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Cardinal Dolan Joins Protest Over 'Unacceptable' Attack on Religious Liberty (12507)

500 signatures are now on Becket Fund for Religious Liberty's petition campaign to protect Americans' First Amendment rights.

02/27/2012 Comments (33)
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Feb. 27 UPDATE: Now more than 500 signatures, including just added Cardinal Timothy Dolan’s, are on this letter.

Feb. 15 UPDATE: Now more than 300 signatures are on this letter.

Original Feb. 14 story below.

Two leading bishops have joined the growing list of prominent Church leaders and academics who see the federal government’s recent actions as an assault on religious freedom.

The Becket Fund for Religious Liberty today posted a Feb. 13 letter to that effect. In addition, it kicked off a petition urging everyone to express their disappointment over Obama’s “failure to protect religious liberty.”

Archbishop Joseph Kurtz, vice president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, and Archbishop Charles Chaput, the ordinary of Philadelphia, added their names with those of college presidents and faculty, religious leaders of all faiths, and members of the clergy under a Feb. 13 statement of protest against President Barack Obama’s Feb. 10 “accommodation” to religious institutions over the federal contraception mandate.

The list of signatories includes more than 50 faculty members from the University of Notre Dame. Notably absent is the university’s president, Holy Cross Father John Jenkins. On Feb. 10, Father Jenkins responded to Obama’s modification of the mandate on the Notre Dame website. He said:

“The widespread concerns expressed by Catholics and people from other faiths have led today to a welcome step toward recognizing the freedom of religious institutions to abide by the principles that define their respective missions. We applaud the willingness of the administration to work with religious organizations to find a solution acceptable to all parties.

“There remain a number of unclear and unresolved issues, and we look forward to joining the U.S. bishops and leaders from other religious institutions to work with the administration to resolve them.”

In contrast, the signatories of the statement contend that the administration’s “‘accommodation’ changes nothing of moral substance and fails to remove the assault on religious liberty and the rights of conscience which gave rise to the controversy.” Their statement of protest, published on University of Notre Dame stationery and originating from Notre Dame law professor O. Carter Snead, follows in full.

“The Obama administration has offered what it has styled as an ‘accommodation’ for religious institutions in the dispute over the HHS mandate for coverage (without cost sharing) of abortion-inducing drugs, sterilization and contraception. The administration will now require that all insurance plans cover (‘cost free’) these same products and services. Once a religiously affiliated (or believing individual) employer purchases insurance (as it must, by law), the insurance company will then contact the insured employees to advise them that the terms of the policy include coverage for these objectionable things.

“This so-called ‘accommodation’ changes nothing of moral substance and fails to remove the assault on religious liberty and the rights of conscience which gave rise to the controversy. It is certainly no compromise. The reason for the original bipartisan uproar was the administration’s insistence that religious employers, be they institutions or individuals, provide insurance that covered services they regard as gravely immoral and unjust. Under the new rule, the government still coerces religious institutions and individuals to purchase insurance policies that include the very same services.

“It is no answer to respond that the religious employers are not ‘paying’ for this aspect of the insurance coverage. For one thing, it is unrealistic to suggest that insurance companies will not pass the costs of these additional services on to the purchasers. More importantly, abortion drugs, sterilizations and contraceptives are a necessary feature of the policy purchased by the religious institution or believing individual. They will only be made available to those who are insured under such policy, by virtue of the terms of the policy.

“It is morally obtuse for the administration to suggest (as it does) that this is a meaningful accommodation of religious liberty because the insurance company will be the one to inform the employee that she is entitled to the embryo-destroying ‘five-day-after pill’ pursuant to the insurance contract purchased by the religious employer. It does not matter who explains the terms of the policy purchased by the religiously affiliated or observant employer. What matters is what services the policy covers.

“The simple fact is that the Obama administration is compelling religious people and institutions who are employers to purchase a health-insurance contract that provides abortion-inducing drugs, contraception and sterilization. This is a grave violation of religious freedom and cannot stand. It is an insult to the intelligence of Catholics, Protestants, Eastern Orthodox Christians, Jews, Muslims and other people of faith and conscience to imagine that they will accept an assault on their religious liberty if only it is covered up by a cheap accounting trick.

