Religion in a Post-Constitutional America

As one of my favorite authors has noted, we are in a post-Constitutional America. One example is the much-discussed and controversial Proposed Rule from CMS to incentivize end-of-life conversations.

Here’s another pathetic example.

Last month the Department of Health and Human Services, drawing on Executive Order 13559, took upon itself the responsibility of further micro-managing faith-based organizations via Proposed Rule ACF_FRDOC_0001-0058, “Updating Participation in Programs by Faith-Based or Religious Organizations and Providing for Equal Treatment of Program Participants.”

Among other things, the Proposed Rule distinguishes “inherently religious activities” from “explicitly religious activities”:

The Department [HHS], therefore, proposes to replace the term “inherently religious activities” with the term “explicitly religious activities” throughout the Equal Treatment Regulations and to define the latter term as “including activities that involve overt religious content such as worship, religious instruction, or proselytization.” These changes in language are consistent with the use of the term “explicitly religious activities” in Executive Order 13559 and will provide greater clarity and more closely match constitutional standards as they have been developed in case law.

To read the entire rule, and perhaps learn what type of activities you might be engaged in, visit (a bureaucrat’s dream come true).

The public is invited to comment – blog style – through October 5, 2015. Click here to submit your comments to the regulating entities.