Nation founded on religious freedom

Published 8:41 am Thursday, February 16, 2012


“Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent a new nation, conceived in liberty and dedicated to the proposition that all people are created equal.” — Abraham Lincoln, opening line of the Gettysburg Address

Nine months ago, our family had the opportunity to tour the great battlefield of Gettysburg, Pa., and to read those inspiring words from our 16th president at the very spot he delivered his famous Gettysburg Address. To gaze across that sea of grave markers and to ponder the incredible sacrifices those men made so that our nation could be free and undivided is a feeling that is hard to comprehend.

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Who then, would have thought that in 2012, I and millions of my fellow Americans would be watching in horror and disbelief as our current president, Barack Obama, through the Department of Health and Human Services, would announce that almost all employers, including Catholic employers, would be forced to offer their employees’ health coverage that includes sterilization, abortion-inducing drugs and contraception? In so ruling, the Obama administration has cast aside the First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States, denying to Catholics our nation’s first and most fundamental freedom, that of religious liberty. Unless this rule is overturned, Catholics will be compelled to either violate our consciences, or drop health coverage to employees and suffer severe penalties for doing so.

This is an outrageous attack on religious freedom and the freedom of conscience, and it affects everyone of us, not just Catholics. Catholic health care institutions, schools and Catholic charities serve millions of people of all faiths or none at all. This administration has proven over and over that is has a disdain for Christianity, Catholics in particular, and a disdain for the very Constitution that it has sworn to uphold. This unjust law must not stand! Be very wary of the so called “compromise” that is being put forward, as it does nothing to change the precedent that has been set. Four more years of an Obama administration, no longer fettered by re-election worries, will see further erosions of our God-given freedoms.

Let us never forget those immortal words of President Lincoln: “We here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain; that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom; and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.”


Scott Bute