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Friday, February 24, 2012

Freedom of Conscience, Anyone?

"If our brothers are oppressed, then we are oppressed. If they hunger, we hunger. If their freedom is taken away, our freedom is not secure." -- Franklin Delano Roosevelt

"You've probably seen the headlines lately—our federal government is mandating that all women receive free contraceptives, sterilizations and drugs that could cause the early abortion of preborn babies.

"And in order to make this happen, our leaders are willing to trample on one of our founding principles—the right to a free conscience, to exercise religious faith in the public square in the way one feels called to do.

"Some people are trying to make this an argument about healthcare, saying medical organizations have recommended that free contraception be made available to all women to prevent disease later in life.

"But pregnancy is not a disease to be "cured," and chemical abortions are not "medicine." And this battle is not really about healthcare, but religious freedom.

"Our government is claiming that forcing all employers to offer these drugs and procedures—regardless of their faith or moral convictions—is nothing new, since 28 states already have similar laws in place. What they're not telling us is that those states generally allow conscientious objectors to opt out in some fashion, whether by noting their religious objections or by becoming self-funded.

"The federal mandate in question offers no such exceptions, but rather makes insurers offer the coverage to women for "free"—meaning the cost will be borne by everybody else in the insurance pool, regardless of any moral concerns they may have. It makes everyone guilty by association, and raises insurance prices in the process.

"In the meantime, faith-based organizations aren't standing idly by to watch the government take away their Creator-endowed rights: Protestants, Catholics, universities, hospitals, faith-based and secular employers, attorneys general and concerned individuals alike are signing petitions and filing lawsuits against the mandate.

"Please join me in praying for these efforts, as well as wisdom and humility for all our elected leaders, during this critical time."

Text in blue by Focus on the Family.

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