A group of influential Christian theologians and pastors announced on Wednesday their support of businesses like Hobby Lobby who are fighting against the HHS contraception mandate. In a 46-page amicus brief filed with the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS), they argued that the mandate violates the First Amendment rights of Christians who believe that all work is sacred.
The list of 38 signatories includes pastor Rick Warren, Bishop Harry Jackson, theologian Wayne Grudem, author Ravi Zacharias, and other Christian influencers. The convening organizations listed on the brief includes Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary, Coalition of African American Pastors, and Manhattan Declaration, a movement of conservative Christians fighting “for life, marriage, and religious liberty.”
The brief argues that Christian doctrine requires that faith govern every aspect of a believer’s life, including their God-ordained vocation. Because Christian doctrine prohibits “the enabling, authorizing, or aiding of another” in sinful activities, the document argues, Christian employers and employees should not be required to pay for or provide contraception that includes abortion-causing drugs.
Daniel Akin, president of Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary, a school with five faculty members listed in support, is concerned that employers are going to be forced by the government to provide medical services “that they have good reason to find morally unconscionable.” Akin told me he believes that the contraception mandate is just another flaw in Obamacare, but he thinks the stakes are much higher than that.