Not about Catholics or Contraception

“This is about the government coercing religious institutions to violate their own beliefs.”

So clarifies the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty in their feature ‘The Truth Should Not Be A Secret’. It aims to debunk the top myths that quickly circulated out of spin control centers from the administration and their complicit media partners.

I’ve heard every one of them and have had to counter them with facts, time and again, so this post by Becket Fund helps center and ground the debate.

Take this one, for instance:

Myth #5: The federal mandate actually protects women’s health because it increases access to free birth control.

Truth: Access isn’t the issue. 9 out of 10 employer-based insurance plans already cover these services. There is no need for the government to force religious groups to provide these services against their religious convictions.

One could launch a whole debate just on component parts of that sentence in Myth #5.

And then a whopper:

Myth #6: In a recent poll, 98% of Catholic women said they already used artificial birth control anyhow. So what’s the big deal?

The ‘lie repeated often enough’ that is not only addressed succinctly here but nailed perfectly by Michael Cook here.

The government would just prefer that we focus on Catholics and their beliefs about birth control. Because that deflects attention from the far less winnable battle for the Obama administration over denying fundamental religious liberty in America for individuals and institutions.

But that’s what the controversial HHS mandate is about. Which is why so many religious leaders and scholars are speaking out.

Like Dr. Timothy George and Chuck Colson.

The Catholic bishops in America have responded quickly, decrying the Administration’s decision for what it is—an egregious, dangerous violation of religious liberty—and mobilizing a vast grassroots movement to persuade the Administration to reverse its decision.

We evangelicals must stand unequivocally with our Roman Catholic brothers and sisters. Because when the government violates the religious liberty of one group, it threatens the religious liberty of all.

And Rev. Dr. Matthew Harrison, President of the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod, who testified by a House Committee on the mandate.

While we are opposed in principle, not to all forms of birth control, but only abortion-causing drugs, we stand with our friends in the Catholic Church and all others, Christians and non-Christians, under the free exercise and conscience provisions of the U.S. Constitution.

“Religious people determine what violates their consciences, not the federal government. The conscience is a sacred thing. Our church exists because overzealous governments in northern Europe made decisions which trampled the religious convictions of our forebearers.

They’re facing off with an overzealous government in the US with either a short memory or deliberate defiance of fundamental founding principles or both. And, as President Harrison told me at the end of the week, opponents of this mandate are not going away. There’s too much at stake.

This article was originally published on MercatorNet.com under a Creative Commons Licence. If you enjoyed this article, visit MercatorNet.com for more.

Sheila Gribben Liaugminas

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Sheila Gribbens Liaugminas is an Emmy award-winning Chicago journalist with extensive experience in both secular and religious journalism. Her writing and broadcasting covers matters of the Church, faith, culture, politics and the media. For more than twenty years she reported for Time magazine out of the Midwest Bureau in Chicago—and at WMAQ-TV, Chicago's NBC-owned station, she was co-host of the program 'YOU'. She has hosted three radio programs, “The Right Questions” and “Issues & Answers” for Relevant Radio, and "America's Lifeline" on the Salem network. Sheila currently is the Host of "A Closer Look", an hour long news analysis program on Relevant Radio and serves as the Network News Director. She can be heard reading the Sunday Gospel and doing narratives on www.H2oNews.org in the English edition. She has been published in the Chicago Tribune, Crisis Magazine, National Catholic Register, Catholic New World, MercatorNet and the National Review Online.

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