Video: Catholic deacon files suit against HHS mandate

posted at 10:01 am on February 7, 2013 by Ed Morrissey

Via Deacon Greg, this puts a new spin on the question of religious exemptions to the HHS contraception mandate.  The Obama administration claims it has solved the problem by extending religious exemptions to churches, and now religious-affiliated non-profits.  But what happens when an ordained minister owns a for-profit company?  And what if just three years ago, the same ordained minister was hailed worldwide as a hero for the rescue of trapped miners in Chile? KSTP and KAAL-TV, ABC affiliates in Minnesota, profile a new lawsuit filed by Greg Hall, a deacon in Houston who owns a Minnesota mining-equipment manufacturer:

Greg Hall, a Roman Catholic church deacon in Houston, owns American Manufacturing Company in St. Joseph and filed a federal suit Tuesday evening, saying the contraception mandate violates his religious freedom. …

Hall says his religious beliefs will not allow him to obey the Affordable Care Act’s mandate to offer contraception and abortion pills.

His attorney, Erick Kaardal, says the mandate violates the Religious Freedom & Restoration Act, which says the government is not supposed to pass laws that create a substantial burden on peoples’ religious freedoms.

Hall, who teaches moral theology as part of his duties as a deacon of the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston, says the mandate conflicts with his religious and moral beliefs.

Be sure to watch to the end, when the anchors express alarm that this may affect “women throughout the state … over 900,000, according to Planned Parenthood.”  How? By not forcing companies like American Manufacturing to distribute birth control for free?  Again, a 20-year CDC study on unplanned pregnancy showed that 99% of sexually-active women wishing to avoid pregnancy managed to find their own birth control all on their little lonesomes without Big Daddy Government forcing people to supply it, and that a lack of access to it didn’t even figure into the causes of unplanned pregnancy in any statistically significant way.

The Constitution protects the right of people to live a life consonant with their religious beliefs.  It doesn’t say that government can trump that for “free” birth control.  Hall’s case will make for an interesting test.


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Bah! He just hates poor people, women, and especially poor women. /

Liam on February 7, 2013 at 10:04 AM

Beta male reporter and talking head Leah McLean are alarmed: News at…well whenever their segment is aired.

Still, Hall is a white guy so he’s to be dismissed.

Bishop on February 7, 2013 at 10:07 AM

The Constitution protects the right of people to live a life consonant with their religious beliefs. It doesn’t say that government can trump that for “free” birth control. Hall’s case will make for an interesting test.

Isn’t this pretty much the crux of the Hobby Lobby case too? I’m not sure I see a new spin here. And as to women complaining about their “right” to free contraception- Well lil darlins’ show me in the Constitution where your “right” even exists. The right to freely worship as one chooses is clearly spelled out. Why don’t you people understand that the Constitution protects all our freedoms and is not a device to furnish you with the pill?

Happy Nomad on February 7, 2013 at 10:11 AM

Maybe its time to toss this one out.

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

Outdated?

Bmore on February 7, 2013 at 10:12 AM

Good.

22044 on February 7, 2013 at 10:14 AM

Good.

22044 on February 7, 2013 at 10:14 AM

Morphine?

Bmore on February 7, 2013 at 10:14 AM

Roberts will deem it a tax.

hillsoftx on February 7, 2013 at 10:18 AM

Morphine?

Bmore on February 7, 2013 at 10:14 AM

?

22044 on February 7, 2013 at 10:21 AM

forgive me for not being sure since I have only read 1,300 or so pages so far but doesn’t ObamaCare exempt muzzies and the Amish?

DanMan on February 7, 2013 at 10:22 AM

Outdated?

Bmore on February 7, 2013 at 10:12 AM:

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion

Only applies when Creationism is taught alongside Evolution

or prohibiting the free exercise thereof

Like when a schoolkid or Mexican refuses to stand for the Pledge of Alliegience

or abridging the freedom of speech

Does not apply to Rush, Glenn Beck, the NRA, etc.

or of the press

Except regarding the above and college newspapers that criticize Islam or any liberal dogma.

or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

Not allowed at a pro-union rally for those who disagree with them.
_______________

The only outdated part is the Original Intent. Liberals call it ‘modified’, the ‘living Constitution’.

Liam on February 7, 2013 at 10:23 AM

Be sure to watch to the end, when the anchors express alarm that this may affect “women throughout the state … over 900,000, according to Planned Parenthood.”

