes say the “fine” is a “tax”.

So this court has given its blessing to a “Catholic Jizya”, a tax for not accepting the paganism espoused by this administration. Wonder if they would rule the same way if somehow a legislature decreed a “Jizya” on “infidels” of another sort?

These guys ought to shake hands with the judicial clergy of Saudi Arabia literally as well as figuratively.

That’s an apt comparison. Institutions which refuse to join the HHS religion have to pay the Jizya. It’s the penalty for following the wrong religion.

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