Edification from a Legal Complaint

As reported earlier, the Newland family, who own Hercules Industries, won a partial victory in their case against Kathleen Sebelius and the Obama Administration’s HHS contraception mandate.

Reading legal complaints is hardly something one would do for the purposes of edification; however, the complaint filed by the Newlands speaks of their Christian duties. Catholic businessmen should read this:

“The Newlands sincerely believe that the Catholic faith does not allow them to violate Catholic religious and moral teachings in their decisions operating Hercules Industries,” says the complaint. “They believe that according to the Catholic faith their operation of Hercules must be guided by ethical social principles and Catholic religious and moral teachings, that the adherence of their business practice according to such Catholic ethics and religious and moral teachings is a genuine calling from God, that their Catholic faith prohibits them to sever their religious beliefs from their daily business practice, and that their Catholic faith requires them to integrate the gifts of the spiritual life, the virtues, morals, and ethical social principles of Catholic teaching into their life and work.”

“The Catholic Church teaches that abortifacient drugs, contraception and sterilization are intrinsic evils,” says the complaint. “As a matter of religious faith the Newlands believe that those Catholic teachings are among the religious ethical teachings they must follow throughout their lives including in their business practice.”

If the Newland family gives us edification in their complaint, the Department of Justice causes fright an alarm by the outrageous claims they make in their brief to the Court:

“Here, plaintiffs have not sufficiently alleged that the preventive services coverage regulations substantially burden their religious exercise,” the Justice Department told the court. “Hercules Industries, Inc., is not a religious employer; it is ‘an HVAC manufacturer.’”

“The First Amendment Complaint does not allege that the company is affiliated with a formally religious entity such as a church,” the Justice Department told the federal court. “Nor does it allege that the company employs persons of a particular faith. In short, Hercules Industries is plainly a for-profit, secular employer.”

“By definition,” the Justice Department claimed, “a secular employer does not engage in any ‘exercise of religion.’”

“Hercules Industries has ‘made no showing of a religious belief which requires that [it] engage in the [HVAC] business,” DOJ told the court. “Any burden is therefore caused by the company’s choice to enter into a commercial activity.” (Source)

The notion that “a secular employer does not engage in any ‘exercise of religion,'” is not only offensive, but clearly reveals that the administration would prefer we limit religious practice to our churches. So, one’s Catholicism cannot “by definition” have anything to do with his work ethics. This is big government off the rails.