Low Information voters require Low Information news readers to supply them with Low Information “facts”.

dirtseller on February 7, 2013 at 10:38 AM

Be sure to watch to the end, when the anchors express alarm that this may affect “women throughout the state … over 900,000, according to Planned Parenthood.”

News anchors setting an agenda… WHO KNEW???

Expect no less from KSTP Eyeball News, I guess.

Myron Falwell on February 7, 2013 at 10:38 AM

Low Information voters require Low Information news readers to supply them with Low Information “facts”.

dirtseller on February 7, 2013 at 10:38 AM

I interpret it as, “the Mao red-book sheeple require the Fourth Estate to fill their heads with lies and distortion that makes them feel good inside.”

If these propagandists had the ability to order their devoted viewers to lynch those who dissent because they post ‘a threat to the state,’ they would.

Myron Falwell on February 7, 2013 at 10:41 AM

[Liam on February 7, 2013 at 10:23 AM]

The road to hell is paved with good intentions.

Dusty on February 7, 2013 at 10:43 AM

I keep feeling that they issued this birth control mandate for two reasons.

1. To get us to sit down and shut up.
2. To soften the blow when the next mandate is free abortions for all.

redmama on February 7, 2013 at 11:05 AM

…taxes trump religion…ask Roberts!

KOOLAID2 on February 7, 2013 at 11:13 AM

forgive me for not being sure since I have only read 1,300 or so pages so far but doesn’t ObamaCare exempt muzzies and the Amish?

DanMan on February 7, 2013 at 10:22 AM

It supposedly exempts those who prohibit insurance in their religion; regular Mennonites would be too as they don’t allow/use Social Security. May have to rejoin the Mennonite church of my youth.

Nutstuyu on February 7, 2013 at 11:17 AM

Isn’t this pretty much the crux of the Hobby Lobby case too? I’m not sure I see a new spin here.

Happy Nomad on February 7, 2013 at 10:11 AM

Yes, but you have to remember that the various Circuit Courts decide things differently.

And the religious faiths of the Hobby Lobby owners and Greg Hall differ. This works to advantage too.

unclesmrgol on February 7, 2013 at 11:26 AM

forgive me for not being sure since I have only read 1,300 or so pages so far but doesn’t ObamaCare exempt muzzies and the Amish?

DanMan on February 7, 2013 at 10:22 AM

The boilerplate matches that of Social Security law — you must sign an affidavit forgoing all Social Security benefits to be exempt from the law.

In other words, it’s like the discriminatory practices of today — an Amish can work for a non-Amish, have, as is required by law, payroll taxes deducted, but he or she forgoes any claim on the benefits of the deducted taxes as a result of their freedom of conscience claim.

In other words, to forego participation in ObamaCare, you have to forego participation in Social Security too — and yet you are obligated to pay the necessary taxes for same.

unclesmrgol on February 7, 2013 at 11:30 AM

Liberals use heroes like they use women and black, as discardable useful weapons to gain power. Any, and they well mean, any, means to an evil end.

Don L on February 7, 2013 at 11:42 AM

I love how the left describes baby murdering, as women’s healthcare.

Kjeil on February 7, 2013 at 11:43 AM

Yes, but you have to remember that the various Circuit Courts decide things differently.

And the religious faiths of the Hobby Lobby owners and Greg Hall differ. This works to advantage too.

unclesmrgol on February 7, 2013 at 11:26 AM

Fair enough about the different courts and religions but it still boils down to an individual owner objecting to the HHS mandate on religious grounds. Don’t get me wrong, I think the courts should be flooded with these cases but it is not a new spin on the issue.

Happy Nomad on February 7, 2013 at 11:45 AM

I interpret it as, “the Mao red-book sheeple require the Fourth Estate to fill their heads with lies and distortion that makes them feel good inside.”
Myron Falwell on February 7, 2013 at 10:41 AM

Well that was once known as sinful pride, and that certainly explains all those Northeast, and West Coast young professionals voting for Obama to help destory their perfectly planned world, doesn’t it?

Don L on February 7, 2013 at 11:46 AM

I love how the left describes baby murdering, as women’s healthcare.

Kjeil on February 7, 2013 at 11:43 AM

He who sets the terms wins the battle. Why do you think they use terms like gun violence prevention, women’s healthcare, and progressive? Because those terms sell better than gun bans, killing babies, and liberal.

