Lutherans For Life stands firmly with the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod, the Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod, the Roman Catholic Bishops, the Southern Baptist Convention, other Evangelical leaders, and other religious organizations in strongly opposing the recently-promulgated Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) rules requiring that religious organizations provide contraception and abortifacients to their employees.
The morality of contraception is not the issue. The issue is religious freedom as given by God and secured by the First Amendment to the Constitution. The proposed HHS rules directly infringe free exercise of religion by requiring religious groups to do what many believe God forbids them to do. Not only Roman Catholics, but many others as well, oppose contraception; and many Lutherans oppose on religious grounds any so called “contraceptive” that in reality is an abortifacient in nature and could destroy a developing human being. These religious groups, and the many individuals who support them, should not be compelled to subsidize a practice they believe to be immoral and, in some instances, murder.
The Obama Administration’s “compromise,” by which religious organizations’ insurance companies will pay for contraception, is no compromise at all and is totally unacceptable. This is a matter of religious conviction, and that which we must not pay for directly, we must not subsidize indirectly.
The Administration’s offer of additional time for compliance reflects a gross misunderstanding of our objection. This is not a matter of time; it is a matter of conscience and obedience to God. We cannot and will not disobey God, neither now nor later.
No one is compelled to work for a religious organization. Those who choose to do so are fully aware of the religious nature of the organization. Those who find the compensation package unacceptable are free to work elsewhere.
We urge the Obama Administration to repeal these proposed regulations; we urge Congress to enact legislation requiring the repeal of these proposed regulations; and we will join with religious organizations who refuse to follow these regulations if they become law. Like the Hebrew midwives of Exodus 1 who refused to obey the Pharaoh’s command to slay Hebrew babies, as stated in Acts 5:29 and the Augsburg Confession, “We must obey God rather than men.”