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Questions Surround Religious Ministries, Health Mandates

When describing how his disciples should serve the needy, Jesus told a parable about a good Samaritan who rescued a traveler who had been robbed and left for dead.

This businessman didn't care that his act of kindness took place in public and that the injured man didn't share his faith.

This raises a haunting question for those involved in the church-state struggles surrounding the Health and Human Services mandate requiring most religious institutions to offer their employees, and often students, health-insurance plans covering sterilizations and all FDA-approved contraceptives, including "morning-after pills."

As Sister Mary Ann Walsh of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops noted in an online memo: "HHS has such a narrow standard as to who operates a religious ministry, Jesus himself couldn't pass muster."

[...]

Read the entire article on The Republic website (new window will open).

Terry Mattingly

Terry Mattingly (www.tmatt.net) directs the Washington Journalism Center at the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities. He writes this weekly column for the Scripps Howard News Service. Mattingly blogs at GetReligion.org.

Published: May 8, 2013

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