Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Americans United shows its true colors -- again

Americans United is the preferred shorthand for Americans United for Separation of Church and State, an organization which has labored for over sixty years to eliminate all forms of religious expression from the public square. At its inception, it was known by the even more cumbersome moniker of Protestants and Other Americans United for Separation of Church and State. Its founder and first legal counsel was Paul Blanshard, whose treatise, American Freedom and Catholic Power, was a vile screed positing a bigoted and conspiratorial view of the Church of Rome's alleged intentions to undermine liberty.

The dark origins of Americans United came to the surface briefly six years ago after a Supreme Court decision upholding the federal ban on partial birth abortion. Criticism of the decision took an ugly turn, focusing on the Catholicism of the five justices in the majority (although not all of them were Catholic). A group of evangelical leaders, led by the late Charles W. Colson, issued a statement condemning such bigotry. Included in the text was this paragraph noting the sinister history behind Americans United.
We believe it is our particular duty to condemn the bigotry we are now witnessing in view of the history of anti-Catholicism in our nation. It is a stain on the Protestant Christian conscience that at one time many of our people accepted the vile teachings of Paul Blanshard in his book American Freedom and Catholic Power, and supported the anti-Catholic agenda of the group founded by Blanshard and others that now styles itself “Americans United for Separation of Church and State” (formerly known as Protestants and Other Americans United for Separation of Church and State).
The liberal media dutifully ignored this little history lesson and, to this day, Americans United has escaped scrutiny and accountability for the bigotry which is at the root of its founding.
Now, that bigotry is wielding its ugly head again. Domino's Pizza owner Thomas Monaghan, a devout Catholic and pro-life activist, has sued the federal government, claiming the Obamacare mandate that he provide contraception coverage for his employees violates his religious beliefs. Americans United, however, claims he has no case.
Americans United has filed a friend-of-the-court brief telling a federal appeals court that the owner of a Michigan-based office park does not have a religious liberty right to deny his employees contraception coverage.

Domino’s Farms Office Park, a secular, for-profit company that manages business space in Ann Arbor, has argued that the Affordable Care Act’s contraception mandate violates owner Thomas Monaghan’s religious freedom rights.

Americans United and its allies say this argument is flawed. They assert that Monaghan’s individual freedom to exercise his religious beliefs is not impeded by his employees’ purchase of comprehensive, third-party insurance.
The reasoning here is fallacious. As an employer, Monaghan is required to purchase health insurance for his employees (unless, of course, he chooses to pay the Obamacare "tax"). Under the mandate, he must include coverage for contraception, a practice the Catholic Church believes to be immoral. The case has nothing to do with Monaghan interfering with his employees purchasing their own insurance. In typical fashion, however, the brief filed by Americans United disingenuously implies this very thing.

Protestants and Other Americans United for Separation of Church and State began as a virulently anti-Catholic organization. To this day, Americans United, by whatever name it wishes to be called, remains committed to its infamous founder's conspiratorial anti-Catholicism. It is showing its true colors -- again.