Marybeth Hicks

Last week, amid the furor over Georgetown University law student and feminist activist Sandra Fluke’s now-famous congressional testimony about the “financial burden” of contraception for college coeds, the ensuing media feeding frenzy over talk-radio giant Rush Limbaugh’s comments about Ms. Fluke, and the White House’s masterful creation of a supposed “war on women” being waged by Mr. Limbaugh and conservatives, something very serious was lost in the shuffle.

The issue at hand.

The threat to America’s heritage of religious liberty posed by the Obama administration and Obamacare managed to make its way out of the news cycle despite what should be seen as a major assault.

The administration remains unbending in its requirement that all employers offer free coverage of sterilization, contraception and abortifacient drugs, even if employers object to such coverage on religious grounds.

The supposed “accommodation” offered by the Department of Health and Human Services that insurers, rather than employers themselves, could fulfill the mandate was rejected as the sham it is, given that many Catholic institutions self-insure and therefore still would be required to pay for health services they find morally unacceptable.

Not to mention the fact that the “solution” to the conscience problem was only for institutional employers, not individuals of faith who choose to operate their private businesses in ways that reflect their moral and religious beliefs.

If the policies associated with the implementation of Obamacare reflect disrespect for religious freedom, the posture of the administration itself proves that religious liberty is simply not its concern.

In a March 2 letter to his fellow bishops, Cardinal Timothy Dolan, leader of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, revealed a bombshell - a twist in this story so significant that it should have been plastered across America’s news outlets with block-lettered headlines. Unfortunately for our republic, the nonstory of last week was this: “Obama administration urges Catholic Church to change its doctrine, become ‘enlightened.’"

Updating his brother priests on the fight to uphold religious freedom, Cardinal Dolan disclosed, “At a recent meeting between staff of the bishops’ conference and the White House staff, our staff members asked directly whether the broader concerns of religious freedom - that is, revisiting the [straitjacketing] mandates, or broadening the maligned exemption - are all off the table. They were informed that they are. …

Marybeth Hicks

Marybeth Hicks is the author of Don't Let the Kids Drink the Kool-Aid: Confronting the Left's Assault on Our Families, Faith, and Freedom (Regnery Publishers, 2011).