Ken Blackwell
President Obama’s Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) seems determined to go after a small Catholic college in North Carolina. Readers of First Things, the thoughtful journal founded by Rev. Richard Neuhaus, are familiar with the funny ads regularly run by Belmont Abbey. “Got Monks?” reads the white-on-black ad that encourages serious young Catholics to consider a college where the Benedictine monks seek God and where the students seek truth.

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But Obama’s EEOC obviously reads that ad as an invitation to “get the monks.” The EEOC’s district office in Charlotte, N.C., is demanding that Belmont Abbey cease and desist violating Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act. If you thought that act was about ending racial and sex discrimination, you would be right. If you thought that unelected bureaucrats could not use that law as a sledgehammer to threaten religious schools, you would be naïve.

What the EEOC is complaining of is Belmont Abbey’s practice of not providing abortion-inducing contraceptives to their employees in their health insurance plan.

But Belmont Abbey is a Catholic institution, one that prides itself on its adherence to Catholic teaching. The college maintains that it cannot be guilty of discriminating against female employees since it does not provide any form of contraceptives to its all-male body of monks, or to its lay male employees. How can this be sex discrimination?

Why should all Americans, whether they are Catholic or not, be concerned? Because the legal theory being advanced by the Obama administration would force all employers to provide abortifacient drugs as part of health insurance plans for employees. They are maintaining that not only the 1964 Civil Rights Act, but the 1978 amendment, the Pregnancy Discrimination Act, mandate coverage of all “drugs, devices, and preventive care.” The Obamatons love that word “mandate.”

Ken Blackwell

Ken Blackwell, a contributing editor at, is a senior fellow at the Family Research Council and the American Civil Rights Union and is on the board of the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty. He is the co-author of the bestseller The Blueprint: Obama’s Plan to Subvert the Constitution and Build an Imperial Presidency, on sale in bookstores everywhere..
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