A law professor at Marquette University accused organizations like Hobby Lobby, which is resisting the HHS mandate in court, of imposing their religious views on their employees.
Professor Paul Secunda, who teaches courses on employee benefits, recently wrote on Marquette’s blog that he does not believe the HHS mandate violates the Religious Freedom Restoration Act.
Secunda,a graduate of Georgetown University Law Center, wrote:
Personally, I do not see a RFRA or free exercise problem with ACA’s mandate because it is not a law that targets religion or otherwise substantially burdens religious rights of individuals. For-profit corporations do not and should [not] have free exercise rights, and the exemption from the law for for-profit religious employers would permit them to inappropriately interfere with the personal health care decisions of their employees.
These comments seem to contradict statements by the U.S. bishops. “With its coercive HHS mandate, the government is refusing to uphold its obligation to respect the rights of religious believers,” they stated. “As the government’s implementation of the mandate against us approaches, we bishops stand united in our resolve to resist this heavy burden and protect our religious freedom.”
Secunda accused for-profit corporations fighting the mandate like Hobby Lobby of “impos[ing] their very much dominant Christian religious practices on their employees (Christian and non-Christian alike).”
Secunda is hardly alone at Marquette in voicing support for the mandate. Last year, a radical theology professor and former priest at the Jesuit-run university wrote to The New York Times in support of the HHS mandate.
Professor Daniel Maguire wrote that the American bishops who oppose the mandate are in conflict with Pope Benedict XVI who “ended the taboo on condoms.” Pope Benedict, in fact, never attempted to nor changed the Church’s long-held teachings against condom use during his pontificate.
Maguire further accused the American bishops of being “at odds” with other bishops throughout the world, with the vast majority of Catholic theologians, and 98 percent of Catholic laity who, according to him, have used contraceptives.
Catholic Education Daily is an online publication of The Cardinal Newman Society. Click here for email updates and free online membership with The Cardinal Newman Society.