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December 24, 2011

Evangelical Leaders Side with Catholics on Insurance Mandate

Catholics who have pushed back against a White House policy that would require many religious insurers to cover contraception are getting a high-profile assist from dozens of evangelical leaders.

"We write in solidarity, but separately -- to stress that religious organizations and leaders of other faiths are also deeply troubled by and opposed to the mandate and the narrow exemption," the leaders wrote Wednesday (Dec. 21) in a letter to President Obama.

Like Catholic officials, the evangelicals object to a mandate under the health care reform law that would require employers to offer insurance coverage for contraception to employees, including treatments that some equate with abortions.

"It is not only Catholics who object to the narrow exemption that protects only seminaries and a few churches, but not churches with a social outreach and other faith-based organizations that serve the poor and needy," they wrote.

Signatories include National Association of Evangelicals President Leith Anderson; Southern Baptist ethicist Richard Land; Focus on the Family Senior Vice President Tom Minnery; and Stanley Carlson-Thies, president of the Institutional Religious Freedom Alliance.

The letter to Obama was sent the same day that evangelical Colorado Christian University joined Belmont Abbey College, a Catholic school, in suing the Department of Health and Human Services over the rule, which is scheduled to take effect in August.

An HHS official said the department is reviewing public comments on the proposed religious exemption on contraceptives.

The head of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, Archbishop Timothy Dolan of New York, voiced his concerns to Obama in a meeting, and said the president promised to "look long and hard" at the issue.

Comments

Of course, all the evangelicals with their heads on straight. What about all the left-wing, Obama-enabling "evangelicals" who supported Sebelius and all?

Just make sure you don't go and kiss the Popes ring.


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christians should make sure that their refusal to cover contraceptives is consistant with God's wishes and not their personal desires.

The federal government should not have ANY health care mandates. It would be best if state governments didn't either, but at least that can vary from state to state, and we could see over time which way works better. The Obama admin wants co pays for many serious, life-saving treatments, but wants to insist that birth control goes out without co payments? And some people think Christians should vote for this guy again, after being fooled four years ago? (Although they should have known better last time, now they are really without excuse...)

I am one evangelical Christian who will probably be voting for Obama again because, although I am generally anti-abortion, I do not believe that abortion is the only issue I should care about. Mr. Obama is more pro-life in other equally important respects than any of the other candidates: e.g. pro-health for the general public, pro-a better chance at wealth for everyone, pro-education, pro-improving international relations, etc. I voted for him in good Christian conscience the last time and believe I can and will again as no president under God is going to be perfect in every way. At the same time, I am open to the possibility of changing my mind, if necessary, under the leading of the Holy Spirit. I would hope that those now despising Mr. Obama would also be open to the same possibility on the other side.

The "poor" in America are more likely to have multiple TV's and computers, cars, more space in their home, and more calories in their fridges and in their guts than the middle class in Europe. If you put their slight economic tax advantage above the actual lives of a million babies a year killed by abortion, then that is OBSCENE.

Mani Ali, a word to the wise. Unless you have walked in their shoes, be very careful how you judge the poor in America, for the same judgment you mete out to them may very well come back to judge you some day. May you be blessed instead with the Mercy of God in the coming New Year.

I wasn't judging the poor. In some years, I've been one of them. I just said that if you put a small helpful tweak in their government benefits above the actual lives of babies, that is obscene.

Happy New Year to you, too!