Institute on Religion and Democracy Press Release
June 30, 2014
Contact: Jeff Walton office: 202-682-4131, cell: 202-413-5639, e-mail: jwalton@TheIRD.org
“We must uphold a strong public witness for Christ and never allow our religious freedom to become gagged and bound in our sanctuaries.”
-Chelsen Vicari, Evangelical Action Director
Washington, DC—Today the U.S. Supreme Court ruled against Obamacare’s HHS mandate compelling religious employers to subsidize insurance for contraceptives and abortifacients. The owners of Hobby Lobby, who brought the case, 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.
Chelsen Vicari, Director of IRD’s Evangelical Action program, commented:
“Evangelicals everywhere should rejoice at the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision to uphold American citizens’ religious freedoms. Let this be a good reminder to all of us, that we must uphold a strong public witness for Christ and never allow our religious freedom to become gagged and bound in our sanctuaries.
“It is imperative that we examine the ethics of abortifacients from a Christian ethical perspective. For the Religious Left, the willful autonomous individual, and sexual freedom, trump all other considerations, even the destruction of innocent human life.
“I am grateful for 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.”
Chelsen Vicari is the author of the forthcoming book Distortion: How the New Christian Left is Twisting the Gospel and Damaging the Faith (Frontline, September 2014)