HHS Mandate and Religious Freedom

There has been much discussed on Facebook, Twitter, the blogosphere, and the news about the HHS enacting the “Affordable Care Act” and President Obama’s “accommodation” following the public backlash.

Many have argued this to be outside of the church’s realm and merely a political issue. The truth is this action is telling the Church how she is to conduct her business and what she must do. We “object to any use of drugs and procedures that are used to take the lives of unborn children, who are persons in the eyes of God from the time of conception.”

ImageRev. Matthew Harrison, President of the LCMS, has done a wonderful job in being the public voice of Gospel proclamation on behalf of the LCMS on this issue. While the nuances of what we believe on birth control and contraceptives vary amongst Lutherans, Catholics, Baptists, and other denominations, we greatly hold and value to right we have as given to religious freedom.

The LCMS has created this page to keep people updated on statements and videos concerning the HHS mandate. It contains letters to the Church from President Harrison, video messages, and some of the testimony given by President Harrison  before congress on Feb. 16th.

Some gems from President Harrison’s testimony:

“I find it totally offensive that we are subject to accommodations and grandfather clauses. You can’t accommodate and you can’t grandfather our fundamental rights.”

 “Please get the federal government, Mr. Chairman, out of our consciences.”

“Real lives are hurting. We accommodate wherever we can. We are not rigid kooks. We care about people. That’s our business.”

Addressing support for our government:

“I stand at an altar regularly to administer the Sacrament. In the prayers of the church, I pray regularly for the president and the wellbeing of the nation. I personally get on my knees every day in my office and pray for the president. Luther bids us in the Catechism to defend him, speak well of him, and explain everything in the kindest way.”

Harrison: I would rather go to jail than violate my conscience.

Mitchell: I’d like to be in his cell.

Congressman Gowdy: We’ll try to work that out.

The panel included:
The Most Reverend William E. Lori
Roman Catholic Bishop of Bridgeport, CT

The Reverend Dr. Matthew C. Harrison
President, The Lutheran Church – Missouri Synod

C. Ben Mitchell, Ph.D.
Graves Professor of Moral Philosophy, Union University

Rabbi Meir Soloveichik
Director of the Straus Center for Torah and Western Thought, Yeshiva University
Associate Rabbi, Congregation Kehilath Jeshurun

Craig Mitchell, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of Ethics, Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary

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