Ed Feulner

“The Obama administration has passed a rule that will penalize our colleges with faith-based fines merely because we center our beliefs about the sanctity of human life on the Bible, not on the demands of federal bureaucrats. The administration’s mandate that religious employers provide coverage for abortion-inducing drugs for their faculty, staff and students is a bridge too far in America.”

They call the mandate a “conscience tax.” Sadly, that’s a very apt description.

This debate is about what Notre Dame President John Jenkins has called the right of a religious organization to “live its mission” in America. Today it’s about contraception, but what will it be about tomorrow? You don’t have to be religious to realize that this sets a dangerous precedent -- one that would seriously impinge on the freedoms of all Americans.

This anti-conscience mandate is an affront, plain and simple. Left unchallenged, it will embolden future administrations to continue to define what constitutes our most basic liberties in an increasingly narrow fashion. After all, there’s always some “public good” that can be used to excuse these efforts to trample on our rights -- and make us, as Jenkins puts it, “morally subservient to the state.”

It’s a shame that it had to come to this, but the Obama administration has continued to tune out all objections. Other than issuing the exemption described above -- which was more of an insult than an accommodation -- it has cast its lot with condoms, not conscience. It’s time to let the courts decide.

Ed Feulner

Dr. Edwin Feulner is Founder of The Heritage Foundation, a Townhall.com Gold Partner, and co-author of Getting America Right: The True Conservative Values Our Nation Needs Today .
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