“Finally, it bears noting that by sustaining the original narrow exemptions for churches, auxiliaries and religious orders, the administration has effectively admitted that the new policy (like the old one) amounts to a grave infringement on religious liberty. The administration still fails to understand that institutions that employ and serve others of different or no faith are still engaged in a religious mission and, as such, enjoy the protections of the First Amendment.

Signed:


John Garvey
President
The Catholic University of America

Mary Ann Glendon
Learned Hand Professor of Law
Harvard University

Robert P. George
McCormick Professor of Jurisprudence
Princeton University

O. Carter Snead
Professor of Law
University of Notre Dame

Yuval Levin
Hertog Fellow, Ethics and Public Policy Center


Religious Leaders

Archbishop Joseph E. Kurtz, D.D.
Archbishop of Louisville

Archbishop Charles J. Chaput, OFM
Archbishop of Philadelphia

Chuck Colson
Founder, Prison Fellowship Ministries

Dr. Paige Patterson
Former President, Southern Baptist Convention
President, Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary

Father Frederick R. Parke
Pastor, Assumption Catholic Church


University and College Professors

Jean Bethke Elshtain
Laura Spelman Rockefeller Professor of Social and Political Ethics in the Divinity School, Department of Political Science and the Committee on International Relations
The University of Chicago

Michael W. McConnell
Richard and Frances Mallery Professor of Law & Director, Stanford Constitutional Law Center
Stanford University

Rabbi David Novak
J. Richard and Dorothy Shiff Chair in Jewish Studies Professor of Religion and Philosophy
University of Toronto
President, Union for Traditional Judaism

Donald Landry
Samuel Bard Professor of Medicine & Chair, Department of Medicine & Physician-in-Chief
Columbia University

Thomas F. Farr
Director of the Religious Freedom Project
Georgetown University

Margaret F. Brinig
Fritz Duda Family Chair in Law
Notre Dame Law School

Daniel Costello
Bettex Chair Professor Emeritus
College of Engineering
University of Notre Dame

Ann W. Astell
Professor of Theology
University of Notre Dame

Tom Pratt
Dept of EE, College of Engineering
University of Notre Dame

David W. Fagerberg
Associate Professor
Department of Theology
University of Notre Dame

Peter M. Kogge
Ted McCourtney Professor of Computer Science & Engineering Concurrent Professor of Electrical Engineering
University of Notre Dame

Michael J. Crowe
Cavanaugh Professor Emeritus
Program of Liberal Studies
University of Notre Dame

Msgr. Michael Heintz, Ph.D.
Director, Master of Divinity Program
Department of Theology
University of Notre Dame

John Uhran
Emeritus Professor, Computer Science and Engineering
University of Notre Dame

Thomas A. Gresik
Department of Economics
University of Notre Dame

W. David Solomon
Associate Professor of Philosophy
University of Notre Dame

Kirk Doran, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor of Economics
University of Notre Dame

Tonia Hap Murphy
Associate Teaching Professor
University of Notre Dame

Jim A Seida
Viola D. Hank Associate Professor of Accountancy
Mendoza College of Business
University of Notre Dame

Jeffrey J. Burks
Assistant Professor of Accountancy
University of Notre Dame

Adrian J. Reimers
Adjunct Assistant Professor
University of Notre Dame

David S. Younger
Assistant Director
Italian, Classics, German, and Russian Programs
Office of International Studies
University of Notre Dame

Kelley M. Shrock
Operations Specialist
University of Notre Dame Investment Office

Bartley Burk
Social Sciences/Hispanic Cataloger
Hesburgh Libraries
University of Notre Dame

Judy Hutchinson
Assistant Director
Office of International Studies
University of Notre Dame

Craig Tiller
Senior Director, Project Management
Facilities Design and Operations
University of Notre Dame

