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Hobby Lobby Supreme Court Case: Kudos to Church Officials Defending Liberty

Contact: Jeff Walton, Institute on Religion and Democracy, 202-682-4131, 202-413-5639, jwalton@TheIRD.org

WASHINGTON, March 25, 2014 /Christian Newswire/ -- Today the U.S. Supreme Court heard oral arguments in the Hobby Lobby case against Obamacare's HHS mandate compelling religious employers to subsidize insurance for contraceptives and abortifacients. The owners of Hobby Lobby are Evangelical and object to abortifacients.

The United Methodist General Board of Church and Society, along with the Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice, which includes the Episcopal Church, Presbyterian Church (USA) and United Church of Christ (UCC), have endorsed the HHS mandate that requires employers to provide insurance coverage for contraceptives and abortifacients. So too have the UCC's president, the Reformed Church in America's general secretary, the Episcopal Bishop of Washington, D.C., the president of Union Seminary, the dean of Vanderbilt Divinity School, and the president of Episcopal Divinity School, plus the New Evangelical Partnership for the Common Good.

In contrast, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations of America, National Association of Evangelicals, Southern Baptist Convention, Lutheran Church -- Missouri Synod, National Religious Broadcasters, and Council for Christian Colleges & Universities have identified the HHS Obamacare mandate as an assault on religious liberty.

IRD President Mark Tooley commented:

    "How sad that some church officials and religious groups are so zealous in their enthusiasm for the Welfare Entitlement State and for the Sexual Revolution that they would have Caesar by force compel religious employers and other persons of conscience to subsidize even abortifacients.

    "Of course, the drugs at issue in the Hobby Lobby case are readily and inexpensively available, yet these religious opponents of religious liberty disingenuously cite 'access' as the issue. These Religious Left advocates don't even bother to examine the ethics of abortifacients from a Christian ethical perspective. Seemingly, for them, the willful autonomous individual, and sexual freedom, trump all other considerations, even the destruction of human life.

    "What other freedoms, religious or otherwise, are these Religious Left figures willing to trample in their pursuit of a new society where religion and conscience are marginalized while the state arbitrarily imposes a radical secularist zeitgeist shorn of transcendent truth and beauty?

    "Kudos to the Catholic bishops, Orthodox rabbis, Evangelicals, Southern Baptists, Missouri Synod Lutherans, religious broadcasters and Christian schools who affirm liberty of conscience and dignity for all persons. Unlike the religious supporters of the Obamacare HHS mandate, they envision a transcendent community of truth, love and beauty."