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What’s Next in the Fight Against the HHS Mandate

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Kyle Duncan, general counsel for The Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, gives us a glimpse of what is ahead in the fight for religious liberty regarding the Obama Administration’s HHS Mandate, given the outcome of Tuesday’s election.  In the National Catholic Register, Duncan outlines that current federal lawsuits fall into two broad categories: those filed by nonprofit organizations and those filed by business owners. In the case of the nonprofits,

The federal government has not responded to the merits of these lawsuits, but has instead sought to have them thrown out as premature. The government says that its non-binding promise of an “accommodation” by August 2013 means that the courts should not hear the lawsuits now — even though the mandate is a final rule that is now harming these plaintiffs’ ability to plan, hire and budget.

Unfortunately, in two of the cases (Belmont Abbey and Wheaton), the courts have agreed with the government and dismissed the lawsuits. Those dismissals will be reviewed by the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals in December.

The cases filed by business owners such as John Kennedy of Autocam and David Green of Hobby Lobby have met with “some success”, the article states, but the fight is far from done.
Because these business lawsuits are not subject to any delays, the government has had to respond on the merits. Its response is startling.The government has flatly stated that a person who goes into business to make a profit loses any right to exercise religion in his business pursuits. A kosher butcher, for instance, would presumably have no religious rights associated with his decision to stock only kosher products. A Bible seller would have no religious rights associated with the sacred texts she is selling.

The profit motive alone dissolves these individuals’ rights to exercise religion. The government apparently wants to enforce its own theology of how God and mammon should mix. But its interpretation would bar individuals from providing for their families in ways consistent with their religious beliefs.



Elise Hilton Communications Specialist at Acton Institute. M.A. in World Religions.


  • Mag Pies

    Just think — all that money could have gone to the sick and the poor. :(

    • bubbawithab

      Ends justifies the means, eh? All in the name of the Great War to End All Wars on Poverty. C’mon Mag Pies, you can do better than to muster some utilitarian ethos here…

    • naturgesetz

      Ah, yes: the Judas argument — as unconvincing today as when he first made it. Matthew 26:8-9.

  • unbelievable! This is frighting ~What is happening to people why are they not standing up for this right?

  • Angela Layton

    Let us all know details of hearing,ralli,es,petitions and. Anything else we can do to pull together in larger numbers.

  • BCSWowbagger

    My understanding of a secular humanist government was that they are neutral towards religion. This one is hostile to it.

    • J Mathieu

      There is no such thing as “neutrality” when it comes to the relationship between church and state. To have a law, there must be a foundation and if the foundation is not Biblical, then it will be anti-biblical. Jesus Himself said, “He that is not with Me is against Me…” Matt. 12:30

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