I am a Catholic who has supported you ever since the early days before the Iowa Caucuses in 2008. I believed you then when you laid out your plan for our country's future, which included changing the conditions that lead to abortions in our country. I believed you when you offered to straighten out the mess in Washington and restore our government to one that addresses all people’s needs. I believed you when talked about the bright Hope of our future as a country. I have contributed to your campaigns - granted only small amounts - but I am a very small person. I have defended your administration against the bigots who claim that you have trampled over the Constitution. Despite the overwhelming resistance by the Republicans, I support the progress in helping the poor and weak lift themselves from their desperate situations.
However, the “Preventative Services” mandate by HHS deeply saddens and disappoints me. All people of Good Will in our country have long enjoyed the protection of our Constitution’s First Amendment, but this ruling removes that protection. What you effectively do is to replace our beliefs with those of the secular state, thus establishing a “State Religion” that is forbidden by this Amendment. Through this ruling, you are stating that, “I don’t care what you believe; you have to do it my way.”
“The Catholic Church defends religious liberty, including freedom of conscience, for everyone. The Amish do not carry health insurance. The government respects their principles. Christian Scientists want to heal by prayer alone, and the new health-care reform law respects that. Quakers and others object to killing even in wartime, and the government respects that principle for conscientious objectors. By its decision, the Obama administration has failed to show the same respect for the consciences of Catholics and others who object to treating pregnancy as a disease” (Tom Bello)
In view of the recent Supreme Court decision (Hosanna-Tabor), it appears to me that this restrictive ruling is contrary to what many people of Good Will believe and in direct opposition to the provisions of the First Amendment.
I know that you have received many letters and I am only a single voice, but I am hoping and praying for you to direct the HHS to restore the long-standing conscience rights of all faith-based organizations in these matters and to find other ways of meeting these needs without abridging our Religious rights.
Here is the response from the White House:
Thank you for writing. President Obama has heard from many Americans about contraception and women’s preventive care, and he appreciates hearing from you.
The President is committed to creating the most open and transparent Government in American history and values your input. Given your interest in this matter, you may be interested in reading a recent official White House response to a petition on this issue. To learn more, please visit www.WhiteHouse.gov.
Thank you, again, for writing.
The White House
It's clear to me that this is just a standard, computer generated response to this issue. Come on, "Dear Friend". That's about as impersonal as one can get. It's really time for individual people of good will to take a strong stand against this ruling. At the very core is the undermining of our First Amendment of the Constitution.