A robocall financed by the Romney campaign falsely tells voters in Virginia that President Obama “forced Christian organizations” to offer insurance coverage that undermines their religious beliefs and is threatening “our religious freedom.” The Christian community is “supporting Romney,” the spot says:
Christians who are thinking about voting for Obama should remember what he said about people of faith: “They … cling to guns or religion.” And remember when Obama forced Christian organizations to provide insurance coverage that was contrary to their religious beliefs?
That’s the real Barack Obama. That’s the real threat to our religious freedom. Mitt Romney understands the importance of faith and family. That’s why so many leaders of the Christian community are supporting Romney.
They know we can’t underestimate the threat Barack Obama poses to our faith, our values, our freedom.
The call is misleading. While the Affordable Care Act requires insurers and employers to offer women’s health benefits — including contraception — houses of worship and religiously affiliated nonprofits are specifically excluded from the provision. In fact the rule is modeled on existing contraception equity rules that are already in place in numerous Catholic hospitals, universities, and at least 28 states.
Romney has frequently accused Obama of undermining religion on the campaign trail. In January, the GOP presidential candidate said Obama is waging “the assault on religion”; in April, he claimed that the president is trying to establish “secularism” as an official religion.