LOUISVILLE, Ky. (ABP) – A Southern Baptist seminary president applauded Roman Catholic bishops for refusing to obey an insurance mandate forcing employers to offer coverage for contraceptives and sterilization and predicted that evangelical leaders will soon face similar choices.
“Our religious liberty is being similarly subverted and attacked,” Albert Mohler, president of Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, said of the Obama administration’s inclusion of pregnancy in “preventive services” that health insurers must provide.
In his daily podcast briefing Jan. 31, Mohler commented on a letter from bishops read in Catholic churches Jan. 27 stating in part, “We cannot — we will not — comply with this unjust law.”
“You at least have to admire the courage of the Roman Catholic bishops in saying they are willing to go to jail rather than to comply with this,” Mohler said. “How many evangelical presidents and pastors and leaders will be willing to do the same? We’re going to find out in the coming months.”
Mohler said the insurance mandate “is not only a Catholic issue,” even though the mainstream media wants to present it that way. Not all Christians agree with the Catholic Church’s teaching against all forms of artificial birth control, he said, but they must be united in opposition to abortion.
Because the insurance mandate includes “morning after” pills that prevent pregnancy by causing spontaneous miscarriage of a fertilized egg, Mohler said, evangelical seminaries and colleges that teach that life begins at conception “will also be covered by this mandate and thus violate our own consciences.”
In the meantime, Mohler said, “everyone who stands both for the sanctity of human life and for the mandate of religious liberty must express outrage in whatever form is available to us to the president of the United States.”
Mohler also expressed hope for “remedial legislation” and court action “to restore religious liberty to Christian institutions to operate in a Christian manner on the basis of Christian conviction in supposedly free America.”
Bob Allen is managing editor of Associated Baptist Press.
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