CP U.S.

Monday, Nov 24, 2014

Initial Obamacare Plan An 'Historical Breach' of Religious Liberty, Says Former Pastor-in-Chief Joshua DuBois

  • (Photo: The Christian Post)
    Joshua DuBois, former executive director of the White House Office of Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships, answers questions from the media after the first half of presentations by the President's Advisory Council on Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships on their report on Tuesday, March 9, 2010, in Washington, D.C.
November 7, 2013|3:21 pm

Joshua DuBois, the former pastor-in-chief to President Barack Obama, has said in a recent interview that during his time serving as the head of the Office of Faith Based and Neighborhood Partnerships in the White House, he disagreed with the president most on one issue: the violation of religious liberty in Obamacare's contraceptive mandate.

DuBois recently said that President Obama's initial decision to not exempt religious institutions from providing birth control to their employees in the Affordable Care Act, otherwise known as Obamacare, served as "a historic breach of relationship with the church, much bigger than this particular issue."

"One of the essays that I think was toughest for me to write - but I think was very important for me to talk about - was disagreement on the religious liberties issue," DuBois told TheBlaze in a recent interview regarding his recently-released book, The President's Devotional: The Daily Readings That Inspired President Obama, that details the daily devotionals the pastor created for President Obama during his time working in the White House.

"That was a moment that I had to really grow. I think the initial place that the administration announced didn't strike the right balance between religious liberty and the rights of women," DuBois added.

Since it was initially proposed, the Affordable Care Act has been modified to exempt some nonprofits, houses of worship and religiously-affiliated organizations from being forced to provide birth control to their employees. The act generally requires employers with 50 or more workers to provide insurance coverage for contraceptives, and the government has seen a slew of lawsuits since the mandate was implemented due to this requirement.

Although the act now includes a religious exemption, several companies that do not fall under that exemption are still suing because the owners of those companies hold religious beliefs that oppose birth control. One such company is Freshway Foods and Freshway Logistics of Sidney, Ohio, owned by two Catholic brothers whose faith dictates that they oppose birth control.

A federal appeals court sided with the company last Friday, determining that the mandate "trammels the right of free exercise-a right that lies at the core of our constitutional liberties-as protected by the Religious Freedom Restoration Act." This case, and others, are likely to go to the Supreme Court for final review.

DuBois worked for the White House's Office of Faith Based and Neighborhood Partnerships for multiple years before resigning in February 2013 to write his book of devotionals and to become a weekly religion columnist for The Daily Beast and Newsweek.

An Amazon description of DuBois' new book of devotionals reads: "The President's Devotional lets you start each day with the words that have inspired President Barack Obama, collected by Joshua DuBois, President Obama's 'Pastor-in-Chief' (Time magazine)-his spiritual advisor who also served as the executive director of the White House Office of Faith-based and Neighborhood Partnerships."

Source URL : http://www.christianpost.com/news/initial-obamacare-plan-an-historical-breach-of-religious-liberty-says-former-pastor-in-chief-joshua-dubois-108246/