Letters to the Editor

Saturday, Feb 09 2013 10:12 AM

New HHS rules are still not right

By The Bakersfield Californian

Once again, the Obama administration has delivered an unacceptable "compromise" regarding the Health and Human Services mandate. After expanding the exemption to church-affiliated non-profit organizations, it still refuses to extend it to individuals and for-profit business owners, such as the Greens' Hobby Lobby, who have moral objections to the contraceptive benefits. The new regulations seem quite convoluted and intent on exempting the fewest groups possible. Their desperation to get contraception, early abortifacients and sterilization into the hands of every woman and girl would be comical if they weren't in such deadly earnest. Have other provisions of the health care law received this kind of attention?

Individuals and businesses which are not religious institutions are completely unprotected, which is disturbing. In America, the right of religious freedom extends to all. Alan Sears, president of the Alliance Defending Freedom legal group, rightly so said, "religious leaders and their organizations cannot be bought off with personal immunity, in exchange for abandoning their fellow believers and their own flocks to federal subjugation of their freedoms. It behooves none of us to preserve our own 'freedom' when no one in our audience will be allowed to accept and live by our Gospel witness."

Is this an attempt to divide us and thereby conquer? The government has no business putting religious freedom on the negotiating table, or picking and choosing who is allowed to exercise faith. Let us choose health care coverage consistent with our beliefs.

Patricia Ellison

Bakersfield

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