Religious Persecution Begins, Targets College Students
The Cardinal Newman Society, a national organization to help renew and strengthen Catholic identity in Catholic higher education, issued the following statement:
August 1, 2012, marks the formal beginning of the persecution of Catholic colleges and universities that wish to remain faithful to the teachings of the Catholic Church.
As of today, the Obama administration is forcing Catholic colleges to help students and employees obtain no-cost sterilizations, abortion-causing drugs and contraceptives, and also “counseling” promoting these practices.
And who are the first victims of the Obama administration’s new Sexual Revolution? Catholic colleges and the parents of Catholic college students!
Two years ago, when the Obama administration shocked the nation with “interim final” regulations for its HHS mandate, it publicly admitted that it had rushed the rules to ensure that college students get “contraceptive services” in the 2012-2013 school year. Many student insurance plans renew in August.
In other words, the Obama administration’s desire to support students’ sexual activity without even one year’s delay is precisely why:
1) they rushed to publish a poorly constructed religious exemption, and
2) they refused to accept comments on the interim regulations until after they were issued.
Many news publications have deceptively reported that the HHS mandate is delayed another year for religious institutions, without explaining that many religious colleges and employers cannot meet the Obama administration’s arbitrary criteria for the delay.
Catholic colleges that covered “contraceptive services” as of February 10, 2012, are ineligible for the delay. But infidelity is not the only reason why Catholic colleges may be affected:
· They may have complied with state laws which violate religious freedom.
· They may have been unaware of provisions included in their health plans by insurance companies or by college personnel in prior years.
· They may operate in areas without affordable coverage that excludes contraception.
Moreover, the past infidelity of a Catholic college is no excuse for the federal government to violate that college’s First Amendment right to uphold Catholic teachings.
And further, the Obama administration is violating the rights of Catholic parents who send students to Catholic colleges, reasonably expecting their religious beliefs to be upheld. There is no religious freedom when the federal government prevents Catholic families from freely choosing authentic Catholic education.