The following is a letter sent by Florida CD 2 Congressman Steve Southerland.
From: “Representative Steve Southerland” <FL02SSIMA@mail.house.gov>
Date: February 16, 2012 3:00:29 PM CST
Subject: A Message from Rep. Southerland in Defense of Religious Freedom
February 16, 2012
As you have undoubtedly heard on the evening news or read in the local paper, the Obama Administration’s attempt to require faith-based charities, schools, and hospitals to offer contraceptive care has ignited an intense debate about religious liberty in America. As a man of faith, I wanted to take this opportunity to update you and share my perspective on this very important issue.
In an effort the quell public outcry over their contraceptive mandate, the Obama Administration attempted to offer a compromise that allowed employees to receive benefits for contraceptive care directly from their insurance company, rather than the religious organization that employs them. I stand side-by-side with the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops and others who have fought back, asserting that this is no solution at all. This proposal does nothing to satisfy the concerns of the American people on this deeply personal issue, and it does nothing to actually protect our rights of conscience.
As Congress considers measures to protect religious organizations from the dictates of Washington bureaucrats, I cosponsored H.R. 1179, the Respect for Rights of Conscience Act. This important piece of legislation would ensure that religious organizations, charities, and clinics will not have to provide contraceptive care if it violates their spiritual mission.
I, along with several of my House colleagues, sent letters to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) urging the agency to repeal this clear violation of our God-given and constitutionally-mandated right to religious freedom and to the House Budget Committee requesting that no funding be approved for implementing or enforcing the HHS rule.
I am humbled and honored to have the opportunity to represent you in the United States House of Representatives. If you would like to follow the latest developments on this important issue, please visit http://southerland.house.gov and sign up for our e-newsletter.
Steve Southerland, II
United States Representative
Now my response to the Hon. Mr Southerland
While I commend and support you in your efforts to squelch the attempts of the Obama Administration to invade the religious arena with your cosponsorship of H.R. 1179, the Respect for Rights of Conscience Act. You are not addressing the issue in the proper manner and why are you creating yet another piece of unnecessary legislation. How does Obama think he can compromise the first amendment of the constitution?
(Amendment 1 U.S. Constitution… Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.) Which is exactly what this administration is trying to do.
THAT should be your basic fight in this matter! No Laws…. it says it right there in the Constitution and you’re sponsoring more laws. And although your measure is in support of the Constitution, do we need more laws that in effect say, follow the Constitution.
Thanks for your efforts, now lets focus and fight the root issue without creating more laws. We have enough laws already….Republicanism has as a fundamental tenet, that being smaller government, that also means less laws.