By Dave Andrusko
Contrary to the confident assurances of the Obama administration, opposition to its mandate requiring religiously-affiliated universities, hospitals, and charities to pay for health insurance that covers sterilization and contraception continues to mount. Here is just a short list:
On Monday the Family Research Council unveiled a letter, signed by more than 2,500 evangelical and ministry leaders from a range of denominations, expressing their opposition. Among many points made in the letter was the declaration that the issue was not contraception but religious freedom.
“This mandate was not necessary, nor warranted under the provision of ‘preventive care services for women’ contained in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act [ObamaCare],” the religious leaders wrote. “Worse still is the fact that the mandate essentially ignores the conscience rights of many Catholic and Protestant Americans. Our country was founded on certain freedoms, the first of which is the freedom of religion.”
Today’s Washington Times reports that with the addition of new lawsuits yesterday and today, a growing number of organizations (mostly colleges) are suing the Obama administration over the mandate. Catholic or Catholic-affiliated organizations include Belmont Abbey College, Priests for Life, EWTN Global Catholic Television Network, and Ave Maria University. “But evangelicals have joined the fray as well,” the Times reports, including Geneva College and Louisiana College.
“The state shouldn’t punish people of faith for making decisions in accordance with their faith,” said Gregory Baylor, senior counsel for the Alliance Defense Fund (ADF), which filed the lawsuit. “Every American should know that a government with the power to do this to anyone can do this — and worse — to everyone.”
Geneva College President Ken Smith said in a statement, “At Geneva College, we only have one Lord, and he does not live in Washington, D.C.” Added Richard Land, president of the Southern Baptist Convention’s Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission, “We are not going to stand by and allow our God-given rights, protected by the Constitution, to be atrophied, neutered, confined and restricted.”
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