ERLC President Says ‘Pray for Hobby Lobby’
WASHINGTON, D.C., March 24, 2014—In anticipation of Tuesday’s oral arguments for the consolidated religious liberty cases Sebelius v. Hobby Lobby Stores and Conestoga Wood Specialties Corp. v. Sebelius, Russell D. Moore called for prayer for the decision of this critically important case in a blog posted on russellmoore.com.
“We need to pray because this case isn’t about politics or culture wars,” said Moore, president of the Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission, in his blog. “This case will set the tone for the next hundred years of church/state jurisprudence in this country. This case will tell us whether we’ve bartered away a birthright paid for with our forebears’ blood.”
Hobby Lobby, Conestoga Wood and other family-owned businesses have conscientious objections to a federal regulation that requires employers to provide abortion-causing drugs for their employees under the Affordable Care Act.
“The government is telling the Hobby Lobby owners, the Green family, that their free exercise rights aren’t relevant because they run a corporation. They’re telling these Anabaptist woodworkers and the Catholic Little Sisters of the Poor and ministries of all sorts all over the country that what’s at stake is just the signing of some papers, the payment of some money.
“Our government has treated free exercise of religion as though it were a tattered house standing in the way of a government construction of a railroad; there to be bought off or plowed out of the way, in the name of progress,” Moore wrote. “We cannot accept the theology lesson the government has sought to teach us, that religion is simply a matter of what happens during the scheduled times of our services, and is left there in the foyer during the rest of the week.”
Moore closed his blog with a call to prayer, “Let’s pray that our court system would, like Jefferson and Madison in the founding era, recognize that religious liberty and freedom of conscience aren’t government bailouts but inalienable rights granted by the Creator himself. This isn’t just about Hobby Lobby. It isn’t just about the HHS mandate. It’s about whether the government is ‘under God’ or all-encompassing. Our politicians, on their best days, might aspire to Mount Rushmore, but they don’t reign from Mount Zion.”
In addition to prayer, the ERLC is encouraging religious liberty advocates Court to show their support on social media with the hashtag: #prayforhobbylobby and by using a “Pray for Hobby Lobby” avatar.
The ERLC filed a friend-of-the-court brief Oct. 21, 2013, urging the Supreme Courtto review lower rulings on the Obama administration’s abortion/contraception mandate for the purpose of striking down the controversial rule. Douglas Laycock, a recognized leading authority on religious-liberty law and University of Virginia School of Law professor, drafted the amici brief.
For-profit companies are not currently exempt from the HHS Mandate. The Supreme Court will issue its decision before the end of the Summer 2014 term.
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