An pointless battle got here to an finish in November, after a federal appeals courtroom gave EWTN World Catholic Community, which I lead, a last victory in our seven-year battle in opposition to the Obama administration’s contraceptive mandate. Left unchallenged, the mandate would have required us to make use of our worker well being care plan to offer providers such because the week-after tablet in violation of our non secular beliefs.
EWTN was based by a nun, Mom Angelica, out of her monastery storage. At the moment, thousands and thousands of devoted Catholic viewers flip to us as a result of they know they will belief us to align our programming and operations with the Catholic Church’s educating. We’re Catholic by way of and thru.
However seven years in the past, we needed to go to courtroom to defend our proper to be who we’re. Below the Reasonably priced Care Act, the administration insisted that employers cowl a variety of contraceptives, together with the week-after tablet, of their worker well being care plans.
Catholic educating on contraception and abortion is not any secret, so it ought to have come as no shock that we rejected the mandate.
However regardless of an enormous outcry from individuals of religion, together with EWTN, the federal paperwork’s response was to grant a stingy exemption that will solely cowl church buildings and spiritual orders, leaving out non secular ministries just like the Little Sisters of the Poor — and EWTN.
At the same time as we knowledgeable our viewers about Catholic ethical educating, we have been being compelled to take part in a authorities program that explicitly violated these beliefs. The federal government was telling us that it was effective to broadcast our values, however to not reside by them. We might preach, however we couldn’t follow.
What made this assault on American rules and customary sense notably complicated was how gratuitous all of it was. There have been loads of different methods for the federal government to realize its purpose with out involving us.
Even the Obama administration admitted, when the query lastly landed on the Supreme Courtroom, that there have been different methods to make sure ladies had quick access to those medicine and providers, whether or not by way of public funding or separate well being plans.
The federal government might have simply averted expensive and time-consuming lawsuits, to not point out violations of spiritual liberty, by stepping again and making a easy repair. But it surely didn’t. As an alternative, it issued “change” after “change” to the rule — 11, in all — that did nothing to resolve the issue.
So, for EWTN, this battle was mandatory. Which is why we opposed the Obama administration mandate years in the past, after which joined the Little Sisters of the Poor in its profitable efforts earlier than the Supreme Courtroom. It’s additionally why we pushed the Trump administration to complete the work and completely defend EWTN.
But when the Trump administration did the appropriate factor by making a rule that protects non secular organizations like us from the mandate, state attorneys common raced into courtroom and acquired nationwide injunctions, delaying the everlasting repair we sought for therefore lengthy. We couldn’t relaxation till we obtained a last settlement that will stay sturdy no matter which administration was holding the regulatory pen.
Now now we have that — and a courtroom order leaving EWTN free to comply with its religion.
However the battle stays mandatory for different individuals of religion, who face persevering with battles to maintain and follow their religion at dwelling and within the public sq..
The battles proceed with Catholic foster care companies in Philadelphia and Michigan making an attempt to serve their communities whereas remaining true to their religion. Being pregnant facilities in locations like California are preventing onerous to carry on to their free-speech rights. These are battles with actual penalties.
Religion will not be meant to be simple. It calls for the whole lot from you. Or, as Mom Angelica mentioned, “Holiness will not be for wimps.” The identical is true of spiritual freedom.
Michael P. Warsaw is chairman and CEO of the EWTN World Catholic Community.