WASHINGTON, D.C. – The U.S. Supreme Court agreed to hear arguments in the Hobby Lobby v. Sebelius case, a much anticipated case that pits religious liberty versus a provision of the Affordable Care Act known as the Health and Human Services (HHS) Mandate. Russell D. Moore, president of the Southern Baptist Convention’s Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission (ERLC) reacts to the decision:
“The Supreme Court’s consideration of the Hobby Lobby case is the most important religious liberty question in recent years. What’s at stake in this case is whether or not the Constitution guarantees the free exercise of religion.
“We cannot accept the theology lesson that the government has sought to teach us, that religion is merely a matter of what happens during the scheduled times of our services, and is left there in the foyer during the rest of the week. Our religious convictions aren’t reduced to mere opinions we hide in our heart and in our hymns. Our religious convictions inform the way we live.
“I pray the Supreme Court recognizes what the founders of this country saw, that religious liberty isn’t a gift handed to us by Uncle Caesar. Religious liberty is given to us by God and is inalienable. Let’s pray for the justices as they think through this monumentally important case.”
The ERLC filed a friend-of-the-court brief Oct. 21 calling for the Supreme Court to rule in favor of Hobby Lobby and other family-owned businesses that have conscientious objections to a regulation that requires employers to provide abortion-causing drugs for their employees.
For-profit companies are not currently exempt from the HHS Mandate. The Supreme Court will issue its decision before the end of the Summer 2014 term.
The cases to be heard by the Court are Sebelius v. Hobby Lobby Stores and Conestoga Wood Specialties v. Sebelius.