Skip to comments.DOJ: Family Can't Run Their Business as Catholics
Posted on 07/25/2012 10:18:13 AM PDT by Kaslin
William, Paul and James Newland and their sister, Christine Ketterhagen, who together own Hercules Industries, have no right to conduct their family business in a manner that comports with their Catholic faith.
The federal government can and will compel them to either surrender their business or to engage in activities the Catholic faith teaches are intrinsically immoral.
This is exactly what President Barack Obama's Justice Department told a U.S. district court in a formal filing last week.
Never before has an administration taken such a bold step to strip Americans of the freedom of conscience -- a right for which, over the centuries, many Christian martyrs have laid down their lives, and which our Founding Fathers took great care to protect in a First Amendment that expressly guarantees the free exercise of religion.
As the Founders understood, no government has legitimate authority to take this right away, because it does not come from government. It comes from God. The very purpose of government is to protect this right. A government that seeks to strip it away from the people is by that very process stripping away its own legitimacy.
What we are seeing from the Obama administration today -- in its attack on religious liberty -- is simply evil. When government seeks to compel individuals to act against their consciences and to engage in activities that, if willfully done, would imperil their immortal souls, there is no other word for it.
The Newland family owns and operates Hercules Industries, a Colorado-based corporation that manufactures heating, ventilation and air-conditioning equipment. Through their hard work and dedication, and through their willingness to reinvest their own money in building their family business, they have managed to create jobs for 265 people while exerting a positive influence on the communities they serve.
The Newlands believe the morality the Catholic faith teaches them must animate their lives not only within the walls of the churches they attend, but literally everywhere else, as well -- in the way they deal with their families, their neighbors and, yes, their business.
The Newlands sued to protect their free exercise of religion in this regard because Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius issued a regulation, under the Obamacare law, that requires virtually all health care plans to cover -- without cost-sharing -- sterilizations, artificial contraception and abortifacients.
Under Obamacare, businesses that employ more than 50 people must provide their employees with insurance or pay a penalty, and the required insurance must include the mandated cost-sharing-free coverage for sterilizations, artificial contraception and abortifacients.
At Hercules Industries, the Newlands provide a generous self-insured health-care plan to their employees. It does not cover sterilization, artificial contraception or abortifacients.
"The Catholic Church teaches that abortifacient drugs, contraception and sterilization are intrinsic evils," says the Newlands' lawsuit.
"Consequently, the Newlands believe that it would be immoral and sinful for them to intentionally participate in, pay for, facilitate or otherwise support abortifacient drugs, contraception, sterilization, and related education and counseling as would be required by the Mandate, through their inclusion in health insurance coverage they offer at Hercules," says the suit.
The Catholic Bishops of the United States endorse this view. At a meeting in Atlanta last month, they unanimously adopted a resolution calling the HHS regulation an "unjust and illegal mandate" and a "violation of personal civil rights." They declared that the regulation created a class of Americans "with no conscience protection at all: individuals who, in their daily lives, strive constantly to act in accordance with their faith and moral values.
"They, too," said the bishops, "face a government mandate to aid in providing 'services' contrary to those values -- whether in their sponsoring of, and payment for, insurance as employers; their payment of insurance premiums as employees; or as insurers themselves -- without even the semblance of an exemption."
In a letter read during Sunday Mass in most dioceses around the country earlier this year, many of the nation's bishops flatly said: "We cannot -- we will not -- comply with this unjust law."
In response to the Newlands' complaint that ordering them to violate the teachings of the Catholic Church in the way they run their business is a violation of their First Amendment right to the free exercise of religion, the Obama administration told the federal court that a private business has no protection under the First Amendment's free exercise clause -- especially if the business is incorporated.
"The First Amendment Complaint does not allege that the company is affiliated with a formally religious entity such as a church," said the Justice Department. "Nor does it allege that the company employs persons of a particular faith. In short, Hercules Industries is plainly a for-profit, secular employer."
"By definition," said the Justice Department, "a secular employer does not engage in any 'exercise of religion.'"
"It is well established that a corporation and its owners are wholly separate entities, and the Court should not permit the Newlands to eliminate that legal separation to impose their personal religious beliefs on the corporate entity or its employees," said the Justice Department.
This is just as if the Justice Department were to tell a family owned newspaper that it must publish editorials calling for a confiscatory estate tax, basing its coercion of the newspaper on the supposition (which lawyers for the Alliance Defending Freedom argue DOJ is by analogy making) that as a for-profit secular and incorporated employer, the paper has no First Amendment right to freedom of speech.
Romney’s a lying sack of shit who will say whatever he has to in order to get elected.
Or how about a Christian Scientist business owner who buys an insurance policy for his employees that will only cover prayer for medical conditions?
Why the hell does an employer have to provide health insurance anyway? It is a perk that should be up to the employee and the employer to work out without government mandates that force part time work or contractor status on people.
“I wonder how the author would react to the Jehovahs Witness business owner who buys an insurance policy for his employees that wont cover blood transfusions.”
