The U.S. Supreme Court is nearing the deliberation process on the Health and Human Services (HHS) mandate that all U.S. employers provide free access to contraceptives and aborticides. This mandate has been an open violation of religious freedom from the start.
Religious groups that have employees, mostly Christian organizations, have expressed that this mandate is sinful in nature, and that they are morally opposed on religious grounds. But the United States government has chosen to ignore this fact, and has forced Catholic nuns and other groups to the point that they filed a lawsuit against the government to get a change made to the mandate.
But how is this religious freedom? It is religious freedom (or blatant lack of it) because these groups that oppose the mandate on religious grounds have been told repeatedly that their religious objections do not matter. In short, these deeply-held religious beliefs are worth less than a law which forces them to violate those beliefs.
But the Supreme Court may be nearing a resolution to this issue, which has drawn on for over a year. One interesting thing is that the Court asked for additional information, something that has not been done since desegregation of schools. However, there may be a problem.
There are still only eight justices sitting on the bench, which means the issue could result in a stalemate. If that happens, it will be up to the states to determine how religious groups are treated with regard to the mandate.
Yet again, freedom of religion is suffering in the name of “progress” in the United States of America. In a nation founded to give everyone freedom, the minority is dictating how the majority will operate – especially on religious or moral grounds.
Let us hope that the Supreme Court will come out strongly in favor of religious freedom and the right for employers to ignore the HHS mandate.