The Corner

Communicating Freedom: The Lingering, Urgent HHS Mandate Challenge

In my conversation with Diane Black about Planned Parenthood and the 113th Congress, we also talked about religious liberty and the current position Hobby Lobby, run by an evangelical family, finds themselves in, having to violate their conscience or defy Obamacare’s Department of Health and Human Services abortion-drug, contraception, sterilization mandate. Given that the Department of Justice is arguing that business owners such as the Greens surrender their religious liberty when they decide to go into business, Black observes: “If you can do this with religious liberty, we should all be concerned . . . whether you agree or disagree” with the Greens on abortion or the Catholic Church on contraception. Echoing the bishops’ campaign this past year, opposition to this mandate is about our first freedom and thus freedom in America itself. And in protecting it, we provide a powerful act of stewardship as a beacon for the world.

Black makes an observation, too, about communications in our frenetic culture. “I’m 62 this month,” and even as we have more ways of communicating, so much of it so much more interactive than ever, “sometimes the truth gets buried and the loudest voice carries.” So often, as we rush to feed the frenzy, “there is less research and good factual information.” The reader has to dig harder and deeper, as the journalists ought to. “In my day, there were investigative reporters. And now the evening news seems to be opinion.” The ratings might be down, but the conventional wisdom does still have its way. But this nurse from Tennessee plans to use the voice that being reelected to Congress affords her to try to break down the conventional wisdom and lift up alternatives. 


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