Update – HHS Mandate and Religious Liberty
The ongoing assault by United States Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) on religious liberty suffered another blow this week.
In its opinion accompanying a preliminary injunction order in Tyndale House Publishers v. Sebelius, the court wrote that “the beliefs of Tyndale and its owners are indistinguishable…. Christian principles, prayer, and activities are pervasive at Tyndale, and the company’s ownership structure is designed to ensure that it never strays from its faith-oriented mission.
HHS and the Obama Administration had opposed Tyndale House Publisher’s request for a waiver, arguing that the publisher wasn’t religious enough for an exemption from the mandate.
The court’s opinion also stated;
“The Court has no reason to doubt, moreover, that Tyndale’s religious objection to providing insurance coverage for certain contraceptives reflects the beliefs of Tyndale’s owners. Nor is there any dispute that Tyndale’s primary owner, the Foundation, can ‘exercise religion’ in its own right, given that it is a non-profit religious organization; indeed, the case law is replete with examples of such organizations asserting cognizable free exercise and RFRA [Religious Freedom Restoration Act] challenges.”
Tyndale joins Colorado’s Hercules Industries as winners in the courts, challenging the HHS mandate and Obamacare. Of the companies who’ve won injunctions against the HHS mandate and Obamacare, none are church affiliated. The involved organizations are without any specific affiliations, and have argued successfully in the courts that the mandate infringes on the personal religious expression of the owners, and not of a religious organization.