Health care professionals and facilities must be allowed to exclude treatments that are contrary to their religious beliefs from the bundle of products and services that they provide or pay for according to the Michigan Catholic Conference. The MCC fanatically supports Michigan Senate Bill 975, the “Religious Liberty and Conscience Protection Act.” which the Michigan Senate passed on December 6, 2012. This new law is in response to federal regulations that would abrogate the right of health care institutions and individuals to discriminate against those who do not share their views.
This year President Obama gutted a Bush Administration rule under the Public Health Service Act. This rule prohibited health-care providers that receive federal money from discriminating against health-care workers who refuse to provide services because of their ”religious beliefs or moral convictions.” The rule was written to effectuate the “Church Amendments” to the Public Health Service Act, and the Weldon Amendment. Known as the “federal health care provider conscience protection statutes,” these provisions do not allow doctors, pharmacists, and other health workers to be punished for refusing to participate in health care services they perceive as religiously or morally objectionable.
The Obama Administration’s wrong-headed obstruction of faith-based health care is doomed to failure. Requiring a doctor to engage in treatment he or she finds morally objectionable or a pharmacist to dispense substances that violate his or her religion violates the Freedom of Religion Clause of the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. Doctors must be allowed to practice religion when they practice medicine. There can be no compromise. Furthermore, this effort at excluding religion from the treatment room or operating suite is on the wrong side of history. The tide of TEA-Party conservatism and Christian fundamentalism cannot be stopped.
If passed, Michigan’s new religious liberty bill establishes a civil infraction with an absurdly low $1,000 fine per occurrence or per day of occurrence if an institution requires an employee to provide treatment contrary to the employee’s “sincerely held convictions” based on the “tenants [sic] of an organized religion.” The employer could not even ask about a candidate’s conscience or potential objections unless a particular treatment or product is “a regular or substantial portion of the normal course” of the candidate’s work. For example, a nurse or doctor could not be asked whether his or her religion requires or forbids male or female circumcision unless it is apparent that the candidate will be working regularly in the neo-natal section of the facility. Under the new law, new parents will have the pleasure of surprise, since they will not know in advance whether their baby boy or girl will be circumcised in the delivery room.
We are at the tipping point of a revolution that will reverse the godless course of medicine, education, and law. This will involve radical changes in the curricula of medical education and licensing. Medical schools must adapt to the religious and moral precepts of medical students. No longer can Christian Scientists be excluded from medical education just because they do not believe in it. Candidates sitting for examinations must be allowed to answer questions based on their beliefs, rather than be forced to parrot back supposedly objective information based on “scientific” research and years of clinical experience.
The new Christian reality will be reflected in the textbooks ordered by the Texas School Board when conservative Christians gain the eight seats they need to have a majority. The books will reflect the fact of Creation, rather than the theory of Evolution.
Meanwhile, conservative Christian law schools like Ave Maria School of Law, Regent University Law School, and Liberty University School of Law are teaching students what the law ought to be: A First Amendment that allows mandatory school prayers and a return to Blue Laws, a Second Amendment that requires students to pack heat to school, and a Right to Privacy that does not apply to sexual matters, nor protect contraception or abortion. In short, they are being taught the supremacy of Christian legal principles, not the “opinions” of the Supreme Court. As in medicine, candidates sitting for the bar must be examined on the requirements of their religion, not on the artificial common-law precedents of secular courts.
Many deride fundamentalist Muslims who send their boys to madrasahs where they learn nothing but to recite the Q’ran. In fact the Islamists have the right idea, but the wrong book. It is time to turn away from “objectivity” and “science” which the godless secularists worship and base our education on the Bible.
The Religious Liberty and Conscience Protection Act, SB 0136, is now before the Michigan Senate. Hopefully, it will be strengthened by increasing the penalties – the death penalty would be barely harsh enough – and passed. Professionals must not be required to do or teach anything in disagreement with their religious precepts.
John B. Payne, Attorney
Garrison LawHouse, PC
Dearborn, Michigan 313.563.4900
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 800.220.7200
law-business.com ©2012 John B. Payne, Attorney