Romney says Obama infringing upon religious rights
February 6th, 2012
10:15 PM ET
10 years ago

Romney says Obama infringing upon religious rights

Centennial, Colorado (CNN) - Mitt Romney accused President Barack Obama of infringing upon Americans’ religious rights in a fiery address to more than 2,500 supporters Monday in Colorado.

“The Creator gave every human being his rights,” Romney told the audience, to sustained cheers. “I’m just distressed as I watch our president try and infringe upon our rights.”

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In recent weeks the GOP frontrunner has signaled he would attack the president over the charge his administration has rolled back the rights of religious individuals and institutions. Romney went further at his Monday rally and publicly detailed specific examples of Obama’s “violation of conscience.”

Romney cited a new policy from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services that requires some religious institutions, including schools and hospitals, to provide coverage of birth control to their employees.

Outraged opposition to the mandatory contraceptive coverage is gaining steam among many Catholics and conservatives, who charge the requirement is a violation of religious rights.

“Think what that does to people who are in faiths that do not share those views. This is a violation of conscience,” Romney said. “We must have a president who is willing to protect America’s first right, our right to worship God.”

Opponents point to a law passed while Romney was governor of Massachusetts that required hospitals–including Catholic ones–to provide emergency contraception to rape victims.

A spokeswoman for the campaign said Romney had vetoed the original bill. That veto was overruled by the state legislature.

"The governor's position on this law was that it never should have gone into effect in the first place, which is why he vetoed it," Romney spokesman Andrea Saul said.

In Colorado, Romney also pointed to a unanimous Supreme Court decision in January that gave religious institutions wider leeway in determining who could qualify as a “ministerial employee.” At issue was a teacher at a Michigan religious school who tried to sue under the Americans with Disabilities Act after she was fired.

The woman lost her suit when the high court determined she was indeed a “minister” under a narrow reading of the law and the specific circumstances of her duties.

“Did you understand that this administration argued before the Supreme Court that a church should not be able to determine who their ministers are, but the government should decide who qualifies to be a minister?” Romney asked incredulously Monday as the audience booed.

–CNN's William Mears and Kevin Liptak contributed to this report.

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Filed under: 2012 • Mitt Romney • Religion
soundoff (51 Responses)
  1. Karaoke_Jesus

    Wouldn't Mitt think he was inviting the Dems to attack him on his religion? I mean, he's going there...

    February 6, 2012 10:19 pm at 10:19 pm |
  2. GI Joe.

    NOPE - the churches are infringing on HUMAN rights to healthcare screenings, unwanted pregnancies, STDs, etc.

    What a putzzzz.

    February 6, 2012 10:19 pm at 10:19 pm |
  3. Joe

    What about the rights of gay people that the Mormon church campagined against in California?

    February 6, 2012 10:21 pm at 10:21 pm |
  4. CoJo

    obviously Ronmey does not understand the difference between employers required to cover employees (if they accept federal funds) and employees STLL have the option to use what is available. I actually thought Ronmey was smarter than that.

    February 6, 2012 10:22 pm at 10:22 pm |
  5. Obama Cares

    Dang, they don't even feature minorities in the school. But wait, that's not a public school, the poor don't have a safety net in private schools.

    February 6, 2012 10:23 pm at 10:23 pm |
  6. Namejkane fl

    Romney, we don't need your morman crapp in politics or the white house. Go back to one of the states you live in or the Cayman islands.

    February 6, 2012 10:31 pm at 10:31 pm |
  7. bassman

    Compare how our media is treating this story and Susan G. Koman, and you will see why Americans think our media is biased.

    February 6, 2012 10:32 pm at 10:32 pm |
  8. usualone

    It appears the churches should no longer be tax exempt. Religion has taken on too much emphasis in this current campaign. If the candidates are decent human beings, their religion should be just a part of their make up.

    February 6, 2012 10:36 pm at 10:36 pm |
  9. anagram_kid

    Romney said, “The Creator gave every human being his rights..." I think he forgot to finish that sentence... “and he sent me and other religious fanatics to tell you which of those rights we will let you have.”

