Thomas More College Challenges Legality of Mandate

by Thomas More College on June 1, 2012

The Thomas More College of Liberal Arts’ is keeping pressure on the Obama Administration through its second appeal of the HHS Mandate.

“This government mandate could not be more directly contradictory to the position of Thomas More College on the moral question of contraceptives,” said William Fahey, President of the College. “The mandate promotes contraceptives as essential to the welfare of young people. Thomas More College views contraceptives in the same category as abortion and other crimes against life. The objective of the mandate is abominable and moreover, it does not observe the traditional religious liberty of the Church; that is an offense to the truth and to long-standing custom. Furthermore, prudent men see this mandate as a violation of our first and fourteenth amendment rights.”

This second appeal was organized by The Center for the Advancement of Catholic Higher Education, a division of The Cardinal Newman Society (CNS). The voice of Thomas More College was joined by many, including seventeen other colleges.

Since receiving the first appeal, the Obama Administration has proposed to require insurance companies or third-party providers to insure employees for practices that Catholics find morally objectionable. This was their attempt at correcting the violation of religious freedom, but it failed to satisfy.

The second appeal argues that the Obama’s Administration’s proposal, “far from alleviating this violation, promises to worsen it.” To shift the responsibility from the institution to the insurer or third party does not change anything fundamentally. If the Obama Administration has supposed that those in this fight are appealing simply for an ‘easy out,’ they will find themselves very much mistaken.

The appeal reads,

For this reason we urge HHS (and the Departments of Labor and of the Treasury that jointly issued the Mandate and the ANPRM) to conform the Mandate to RFRA and the First Amendment, by exempting all stakeholders with a religious or moral objection to being forced by the federal government to provide, offer, pay for or in any way participate in a health insurance plan that covers “contraceptives” (including abortifacients as well as non-abortifacient mechanisms of action), sterilization, and related education and counseling. The right to religious freedom requires no less.

“As a Catholic institution, we simply will not compromise the dignity of human life,” added Fahey. “To do so would go against what is at the very core of our institution, namely, a firm commitment to the Magisterium of the Catholic Church which cherishes human life as a priceless gift from God not to be treated as something disposable.”

In addition to it signing this second appeal, Thomas More College will be actively participating in the “Fortnight for Freedom,” a 14-day period of prayer, education and action in support of religious freedom called for last month by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. This period will begin on June 21 and run through July 4.

During this time, the College will be running a series of articles on Crisis magazine focusing specifically on this issue. Tens upon tens of thousands will be reached through these articles written by Catholic scholars, politicians, and clergy. These articles will serve to illuminate for the faithful Catholic laity the problem of the HHS Mandate—what is at stake and what action can and must be taken in response.

Founded in 1978, Thomas More College is a four-year undergraduate program that pledges full fidelity to the teachings of the Roman Catholic Church, especially the fundamental moral principle of life.

The College energetically encourages its students to take part in pro-life activities. Each winter our students from Thomas More College make the ten-hour trek to the nation’s capital to the March for Life. The College also takes part in the Boston Walk for Life on the anniversary of Roe v. Wade. The students of Thomas More College do not stop at just two events a year, many make it a weekly commitment to pray and witness at the abortion site in nearby Manchester, New Hampshire.

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