In 1962, William E. Newland founded Hercules Industries in Denver, Colorado. They are a heating and air conditioning company that has grown to be one of the largest HVAC companies in the western United States.
Fifty years later, the company is still owned and operated by the Newland family who happen to be very devout Catholics. Their faith has played an important role in how they run their business and treat their employees and customers. They even have the following mission statement posted on their website:
“As we provide a full line of products for heating and air conditioning systems to contractors throughout the Western United States, we will instill a philosophy and culture of continued improvement in our company. Through growth, we will invest in our business to provide the tools for future opportunities. We will nurture and maintain the culture of a family owned business in which our employees grow financially, intellectually, emotionally and spiritually.”
The Obamacare mandate requiring all employers to provide free coverage for contraception and abortifacients goes against the Newland family’s strong Catholic faith. There is an exception for churches that meet the strict guidelines, but there is no provision for companies that are owned and operated by Christians or any other faith that believes contraception and abortion are sins.
A number of churches, Christian schools and colleges have filed suits against Obamacare to prevent the government from forcing them to violate their religious beliefs. In a rare case, Hercules Industries filed suit on April 30, 2012, claiming the contraception mandate violates their Constitutional and First Amendment right to freedom of religion.
Taking Hercules case is Alliance Defending Freedom (formerly known as Alliance Defense Fund) legal counsel Matt Bowman. Speaking about the case, Bowman said that the contraception mandate:
“unconstitutionally coerces the leadership of Hercules Industries to violate their religious beliefs and consciences under the threat of heavy fines and penalties.”
“Every American should know that a government with the power to do this to anyone can do this – and worse – to everyone.”
“The government shouldn’t punish people of faith for making decisions in accordance with their faith that is simply not acceptable in America.”
Bowman also said that the case was actually prompted by the Newland’s desire to:
“run the company … in a manner that reflects their sincerely held religious beliefs, including their belief that God requires respect for the sanctity of human life.”
This past week, a Democratic judge appointed by former President Jimmy Carter agreed with the Newland family and granted a preliminary injunction barring the government from enforcing the contraception mandate on the Hercules Ind. After the ruling by Judge John Kane, Matt Bowman said:
“This is the very first ruling on whether Obamacare can violate religious freedom and the judge said no.”
Bowman also suggested that if the administration was so dead set on providing contraception and abortifacients that they should do it themselves rather than make private companies and employers provide them against their religious beliefs.
You can bet that the administration will be in contact with Judge Kane and will do their best to force him to go back on his ruling. If by some rare chance the Newland family wins the full court case, the courts will quickly become clogged with companies lining up to also challenge the illegal mandate.
Our only other recourse is to elect enough GOOD conservative Republicans to keep the House, take the Senate and the White House and then overturn Obamacare in its entirety.