White House Argues Tyndale Publishers Is Not Religious, Must Obey Obamacare
Tyndale House Publishers is facing a legal fight against the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare, after the White House administration petitioned the U.S. Court of Appeals to declare that the Christian-owned company does not count as a "religious" organization and therefore should not be exempt from the insurance obligations outlined in the Act.
"Bible publishers should be free to do business according to the book that they publish. Regrettably, the administration does not want religious freedom to stand in the way of imposing ObamaCare," Alliance Defending Freedom Senior Legal Counsel Matt Bowman commented in an email to The Christian Post.
"The district court rightly halted ObamaCare's abortion pill mandate against Tyndale House, but the administration continues to argue that a Bible publisher isn't religious enough to qualify as a religious employer. For the government to say that a Bible publisher isn't religious is startling."
The mandate in question forces employers to offer healthcare plans that include coverage for contraceptives, except in rare cases when organizations can prove they are religious groups. Christians, especially Roman Catholics, have been protesting against the Act, because they say it goes against their doctrine that bans all forms of artificial birth control.
Bloomberg.com shared that as many as 43 Roman Catholic organizations have filed lawsuits against Obamacare, including notable institutions like the Archdioceses of New York and Washington, as well as the University of Notre Dame and the Catholic University of America.
Tyndale House Publishers, which identifies itself as a Christian publisher that produces not only Bibles but also Christian fiction and non-fiction books, was initially awarded an injunction on Nov. 16, 2012, by U.S. District Judge Reggie Walton who ruled that the law "substantially burdens" the religious exercise of the group.
U.S. agencies, however, said in a filing Wednesday that such a ruling should be overturned and that the publishing company needs to start providing insurance coverage to its employees that covers contraceptives. The White House representatives are apparently insisting that since Tyndale is a for-profit organization, that automatically places the publisher in the non-religious category, regardless of the content of what it produces.
"We will continue to argue on appeal that the administration cannot disregard the Constitution's protection of religious freedom to achieve certain political purposes," Bowman added about the case, which is officially titled Tyndale House Publishers Inc. v. Sebelius, referring to Kathleen Sebelius, Secretary of the United States Department of Health and Human Services, who introduced the contraceptives clause.