Ronald Ayers

‘Civil Disobedience’ Would Expose HHS Mandate ‘Tyranny”

In Catholic News, General News on February 6, 2013 at 4:09 pm
Ken Cuccinelli

Ken Cuccinelli (Photo credit: Gage Skidmore)


Virginia’s Attorney General Advises Citizens to Risk Jail to Protest It 


By Brian Farga


RICHMOD, Va. – Citizens should defy the federal government’s contraceptive mandate, even to the point of going to jail, Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli said in a recent radio interview.


Cuccinelli, a Catholic who is running this year for governor of Virginia, told conservative Iowa radio host Steve Deace that civil disobedience would expose the “tyranny” behind the federal law that would compel religiously affiliated organizations and private businesses to cover contraception, abortifacients and sterilization in their employee health-insurance plans.


“My local bishop said he told a group, ‘Well, you know, I told a group I’m ready to go to jail.’ And I told him, ‘Bishop, don’t take this personally – you need to go to jail,” said Cuccinelli, one of the first state attorneys general to file a federal lawsuit against the 2010 Patient Protection and Affordable Carre Act.


Cuccinelli’s spokesman Brian Gottestein said the attorney general was not available for comment because of the busy state legislative session.


Cuccinelli spoke about the issue in a subsequent interview with the Washington Times.


“I’m certainly not advocating that people go to jail, but religious liberty is why a lot of people came to this country,” Cuccineli said. “If our government is driving so many people to be contemplating this kind of civil disobedience, I think there’s a good reason to double check and ask, ‘Have we gone too far here?”


A Spokesman for the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops declined to comment on his remarks, However the attorney general’s statements are in line with the March 2010 USCCB document that warned catholics to be prepared to engage in civil disobedience if the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ contraceptive mandate was not rescinded.


“Some unjust laws impose such injustices on individuals and organizations that obeying the laws may be justified,” the bishops wrote in the message, which was formatted for use as a parish bulletin insert. “Every effort must be made to repeal them. When fundamental human goods, such as the right of conscience are, are at stake, we may need to witness the truth by resisting the law and incurring its penalties.”


The bishops also cited a passage from Rev. Martin Luther King’s 1963 “Letter From Birmingham Jail,” in which the civil rights leader noted St. Augustine’s proverb “An unjust law is no law at all.”


Cardinal Timothy Dolan of New York said in November that the Catholic Church would “not obey” the “immoral” mandate and that the Church was prepared for a lont-term fight.


Source: National Catholic Register




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