Carl Anderson

Carl Anderson

July 2, 2012

The debate over the federal contraceptive mandate and the fight for religious freedom is not about "a particular policy choice" but is "a debate over the role of religion in American society and the freedom and integrity of the Catholic Church's mission," the head of the Knights of Columbus said June 22.

"It's not an ordinary national debate.

There's a great deal at stake here," Supreme Knight Carl Anderson told Catholic News Service in an interview.

It is an attempt "to redefine the role of religion in America," he added.

The mandate issued by the Department of Health and Human Services would require most religious employers to provide contraceptives and sterilization free of charge to their employees.