Lines Crossed: Separation of Church and State. Has the Obama Administration Trampled on Freedom of Religion and Freedom of Conscience?

Witness and Testimony Documents
Roman Catholic Bishop of Bridgeport, CT
Chairman Ad Hoc Committee for Religious Liberty, United States Conference of Catholic Bishops
The Lutheran Church - Missouri Synod
Graves Professor of Moral Philosophy
Union University
Director of the Straus Center for Torah and Western Thought, Yeshiva University
Associate Rabbi, Congregation Kehilath Jeshurun
Associate Professor of Ethics, Chair of the Ethics Department, Associate Director of the Richard Land Center for Cultural Engagement
Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary
The Catholic University of America
Belmont Abbey College
East Texas Baptist University
Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs
Oklahoma Christian University
Medical Director
Calvin College Health Services
Executive Director
Americans United for Separation of Church and State
February 16, 2012,
Americans of all faiths have a right to practice their religion free from the fear of persecution or harassment from their government. Our nation's founders believed this and enshrined religious freedom into the First Amendment to the Constitution.

While some Americans may not feel that government mandates forcing them to pay for contraception are an infringement on their religious beliefs, others consider it to be an assault against their freedom of conscience. A government policy that encroaches on the conscientious objections of religious groups concerns all Americans who value the protections of the First Amendment. Today, the committee will hear testimony from leaders of different faiths. They are concerned that government, under this Administration, is encroaching on their First Amendment rights.

The Administration's actions have forced us to confront a more fundamental question about the proper role of government in our lives.

This hearing is about basic question of religious freedom, and whether or not protection will be afforded to religious institutions who wish to follow their conscience in refusing to pay for products they find morally objectionable. I look forward to hearing from today's witnesses.