The facts are well known: the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (aka Obamacare) requires employers to provide insurance for their employees. As part of the mandated health coverage, businesses must include contraceptives and abortifacient drugs in their insurance plans. Hobby Lobby, owned by the Green family (strong Christians and generous philanthropists), is refusing to comply with the HHS mandate, believing that the government is requiring what is unethical and infringing upon their religious liberty. Perhaps it is tragically fitting that Justice Sotomayor denied Hobby Lobby judicial relief on December 26 — St. Stephen’s Day, the day the church remembers its first martyr.
Millions of Americans are already outraged. And rightly so. Our government not only allows for abortion, and celebrates abortion rights, and wants women to have unfettered access to abortion on demand, it now requires other Americans to pay for abortion-inducing drugs or face crippling fines. It is not an endorsement of any political party to conclude that this policy is morally degenerate. More Americans should be alarmed than are already.
The Department of Justice’s brief filed in October makes a number of arguments (in opposition to the Greens) which bear closer scrutiny and ought to arouse no small degree of concern. I’m no legal scholar, but as a Christian citizen and an American worried about our liberties, I would ask questions like these:
I’m a pastor, not a lawyer, justice, or politician. But let us pray for all of the above, that they may do justice, love kindness, and walk humbly with God. Religious liberty is a precious gift we think too little of, and we will miss it sorely when it’s gone.
Kevin DeYoung is Senior Pastor at University Reformed Church in East Lansing, Michigan. He is married to Trisha with five young children. This article originally appeared on Kevin DeYoung's blog, "DeYoung, Restless, and Reformed," at The Gospel Coalition website. Used with permission.
Publication date: January 10, 2013