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Last Sunday as Catholic priests throughout the nation read an open letter to their parishioners from their archdiocese condemning the Obama administration’s ruling to force religious employers to cover the cost of contraception and abortion-inducing drugs in its employees’ health-care coverage, chaplains in the U. S. Army were forbidden from reading any such correspondence during their Sunday service to parishioners. See sample of letter distributed by bishops here in pdf format.
“On Thursday, January 26, Archbishop Broglio emailed a pastoral letter to Catholic military chaplains with instructions that it be read from the pulpit at Sunday Masses the following weekend in all military chapels. The letter calls on Catholics to resist the policy initiative, recently affirmed by the United States Department of Health and Human Services, for federally mandated health insurance covering sterilization, abortifacients and contraception, because it represents a violation of the freedom of religion recognized by the U.S. Constitution.
The Army’s Office of the Chief of Chaplains subsequently sent an email to senior chaplains advising them that the Archbishop’s letter was not coordinated with that office and asked that it not be read from the pulpit. The Chief’s office directed that the letter was to be mentioned in the Mass announcements and distributed in printed form in the back of the chapel.
Archbishop Broglio and the Archdiocese stand firm in the belief, based on legal precedent, that such a directive from the Army constituted a violation of his Constitutionally-protected right of free speech and the free exercise of religion, as well as those same rights of all military chaplains and their congregants.
Following a discussion between Archbishop Broglio and the Secretary of the Army, The Honorable John McHugh, it was agreed that it was a mistake to stop the reading of the Archbishop’s letter.….”
Not only were chaplains told not to read the letter, but an Obama administration official edited the correspondence.
It should be noted that no other branch of the U. S. Military banned the reading of this correspondence. H/t NC Renegade via Grumpy Opinions.
Was the Obama administration testing the waters in this instant to see how far our military would allow them to go when it came to trampling upon the liberties of those in service?
The short of it: these assaults by the Obama administration are a declaration war against Christians.
As reported by The Blaze, this is not the first time that religious freedom and liberty has come up in the U.S. military.
Rigdon V. Perry,962 F. Supp. 150 (D.D.C. 1997)
“The Becket Fund successfully sued the Pentagon over its gag order that barred military chaplains from preaching about legislation during sermons. Two military chaplains-a Catholic priest and an Orthodox Jewish rabbi-who desired to join the effort supporting H.R. 1122 (the Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act of 1997) argued that the gag order violated their First Amendment rights under the Free Exercise Clause, the Free Speech Clause, and the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, 42 U.S.C. 2000bb, et. seq.
The court agreed with The Becket Fund and held that the gag order was unconstitutional:
‘What we have here is the government’s attempt to override the Constitution and the laws of the land by a directive that clearly interferes with military chaplains’ free exercise and free speech rights, as well as those of their congregants. 962 F. Supp. at 165.’
In particular, the court rejected all of the arguments advanced by the government to support their censorship of speech from the pulpit.
For example, the government argued that it was not an important part of the plaintiffs’ religion to urge their congregations to contact Congress about particular moral or political issues. The court soundly rejected that argument, holding that it was not the role of the government ‘to determine whether encouraging parishioners to contact Congress [about a particular issue like] the Partial Birth Abortion Ban Act is an ‘important component’ of the [plaintiffs’] faiths.’ Id. at 161.…”