What does the story of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego have to do with the Obamacare mandate that forces religious employers to pay for contraception, sterilization, and abortifacients? John Stonestreet with the Chuck Colson Center makes the connection.
Listen:[audio:http://www.breakpoint.org/images/content/breakpoint/audio/point/2014/TPT504092014.mp3|titles=John Stonestreet – A Choice from Justice Nebuchadnezzar]
“A freedom that comes with a tax or punishment isn’t freedom at all,” Stonestreet says. “Inalienable rights aren’t bought.”
When the government tries to tax or penalize someone for exercising a fundamental right, the government is encroaching on liberty. In the case of religious employers who find contraception, sterilization, and abortion morally objectionable, the government is issuing a clear ultimatum: Either compromise your deeply-held religious convictions, or pay a stiff fine.
To put it another way, employers are free to operate their businesses according to their moral convictions if they’re willing to pay the government. In the case of Hobby Lobby–one of the companies suing over the contraception mandate–this “conscience tax” would amount to millions of dollars per year.
Courts have ruled private corporations enjoy constitutional liberties such as free speech and freedom of the press. Why shouldn’t they also have religious liberty? And why should religious business owners be taxed for obeying their convictions?
There simply is no sensible way to justify it.