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Monday, Jan. 16, 2017

Keeping Government out of Your Religious Freedom

Posted Friday, March 23, 2012, at 11:32 AM

There is a growing, national debate over government's role in religious freedom. Because of this, the Missouri Legislature has had to respond.

The concern began in January, when it was revealed that the president had decided that Catholic hospitals would be required to cover contraception for employees, even though the church itself does not believe in this. After immediate outrage, the policy was changed so that insurance companies would be forced to impose this mandate. Despite the term "compromise" having been used in this changeover, the policy itself remains in place: Employers will be required to compromise their religious beliefs because the government says so.

Knowing full well the federal government will do nothing to reverse this abomination, state legislatures throughout the country have begun to act, including the Missouri General Assembly.

Among the proposals is Senate Bill 749, which would provide protections for religious beliefs as to the imposition of certain health care services such as abortion, contraception or sterilization. The measure received a great deal of debate on the Missouri Senate floor, with both sides expressing their reasons for believing what they believe. It is unclear if this bill will be brought back, much less make its way to the Missouri House, yet this session.

The larger issue is clear. The federal government is continuing to impose itself on every aspect of our daily lives at an alarming rate. It seems that every time it does, states have to spend time fighting these mandates or try to pass legislation to fight off the feds at every turn. The amount of resolutions introduced in both the Missouri Senate and House has grown astronomically in the past four years, and most of these ask Congress to either do the right thing or stop doing the wrong thing. Four years ago, I would have never imagined I would be writing about such a blatant threat on the freedom of religion in this country.

The 10th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution simply reads: The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.

When this country was founded, it was done so by people were tired of governmental oppression and tyranny. Sadly, the federal government of the 21st century is eerily similar to the British Parliament of the 18th century. Folks are tired of the daily regulations and new laws that keep pouring out of Washington, D.C.

The 10th Amendment is meant to ensure that states have the ultimate say over the federal government. They are supposed to answer to us, the people, not the other way around. I fear that until something changes in our nation's capitol, we are going to drift into a true socialist regime.

The U.S. Supreme Court is ready to hear arguments that will determine the fate of the Affordable Care Act. I pray the right decision will come from the justices and we can then begin to start working toward right-sizing all government before it is too late. Together, we can do this.

Sen. Stouffer serves the counties of Carroll, Chariton, Cooper, Howard, Lafayette, Macon, Ray, Saline, and a part of Clay. If you have questions or comments about this or any other issue, please call toll free (866) 768-3987 or by e-mail at bstouffer@senate.mo.gov.

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Hey Bill, what about religious oppression and tyranny? Perhaps it's time for churches to lose thier tax exempt status? Do you have a bill in the works for that? Organized religion is the biggest scam of all time and we subsidize it. As a tax payer I am tired of it.

-- Posted by What the f...... on Fri, Mar 23, 2012, at 11:55 AM

Amen and Amen, pun intended!

-- Posted by salinemg on Tue, Mar 27, 2012, at 1:30 AM

I'm with you wtf.

Bill, I want your insurance benefits, and even better for you...your's is only a part time job!

-- Posted by Interested Too on Mon, Apr 2, 2012, at 3:31 PM

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Sen. Bill Stouffer, R-Napton, represented the 21st district in the Missouri Senate until January 2013, when he left after reaching established term limits. He is a life-long resident of Saline County, a farmer and small business owner. He and his wife, Sue Ellen, live on their family farm in Napton. He was the chairman of the Senate Transportation Committee and Joint Committee on Transportation Oversight. He served on a number of other committees, including Agriculture, Food Production and Outdoor Resources; Commerce, Consumer Protection, Energy & the Environment; Financial & Governmental Organizations & Elections; Joint Interim Committee on School Accreditation; Missouri Alternative Fuels Commission; Missouri Civil Air Patrol; Missouri Military Preparedness and Enhancement Commission; Missouri Senior RX Commission; Alzheimer's State Plan Task Force; Coordinating Council on Special Transportation; and Midwestern Interstate passage Rail Compact Commission.