    Obama 2012 – Because it is 2012, not 1012

    February 6, 2012 10:46 pm at 10:46 pm |
  10. Caydon Robison

    There is more proof for what Prophet Joseph Smith taught than any other religion. Prophet Joseph Smith explained many mysteries that other prophets were not able to explain in the King Follett Discourse. Based on Joseph Smith's teachings, Lorenzo Snow, the fifth president of the Mormon church, wrote that: "As man is, God once was; As God is, man may be." Look into this truth yourself. God was a man before he even became a God. This is very comforting. So we too may be exalted to be gods. This is very encouraging. Doctrine and Covenants 132:20

    February 6, 2012 11:01 pm at 11:01 pm |
  11. ChiTownArkie

    I think that the problem that America has with Romney is that he's desperate. Remember the commercial "never let em see ya sweat." ? Romney has flop sweat all over him right along with the blueberries.

    February 6, 2012 11:06 pm at 11:06 pm |
  12. Caroline

    I attended this rally, and overall I was pleased with Romney's speech. I have to say, his speeches are all rather similar though.

    February 6, 2012 11:06 pm at 11:06 pm |
  13. Jimbob

    God bless the blessed, for thee blessed seem to think they know all about all....Especially what is best for all the rest!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    February 6, 2012 11:09 pm at 11:09 pm |
  14. izy

    violation of religious right? yet the conservatives violate rights for others to practice their religions? hmmm...sorry no....obama you have my vote....OBAMA 2012 🙂

    February 6, 2012 11:10 pm at 11:10 pm |
  15. PTNY

    I find this very disturbing.

    February 6, 2012 11:13 pm at 11:13 pm |
  16. Sirned

    You take Government money and you play by the same rules as everybody else does that takes Government money. Period....What if religious healthcare decided divorced people can't get healthcare....You see the problem...

    February 6, 2012 11:14 pm at 11:14 pm |
  17. Mark

    As Romney further alienates himself . . .

    He should take a lesson from Santorum who almost could have overtaken him until he started going off the religious deep end.

    February 6, 2012 11:15 pm at 11:15 pm |
  18. AQ

    Dear Romney,

    Perhaps you should take a little looksee in the Bible then take a look in the mirror before you accuse others of hurting God's children, Mr. "I'm not worried about the very poor".

    February 6, 2012 11:16 pm at 11:16 pm |
  19. gg

    does this guy ever stop talking stupid-talks and talks and says nothing

    February 6, 2012 11:16 pm at 11:16 pm |
  20. migeli

    How is it that conservatives are against abortion and also against universal healthcare.Sure, bring more children into the world but let them suffer and die anyway if they are poor and become ill. Oh,thats okay because Romneys not concerned about the poor anyway.

    February 7, 2012 12:16 am at 12:16 am |
  21. logicnLA

    This man better back off the holy War he is trying to start or he's liable to find that Liberals are also religous. Don't confuse tolerance for complacancy Mr Romney. just becuase we understand the difference between freedom and constraint or accptance and intolerance, does not mean we do not believe in God. It's a fight you will lose.

    February 7, 2012 12:18 am at 12:18 am |
  22. rick

    Hey Mitt. Its freedom of worship, not a requirement to use (or not use) contraception programs. If you don't agree, don't use. However from the studies I've seen, many Catholics ignore the church's teaching and use contraception anyway. Insofar as I know they (and I) would consider themselves worshipping as good Catholics.

    February 7, 2012 06:14 am at 6:14 am |
  23. Marie MD

    What creator are we stalking about willard? Your out of planet being?
    I wish you would be as interested in what the scotus in having corporations be people, then again . . . . . you like that don't you? You said corporations were people.
    If religious groups are going to be tax exempt then we need to know who is running them so that hendel doesn't get her "right" way.

    February 7, 2012 06:17 am at 6:17 am |
  24. Chris

    The GOP always loves a good wedge issue to whip up their base in an election. This plays up to the fundamentalists' abusrd notion that somehow Christians are a perseculed minority in this country.

    February 7, 2012 06:33 am at 6:33 am |
  25. Willie Floyd

    If Catholics want to scream about something it should be about the number of priests who molest young boys. The bill isn't forcing any female Catholic to do anything. So what's their problem??

    I don't hear any Reps. complaining about Muslims being unable to practise their religion. Freedom of religion is freedom of religion for all!!

    OBAMA/BIDEN 2012

    February 7, 2012 06:41 am at 6:41 am |
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