In a country as great as the United States of America, where even in hard times we are surrounded by plenty, it’s easy to get comfortable. And in that lax condition, certain freedoms are taken for granted until they are overtly threatened.
For example, religious freedom has long been assumed safe by myriads of Americans who may or may not even attend a church or synagogue regularly. The steeples on the country hillsides, as well as those pointing upward here and there amid the city skylines, are a stark reminder of the religious heritage of this nation, and many assume what once was always will be.
But this is not the case, and it has never been the case.
Which is why the Alliance Defense Fund, since its inception, has been standing with our allies in battles for religion and culture: raising a Paul Revere-like cry intended to wake up Americans who were drowning in comfort and warning them that the enemies of freedom and religion were together coming to take away freedom of religion, if they could find a way.
And now, through the Obama administration’s abortion pill and contraception mandate, the wolf which was at the door has become the burglar in the room, and religious freedom is in serious danger of being taken from us.
More than 40 Catholic dioceses and organizations know this is true and have therefore filed suit against the Obama administration for violating their religious freedom and their freedom of conscience, just as several other Catholic and evangelical organizations have already done: including evangelical colleges and a private employer which ADF currently represents in similar suits filed and to be filed.
As a letter from the Archdiocese of Washington, D.C. explained:
This lawsuit is about an unprecedented attack by the federal government on one of America’s most cherished freedoms: the freedom to practice one’s religion without government interference. It is not about whether people have access to certain services; it is about whether the government may force religious institutions and individuals to facilitate and fund services which violate their religious beliefs.
And while some have tried to diminish the lawsuits—12 in all—by the various dioceses and organizations as “a Catholic thing” against contraception, Cardinal Daniel Wuerl has made clear that “the lawsuit in no way challenges…women’s established legal right to obtain and use contraception or the right of employers to provide coverage for it if they so choose. This lawsuit is about religious freedom.”
Alan Sears, a former federal prosecutor in the Reagan Administration, is president and CEO of the Alliance Defending Freedom, a legal alliance employing a unique combination of strategy, training, funding, and litigation to protect and preserve religious liberty, the sanctity of life, marriage, and the family.