Friday, March 9, 2012

"Please get the federal government, Mr. Chairman, out of our consciences."

The House Oversight and Government Reform Committee hearing on the HHS mandate has created quite a stir.  If you missed the hearing you can view part 1 here, and part 2 here.

I'm not much of a political person.  I also happen to live in the most politically corrupt state, so I don't see me becoming a political person any time soon.  However, because I am a Christian, I have read and watched a lot about the HHS mandate.  I also proudly watched my church body's president, Rev. Matthew Harrison, deliver an excellent speech.  One that had all of the LCMS Lutherans proclaiming "that's MY President!"

In most of what I read, people seem to be wavering from the facts.  We, as Christians, are against the HHS mandate because it impedes our religious freedom.  The first amendment is supposed to protect religious groups from mandates such as this.  I get unnerved and baffled as to how people are making this about something else.  So let's just stick with the facts.

  • The HHS Mandate requires that all employers, religious or otherwise, offer health insurance that provides forms of birth control, even those that cause the death of an unborn child.  
  • Obama did provide an "accommodation" for religious employers stating that employees could get birth control directly from the insurance companies if their employers didn't cover it.  But since those religious organizations are still required to provide their employees with health insurance that covers these forms of birth control, this still violates the consciences of those who oppose these drugs/services. 
  • The first amendment guarantees all US citizens the right to the free exercise of their religion.  We cannot freely exercise our religion if the government is forcing religious organizations to violate the tenets of their faith.
Those are the facts.  Plain and simple.  The government should have no control over our consciences, and yet that is precisely what they are trying to do.

What this whole circus has become is a bunch of people who aren't sticking to the facts getting upset over our "misogynistic" men in leadership.  This issue is not about women's health.  This is about religious freedom.  This is not about how President Obama feels about birth control.  This is about how we, as religious organizations, feel about birth control and our right not to offer abortion causing drugs as part of our health insurance plans.

It is instances like this, when people show they can no longer be logical, that I worry about the world my kids are a part of.  We work as parents to shield them from harm and protect them from danger.  We teach them to be kind, loving, gracious and respectful.  We raise them in a Christian home with Christian values.  We teach them right and wrong.  Not this new age right and wrong, but biblical right and wrong.  This has shown me that not only do we as parents need to proceed, diligently teaching our children Christian values, but that we must also teach them how to fight logically against those who try to invade our consciences.

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