Bishop William Lori, chairman of the USCCB ad hoc committee on religious liberty, testified today to the House Judiciary Committee. He quite clearly demonstrated why the HHS mandate is an attack on religious freedom, and asked for the committee’s support for the Respect for Rights of Conscience Act (H.R.1179, S. 1467). One key point:
Bishop Lori underlined the government’s forcing a religious body to violate its beliefs.
“I emphasize this word—‘force’—precisely because it is one of the key differences between a mere dispute over reproductive health policy and a dispute over religious freedom. This is not a matter of whether contraception may be prohibited by the government. This is not even a matter of whether contraception may be supported by the government. Instead, it is a matter of whether religious people and institutions may be forced by the government to provide coverage for contraception or sterilization, even if that violates their religious beliefs,” he said.