EWTN case is a fight for religious liberty

Published 5:39 pm Friday, July 25, 2014

A modern-day fight for religious liberty is taking place right here in Alabama, and the outcome will shape the course of our nation for years to come.
EWTN Global Catholic Network, the Irondale-based media ministry founded by Mother Angelica, is still battling in court against the mandates imposed by Obamacare.
The Catholic network is facing fines of up to $35,000 a day because it refuses to comply with the Obamacare mandates to provide employees with healthcare coverage the includes birth control and drugs that can cause abortions or sterilization.
Providing those drugs and services goes against the core beliefs of the network and its founders and against the work it does each day.
Despite the recent Hobby Lobby ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court – which granted an exemption to closely held or family-owned corporations – faith-based employers such as EWTN are still being forced to comply with the Obamacare mandates.
Meanwhile, proponents of Obamacare continue to criticize EWTN and groups like the Little Sisters of the Poor, who are also fighting a court battle, claiming the groups are discriminating against women and taking away their right to choose.
It’s an offensive tactic, particularly since these faith-based, non-profit organizations are committed to works of charity – and their members are often equally as committed to lives spent in service.
At heart of the matter is whether or not non-profit organizations such as EWTN should be afforded the same “accommodations” under the Obamacare mandates granted to churches – a distinct that seems to be based solely on tax structure.
While EWTN and similar organizations may employ more people than local parish churches, the employees who work in the media network or in Catholic hospitals know and often embrace the values of their employers. EWTN is no different than the church it serves. The people who lead and run EWTN believe their work to be a vocation –a calling from God – that informs and guides every aspect of their lives. They cannot and will not support birth control or abortion, nor will they continue to sacrifice themselves for service to others.
For the courts to try and force them to violate their core beliefs is an affront the ideals of religious liberty our forefathers embraced in founding America.

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