“I assure you very explicitly, that in my opinion the conscientious scruples of all men should be treated with great delicacy and tenderness: and it is my wish and desire, that the laws may always be as extensively accommodated to them, as a due regard for the protection and essential interests of the nation may justify and permit.”
George Washington in a letter to concerned Quakers
“We hold it for a fundamental and undeniable truth, “that Religion or the duty which we owe to our Creator and the Manner of discharging it, can be directed only by reason and conviction, not by force or violence.” The Religion then of every man must be left to the conviction and conscience of every man; and it is the right of every man to exercise it as these may dictate. This right is in its nature an unalienable right. It is unalienable; because the opinions of men, depending only on the evidence contemplated by their own minds, cannot follow the dictates of other men: It is unalienable also; because what is here a right towards men, is a duty towards the Creator. It is the duty of every man to render to the Creator such homage, and such only, as he believes to be acceptable to him. This duty is precedent both in order of time and degree of obligation, to the claims of Civil Society.”
James Madison in Memorial and Remonstrance Against Religious Assessments (1785)
Thus the Amish are not required to carry health insurance programs, Christian Scientists are allowed conscience exemptions from government mandated health care assessments, and conscientious objection protects individual U.S. citizens from forced conscription into our armed forces. Why, then, is the Department of Health and Human Services now forcing Catholic schools, hospitals, and charities to pay for abortion producing drugs for their employees? Are Catholics now no longer permitted to have conscience exemptions?