When I interviewed John Kennedy this week, I asked him: "Can your family-owned company, in keeping with the way you have run it in accordance with your Catholic faith, obey that regulation?"
"No," said Kennedy. "I can't see how we can do that."
"So you have no doubt that the Obama administration, through this regulation, is trying to force you to act against your faith?" I asked.
"Yes," said Kennedy.
"They have essentially prohibited you from doing what you have always tried to do, which is to live your life everywhere and at all times in accord with your Catholic faith?" I asked.
"Correct," said Kennedy.
"They have essentially prohibited you, as a business owner, as an employer of hundreds of people, from practicing your religion?" I asked.
"Yes," he said.
In October of 2012, the Kennedys and Autocam sued Sebelius in U.S. District Court. "Plaintiffs are adherents of the Catholic faith as defined by the Magisterium (teaching authority) of the Catholic Church," said their suit. "These teachings prohibit the Plaintiffs from participating in, paying for, training others to engage in, or otherwise cooperating in the practice of contraception, including abortifacient contraception and sterilization."
"Plaintiffs's sincerely held religious convictions also prevent them from adopting the spurious position that their religious beliefs do not apply when they enter the world of work," said the suit.
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 6th Circuit concluded last month that the Kennedy's could not sue to protect themselves from the regulation because: "The decision to comply with the mandate falls on Autocam, not the Kennedys."
It does not matter that the Kennedys own Autocom. "[W]e agree with the government that Autocam is not a 'person' capable of 'religious exercise,'" said the court.
Thus the administration and this court have declared that the federal government can force Catholics to act against their faith, if they have the audacity to create and incorporate a business.
The administration has further declared that individual Catholics must comply with sterilization-contraceptive-abortifacient regulation when they buy insurance in the Obamacare exchanges. Thus, President Obama -- through his HHS -- is prohibiting the practice of Catholicism, not just for business owners such as the Kennedys, but also for Americans generally.
The Kennedys intend to take their case to the Supreme Court. But before it gets there, the House of Representatives should comply with the request of the Catholic bishops to attach language to either the must-pass continuing resolution or debt-limit bill protecting Americans forever from being ordered by an Obamacare regulation to buy or provide health-insurance coverage in violation of their moral principles or their faith.
If Obama wants to shut down the government or stop the Treasury from borrowing more money until Congress allows him to retain the usurped power to attack the freedom of conscience, let him try it. Then let's have a national debate about just how un-American and tyrannical Obama's attack on religious liberty is.
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