Southern Baptists sue federal government over Obamacare

USA Today reports that Southern Baptists are suing the federal government over Obamacare’s contraception mandate. Guidestone Financial Resources is a division of the SBC that provides health benefits to Southern Baptist churches. When the law goes into effect on January 1, it would require Southern Baptists to foot the bill for insurance that covers contraceptives and abortion-inducing drugs. From the report:

Three non-profit religious organizations, including a division of the Nashville-based Southern Baptist Convention, are suing the federal government over a controversial contraceptives regulation that is a part of the Affordable Care Act.

The organizations Monday announced the class-action lawsuit against the federal requirement that employers cover the cost of contraceptives, including drugs that can cause abortions. The groups argue the requirement infringes on religious liberty.

I’ve said this before, and I’ll say it again. Obamacare’s contraceptive mandate is an egregious violation of religious liberty. The issue will eventually make it before the Supreme Court, and the dispute will likely continue until it does. Read the rest of the report here.

22 Responses to Southern Baptists sue federal government over Obamacare

  1. Don Johnson October 15, 2013 at 1:40 pm #

    Glad they are taking a stand. I have noticed that the definitions of some conception related word meanings are changing (or at least attempted to be changed) in the law, which makes it even harder for others to understand what the concerns are about.

  2. Ian Shaw October 15, 2013 at 1:43 pm #

    And it begins…….

  3. Mark McCracken October 15, 2013 at 1:56 pm #

    This seems to me like a huge waste of time and resources that could be spent in many other helpful ways. I’m not sure how this lawsuit furthers the purposes of the church.

    • Denny Burk October 15, 2013 at 2:13 pm #

      Mark,

      Southern Baptists believe in the 6th commandment, “Thou shalt not murder” (Ex. 20:13). We also believe that Jesus Himself affirmed the command not to murder (Matt. 19:18). Jesus also said that the only ones who truly follow him are those that do what He commands–which would include not murdering our neighbors (John 14:21, 24). Jesus also says that people will come to know that we are His followers by our love for one another (John 13:35). Obviously, we do not communicate such love when we support the killing innocent human beings.

      So to your contention that this is a “huge waste of time and resources,” we disagree. It is never a waste of time to walk in holiness or to do all that we can to make sure that our witness isn’t compromised. The government is trying to force us to pay for insurance plans that cover abortion-inducing drugs. We can’t obey Jesus and this mandate. And that is why we are asking the courts for relief. We want to follow Jesus without being punished by our government.

      Thanks,
      Denny

      • Chris Doyle October 15, 2013 at 3:18 pm #

        I’m searching for the “Like” button.

      • Mark McCracken October 16, 2013 at 4:16 pm #

        Hi Denny,
        I agree with you that we should obey the commandment not to murder, and I agree that Jesus affirmed the commandments. I don’t, however, know of a verse in the bible that clearly equates abortion with murder. I know there are those that use certain verses to make that argument but the fact is that abortion did not exist then as we know it today. I think abortion is a horrible thing and should be avoided if possible; we should, as Christians, help those in our community facing that decision by providing sound resources and good advice. I also believe in the priesthood of the believer and the separation of church and state, as described in the baptist faith & message and I think we should follow Jesus’ command to render under Caesar that which is Caesar’s, rather than pursue this kind of frivolous lawsuit.
        Respectfully,
        Mark

    • David Schrock October 15, 2013 at 3:07 pm #

      Mark,

      Consider Proverbs 24:10-12.

      If you faint in the day of adversity, your strength is small. Rescue those who are being taken away to death; hold back those who are stumbling to the slaughter. If you say, “Behold, we did not know this,” does not he who weighs the heart perceive it? Does not he who keeps watch over your soul know it, and will he not repay man according to his work?

      The fight against abortion is ecclesial and political. As citizens of two kingdoms, we have the imperative to rescue those who are being taken away to death.

      David Schrock

  4. Ian Shaw October 15, 2013 at 2:51 pm #

    ^^^ Oh snap Denny, it’s on like Donkey Kong. And to Mark, you never know how the SBC’s legal resources work. For all we know, their lawyers might work for nothing…

  5. Michael Lynch October 15, 2013 at 3:50 pm #

    Glad to see Christians other than Catholics finally taking a stand.

