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Biden Administration’s crackdown on religious liberty raises alarm

Christian leaders are bracing for religious liberty to be curtailed under President Joe Biden.

“Early indications are troubling,” Professor Edward A. Morse, a member of the board of directors of the Thomas More Society, says, raising an alarm echoed across the nation. “Tumultuous days lie ahead as we wait to see how quickly protections for (religious liberty) groups won by the Trump Administration will be repealed and replaced by coercive measures insensitive to their concerns.”

Morse, who also teaches law at Creighton University, said anticipated policies in the area of health care are likely to present the greatest concerns.

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“Not only for health-care providers with religious commitments but also for patients who desire treatment from those who share their commitments and values,” he said. “Schools, including private and religious ones, will also be within the target zone in terms of accommodations based on gender. Clashes between the coercive power of government that prefers other interest groups over the interests of religious citizens will be inevitable.”

During the last four years, former President Donald Trump advanced a variety of protections to religious individuals and faith-based organizations. His tenure came at a time when religious liberty was facing challenges on many fronts. In one example, the Obama Administration was forcing religious individuals such as the Little Sisters of the Poor, a Catholic order of nuns, to provide FDA-approved contraceptives in their health insurance plans or face severe penalties.

The former president also made protecting the sanctity of life, in particular unborn children, a priority by reinstating the so-called Mexico City policy, a Reagan-era rule that prohibits the United States from providing financial support to abortion centers and programs overseas. He also directed HHS to reinterpret the rules for Title X so that it “prohibits the use of Title X funds to perform, promote, refer for or support abortion as a method of family planning” and requires “clear financial and physical separation between Title X and non-Title X activities.”

Although early signs indicate that there are significant threats to religious liberty under the new administration, advocates say that they will keep a close eye on it to prevent excessive or abusive actions. Many religious liberty organizations say they will take action to defend religious liberty and prevent attempts to violate First Amendment freedoms.

–Alan Goforth | Metro Voice

Photo: Video screenshot, CBS News.