Leaked Emails Reveal Sick Plan Obama Has for Christian Organizations
The Obama administration has been under fire from conservative critics for attempting to mandate that organizations violate closely held religious beliefs and pay for employee contraception to comply with Obamacare.
The administration then adopted a curious tax provision (26 U.S.C. § 6033) that exempted some entities from filing tax returns as the mechanism for determining which religious groups are exempt from the contraceptive mandate and basically required these entities to beg the Department of Health and Human Services for an “accommodation.”
Now, it has been revealed — through internal government emails obtained via the Freedom of Information Act — that the administration wasn’t really concerned with accommodating religious interests when structuring that tax provision, according to the National Review.
Instead, the officials were more concerned over which religious groups would or would not fit into the exemption rather than providing religious accommodations in general.
This internal targeting of Christian organizations was going on as early as October 2011, as emails among officials show that the administrations was curiously interested in the student insurance coverage at Catholic universities.
Then, in emails from July 2012, officials were trying to ensure that the contraceptive mandate would treat the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops – the spiritual leaders of Roman Catholic entities in the United States – differently from the colleges, charities, and other groups that they lead.
These documents were originally discovered during congressional inquiries into the sharing of tax information between the IRS and the White House.
As Carrie Severino of the National Review will argue in a friend-of-the-court brief to Zubik v. Burwell — a contraceptive mandate case involving the Little Sisters of the Poor — the content of these emails is fatal to the administration’s claim that structuring the contraceptive mandate this way was an effort to respect the religious groups’ religious objections. Instead, Severino writes, it was an arbitrary choice that failed to take into account the virtually identical religious freedom interests shared by groups granted and denied an exemption from the mandate.
Hopefully, the Supreme Court will see that this is just the administration’s attempt to discreetly chip away at religious freedom.
If not, we’re in trouble, folks. The war on Christianity will only get worse if Obama is allowed to do this to religious organizations.