  6. Brett Cody October 15, 2013 at 4:49 pm #

    This makes me glad to be Southern Baptist.

  7. James Bradshaw October 15, 2013 at 10:01 pm #

    Contraception should only be required to be covered when there is some medical necessity. I’m not sure why anyone should be required to foot the bill so that others (married or otherwise) can have sex without any form of consequences. It’s going a bit too far.

    That being said, it seems prudent for employers to cover preventative (non-abortive) forms of contraception for those who would most likely end up coming back to the government for assistance, anyhow. After all, if you can’t afford contraception, it’s unlikely you can afford the costs of raising a child.

  8. Paul Reed October 16, 2013 at 8:48 am #

    “Obamacare’s contraceptive mandate is an egregious violation of religious liberty.”

    The issue is that babies are dying, not someone’s “conscience” is being violated. This form of argument plays right into “pro-choicer’s” hand: Opposition to abortion is based upon religion and faith. Note that when liberals got gay-conversion therapy banned (by a Republican governor no less), they didn’t use the argument that it is against their conscience; rather they used the argument that attempted-gay-conversion is child abuse, and had no problem labeling parents who used such means as child abusers.

  9. Paul Reed October 16, 2013 at 8:49 am #

    The issue is that babies are dying, not someone’s “conscience” is being violated. This form of argument plays right into “pro-choicer’s” hand: Opposition to abortion is based upon religion and faith. Note that when liberals got gay-conversion therapy banned (by a Republican governor no less), they didn’t use the argument that it is against their conscience; rather they used the argument that attempted-gay-conversion is child abuse, and had no problem labeling parents who used such means as child abusers.

  10. Ian Shaw October 16, 2013 at 8:58 am #

    James, I really agree on your last point, but that’s the kind of value judgement that some of us get screamed at all the time for making. If you can’t afford to raise a child, perhaps you should avoid engaging in the activity that produces children. People hear this and then shout from the rooftops that they can seek physical pleasure at their own discretion and you can’t tell them not to or be responsible about engaging in intercourse.

  11. Brett Cody October 16, 2013 at 10:28 am #

    Ian,
    While I agree that adults should take into account the cost of raising a child, that seems very vague and ill-defined. How do you determine if you can “afford” to have children? What costs ought to be required of every parent?

  12. Ian Shaw October 16, 2013 at 10:47 am #

    Brett,
    James made the analogy that if you can’t afford contraception, you probably can’t afford the costs associated to raise a child. That’s where my starting point was. I think that’s a fair analogy. I think it’s also a fair analogy to say that 14yr olds probably can’t afford to raise a child. Granted, that won’t stop them in choosing behaviors to put themselves into a position where they would have a child. I realize I opened up a can of worms and can’t retreat to restate my position, so I will just say this. As a parent myself, I have realized that my needs are now beneath those of my children. That’s the mindset that I think all parents should have (though it’s very easily observable in our culture that I am in a minority opinion). Many people of many different incomes can raise children lovingly, to love God and seek His purpose in their life, as He will provide for us. We as couples should seek His will for our families and honestly, the true cost is burying our selfish nature. Be in your child’s life, teach them to respect others and selflessness needs to be the foundation along with your charge to raise your children to love the Lord (just my two cents).

  13. Brett Cody October 16, 2013 at 2:27 pm #

    Ian,
    Thank you, sir. Your observation “my needs are now below the needs of my children” is an excellent way of stating it. The problem I believe that Americans have is in distinguishing between wants and needs; and also, as you pointed out, “burying our selfish nature.”

  14. Ian Shaw October 16, 2013 at 3:55 pm #

    Paul,

    Using the argument of, “the life of the child is at risk” similar to the “child abuse” language has been used before. I believe John Piper used the language/defense of a 3rd party in imminent harm to trespass onto a property to perform a “Rescue” (which oddly enough landed him in jail). The law of necessity which can be used to break the law (in this case trespassing), the judge agreed, however, precedent had already been set by Roe v Wade making abortion not illegal.

    If Roe vs. Wade had not stripped the unborn of their humanity, it would be no crime to trespass to save them. That being said, when Piper and others trespassed to try to save them, they were not offending against the trespass law at all. They were offending against Roe vs. Wade. Therefore, those that opposed abortion have a difficult time using the “humanity element” as it’s been stripped away from those children.

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