ACTION ITEM! Religious Freedom under attack in the US Senate – URGENT

Since the Supreme Court ruled on the Hobby Lobby case, some members of Congress are trying an end around to undermine our religious freedom.

YOU need to get involved with this one.  YOU need to pick up your phone and call your senators or write an email.  Concrete helpful info and links, below.

Here is the USCCB’s explanation:

Cardinal O’Malley, Archbishop Lori To Senate: Oppose Bill That Attacks Religious Freedom

WASHINGTON—In a letter sent July 14 to all U.S. Senators, Cardinal Seán O’Malley of Boston and Archbishop William E. Lori of Baltimore stated their “strong opposition to the misnamed ‘Protect Women’s Health From Corporate Interference Act of 2014’ (S. 2578).” Cardinal O’Malley and Archbishop Lori chair the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’s Committee on Pro-Life Activities and Ad Hoc Committee for Religious Liberty, respectively.

“Though cast as a response to the Supreme Court’s narrow decision in Burwell v. Hobby Lobby, the bill ranges far beyond that decision, potentially attacking all existing federal protections of conscience and religious freedom regarding health coverage mandates,” they wrote.

The two bishops identified several areas of concern with the bill, including its unprecedented curtailment of the Religious Freedom Restoration Act of 1993; its potential for overriding other federal conscience protections, including the Hyde-Weldon amendment on abortion; its application to coverage mandates beyond the HHS contraceptive mandate; its application to employers beyond for-profit businesses; and its denial of religious freedom for employees and their minor dependents, not just employers.

“In short, the bill does not befit a nation committed to religious liberty. Indeed, if it were to pass, it would call that commitment into question. Nor does it show a genuine commitment to expanded health coverage, as it would pressure many Americans of faith to stop providing or purchasing health coverage altogether. We oppose the bill and urge you to reject it,” they wrote.

Full text of the letter is available online HERE.

More HERE.


Recommended Actions:

  • Send e-mails through NCHLA’s Action Center. Click HERE.
  • Contact your Senators by phone. Call the U.S. Capitol switchboard at: 202-224-3121, or call Senators’ local offices. Full contact info is on Senators’ web sites at:

Suggested Message: “Please vote against the Protect Women’s Health from Corporate Interference Act (S. 2578). This misnamed measure would revoke conscience rights now guaranteed by the Religious Freedom Restoration Act and other federal laws. In the future it could empower federal officials to mandate abortion or any other item in all health plans, forcing Americans to violate their deeply held religious and moral beliefs on respect for human life.”

When: The Senate may vote as early as the week of July 14. Please contact your Senators today!


About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. JesusFreak84 says:

    Sadly, I live in IL, the land of pro-abort “Catholic” Sen. Durbin >_>

    [Call anyway. Just do it.]

  2. Andrew says:

    If you live in Florida you get guided through the action by visiting the Bishops’ website at:

  3. Joseph-Mary says:

    I already know with 100% certainty that our two pro-death senators will support this effort and letters to them get back a crummy form letter about how they support a woman’s ‘right to choose’ (to kill) and how they ‘respect’ women and garbage like that. One is a homosexual and the other also has big money behind him and is already attacking the pro-life contender. Even bigger money behind the homosexual. Neither one will represent me or a pro-life view. Sorry to be a downer on this but this is from experience with them. Have to get them voted out, God willing.

  4. Mike says:

    I live in one of the most extreme Left states in the Union, represented by two of the Senate’s most reliably pro-death members. In Burke’s words, all that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing. I’m on it.

  5. Nicholas says:

    I believe Fienstein (sp) was one of the proponents of this bill, so writing would not help that much, and even if I were in a state where the Senators would be naturally hostile to such a law, I am too young to vote, and therefore carry little political weight.

  6. mpmaron says:

    I have Gillibrand and Schumer. Sent the email anyways. I’ll make a call after work.

    Maybe one of these days, my esteemed senators will surprise me.

    Anything is possible. Have faith and be cheerful.

  7. Monica says:

    Father Z and readers, calling your legislators is effective but emailing is not. You have to actually write and send a letter via US mail to make a written communique “count.”
    You can be brief (in fact, a succinct note is much more likely to be read than a lengthy missive). But email is a waste of time.

  8. SKAY says:

    My Republican Rep. was asked about that when interviewed this morning on the radio.

    He said there is no way this will pass in the Republican House. This is being done by the Senate Democrats for their voters. I have two Senators–one Republican and one Dem. who votes for everything Obama(pro abort)–and does not represent the state as a whole. I know my Republican Senator will not vote for this bill but the Democrat —-if she were not running in 2014 would of course vote for it. She still may. I can call but the usual answer on any vote is–“she has not commented on how she will vote yet”(that means she will vote however Harry Reid tells her too.) It depends on how close the vote will be.

    If the House were still in Democrat(Nancy Pelosi) hands–it would probably pass there too.
    Catholics who vote Democrat these days are shooting themselves in the foot when it comes to the first amendment and religious freedom for Christians. Amazing.
    There may be Republicans who are representing a very left wing district or state–and might vote with the Democrats so I would certainly call them. In fact it doesn’t hurt to call them all–gives the Rep. a little backbone because they sometimes only hear from the left in their state.

  9. MarkJ says:

    Sent an email through the link provided. Thank you Fr. Z for alerting us to this and spurring us into action. We are bearers of the light of Christ, sent forth to illuminate the darkness and to help set captives free. Pray for our opponents, that they will see and comprehend the Light… everyone is capable of conversion… pray for Divine Mercy!

  10. Militans says:

    In removing the religious rights of corporations, would this remove the rights of dioceses as well as catholic charities etc?