Joseph A. Reimers
Technology Support Assistant III
University of Notre Dame Kresge Law Library

Michael A. Zenk
Director, Post Award Financial Management
Office of Research
University of Notre Dame

Patrick Griffin
Department Chair and Madden-Hennebry Professor of History
University of Notre Dame

Mary K. Daly
Program Coordinator , University Life Initiatives
Institute for Church Life
University of Notre Dame

Richard W. Garnett
Associate Dean and Professor of Law
University of Notre Dame

John Cavadini
Director, Institute for Church Life and Associate Professor of Theology
University of Notre Dame

Christian Smith
William R. Kenan Professor of Sociology & Director, Center for the Study of Religion and Society
University of Notre Dame

Gary Anderson
Hesburgh Professor of Theology
University of Notre Dame

Harindra Joseph F. Fernando
Wayne and Diana Murdy Endowed Professor of Engineering and Geosciences
University of Notre Dame

William N. Evans
Keough-Hesburgh Professor of Economics
University of Notre Dame

Alfred J. Freddoso
John and Jean Oesterle Professor of Thomistic Studies
Concurrent Professor of Law
Philosophy Department
University of Notre Dame

M. Katherine Tillman
Professor Emerita, Program of Liberal Studies
University of Notre Dame

Walter Nicgorski
Professor, Program of Liberal Studies
University of Notre Dame

Philip Bess
Director of Graduate Studies and Professor of Architecture
University of Notre Dame

Paolo Carozza
Professor of Law and Director, Center for Civil and Human Rights
University of Notre Dame

John F. Gaski
Associate Professor of Marketing
University of Notre Dame

Duncan G. Stroik
Associate Professor of Architecture
University of Notre Dame

Father Wilson D. Miscamble, C.S.C.
Professor of History
University of Notre Dame

Kenneth Garcia, Ph.D.
Associate Director, Institute for Scholarship in the Liberal Arts
University of Notre Dame

Gerard V. Bradley
Professor of Law
University of Notre Dame

Amy Barrett
Professor of Law
University of Notre Dame

Sean Kelsey
Director of Graduate Studies and Associate Professor of Philosophy
University of Notre Dame

Gabriel Said Reynolds
Tisch Family Associate Professor of Islamic Studies and Theology and Director of Undergraduate Studies
University of Notre Dame

William K. Kelley
Associate Professor of Law
University of Notre Dame

David O’Connor
Associate Professor of Philosophy and Concurrent Associate Professor of Classics
University of Notre Dame

Joseph Kaboski
David F. and Erin M. Seng Associate Professor of Economics
University of Notre Dame

Vincent Phillip Muñoz
Tocqueville Associate Professor of Political Science
Concurrent Associate Professor of Law
Department of Political Science
University of Notre Dame

John O’Callaghan
Director, Jacques Maritain Center & Associate Professor of Philosophy
University of Notre Dame

Daniel Philpott
Associate Professor of Political Science
University of Notre Dame

Mary M . Keys
Associate Professor of Political Science
University of Notre Dame

Eric Sims
Assistant Professor of Economics
University of Notre Dame

Mike Pries
Associate Professor of Economics
University of Notre Dame

Edward Maginn
Professor of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering
Associate Dean for Academic Programs, The Graduate School
University of Notre Dame

Phillip R. Sloan
Professor Emeritus, Program of Liberal Studies and Graduate Program in History and Philosophy of Science
University of Notre Dame

John B. Londregan
Professor of Politics and Public Affairs
Princeton University

Patrick McKinley Brennan
John F. Scarpa Chair in Catholic Legal Studies and Professor of Law
Villanova University

Mark C. Murphy
McDevitt Professor of Religious Philosophy
Georgetown University

Steven Smith
Class of 1975 Endowed Professor of Law
University of San Diego

Larry Alexander
Warren Distinguished Professor of Law
University of San Diego

David A. Skeel
S. Samuel Arsht Professor of Corporate Law
University of Pennsylvania

W. Cole Durham Jr.
Susa Young Gates University Professor of Law
Director, International Center for Law and Religion Studies
J. Reuben Clark Law School
Brigham Young University

