March 09, 2014
Mar 03 - Matt Lockett
Picture a federal government that willfully disregards Constitutionally-protected religious liberties in favor of the advancement of a radical abortion agenda that forces faith-based organizations to violate their conscience by paying for abortive birth control. Guess what? We’re already there. The abortion industry has been allowed a back-door entrance to get mandated abortifacient coverage for the nation and violated the rights of all pro-life Americans.
What some thought was a Catholic issue has instead proven itself to be an issue of religious liberty. The Obama administration’s mandate for employer funded birth control violates the First Amendment rights of every pro-life American. We must respond right now to this crisis that’s taking place.
Because the FDA has approved “contraceptive” or “morning-after” drugs like Plan B, Next Choice, and Ella, a new federal regulation rule will require virtually all employer-provided health insurance plans to provide 100% coverage of contraception, sterilization procedures, and early abortifacients. One of the FDA approved contraceptives is actually an abortion pill. Ella (which chemically resembles RU-486), effectively, turns this birth control mandate into an abortion mandate.
Although many Catholics have taken the lead in fighting this, this is not a Catholic issue but a matter of religious freedom that all people of faith share. In fact, other religious leaders are weighing in:
“I’d go to jail rather than cave in to a government mandate that violates what God commands us to do. Would you?” Acts 5:29 –Rick Warren, Pastor, Saddleback Church
“This is bad news for freedom of conscience and for respect for the freedom of religion protections guaranteed in the American Constitution. Secretary Sebelius is stating that people who have religious convictions against contraceptives or particular types of contraceptives that are abortifacients will have a one-year reprieve before they will be forced to pay for health insurance for that which they find unconscionable.” –Richard Land, President of The Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission, Southern Baptist Convention
The American Center for Law And Justice reported:
“With this rule, hundreds of religious colleges and hospitals, for example, will now be required –in fact, coerced– into providing insurance coverage for practices they believe to be morally wrong and violative of their religious beliefs. These institutions, which have educated citizens and cared for the infirm for hundreds of years, will now have to cave into the federal government or close their doors.”
The health care bill the president signed required insurance companies to cover “preventative care” at no cost and, President Obama later accepted a recommendation that “preventative care should include contraceptive services.” Important issues must be noted here:
- Birth control isn’t preventative medicine because a baby isn’t an illness.
- Ella is an abortion pill; therefore, the birth control mandate actually becomes an abortion mandate.
- Many of the covered contraceptives act as abortifacients which violate the conscience of pro-life Americans.
This mandate led to backlash when the president announced religious organizations would also be required to provide even abortifacient coverage, without exemption for the most part. Compromises and exemptions being promoted by the administration are fallacies. Any exemption in the rule is only the narrowest and most confining way possible. Faith leaders are resoundingly rejecting the government’s intrusion and meddling into the means by which religious organizations pursue their missions.
Responding to the objections, President Obama announced a “compromise” which shifted from the organization paying for the abortifacient coverage to the organization paying the insurance company for the abortifacient coverage, that Archbishop Timothy Dolan summed up as “a hill of beans.” Indeed, the compromise was revealed to be only a political shell game because the organization still ends up paying for coverage with no opt-out. Secretary Sebelius stated in a hearing that the compromise makes it so that religious organizations do not have to “directly” compromise their conscience or morals. People of faith must make it clear to this administration that we do not wish to compromise our beliefs directly, nor indirectly. We cannot play the same shell game with the dictates of our conscience.
More disturbing is that Cecile Richards, President of Planned Parenthood, was actually in on White House meetings where even Vice President Joe Biden and White House Chief-of-Staff Bill Daley advised the president against this decision. Unfortunately, Planned Parenthood’s influence over President Obama trumps even his most senior advisors.
The president’s abortifacient mandate has created a tipping point for the pro-life movement and for people of prayer at every end of the religious spectrum who see abortion as a biblical issue. As other notable leaders have said, there comes a point where loyalty to God must take preeminence over loyalty to a government. The words of Psalm 94:20-21 demand careful consideration: “Shall the throne of iniquity, which devises evil by law, have fellowship with You? They gather together against the life of the righteous, and condemn innocent blood.”
RESPOND AND TAKE ACTION
On Wednesday, February 15, a group of 50 members of Congress held a press conference, demanding conscience protections from the mandate. Multiple bills have been introduced designed to simply restore conscience protections that existed before President Obama’s flawed health care law. Ultimately, that’s the issue at play here. It’s not about a pill but about the liberty of Americans to continue to enjoy freedom of religious expression. The First Amendment of our Constitution is abundantly clear:
“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof….”
Congress passed this health care plan. Only a meaningless executive order holds back a full-throttle of abortion, and Obama’s mandate to add free birth control to the preventative care aspect of the plan has already allowed a back-door abortion fund to violate the First Amendment rights of Americans. Fasting and prayer are the God-given tools that can alter the course, no matter how fast it seems to be going. This is our answer, and God’s holy prescription for a nation in crisis. Please commit to fast and pray in this hour; let’s ask God to change the hearts of our leaders and the course of our nation in this most desperate hour.
We are calling for you to get actively involved in this pivotal moment of our nation’s history. You can make a difference right now through prayer, fasting and activism. We invite you to participate in the following corporate fast and mobilization.
21-Day Fast Feb 17–Mar 8
Please join with thousands of others in a 21-day fast ending with Purim the evening of March 8th. During this season of prayer and fasting, we will contend for spiritual breakthrough concerning prevailing influences over the minds of our leaders like what the prophet Daniel saw in Daniel 10. (Please take individual medical precautions when fasting)
Contact Congressional Leaders
Click here to tell House Speaker John Boehner that you support efforts to defend your religious liberty.
Click here to tell Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell that you support efforts to defend your religious liberty.
Click here to identify and contact your own Senators and Congressional Representatives. Don’t let your Constitutional right to free expression of your faith be taken away.
It is imperative that we flood Heaven with our prayers and Washington, D.C. with our voices.