Pastors in the U.S. reacted quickly and joined the viral social media discussion on Monday about the Supreme Court decision that two Christian-owned businesses, Hobby Lobby and Conestoga Wood Specialties, do not have to comply with parts of the "Obamacare" birth control mandate that violate the owners' sincere religious beliefs.
"The Supreme Court made the right decision today and to me it is a hopeful sign that our country may be moving in the right direction," evangelist Greg Laurie told The Christian Post and also tweeted shortly after the announcement. "I applaud Steve Green, the CEO of Hobby Lobby, for making this bold stand in bringing this case to the highest court in our land, which clearly, the Lord has honored."
Most Christian leaders applauded Hobby Lobby for its owners' undaunted legal and public stand. Billy Graham's son, Franklin, who is also an evangelist, posted twice on Twitter. First, he tweeted, "Congratulations to the Green family, owners of @HobbyLobby, and a big thank you for their strong moral stand. #hobbylobby," and later, "The Green family is an inspiration to Christians all around the world. We thank God for answered prayer! #hobbylobby." more >>
The Supreme Court of the United States handed down a ruling today in the rather controversial Hobby Lobby religious liberty case. It was extremely significant in that it ultimately upheld the Religious Freedom Restoration Act and made it clear that closely held corporations cannot be separated from the individual identities of their owners. I, along with many other Christians, are elated that the decision went the way it did. It will be used to uphold religious freedom for individuals (acting as individuals and on behalf of their business entities) for decades to come.
As I've read comments and heard the opinions of "progressive" Christians, I think there exists a lack of knowledge about why so many religious people (I think evangelicals, Catholics, and many religious Jews as well have seen the merits of this decision) see this decision as a "big win." While you are more than welcome to disagree, and I hope to write my own opinion in a respectful tone, I wanted to share from the heart of one Pastor why I'm excited by today's decision.
First, you should know that I'm a Baptist who identifies strongly with ancient Anabaptists on issues of religious liberty and the separation of church and state, a phrase you would never have heard of had it not been for Thomas Jefferson's conversation with a Baptist congregation. (The phrase is a comment on the First Amendment but is not found in any official government document.) more >>
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. more >>
The U.S. Supreme Court ruled Monday that two Christian-owned businesses, Hobby Lobby and Conestoga Wood Specialties, do not have to comply with parts of the "Obamacare" birth control mandate that violate the owners' sincere religious beliefs. Here are three reasons for that decision, according to the majority opinion written by Justice Samuel Alito.
1. The Religious Freedom Restoration Act covers for-profit corporations.
The Religious Freedom Restoration Act (1993) covers non-profit corporations, all parties in the suit agreed, and the profit motive itself does not eliminate religious freedom protections. more >>
The U.S. Supreme Court's Monday decision allowing owners of closely held for-profit corporations with certain religious convictions to opt-out of parts of the "Obamacare" birth-control mandate was a win for religious freedom, some Christian leaders have said.
Jim Daly, president of Focus on the Family, said in a statement that the decision "shows that religious freedom continues to be the lifeblood of a country founded on the inalienable rights afforded to us by our Creator."
"Religious groups and business owners should not have to violate their faith in order to follow the law. It's not the role of government to define what we believe or what our faith includes," said Daly. more >>
In a landmark religious freedom case the U.S. Supreme Court has ruled in favor of Hobby Lobby and Conestoga Woods Specialties, stating that corporations can refuse to provide certain drugs that may abort a fetus on the basis of religious objection.
In a five to four decision, the highest court in the land ruled that the Religious Freedom Restoration Act applies to privately owned businesses like Hobby Lobby and Conestoga Woods Specialties.
The decision was narrowed to only the contraceptive mandate and is not necessarily applicable to all insurance mandates, like blood transfusions or vaccinations. more >>