ACLU vs. Small Business Owner

I received an email today regarding ACLU’s decision to represent the interests of the Health and Human Services Department and Kathleen Sebelius in the lawsuit brought by O’Brien Industries of Missouri.  Initially, I thought “not surprising” and proceeded to ignore the issue.  Then I remembered seeing an article on National Catholic Register about a ruling in favor of Hercules Industries, a small business owned by a Catholic family, (Newland vs Sebelius) granting a permanent injunction against the HHS Mandate requirements.  With that news, obviously the pro-abortion, pro-contraceptive camp has rallied to oppose a repeat ruling.  So I decided to look at the actual brief to find the basis for their arguments.  Much to my surprise, the brief begins by stating that the Plaintiff is seeking the ability to discriminate against women and deny them benefits based on Mr. O’Brien’s religious beliefs.  Then it jumps right into a comparison of this with discrimination against African Americans in the 1960s, basically accusing this small business owner of similar bigotry.  They also state that the HHS mandate “minimally-if at all-burdens religion.”  Apparently Colorado District Court Judge John Kane disagrees with the ACLU’s assessment. He states in the Newland vs Sebelius ruling that despite the high hurdle required by a motion for a preliminary injunction, the Newlands had cleared that hurdle.

For an organization that has often stood on the side of religious freedom, I find it odd that the ACLU would step into this battle on the other side.  One of their arguments states that denying women the ability to obtain free contraceptive and abortifacient drugs prevents them from being equal citizens in society.  Really?  Following that logic, men should be able to get pregnant if they desire.  O’Brien Industries provides a quality health care benefit, which has not included contraceptive or abortion coverage to date (I’m still trying to figure out how this falls under the heading of preventive health care!)  No one that works there has been coerced into accepting this coverage.  Incredibly, the Department of Justice has responded that people of faith forfeit their religious liberty once they engage in business.  Francis Manion, attorney for O’Brien, stated that Missouri currently has a contraceptive mandate in place, but exempts employers with religious objections.  Manion called for the federal government to show the same respect for the religious convictions of its people.

Ironically, I still hear people asking how this is a First Amendment issue.  A letter to the editor at said it very well:  “This is about government control, not birth control or women’s rights.  Women are still free to obtain these amenities elsewhere.”  All the spin and rhetoric surrounding the HHS mandate is just a smoke-screen to hide what’s really going on.  Are we going to sit by and let it happen?


3 thoughts on “ACLU vs. Small Business Owner”

  1. I disagree with your assessment that the ACLU has supported religious freedom. It was the ACLU who opposed school prayer, who opposed nativity scenes, prayers before football games. The ACLU was founded by known communist atheists . The real surprise would have been if the ACLU had instead argued in favor of the religious freedom of the business owners.

    Of course in the communist/socialist/liberal/democrat mindset, pregnancy is a disease that must be prevented. Why might you ask? There is a very simple explanation for this. Strong families are an obstacle to state control. They have little need for “government assistance”, and therefore cannot be as easily manipulated or coerced and controlled. Promiscuity weakens the family structure and is to be encouraged so as to break as many family bonds as possible to allow the state to intercede on behalf of “needy people”.

    You are correct that this is about government control, but not only control of businesses, it is about the control of all aspects of human life. It is about having power over others. Welfare programs are specifically designed to have control over people, giving them just enough comfort to keep them from fleeing the self-enforced gulag.


  2. Makes me glad we recently sold our Bible software business ( to LifeWay. As a large denominational publisher, they can figure out how to deal with this.

    But then it occurs to me that this is may be the Regime’s goal, or at least a beneficial side effect: to drive out small business owners of faith. In Nazi Germany, Hitler actually issued an edict forbidding establishment of a business below a certain size while he cozied up to the likes of Krupp, Siemens, Allianz, and I.G. Farben.

    An explicit small business ban would be politically infeasible here, but the government is making the idea of starting a business and hiring employees very unappealing.


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