Southern Baptist executive Richard Land joined pro-life religious leaders and public figures in extolling the virtues of “our glorious First Amendment,” calling Americans to stand up for religious freedom in light of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Service’s abortion/contraceptive mandate.
The Nationwide Rally for Religious Freedom was held in more than 100 U.S. cities at noon local time to mark the second anniversary of President Obama’s signing of the contentious health care legislation, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, and to protest the mandate. The U.S. Supreme Court is examining whether the law is constitutional.
“All of the restrictions in the First Amendment are on the government, not the people,” Land told the crowd March 23, which was estimated at 500 people and had gathered on the steps on the Tennessee capitol. “Our ultimate allegiance belongs to God, not some government bureaucrat.”
Under the HHS rule, all employer-provided health care plans must cover contraceptives for women without copayments or deductibles. The government’s definition of contraceptives includes ones such as Plan B and “ella” that can act after fertilization, causing a chemical abortion. Only places of worship are excluded from the requirement.
Land and other speakers, including U.S. Rep. Diane Black, warned of religious freedom repercussions if the president’s health care law is upheld by the court.
“This is not a Catholic issue — it’s not a Baptist issue,” Land said. “It’s an issue of freedom. This is about religious freedom, not reproductive freedom. This is about conscience, not contraception.”
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SOURCE: Baptist Press