Is Religious Freedom Under Attack in the USA?

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Actually, I don’t believe it’s “religious” freedom that is under attack in America, but “Christian” freedom is certainly under fire in this nation. Increasingly, we are seeing a court system and legislature that want more tolerance of a certain form of religion, but at the expense of an intolerance of Christianity. More and more this culture seeks the absolute tolerance of the religion of secularism and its moral relativism, but at the same time intolerance of the absolutes of Christianity built on the foundation of the absolute authority of the Word of God.

Personally, I believe the U.S. Supreme Court case about Obamacare and Hobby Lobby (see our lead article on the Court’s important decision today) has been just another blatant example of the attempted erosion of Christian freedoms in this nation. Yes, the news this morning from the U.S. Supreme Court was encouraging, but how did this nation even get to the point where Christian-owned businesses would be forced to offer abortion-causing drugs in its health coverage for employees?

I’m sure many of you have been closely following the lawsuit that the Hobby Lobby corporation filed against the Obama administration over being forced to offer abortion-causing drugs in the company’s health care plan for its employees. Under the new health care mandate, Hobby Lobby, a retail chain of arts and crafts stores, was required to offer health insurance that provides access to abortifacients.

What Is Conception?

One of the issues many people are unaware of in relation to this controversy is the re-defining of the term “conception.” As a result, drugs that are really abortion-causing are claimed not to be.

AiG anatomist Dr. David Menton in an article in 2007 stated:

Medical embryology textbooks have long equated fertilization with conception and thus the beginning of a new human life. Essentially all dictionaries of the English language have defined “conception” as “the fertilization of an egg by a sperm.” But some within the scientific community are now changing the definition by shifting the moment of conception (and thus pregnancy) from fertilization to implantation. Stedman’s Medical Dictionary, for example, now defines conception as “the implantation of the blastocyte in the endometrium” (27th Edition, Lippincott Williams & Wilkins). By this new definition, a drug or procedure that prevents implantation of the embryo would simply prevent conception and pregnancy, and thus it would not be considered an abortion.
For a detailed discussion of how so-called “emergency contraceptives” work, read this article by Dr. Elizabeth Mitchell.

Business Owners Practicing Their Christian Worldview

A second major issue related to Obamacare and abortion-causing drugs concerns the right of Christians to practice their Christian worldview publicly and through businesses they built up on those Christian principles.

The owners of Hobby Lobby, a dedicated Christian family, stood their ground against being required by the government to provide drugs that are abortifacients and sued the federal government and were successful today. The Green family did not want to have anything to do with killing (really, murder) human beings made in the image of God by providing drugs to employees that ultimately destroy fertilized eggs. We at Answers in Genesis have stood with Hobby Lobby for its courageous stand—a public stand that is so refreshing in a culture where even many people in the church are plagued with so much apathy when it comes to moral issues (like abortion, “gay “marriage, etc.) that are infecting our culture.

As I have been saying for so long, issues such as abortion, “gay” marriage, etc. are worldview-based. The four Justices who voted against Hobby Lobby are known as secularists. Should we be surprised that their worldview framed their thinking?

Hobby Lobby founder and CEO David Green and his family have declared that by being forced to offer insurance that provides abortifacients, their religious beliefs are being violated. The fines for not complying with the Obamacare mandate are estimated to be about $1.3 million per day. Hobby Lobby asked that any fines be delayed until the Supreme Court proceedings were over, but Justice Sonia Sotomayor denied that request.

A news report late last year stated that Hobby Lobby had found a way to delay the January 1 requirement to comply with the health care mandate. While it was good news for Hobby Lobby, it still didn’t solve the issue of what’s at stake with regard to religious freedom in the U.S..

Sadly, even with today’s decision, the fact that the Supreme Court even had to deal with a company like Hobby Lobby and the Christian beliefs of it owners doesn’t bode well for Christians in general. Joel Belz in World magazine last year wrote, “If all this is not a blatant denial of an American citizen’s freedom to exercise his or her deeply held religious beliefs, it’s hard to imagine what the federal government might do to be offensive.” And that’s a legitimate concern to have.

By forcing companies to act in ways that violate the owners’ convictions concerning the authority of Scripture, will the government also force churches and individual Christians to act against what God’s Word teaches?

Standing Boldly for the Truth of God’s Word

Scripture tells us that we’ll experience persecution for the sake of Christ:
If the world hates you, you know that it hated Me before it hated you. If you were of the world, the world would love its own. Yet because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you. Remember the word that I said to you, “A servant is not greater than his master.” If they persecuted Me, they will also persecute you. If they kept My word, they will keep yours also. But all these things they will do to you for My name’s sake, because they do not know Him who sent Me. (John 15:18–21)
We at Answers in Genesis applaud the Green family’s bold stand for the truth of God’s Word when it comes to the lives of unborn babies, and the family’s stand for God’s Word. This court battle has already come at great cost to their organization.

Please pray for them as they publicly stand for their biblical convictions. I pray that other Christians will be prepared to stand as they have done.

Let’s see how all companies and organizations will be affected by this Obamacare mandate about abortion-causing drugs. Do you realize that over 55 million human beings—made in the image of God—have been murdered in their mothers’ wombs since the pro-abortion decision handed down over 40 years ago by the U.S. Supreme Court (called Roe v. Wade)? Think about it! Fifty-five million murders make what Hitler did during the Holocaust pale in comparison.

As I’ve said many times, God is going to hold this nation accountable for its actions. And actually, in reading Romans 1, we are told about cultures where God judges and withdraws the restraining influence of the Holy Spirit. And what is a sign of such judgment? Here it is:

For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, because what may be known of God is manifest in them, for God has shown it to them. For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse, because, although they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God, nor were thankful, but became futile in their thoughts, and their foolish hearts were darkened. Professing to be wise, they became fools, and changed the glory of the incorruptible God into an image made like corruptible man—and birds and four-footed animals and creeping things.

Therefore God also gave them up to uncleanness, in the lusts of their hearts, to dishonor their bodies among themselves, who exchanged the truth of God for the lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen.

For this reason God gave them up to vile passions. For even their women exchanged the natural use for what is against nature. Likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust for one another, men with men committing what is shameful, and receiving in themselves the penalty of their error which was due.

And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a debased mind, to do those things which are not fitting. (Romans 1:18–28)

I believe this nation is already under judgment—and we need more Christians to stand unashamedly and boldly as the Green family of Hobby Lobby is doing.
Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. (2 Timothy 2:15)
For more information on these issues, see these two articles on our website: “The First Amendment and Abortion” and “Will the Supreme Court Uphold Religious Freedom in America?

Thanks for stopping by and thanks for praying,

Ken

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