If this healthcare overhaul was struck down, the HHS Mandate lawsuit would have also ended since the mandate itself would no longer be in effect. However, the question of religious freedom would have gone unanswered. The current administration has set a dangerous precedent by infringing on religious freedoms to further its political and ideological agenda. The lawsuits against the mandate will now continue and hopefully end with the Supreme Court definitively ending this abuse of power and disregard of religious freedoms by the President.
How can we be so hopeful that the Supreme Court will make the right decision in regards to religious freedoms? As reported by Michelle Baumann of Catholic News Agency: (emphasis mine)
[Hannah Smith, Senior Counsel, The Beckett Fund] pointed to the majority opinion, penned by Chief Justice John Roberts, which states, “Even if the taxing power enables Congress to impose a tax on not obtaining health insurance, any tax must still comply with other requirements in the Constitution.”The line in the sand has been drawn. The current administration is now even more emboldened with this Supreme Court victory. This can become a defining moment in history for us as Catholics. By coming together and supporting our Bishops in this battle, we can truly show the world what it means to be "One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic".
The opinion of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, joined by Justices Sonia Sotomayor, Stephen Breyer and Elena Kagan, was even more explicit, she said.
Ginsberg wrote, “A mandate to purchase a particular product would be unconstitutional if, for example, the edict impermissibly abridged the freedom of speech, interfered with the free exercise of religion, or infringed on a liberty interest protected by the Due Process Clause.”
The direct mention of religious freedom as a reason to find such a mandate unconstitutional is a hopeful sign in the battle over the contraception requirement, Smith said.
She explained that these two statements are “essential” in suggesting that the court may strike down the contraception mandate if asked to rule on it, a positive indication for defenders of religious freedom.
Even though the Fortnight for Freedom is over, the battle continues. There are several things that we can all do to help our Bishops in this fight. First, we must pray and fast for religious freedom. Secondly, speak out publicly in favor of the Church and against this HHS mandate. By this I mean call and write to your elected officials and write to your local newspapers. You can also write about it on your blogs and social media sites. We need to get the truth out to counter the lies in the media. This isn't just some "Catholic thing" about contraception or abortion. This is about protecting the religious freedoms of every citizen in this country. In this battle, we are all Catholics. Finally, take the time to educate yourself on Obamacare, the HHS Mandate and how this impacts our freedoms. This will help you better understand the issues when you vote and allow you to better defend the position of the Catholic Church on this matter.
The line in the sand has been drawn. The question is now do we stand and fight or do we stick our head in the sand and ignore it?