The president’s error on religious liberty and human dignity


President Obama’s address at the National Prayer Breakfast this week was exactly right. On two issues his words hit the nail on the head. The President explained, “Central to [human] dignity is freedom of religion—the right of every person to practice their faith how they choose.” Second, he charged, “Killing the innocent is never fulfilling God’s will. In fact, it is the ultimate betrayal of God’s will.” Unfortunately, his words are not matched by the actions of his administration.

The mandate of the Department of Health and Human Services remains that all health insurance plans cover contraception, sterilization and abortion-inducing drugs. The president’s administration continues to promote abortion on demand and even the barbaric practice of partial-birth abortion.

The president should be commended for his frank remarks standing for religious freedom and human dignity. He will find a friend in the Catholic Church in this regard. However, one wonders how serious the administration is about supporting religious freedom when Catholic religious sisters may be forced out of work in hospitals and schools because they don’t want to pay for contraception or abortion-inducing drugs. Similarly, one wonders how seriously the administration takes the issue of human dignity given its indifference at the killing of the unborn.

Vocal support for religious freedom and human dignity is all well and good. But the president’s words are not matched by his actions. The President is wrong on these issues and right-minded people will call him out on it.