The Department, in seeking to require all medical insurance programs to provide contraception and abortifacients has sought to describe the make-up of a Church and if a religious group does not mean these narrow criteria that are actually contrary to the faith such a group will not meet the exemption requirements.
The General Counsel of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops summarized these criteria:
Religious employers that do not meet HHS’s narrow definition will also be subject to the mandate. “HHS has concluded, for example, that a church is not a religious employer if it (a) serves those who are not already members of the church, (b) fails to hire based on religion, or (c) does not restrict its charitable and missionary purposes to the inculcation of religious values. Under such inexplicably narrow criteria—criteria bearing no reasonable relation to any legitimate (let alone compelling) government purpose—even the ministry of Jesus and the early Christian Church would not qualify as ‘religious,’ because they did not confine their ministry to their co-religionists or engage only in a preaching ministry. In effect, the exemption is directly at odds with the parable of the Good Samaritan, in which Jesus teaches concern and assistance for those in need, regardless of faith differences.”What sort of a religious community is not allowed to practice charity and meet the needs of the poor? What sort of a religious community is not allowed to reach out to others and invite them to share their faith?
Please, contact the Department of Health and Human Services and your elected officials and urge to them put an end to this bizarre set of requirements that forbid charity.
Unless we act soon and put an end to this nonsense, the persecution of Christians in this country will soon be here.