"Are coercive government control and subsidized sexual freedom more important than religious freedom?" -- Mark Tooley, IRD President
Contact: Jeff Walton, Institute on Religion and Democracy, 202-682-4131, 202-413-5639 cell, jwalton@TheIRD.org
WASHINGTON, Feb. 8, 2012 /Christian Newswire/ -- 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, have stunningly endorsed Obamacare's mandate that all religious hospitals and charities must provide insurance coverage for contraceptives, abortifacients, and sterilization, despite religious objections.
In contrast, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations of America, National Association of Evangelicals, Southern Baptist and Lutheran Church -- Missouri Synod leaders and others have condemned the mandate as an assault on religious liberty. Megachurch pastor Rick Warren has declared: "I'd go to jail rather than cave in to a government mandate that violates what God commands us to do."
IRD President Mark Tooley commented:
The Institute on Religion & Democracy works to reaffirm the church's biblical and historical teachings, strengthen and reform its role in public life, protect religious freedom, and renew democracy at home and abroad.
"How bizarre that these religious institutions are openly applauding a federal government imposed mandate that would override the liberty of religious institutions to uphold their own beliefs. For left-wing Mainline Protestant elites and others, are coercive government control and subsidized sexual freedom more important than religious freedom? What other government impositions on faith would these church groups support?
"Although Christians and other people of faith sometimes disagree on the ethics of contraception, most mainstream Christian groups, with others, rightly resist any government mandate compelling religious groups to abandon their core convictions.
"Shame on the United Methodist Board of Church and Society, which does not speak for most Methodists, and shame on other church groups that retain membership in the radical Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice. And kudos to church groups and others that, regardless of their teaching on contraception, affirm religious freedom for all."