Obama Administration to Ministries: VIOLATE YOUR FAITH

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from Liberty Institute,

Supreme Court Hobby Lobby decision leaves unresolved ministries’ objections to HHS Abortion Pill Mandate.

Are ministries compelled to violate their religious beliefs by facilitating the provision of abortion-inducing drugs to their employees? Ministries say “No” and are ready to go to court to defend their integrity.

After the United States Supreme Court’s landmark ruling in Burwell v. Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc., last week many ministries are continuing to challenge the Obama Administration over its so-called “religious accommodation” to the HHS Abortion Pill Mandate.

In the “accommodation,” religious ministries must provide their insurance company with a form stating their objection to providing the contraceptives. The insurance company then puts the organization’s employees in a separate plan that covers contraceptives.

Yes, the Obama Administration claims neither the employer nor employee would pay for contraceptive coverage. But many religious organizations say the “accommodation” still requires them to cooperate in and facilitate the provision of a service that violates their religious beliefs, leading many non-profit organizations, including ministries and Christian colleges and universities, to file suit against the federal government.

According to Jeff Mateer, Liberty Institute General Counsel, though the Hobby Lobby ruling left cases relating to religious non-profits and the Obama Administration’s “accommodation” unresolved, Justice Samuel Alito’s majority opinion in the Hobby Lobby case provides the building blocks for those challenging the accommodation.

“It gives us such good language that the same day that Hobby Lobby was decided, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit decided another religious liberty case, involving a Catholic television network. In that case, the 11th Circuit found that this so called “religious accommodation” violates federal law,” Mateer said. “This was a great decision for religious ministries and bodes well for future challenges to the accommodation.”

Even more significantly, at the end of last week, the Supreme Court announced in a 6-3 ruling that Wheaton College, a Christian college in Illinois, does not have to comply with the accommodation while the case makes its way through the court system.

Last week’s victories at the Eleventh Circuit and the Supreme Court after the Hobby Lobby decision bode well for those challenging the Obama Administration’s accommodation. “These are great sign posts for the future with regard to religious ministries,” Mateer commented.

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