“Petition protests Hobby Lobby lawsuit against health mandate” (News, Sept. 28) says that churches and other nonprofit religious organizations are exempted from the mandate on the basis of religious objections. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, with the full backing of the Obama administration, has taken on the role of defining a religious entity. Thus, it has stipulated that in order for a church or religious organization to attain an exemption from its mandate, it must first adhere to narrowly defined requirements. Only those churches and religious organizations that hire their own, serve their own and exist primarily to inculcate their own doctrine qualify for this exemption.
If a church or religious organization doesn't satisfy these requirements by Aug. 1, 2013, it will be subject to the mandate just like any other employer. In other words, as of that date, they will be in the same boat that Hobby Lobby or any other nonreligious employer is today.
Philip Creider, Broken Arrow