Mennonite Owned Company Denied Religious Exemption from Contraception Mandate

I hate to keep beating a dead horse, but I’ll say it again.  When companies owned by Catholics file suit against having to comply with the contraception mandate, they win religious exemption status.  When companies owned by Protestants file suit, they are denied religious exemption status, often meeting the same criteria as the companies owned by Catholics.

In the latest case, the owners of the Conestoga Wood Specialties Corp., the Hahn Family, filed a lawsuit against the federal government claiming that the contraception mandate required them to violate their faith. The owners of the furniture company are Mennonites, and they cited the teachings of the Mennonite Church in their arguments before a federal judge, saying that to comply with the law:

“Is an intrinsic evil and a sin against God.”

You would think if any company owned by a family of Mennonites would certainly qualify for the religious exemption. However federal judge Mitchell Goldberg didn't see it that way. In his ruling Goldberg said that since the company is a for-profit company producing a secular product, and having no direct ties to a church, that they do not qualify for the religious exemption.

Yet Hercules Industries, an HVAC company owned by a family of Catholics with no direct ties to the church, were granted an injunction from having to comply with the contraception mandate.  Likewise, the Weingartz Supple Company, another company owned by a family of Catholics, with no direct ties to the church, was also granted an injunction to prevent them from complying with the contraception mandate. The company, Triune Health Group based in Chicago and owned by Catholics also received the same decision from the court as the others.

The Conestoga Wood Specialties Corp will join the ranks of other companies owned by Protestants such as Hobby Lobby that have been denied the same exemption granted to the Catholic owned companies.  What’s more confusing is why the School of the Ozarks, which is a Protestant college which does have church affiliations, was also denied the exemption on the grounds of not being religious enough.

Matt Bowman, senior legal counsel for Alliance Defending Freedom is representing plaintiffs in similar cases, commented on the judge’s ruling in this case saying:

“The Obama administration’s attacks on faith and business prove that it doesn’t respect either one. Washington politicians can’t confine our faith to the four walls of our churches alone. Honoring God is important every day in all areas of life, including in our work.”

There is definitely a double standard being displayed by the judicial system.  Eventually, all of these cases are going to end up on the steps of the Supreme Court to decide.  I wonder how many Catholics and how many Protestants are on the big bench in DC?