Lynn D. Wardle
Bruce C. Hafen Professor of Law
Brigham Young University Law School

Randy Beck
Justice Thomas O. Marshall Chair of Constitutional Law
University of Georgia School of Law

Alan Mittleman
Professor of Modern Jewish Thought
The Jewish Theological Seminary

Rabbi Meir Y. Soloveichik
Director, Straus Center for Torah and Western Thought
Yeshiva University

Gilbert Meilaender
Duesenberg Professor in Christian Ethics
Valparaiso University

Russell D. Moore, Ph.D.
Dean and Professor of Christian Theology and Ethics
The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary

J. Budziszewski
Professor of Government and Philosophy
University of Texas-Austin

Peter A. Lawler
Dana Professor of Government
Berry College

Thomas Kelly
Associate Professor of Philosophy
Princeton University

Michael Stokes Paulsen
Distinguished University Chair and Professor of Law
The University of St. Thomas

David Lyle Jeffrey
Distinguished Professor of Literature and the Humanities
Baylor University

Hadley P. Arkes
Edward N. Ney Professor of Jurisprudence and American Institutions
Amherst College

Salvatore Torquato
Professor of Chemistry
Princeton University

Edward R. Dougherty
Robert M. Kennedy ’26 Chair
Director, Genomic Signal Processing Laboratory
Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering
Texas A&M University
Director, Computational Biology Division
Translational Genomics Research Institute, Phoenix, Ariz.

Ann Hartle
Professor of Philosophy
Emory University

Father Joseph Koterski, SJ
President, Fellowship of Catholic Scholars and Department of Philosophy
Fordham University

Timothy S. Fuerst
Professor of Economics
Bowling Green State University

Patrick Deneen
Tsakopoulos-Kounalakis Associate Professor
Director, The Tocqueville Forum on the Roots of American Democracy
Department of Government
Georgetown University

Thomas A. Smith
Professor of Law
University of San Diego

Michael A. Scaperlanda
Edwards Family Chair in Law
University of Oklahoma College of Law

Maria E. Garlock
Associate Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering & Director, Program in Architecture and Engineering
Princeton University

Mark Regnerus
Associate Professor of Sociology
University of Texas-Austin

Bryan T. McGraw
Assistant Professor of Politics and International Relations
Wheaton College

Timothy Samuel Shah
Associate Director and Scholar in Residence, Religious Freedom Project,
Berkley Center for Religion, Peace and World Affairs, and
Visiting Assistant Professor, Department of Government
Georgetown University

Jacqueline M. Nolan-Haley
Professor of Law and Director, ADR & Conflict Resolution Program
Fordham University

David K. DeWolf
Professor of Law
Gonzaga University

David B. Kopel
Research Director, Independence Institute Adjunct Professor of Advanced Constitutional Law
Denver University, Sturm College of Law

Father Thomas V. Berg
Professor of Moral Theology
St. Joseph’s Seminary-Dunwoodie

William S. Brewbaker III
Associate Dean and William Alfred Rose Professor of Law
University of Alabama

John W. Carlson, Ph.D.
Professor of Philosophy
Creighton University

Father Robert John Araujo, SJ
John Courtney Murray, SJ University Professor of Law
Loyola University of Chicago

John Breen
Professor of Law
Loyola University Chicago

Robert Miller
Professor of Law
Villanova University

William B. Hurlbut, M.D.
Consulting Professor, Dept of Neurobiology
Stanford University Medical Center

Elizabeth Komives
Dept of Chemistry and Biochemistry
University of California-San Diego

John Finley, Ph.D.
Tutor
Thomas Aquinas College (Calif.)

