The link to the article is below:
An op-ed article titled "HHS mandate: An attack on all people of faith" --
co-written by LCMS President Rev. Dr. Matthew C. Harrison and the Rev. Samuel
Rodriguez, president of the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference --
appears in the Aug. 9 online edition of the Washington Post newspaper.
In the article, Harrison and Rodriguez say the U.S. Department of
Health and Human Services' (HHS)
mandate requiring religious organizations to cover contraceptive services "goes
to the very heart of religious freedom in this nation.
"We believe the
government has overstepped its bounds," the writers say. "This controversy is
not merely about birth control and the Catholic Church's views on it. The
mandate stands as a de facto requirement to sacrifice conscience and faith on
the altar of political expediency."
Even with the mandate's exemption
for religious organizations -- which requires those organizations to provide
services "primarily to people of our faith," according to the op-ed piece --
"most religious organizations, including hospitals, social services
organizations, publishing houses, schools and more, will fail to meet the
required provisions and will thus be subject to this mandate."
and Rodriguez say "a multitude of religious organizations will be forced to
carefully consider if they can in good conscience continue to provide services
because they cannot and will not go against their fundamental convictions to
provide service to all regardless of whether those served share their
They say that "religious freedom is a right guaranteed to
every American by the First Amendment -- set forth by the founders of our great
nation. The state cannot take them away. We are committed to working to ensure
that we remain free to practice the teachings of our faith.
religion extends beyond the practice of our faith in houses of worship. We must
be free to put our faith into action in the public square."
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