Freedom of Faith and Conscience | Right of Conscience
CMA Doctors Hail Supreme Court Mandate Ruling, Decry Ongoing Targeting of Faith Community
The 15,000-member Christian Medical Association, the nation's largest and oldest faith-based doctors' organization, today praised the Supreme Court's ruling in two Health and Human Services (HHS) Obamacare mandate cases but noted "increasing attempts by the government to coerce the faith community." CMA had outlined the medical aspects underlying religious objections to the HHS Obamacare mandate in its friend of the court brief in Burwell v. Hobby Lobby and Conestoga Wood v. Burwell.
CMA CEO Dr. David Stevens said in a statement, "We are very thankful that the Supreme Court acted to protect family businesses from government coercion and fines for simply honoring the tenets of their faith.
"This is a much-needed victory for faith freedoms, because this administration continues its assault on the values of the faith community. We are witnessing increasing attempts by the government to coerce the faith community to adopt the government's viewpoint in matters of conscience," noted Stevens.
CMA also filed a friend-of-the-court brief in another Supreme Court case this term, McCullen v. Coakley,to defend First Amendment free speech and assembly rights of pro-life advocates against a Massachusetts law that prohibited many citizens from entering a public street or sidewalk within 35 feet of an abortion facility.
"There seems to be growing intolerance of the faith community by some government officials who appear to want to extinguish the First Amendment freedoms that allow for a diversity of values," Stevens observed, "We are seeing this antagonism expressed in coercive government mandates enforced with harsh penalties and discriminatory practices that threaten to eliminate the faith community from the public square."
Dr. Stevens noted that the Obama administration recently launched another sweeping mandate that appears to target faith-based groups, requiring agreement with same-sex marriage as a condition of receiving federal grants. CMA's Freedom2Care website (www.Freedom2Care.org) details other violations of faith and conscience rights:
- "A coercive contraceptive mandate that imposes pro-abortion ideology on all with pro-life views.
- "The gutting of the only federal conscience regulation in health care opens the door to discrimination.
- "The denial of federal funds to a ministry, just for opposing abortions, threatens care for human trafficking victims.
- "The administration's court case to restrict faith-based organizations' hiring rights minimizes religious liberty.
- "Firings, discrimination and coercion of life-honoring health care professionals imperil health care access."