Micah J. Watson
Director, Center for Politics and Religion and Assistant Professor of Political Science
Union University

John Potts
Professor Emeritus of Law
Valparaiso University

Sean Collins
Thomas Aquinas College

Michael M. Uhlmann
Professor of Politics and Policy
Claremont Graduate University

Helen Alvaré
Associate Professor of Law
George Mason University

Michael Moreland
Associate Professor of Law
Villanova University

V. Bradley Lewis
Associate Professor of Philosophy
The Catholic University of America

Maria Sophia Aguirre
Professor of Economics
The Catholic University of America

Jody Vaccaro Lewis
Assistant Professor of Sacred Scripture
Pontifical Faculty of the Immaculate Conception at the Dominican House of Studies

Mark Rienzi
Senior Counsel, the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty
Assistant Professor of Law
The Catholic University of America

Patrick Lee
Professor of Philosophy
Franciscan University of Steubenville

Francis J. Beckwith
Professor of Philosophy and Church-State Studies
Baylor University

William Imboden
Assistant Professor, Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs
University of Texas

Christopher Tollefsen
Professor of Philosophy
University of South Carolina

Thomas A. Cavanaugh
Professor of Philosophy
University of San Francisco

James F. Hitchcock
Professor of History
St. Louis University

C. Ben Mitchell, Ph.D.
Graves Professor of Moral Philosophy
Union University

Christopher Wolfe
Co-Director, Thomas International Center and Emeritus Professor
Marquette University

Christopher J. Eberle
Associate Professor of Philosophy
United States Naval Academy

Gerald R. McDermott
Jordan-Trexler Professor of Religion
Roanoke College

Robert D. Benne
Director of the Center for Religion and Society
Roanoke College

Douglas Henry
Associate Professor of Philosophy
Baylor University

Scott H. Moore
Associate Professor of Philosophy and Great Texts
Baylor University

Kevin E. Miller, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor of Theology
Franciscan University of Steubenville

Gregory Schaller
Assistant Professor of Politics
Colorado Christian University

Richard Stith
Professor of Law
Valparaiso University

Thomas S. Kidd
Associate Professor of History and Senior Fellow
Institute of Religion, Baylor University

Joseph Knippenberg
Professor of Politics
Oglethorpe University

Gary D. Glenn
Distinguished Teaching Professor Emeritus
Northern Illinois University

Janet E. Smith
Father Michael J. McGivney Chair of Life Ethics
Sacred Heart Major Seminary

Carson Holloway
Associate Professor of Political Science
University of Nebraska-Omaha

John D. Woodbridge
Research Professor of Church History and Christian Thought
Trinity Evangelical Divinity School

Rev.  D. A. Carson
Research Professor of New Testament, Trinity Evangelical Divinity School
President
The Gospel Coalition

Kevin Roberts
President and Headmaster
John Paul the Great Academy
President
John Paul II Institute for the New Evangelization

Gareth N. Genner
President
Holy Spirit College & Preparatory School

Christopher Wolfe
Co-Director, Thomas International Center and Emeritus Professor
Marquette University

Daniel Bonevac
Professor of Philosophy
University of Texas-Austin

Richard R. Jesse, Ph.D.
Associate Professor Emeritus of Business Administration
University of Vermont

Leroy Huizenga
Director of the Christian Leadership Center and Assistant Professor of Theology
University of Mary-North Dakota


University/College/Seminary Presidents, Deans, and Board Members

Stephen D. Minnis
President
Benedictine College

Robert Bryan Sloan Jr.
President
Houston Baptist University

Sister Mary Sarah Galbraith, O.P.
President
Aquinas College (Tenn.)

R. Albert Mohler Jr.
President
The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary

Daniel Akin
President
Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary

Timothy O’Donnell
President
Christendom College

David Dockery
President
Union University

William K. Thierfelder
President
Belmont Abbey College

David Whitlock
President
Oklahoma Baptist University

Carl E. Zylstra
President
Dordt College

Michael F. McLean
President
Thomas Aquinas College (Calif.)

Samuel W. “Dub” Oliver, Ph.D.
President
East Texas Baptist University

H. James Towey
President
Ave Maria University

Bernard F. O’Connor
President
DeSales Unviersity

Father Terence Henry, TOR
President
Franciscan University of Steubenville

William Edmund Fahey
President
The Thomas More College of Liberal Arts (N.H.)