  11. How far will these “c”atholic politicians be allowed to go before someone excommunicates them in a very public way?

  12. acricketchirps says:

    Nicholas, since you asked about spelling, I think you missed the “d” after the first “n”.

  13. mr205 says:

    I used to work as a congressional aide. I promise, when the phones in the office are ringing off the hook, it catches people’s attention including the senator/congressman. Even if you know your senator will vote for it, call anyway. If nothing else, it will signal to them that Catholics in their state aren’t going to sit by and let them score political points without repercussions. Democrats are looking at Hobby Lobby as an endless political gold mine to exploit. Your voice tells them that there are many, many people out there the are thankful for the Supreme Court’s ruling and that their opposition to religious freedom angers their constituents.

  14. Facta Non Verba says:

    I left a message with Al Franken. I’m not optimistic at all, but he is up for re-election in November.

  15. LeslieL says:

    I tweaked the message and sent it off – sadly, I get to deal with Chuck Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand. God help us. I got my automated responses already. Next will come the phone calls.

  16. John V says:

    Here is a link to the Library of Congress web site showing the status of the bill and a list of the co-sponsors.

  17. happyCatholic says:

    From your experience working as a congressional aide, is emailing a waste of time?

  18. Kathleen10 says:

    Nothing surprises me about my two liberal wing nuts. One is Richard Blumenthal the other Chris Murphy. I sent the email only to have it kick back and tell me their offices do not accept this prefix “Mr. & Mrs.”. That sounds about right. If conservatives ever get up off the couch and elect people who actually represent us, imagine what a difference we could make.

  19. robtbrown says:

    Kathleen 10

    Are you referring to Richard Blumenthal, the Vietnam War hero?

  20. kelleyb says:

    Both of my Senators are abortion supporting Dems. I sent them my message anyway. My Right of Conscience are extremely important to us. I love this quotation:
    “No provision in our Constitution ought to be dearer to man than that which protects the rights of conscience against the enterprises of the civil authority.” Thomas Jefferson 1809
    This is a worthy fight. To do otherwise is cowardly.

  21. mr205 says:

    happyCatholic – It’s not a waste of time but its not the best way to get through. If all you have time for is an email, that is much better than nothing. A personal email is better than a form email. Our office had a rule that we put about as much effort into your communication as you put in. If the constituent sent a form email, we’d respond with a form. If the constituent sent a handwritten letter, it got more attention. If the constituent sent something signed by every member of their church, it got even more attention. Emails go into a big computer system. When you send a form email, the computer detects it and bunches all the same form letters together. Then the staffer can press one button to respond to them all at once. So, it just gets less attention when you send a form email.

    When you call, someone has to talk to you, even if it is just the staff assistant (receptionist) or an intern. Make them take down your information. Tell them you would like the Senator to respond to your concerns in writing. Generally, offices keep tallies of how many calls they are getting on an issue. If every Catholic called on this issue, we’d scare the pants off of the people supporting this awful bill. Even if your senator is against the bill, contacting them helps because it gives them confidence that real voters care about their opposition. It gives them courage to stand up regarding an issue the media tells them the Democrats are going to slaughter them with.

    If you really want to put some effort into it, call and say, “Who is the legislative assistant in your office handling S. 2578?…Can I speak to [insert person’s name] please?…I can hold/please ask them to call me…Can I get his/her email address?” The legislative assistant is who the senator looks to for advice in voting, etc.

  22. Pingback: Religious Freedom In The USA Is In DANGER | Peg Pondering Again

  23. Peg Demetris says:

    Re blogging this & sent email!

  24. Lin says:

    Contacted Toomey and Casey. Both claim to be pro-life but it appears that Harry Reid owns Casey. You cannot be a Democrat and be Catholic! Not sure if this is the same bill but they are trying to make it OK to kill babies that are born by accident to drop the charges against Gosnell for killing babies of botched abortions! May GOD have mercy on this country! We have certainly lost our way!

  25. Peg Demetris says:

    IF they pass this, there wont be a USA anymore.

  26. Kathleen10 says:

    @robtbrown…that’s the one. But isn’t it funny, for liberals these little truth distortions are never brought up again. Nobody in the media ever mentions that incident, just like for Elizabeth Warren in Massachusetts, who stated she is native american until…oops…fact check….she isn’t.

  27. NBW says:

    @JesusFreak84: I live there too, but I sent a message anyway. When judgement time comes at least I won’t have to worry about having been complacent on this matter.

  28. excalibur says:

    Yet Amchurch is still in bed with the Democrat Party; Obama receiving his honorary degree at Notre Dame. And taking billions for Catholic Charities from the government, all the while promoting violating our borders. They helped create much of this mess, still love photo ops with them; Cardinal Dolan and Obama comes to mind, yucking it up. And they allow the Nancy Pelsosi’s to roll merrily along their way with no penalty.

  29. Gail F says:

    ALWAYS call. ALWAYS write (your OWN letter/email — don’t send in the pre-written one anyone gives you, or at the very least sign that AND send your own). Even the most partisan of these people has a staff, even the most ideological party has people who count these things. It may not make a difference in this or any other particular issue, but they want to know which way the wind is blowing and what people think. A call is a big deal, a letter (written by a person, not a signature on a petition) is a bigger deal. They take time and energy and commitment. Politicians have a lot on their plates, often they do what they think their constituents want them to do. Never, ever let that mean that they only hear from people you disagree with because you think there is no point in their hearing from you. When you call or write say something short, on-topic, and non-emotional. Don’t write a dissertation — save that for the op-ed — and don’t sound like a crazy person. And let them know you vote.

  30. Facta Non Verba says:

    Great news! The bill was blocked in the Senate from proceeding to a vote.

  31. Mike says:

    It is disappointing that the Democrats voted as a bloc. Their defiance of reason, and of respect of the state for the liberties of its citizens, knows no bounds.

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