The bizarre ObamaCare decision leaves unresolved the separate issue of whether government can define what a church is and what it can do. Will the courts also redefine the "free exercise" of religion?
For now, ObamaCare remains largely intact and so does its attempt to rewrite the First Amendment by prohibiting the free exercise of religion through its mandate that religious institutions provide contraceptive coverage in violation of their church teachings and religious consciences.
The Becket Fund for Religious Liberty says it will move forward with litigation challenging a requirement from the federal health care law that employers provide access to contraceptive services. "Never in history has there been a mandate forcing individuals to violate their deeply held religious beliefs or pay a severe fine ," said Hannah Smith, lawyer for the group.
The fund is engaged in religious liberty lawsuits on behalf of four institutions. There are now 23 lawsuits in 14 states and the District of Columbia involving more than 50 plaintiffs, according to the group, including lawsuits filed by 43 Catholic institutions in May.
So if the Supreme Court has ruled that the government can impose a tax in the form of a penalty on those who refuse to buy health insurance, can it also impose such a "tax" on those who refuse to provide contraceptive services in violation of their religious beliefs?
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