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USCCB spokeswoman contrasts HHS treatment of Amish, Catholics

Catholic World News - January 25, 2012

In requiring Catholic agencies to provide insurance that covers contraception and sterilization, the Department of Health and Human Services has created an anti-Catholic double standard, according to the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops’ director of media relations.

“Health and Human Services’ recent attacks on freedom of religion show it is deaf to religious sensibilities,” said Sister Mary Ann Walsh. “Even the Administration’s resounding defeat on January 11—when the US Supreme Court unanimously rejected the Administration’s reading of the First Amendment as ‘extreme,’ ‘untenable,’ and having ‘no merit’—couldn’t unplug its ears.”

“This egregious violation of religious freedom marks the first time in our history that the federal government is forcing religious people and groups to ante up for services that violate their consciences,” she continued. “The government allows other religions to live out their beliefs. The Amish and Christian Scientists have a conscientious objection to health insurance, and so the law exempts them from buying it. The government acknowledges the right of these religious groups to live out their religious convictions in US society. Why are beliefs of Catholics and others dismissed?”

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  • Posted by: dover beachcomber - Jan. 26, 2012 3:01 AM ET USA

    I believe the answer is that the Amish and the Christian Scientists are no threat to the Administration's plans. They're too small in numbers, and not well organized. But we Catholics are another matter. We could halt this abuse of power if even a fraction of us stood up. But is there enough Catholic identity left in the U.S.? Time will tell.

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