It’s still an employee benefit. What’s wrong with an employer choosing to voluntarily go above and beyond what they are required to do?
“Soon theyll make the same argument about marrying gays. Priests, reverends and rabbis will HAVE to.”
That is what they do up in Canada.
(Reagan came around and was a staunch pro-life believer after following Holloyweird and being for abortions).
Romney is not Reagan. Reagan was sincere in his beliefs and didn't hesitate to articulate them. Romney waits till the polls are in, and says one thing and does another. Romney's actions speak louder than his words.
Romney would never legislate the same as 0bama and force people who have beliefs to go against those beliefs in a mandate similar to 0bamacare.
Except he did. Romneycare did just that attempted to force Catholic hospitals to do abortions.
Romneycare Required Anti-Catholic Regulations Like Obamacare's
0bama is dangerous as he wants to transform this country into a socialist utopia.
Romney wants the same thing. Romney's father said we should listen to Alinsky. Romney did the model for big government healthcare. Romney was in favor of mandates. Romney didn't know a republican before he ran as a republican.
Romney is also dangerous in that Mormons are seeking control of the government. Mormon bishop's daughter spills Romney's 'secrets' ...
There's not a choice this time. I'm voting third party.
Actually no, you got it backwards and seem to buy into the false premise the left pushes.
The supposed expansion is actually a God given Constitutionally guaranteed individual right (religious liberty) -a right that naturally extends to control of property e,g business...
It is the government overlords that suggest ONLY government recognized religious organizations get exemption. In essence the government is attempting to limit religious freedom...
So, I can request a bacon, egg and cheese sandwhich at the local halal grocery now?
So, I can request a bacon, egg and cheese sandwhich at the local halal grocery now?
You’re joking right? Willard Romney forced Catholic hospitals to provide morning after pills to rape victims. Knowing full well that that the Catholic Church does not believe in abortion, contraception and sterlization.
He also forced Catholic Charities to shut down their adoption agency because the Catholic Church does not believe in homosexual adoption.
Like Obama, Romney’s God is the State.
Freedom of conscience, my arse!
Willard is a liar and a deceiver just like his...
yeah, and a sandwich too!
Rev.Martin Niemoller, (1945) [he served seven years in a concentration camp]
“In Germany, they first came for the communists, and I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a communist. Then they came for the Jews, and I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a Jew. Then they came for the trade unionists, and I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a trade unionist. Then they came for the Catholics and I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a Catholic. Then they came for me and by that time there was nobody left to speak up.”
Who will speak for you?
Jurisdictional differences: persons vs. corporations. The Justice Department is basing it's entire prosecution on that difference. Shouldn't you understand exactly why that is so important concerning Obamacare?
Then please - please - read and learn what this fight is really all about:
I will be disappointed (not for the first time) if the free exercise of religion is restricted in what used to be the United States of America. If a JW wants to offer a limited health plan, I don't see why that is the government's business. Private individuals can choose whether to work there or elsewhere. If a Catholic individual refuses to participate in murdering innocent babies (which is exactly how the Church and many Catholics view abortion), attempting to compel that individual to pay for a gravely evil act is a disgusting overreach by a government that has chosen evil both in the particulars of compelling abortion and more generally in violating the God-given rights of those who used to be free citizens of a free country.
This command from HHS is shockingly arrogant, inherently un-American, and evil. If this leads to unrest, I will not be on the side of those who not only support the killing of innocent unborn children but also attempt to force others to participate in that crime against the innocent. The only answer is to repeal ObamaCare and replace it with a free market solution. Socialized medicine can only lead to higher costs for worse service and a dramatic slowdown in the rate of medical advancements. Socialized medicine can only lead to arrogant commands like this one, in which an amoral bureaucrat issues decrees without regard to the needs, desires, and values of individual subjects of our Dear Leader.
“Half of Christians will vote for Obama anyway.”
ONe can include lots and lots of Catholics in that;
lots of ‘em.
I have been saying for several years that ALL churches should issue edicts that they do not perform civil marriage ceremonies. Churches conduct only ceremonies of Holy Matrimony. Same sex coupling is not holy, what can the govt say about that? Nothing! Catholic Churches do not perform ceremonies for non catholic couples, what is the difference? Seem to me if they7 want to take a stand before they are forced to, that would be the way to go.
The way he’ll really get at the Catholic Church and other Christians in his second term is “gay marriage,” which he will try to force all churches to perform. In the case of the Catholic Church, he’ll also go for discrimination because the Church doesn’t ordain women.
Count on it.
All the property that he seizes will probably go to the Episcopalians...or possibly to churches that are members of the WCC.
So does anyone not believe that their is a war on religion?
Especially the Catholic religion?
When it comes to this extreme violation of my own ethics, I will disobey the State pig. I will keep doing my business until they put me in jail and when I get out of jail, I will continue to conduct my business in accordance with my own ethics. They can arrest me again and put me in jail again and when I get out... until I die. So help me God.
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