Marianne Evans Mount
President
Catholic Distance University

Brian Kelly
Dean
Thomas Aquinas College (Calif.)

John C. McCarthy
Dean, School of Philosophy
The Catholic University of America

Thomas Hibbs
Honors College Dean and Distinguished Professor of Ethics and Culture
Baylor University

Joshua P. Hochschild
Dean of the College of Liberal Arts
Mount St. Mary’s University (Md.)

Donna Bethell
Chairman of the Board
Christendom College


Journalists

R.R. Reno
Editor
First Things

Ryan Anderson
Editor
Public Discourse

Asma Uddin
International Legal Fellow, The Becket Fund for Religious Liberty
Editor-in-Chief
AltMuslimah

Ashley E. McGuire
Richard John Neuhaus Fellow, The Becket Fund for Religious Liberty
Editor-in-Chief, AltCatholicah
Robert Novak Journalism Fellow
The Phillips Foundation

Kathryn Jean Lopez
Editor at Large
National Review Online

Ramesh Ponnuru
Senior Editor
National Review

Matthew Schmitz
Deputy Editor
First Things

Justin Taylor
Blogger, “Between Two Worlds,” The Gospel Coalition



Independent Scholars, Lawyers, and Think Tanks

Nancy Matthews
Former Chancellor of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Bridgeport, Conn.

George Weigel
Distinguished Senior Fellow and William E. Simon Chair in Catholic Studies
Ethics and Public Policy Center

William J. Bennett
Host of Morning in America and Washington Fellow
Claremont Institute

Edward Whelan
President
Ethics and Public Policy Center

Michael Novak
George Frederick Jewett Scholar Emeritus in Religion, Philosophy and Public Policy
American Enterprise Institute
Board member
Ave Maria University

Michael Cromartie
Evangelicals and Civic Life Program
Ethics and Public Policy Center

Brian W. Walsh
Executive Director, American Religious Freedom Program
Ethics and Public Policy Center

Father Shenan J. Boquet
President
Human Life International

Patrick Fagan
Senior Fellow and Director
Marriage & Religion Research Institute

Austin Ruse
President
C-FAM

Father Jonathan Morris
Author, Television Analyst
Basilica of St. Patrick’s Old Cathedral, New York City

Maggie Gallagher
Institute for Marriage and Public Policy

Scott Klusendorf
President
Life Training Institute

Robert C. Odle Jr.
Partner, Weil Gotshal and Manges

William Saunders
Senior Vice President and Senior Counsel
Americans United for Life

Charmaine Yoest
President
Americans United for Life

Edward R. Grant
Vice Chairman, Americans United for Life Affiliated Scholar, Center for Clinical Bioethics
Georgetown University School of Medicine

Nikolas T. Nikas
President and General Counsel
Bioethics Defense Fund

Dorinda C. Bordlee
Vice President, Chief Counsel
Bioethics Defense Fund

Grace-Marie Turner
President
Galen Institute

Helen Hull Hitchcock
President
Women for Faith & Family

Elizabeth Kirk
University of Notre Dame Fund to Protect Human Life

Pia de Solenni, SThD
Diotima Consulting, LLC

Matthew J. Franck
Director, William E. and Carol G. Simon Center on Religion and the Constitution
The Witherspoon Institute

Kristina Arriaga
Executive Director
The Becket Fund for Religious Liberty

Jennifer Roback Morse, Ph.D.
Founding President
The Ruth Institute

John F. Brehany, Ph.D.
Executive Director and Ethicist
Catholic Medical Association

Len Munsil, B.S., J.D.
President
Arizona Christian University


Robert Ivany, Ph.D.
President
University of St Thomas

Jennifer Bryson
Director, Islam and Civil Society Project
The Witherspoon Institute

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Filed under archbishop charles chaput, archbishop joseph kurtz, becket fund for religious liberty, first amendment, kathleen sebelius, notre dame, president barack obama, religious liberty, usccb, usccb ad hoc committee on religious liberty