- (Photo: Courtesy of First Baptist Dallas)
Southern Baptist Pastor Robert Jeffress of First Baptist Church in Dallas said the celebration surrounding the U.S. Supreme Court's Hobby Lobby ruling will be short lived.
Reacting to the excitement surrounding the U.S. Supreme Court's 5-4 decision in Hobby Lobby and Conestoga Woods Specialties Monday — which allows for-profit businesses to opt out of covering drugs that can lead to the early termination of a pregnancy — Jeffress said that while the Supreme Court has "stopped the greatest attempted assault on religious liberty in history," he also believes "people of faith are going to increasingly come into conflict with governmental mandates that violate their personal faith."
"I do believe (the decision) was a great victory. But I have to say — and I'm not trying to stop the flow of Champagne — I think this victory will be short lived," he asserted during an Interview on Fox News Monday after the decision was announced.
Hobby Lobby, which already covers 16 of the 20 contraceptives required under the HHS mandate, was objecting to the forced coverage of Plan B, the "morning after" pill and Ella One, the "week after" pill, as well as two types of IUDs that can also lead to the early termination of a pregnancy.
"The Obama administration was basically saying that you can be religious and pro-life in your church, synagogue or at home on the weekend, but when you go to work on Mondays, you have to give up those beliefs and become pro-abortion," Jeffress commented. "There is no such thing in the Constitution as the separation of faith from the rest of your life."
Speaking about past Supreme Court decisions, Jeffress said the justices could've made a broader decision, such as the Citizens United ruling, in which the Court recognized corporations' First Amendment right to free speech.
"It's just a few words later in the First Amendment that it also talks about the free exercise of religion. Those rights are not limited to individuals; they apply to anyone and everyone," he continued. "So, it could've been broader, but we'll take a win today and we're happy about it."
Jeffress emphasized that one thing he wants all Americans to recognize is that advocating for life and the belief that life is sacred is not a fringe view held by "religious extremists."
"It is a part of the belief system of tens of millions of Protestants, Catholics, Jewish people and people of all faiths," he said. "This country was founded on Judeo-Christian principles. In this ruling, I think the court is very sound in saying that we have the right to uphold and exercise those beliefs."