‘Little Victims Of The State:’ Steam-Rolling Religious Liberty In America
Religion & Liberty Online

‘Little Victims Of The State:’ Steam-Rolling Religious Liberty In America

Mona Charen, writing for National Review Online, notes that the image-conscious Obama Administration has not been very careful about choosing it foes in the HHS mandate fight. Wanna pick a fight? How about some Catholic sisters?

The Little Sisters of the Poor is a Catholic charity providing care to the poorest elderly in a hospice-like setting. They serve 13,000 people in 31 countries, and operate 30 homes in the United States. Their faith calls them to treat every person, no matter how old, disabled, or poor, as if he or she were “Jesus himself.” There is no religious test for admission, only that you be poor and in need of care at the end of life. Think thousands of Mother Teresas.

Or maybe you’d prefer a family (Hobby Lobby’s Greens) who keeps Sundays open for their employees’ leisure, family time and worship:

They don’t believe in alcohol consumption, so their stores do not sell shotglasses or other drinking-related items. They play Christian music. They close on the Sabbath (losing millions per year). Employees are offered free access to chaplains, other counselors, and religiously oriented financial courses. Because the Greens abjure alcohol, they lose money annually by declining to permit their delivery trucks to “back haul” liquor. They provide health insurance that covers 16 different contraceptives. They draw a line, though, on providing four methods that they consider abortifacients…

Yes, these two groups (among many others) are fighting to keep their religious liberty in the United States. And it’s a big deal, according to Charen.

Our religious liberty is more than freedom of worship.

It’s also a worrying precedent. As the National Jewish Commission on Law and Public Affairs urged in an amicus brief to the Supreme Court, if Hobby Lobby can be forced to provide abortifacients, then observant Jewish employers (if incorporated) could be forced to open on Saturdays, serve non-kosher food, or engage in other practices that violated the consciences of the owners.

Read The Little Victims of the State at National Review Online.


Elise Hilton

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