Happy Nomad on February 7, 2013 at 11:47 AM

In other words, to forego participation in ObamaCare, you have to forego participation in Social Security too — and yet you are obligated to pay the necessary taxes for same.

———————————————————
Im 37, there will be no social security benefits for me anyway, so where do I sign up?

Machismo on February 7, 2013 at 11:51 AM

I keep feeling that they issued this birth control mandate for two reasons.

1. To get us to sit down and shut up.
2. To soften the blow when the next mandate is free abortions for all.

redmama on February 7, 2013 at 11:05 AM

Followed by coerced abortions based on medical tests, income levels, marital status, age, whatever.

If they can force to to pay for someone’s abortion, they can force you to have one.

Lily on February 7, 2013 at 11:51 AM

Fair enough about the different courts and religions but it still boils down to an individual owner objecting to the HHS mandate on religious grounds. Don’t get me wrong, I think the courts should be flooded with these cases but it is not a new spin on the issue.

Happy Nomad on February 7, 2013 at 11:45 AM

I think the difference is, that while he is a business owner, he is also an ordained minister of the Catholic Church. There hasn’t been one of those take this to court yet.

Lily on February 7, 2013 at 11:54 AM

I pray you are wrong Lily. I fear you are right.

redmama on February 7, 2013 at 11:59 AM

I’m a business owner and I object to all sorts of stuff in ObamaCare, on liberty-lost and “it’s just plain stupid” grounds. My vote was outweighed in the last election, and, sadly, my church thinks aborting defenseless babies is just fine so I can’t claim a religious exemption to the law.

Consequently, cheering on people like Hobby or Greg Hall is my only hope.

Go get ‘em! And “thank you!”, too: I’m with you wholeheartedly.

MTF on February 7, 2013 at 12:06 PM

I think the difference is, that while he is a business owner, he is also an ordained minister of the Catholic Church. There hasn’t been one of those take this to court yet.

Lily on February 7, 2013 at 11:54 AM

So he’s a cleric in the eyes of the RCC. How is his objection different than those of a cleric running a religious instititution? Or for that matter simply a devout Christian running a privately held company?

Obama essentially says that Julia’s woman parts trumps anything that the Constitution has to say about religious freedom. Mr. Hall is not representing the RCC when he filed suit over the HHS mandate he was doing so as a private citizen whose Constitutional rights were being infringed upon by the demands of greedy stupid women.

When it comes right down to it, anybody who supports the Constitution should be up-in-arms about the HHS mandate because if the filthy rat-eared bastard can bully religious institutions into obedience then it is only a matter of time before he silences critics of other parts of the Constitution as well. He’s already trying to gut the Second Amendment and I have no doubt that he will soon be finding other ways to ignore the law for the worthless parasites who adore him. He’s already fast-tracked citizenship for illegal aliens below a certain age (soon to be expanded to all the criminals). He’s created artificial crisis after artificial crisis.

My only solace these days is the fact that dictators rarely end up dying peacefully in their beds from old age. And Obama is as close as we have ever come to being ruled by an American dictator (with Lincoln a distant second).

Happy Nomad on February 7, 2013 at 12:12 PM

Video: Catholic deacon files suit against HHS mandate

NOW, guess who’s #1 on OBOZO’s drone KILL LIST….

TeaPartyNation on February 7, 2013 at 12:55 PM

Happy Nomad on February 7, 2013 at 12:12 PM

I think it does cover a minor area that hadn’t been covered before: someone who would be covered by the exemption in his practice as a deacon, but won’t be covered in the rest of his life, including a business. I don’t think it’s a terribly big difference, but it does offer a bit of a shading from one end to the other of those objecting, and it makes the whole fight a bit more complete.

GWB on February 7, 2013 at 1:17 PM

RFRA may end up saving our a$$.

cptacek on February 7, 2013 at 2:42 PM

It seems to me that the courts should question whether “free” birth control is in fact a compelling government interest. But, so far, it looks like the different courts have been disinclined to do so. Especially in the Hobby Lobby case, the courts all up the line have simply accepted the government’s claim of compelling interest at face value. I am no lawyer but it seems to me that this is why HL keep losing what would otherwise seem like a cut and dried case of religious infringement.

At what point will the courts actually examine whether there is a actually a compelling need for the mandate??

Texene on February 7, 2013 at 3:13 PM