Kathryn Jean Lopez of National Review Online has recently conducted an interview with Samuel “Dub” Oliver concerning the recent court filing by East Texas Baptist University against the Health and Human Services mandate in Obamacare. I have listed just a snippet from the interview so you can get a feel for the motive behind this Baptist’s actions. Baptists were too far behind Roman Catholics in the original Roe v. Wade abortion debate. Now, Baptists seem to be coming on board for the sake of religious liberty–which really should be called Christian liberty, since our concern is actually upholding Christ and His righteousness more than upholding the American rule of law. Nevertheless, we are Christians in the context of nation with a rule of law. Thus, we ought (as Paul did in Acts 16) to speak out against injustice. So, I am glad East Texas Baptist has joined this battle against injustice.
Here is an excerpt, but the whole interview is worth your time:
LOPEZ: Should going to court to make political points really be a priority of a university? It’s not like the government is asking you to make abortion services available on campus. What business is it of yours what medical services your employees need or want?
OLIVER: The administration’s mandate covers emergency contraceptives such as Plan B (the morning-after pill) and ella (the week-after pill), which even this administration admits can interfere with a human embryo.
The most recent science tells us that these drugs may cause abortions. But, under the administration’s mandate, our school will be required to buy insurance so that our employees can obtain these drugs for free, as if these drugs were no different from penicillin. We believe that is wrong.
We are going to court to defend religious liberty. We would rather not have to do so. There are many other ways that we would choose to spend our time and resources. However, the administration refuses to listen to our concerns or accommodate our religious views. Frankly, it is hard to believe that a religious institution has to take the Department of Health and Human Services to court to protect something guaranteed by the First Amendment of the United States Constitution.
LOPEZ: Do you respect the women you employ? How can you when you’re denying them their freedom — or so was my understanding of the issue from the president?
OLIVER: This issue is not about women’s health. This is about whether the government can get away with trampling on the rights of religious organizations.
It’s ridiculous to claim that organizations like ETBU don’t care about women’s health. As far as I am aware, no religious group objects to most of the preventive services in the mandate. In fact, we already cover preventive services, including contraceptives, under our employee health plan. We simply object to a few drugs, which the government calls contraceptives, because we believe they cause abortions.
Additionally, I’ve heard it suggested that this mandate is necessary to increase access to contraception. The president has said that close to 99 percent of women use contraception. I don’t know if that number is true, but surely if the president is quoting this number, he knows there is no problem accessing these drugs.
This issue is not about women’s health; it is about religious liberty. It is about whether the government will force religious people and organizations to do something they believe is wrong. Good people everywhere want women to have access to quality health care. What we are asking is that our religious views be respected.