Summary: When the U. S. Government tries to force religious entities to choose between our faith and their mandates, we have to choose God every time.
Chipping Away At Our Religious Freedom
Today’s message is connected to last week’s message in part only because the President and his administration, mainly Health and Human Services Secretary, Kathleen Sebelius are deeply involved in chipping away at our 1st amendment rights to freedom of religion.
I fully realize that it is kind of strange to have two sermons in a row in which it seems that I am taking the President to task for something but it just how the events of the day have unfolded.
A couple of weeks ago the President had HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius send out this mandate that from now on that both secular and faith based employers pay for contraception coverage even if that order directly contradicts the teachings and or beliefs of any denomination. This to me is absurd at the least and unconscionable at the worst. What’s even more troubling to me is the fact that she didn’t even bother to check with the Dept. of Justice to see if what they were mandating was constitutionally legal or not.
This is an outrageous overreach of power and it is unconstitutional and it is unbiblical as well. America was founded by people who came here from England for the sole purpose of being able to worship their God in the way that seemed fittest to them, without governmental oversight, intervention, or censorship. Many of them and their descendants shed their very blood so that we can have religious freedom in this country still today. Throughout the years, many servicemen and women have given their lives to defend and uphold the Constitution including the 1st amendment.
What does the 1st amendment say? Here it is: Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.
When President Obama decided to force faith based employers to pay for contraceptive coverage he knew that it was unconstitutional but he forced it upon us none the less.
Why is this issue so important to me and hopefully for you? Because if we as Christian Americans don’t stand up together and fight this breach of our religious freedoms then what will be next? And while I do have some serious theological differences with our Catholic friends, I have to stand with them on the broader religious freedom aspect of this issue or when the government comes after Southern Baptists who will be left to stand with us?
There are definitely times when people of faith, even different faiths have to come together to fight a common enemy and resolve problems that affect all of us.
While Southern Baptists as a whole or in general don’t have a theological problem with contraception used by either men or women we do take a stance against the “morning after pill” or RU486 as it is also called. It is wrong in my opinion for people to go out and get intimate and then have the woman take the “morning after pill”.
The way RU486 works is that if a woman becomes pregnant or thinks that she might be pregnant the pill, when taken, will cause the abortion of the child up to nine weeks after intimacy. And this is why most Southern Baptists say that it is wrong to make us or any other denomination pay to provide these so called contraceptives when doing so goes directly against what we believe as Christians and Southern Baptists.
Now I want to get back to the bigger picture here of how the government is chipping away at our religious freedoms in this country. If we, as faith based employers as many Southern Baptists churches and ministries are as well as the many Southern Baptist seminaries, colleges, universities, hospitals, etc. not to mention that 1 out of every 6 hospitals in America are Catholic and all of their universities, and other entities that employ people if they defy this order then the fines would be $2,000 dollars per person per year just think of how that would impact a church or any ministry for that matter. The fines would be crippling at best and they would force many ministries to shut down.
Is that what our government is supposed to be doing? Is this the way they should be treating the very entities that do the most good in our communities? The government is attempting to make us choose between how we worship and serve God and the mandates that they deem are better for us than what we know and hold dear at our very cores, our basic values and beliefs. This is wrong and we cannot let it stand.