Amish Health-Care Exemption Leads to Christian Right Challenge and New Anti-Islamic Panic

Back in January, Open Congress had an article on religious exemptions to to the US healthcare bill:

Both the Senate and House bills use the old Social Security language (Sec. 1402(g)(1) of the tax code) to determine who will be eligible for a “religious conscience” objection to the insurance mandate. Specifically, the bills would provide exemptions for adherents of “recognized religious sects” that are “conscientiously opposed” to accepting benefits from any insurance — private or public — “which makes payments in the event of death, disability, old-age, or retirement or makes payments toward the cost of, or provides services for, medical care.” To qualify for the exemption, the sect would have to have been in existence continuously since Dec. 31, 1950… It’s limited essentially to the Amish and Old Order Mennonites.

…But the Senate bill adds a new religious exemption… It would allow members of “Health Care Sharing Ministries” to be exempt from the requirement to have “acceptable” health insurance… According to the bill, they are non-profit organizations that “share a common set of ethical or religious beliefs and share medical expenses among members in accordance with those beliefs and without regard to the State in which a member resides or is employed.”

The Christian Science Monitor notes that Liberty University and the Thomas More Center are planning to challenge this:

“The act’s religious exemption violates the Establishment Clause in that it grants to [the executive branch of the national government] discretion to determine which religion is ‘recognized’ and demonstrates a preference for one denomination over another,” the Liberty University suit says.

“The act’s religious exemption is a per se violation of the Establishment Clause in that it vests in [the national government] the right to determine what is a recognized religious sect entitled to exemption under the act, and thereby discriminates between and among religions by preferring a ‘recognized’ religion over one deemed not recognized,” the suit says.

…”Liberty University has a sincerely held religious belief that it should play no part in abortions, including no part in facilitating, subsidizing, easing, funding, or supporting abortions since to do so is evil and morally repugnant complicity,” the suit says.

However, it has also come to attention that Islam regards conventional insurance as a form of gambling which is therefore generally forbidden; an American Thinker pundit extrapolated from this to “the probability that Muslims will also be expempt”, in a piece headlined “Amish, Muslims to be excused from Obamacare mandate?” Other conservative websites then took up the baton, while dropping the question-mark. The inevitable climax is now an article by the shameless huckster Walid Shoebat, who warns that this is further evidence that Obama is really a Muslim and that healthcare reform is actually an Islamic conspiracy against America: 

That is an interesting situation as president Obama is regarded by most Muslims who live inside and outside America as a Black Muslim. Another statistic in a recent poll conducted by the liberal media shows that 57% of Republicans also believe Obama is a Muslim, but hey, those silly extremist bigots, they know less than the actual 99% of all Muslims who also believe the same thing.

So Obama who is a leader of the USA now enacts laws for the Dhimmis – us, and gives freedom to his Muslim brothers. Healthcare was a lot of things but one thing it was not, and that was not about improving health for Americans. The Democrats have adopted Sharia law literally.

Shoebat is not a marginal figure: he enjoys the endorsement of conservatives such as Daniel Pipes and Robert Spencer, and he regularly addresses church groups with his pseudo-exegesis of the Bible, which he claims predicts the rise of a Muslim anti-Christ.

Of course, the reality is that there is no exemption for Muslims in the bill, there is a diversity of Muslim opinion on the subject, and Muslims tend to participate in existing compulsory insurance schemes in the USA and elsewhere (Muslims in the west are known to drive cars, for instance).

7 Responses

  1. Wow.

    Imagine that.

    The wingnuts took a story about one group, made up a connection to Islam, and now want to whip up hysteria.

    These people are shameless.

  2. These people are trying to show that this socialist bill in unconstitutional. Those who don’t protect the Constitution are shameless, not these people.

  3. Rubio, you’re wrong.

    ” The Democrats have adopted Sharia law literally.”

    That has nothing to do with the Constitution. It’s dishonest fear-mongering.

    My charge stands.

  4. How come D Pipes and R Spencer are described as “Conservatives” when in reality they are no better than ethno gangsters just like the BNP hooligans?

  5. obama promised no health care mandate,he promised a public option.he lies.

  6. […] pay 10% of their earnings to the mosque in order to pay for the care of the ill and elderly. Amish Health-Care Exemption Leads to Christian Right Challenge and New Anti-Islamic Panic You won't be able to create your own sect or religious group to gain exemption. The group must […]

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