The National Association of Evangelicals, representing 45,000 congregation in 45 denominations, asked President Obama to drop the HHS mandate. The NAE said that the mandate forces many Americans and their religious organizations to violate their faiths or face heavy fines from the government.
Leith Anderson, the president of the NAE, in response to the “accommodation” announced last week, said:
This is bad news for all who love religious freedom. The Obama administration should have done the right thing and dropped the contraception mandate, or at least should have exempted all religious organizations.
Commenting on the administration’s proposal that religious organizations would pay for an insurance policy and the insurance company would then provide abortifacient pills and contraceptives to employees, Anderson said:
This is a distinction without a difference, a work-around that doesn’t work.
Anderson speculated on the future of the mandate in court:
Early indications are that the administration’s rule eventually will be struck down as a violation of the Religious Freedom Restoration Act. The administration could save itself much wasted effort and could save scarce taxpayer dollars by simply exempting all organizations that have religious-based conscience objections to the mandate.
Anderson concluded the organization’s statement:
The desire to provide contraceptives to all Americans should not and cannot override the deep religious convictions of so many Americans.
A nice summary of some of the requirements of the Religious Freedom Restoration Act.