WASHINGTON, Feb. 7 -

Mr. Speaker, religious civil liberty is the bedrock of a free people, but today we face an unprecedented and unconstitutional act of aggression against our religious liberty sponsored by the U.S. Government. The President's health care edict forces Catholic organizations to choose between either violating their religious faith or not furnishing their employees with health care coverage.

No government has the legal or moral right to harass any religion and make them violate their religious convictions, especially ours. After all, the Constitution prevents this type of government oppression against religion. That's why Catholics, Protestants, and Jews are united in their effort to stand up against this government act of tyranny.

People came to this country to flee religious persecution. Now our own government is a villain to religion. But people of faith will not submit to a government war against religion. The holy line has been drawn by a coalition of all religions.

The head of the Catholic League, Bill Donahue, said it best: ìThis is going to be fought out with lawsuits, with court decisions, and, dare I say it, maybe even in the streets.î

And that's just the way it is.