On June 30, 2014 the Supreme Court of the United States granted Hobby Lobby a 5-4 victory for Religious Freedom from the ObamaCare Law’s HHS Mandate. Later that day the 11th Circuit Court granted Catholic TV network, EWTN an injunction from the same HHS mandate.
However, EWTN was one day away from being assessed fines of $35,000 per day on July 1, 2014. By this posting they would be fined $105,000 and one full year of fines would total $12,775,000 in fines!
EWTN and many others have taken a courageous stand to defend our Religious Freedoms. Below is a statement from EWTN’s Chairman Michael Warsaw concerning their situation. Their fight is not over:
Dear Friend of EWTN,
As we prepare to commemorate the signing of the Declaration of Independence and celebrate the founding of our nation on July 4th, we celebrate freedom!
In their monumental document, the founders declared an independent nation, throwing off the tyrannical rule that failed to recognize that governments should receive “their just powers from the consent of the governed.”
This restriction of individual freedoms is not just a history lesson, but a reality for American Catholics and others who object to the immoral and overreaching HHS Mandate. The HHS Mandate demands that contraceptives, sterilizations, and abortion-inducing drugs be provided for by all employers, including those who object to these life-denying practices.
Though we celebrate liberty this July 4th, EWTN and many other organizations are in an on-going effort to fight for the freedom to act according to our consciences. On June 30, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that Hobby Lobby and similar for-profit employers cannot be forced to comply with the federal contraception mandate against their religious beliefs. While we rejoice in this victory we know that the fight for EWTN and others goes on.
We are also gratified that the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals in Atlanta granted EWTN an injunction preventing the federal government from enforcing the mandate against the Network while we pursue our appeal before the courts. What does this mean for EWTN? It means that — for the present — we will not be required to pay penalties, up to $35,000 per day, for refusing to comply with the HHS Mandate. This is not a total victory, as we still have not been granted an exemption, only temporary relief. It is, however, certainly a significant step in the right direction!
As we stand for the rights of free citizens, protected by our constitution and endowed by our Creator, we must resist the indifference of the wider culture. We must be steadfast in prayer and hope! When we fight for freedom, we honor the many Americans who have served and died for the cause of liberty.
First and foremost, we must pray regularly that God might bless our efforts and give each of us the courage to stand for truth in the public square.
Second, we should not be afraid to speak openly about our opposition to the HHS Mandate.
Third, we should invite others to stand with us. EWTN and others may be the target of this restriction of freedoms today, but a dangerous precedent is being set to arbitrarily limit the liberty of others.
Finally, we can offer our support to the many individuals and organizations who are on the front lines of this debate, entrenched in court cases around the country.
As EWTN continues to stand firm in our conviction that we should not and cannot be forced by our government to violate our consciences, I thank you for your unwavering support. We have felt the power of your prayers; we have heard your voice added to ours! This 4th of July, please continue to help in this important battle, both through your prayers and your financial support…
Let us recognize, as our founding fathers did, that the right to follow one’s conscience is a foundational principle of a nation free from despotism and tyranny and that these rights come not from the government of man but from the hand of a loving God!
May God Bless You and our country!
Michael P. Warsaw, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer
Thank you to EWTN for their courage.