Thursday, March 15, 2012

Rep. Blackburn Op-ed: ObamaCare's Illegal Fee on Faith Rep Marsha Blackburn (TN-07)

Rep. Blackburn Op-ed: ObamaCare's Illegal Fee on Faith Rep Marsha Blackburn (TN-07)

Democrats have overreached in trying to make this an issue about access to contraception -- which it is not -- out of desperation. They are employing the politics of fear because they know the effect of the new mandate is that it will force religions to pay fines for freely practicing their faith and living the Gospel outside the brick walls of their respective churches.

When a religiously affiliated soup kitchen doesn't meet HHS's definition of being religious enough, it could be fined millions of dollars or be forced to stop serving the poor if it wants to stay true to deeply held religious beliefs.

But what will be the punishment for those religious institutions who wish to provide needy Americans of different faiths with the valuable social services that are needed? Are we not supposed to be our brother's keeper? The government's new price to practice your faith: a $100 fee per person, per day.

This is not the partisan issue some have described. Congress can point to 10 different laws from the past 30 years that protect conscience rights for religious beliefs and moral convictions.

The Democrats are claiming there is a 'War on Women', but I don't see any pending legislation from the government to fine women to the point of bankruptcy for her choice to use contraception or having abortion.

Being Catholic is more then just one hour a week, each Sunday celebrating Mass. It's always been pretty clear, we have a duty as Catholics to serve freely as Catholics and not be ashamed we're Catholic. We just reheard James, chapter 2 at my son's penance service last week.

"What good is it, my brothers, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can that faith save him?If a brother or sister has nothing to wear and has no food for the day,and one of you says to them, “Go in peace, keep warm, and eat well,” but you do not give them the necessities of the body, what good is it? So also faith of itself, if it does not have works, is dead.

The celebration of Mass, like any other religious service by other persons of faith, is not an empty cultural ritual. I missed the opportunity, but my pastor had a special Mass in which after every part he would pause and explain the purpose and meaning of what just occurred.

And when my son nervously awaited his first penance, we quietly studied the stain glass windows within our parish. Each window was displayed an image of a biblical story, and below was an image of how it would be applied in out lives. For example there is an image of the adulterous women about to be stoned, and Jesus forgives her and tells her "from now on do not sin any more." (We tend to forget that part of the passage. Stoning is bad, but adultery is wrong too.) Right below of that image on the window is an image of an individual at confession.

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