Hobby Lobby wins! The U.S. Supreme Court ruled this morning that the family-owned business will not be required to abide by the HHS Mandate, which requires employers to cover the cost of contraceptives for their employees.
Join with me in a prayer of thanks at this ruling.
But let’s remember, too, to continue our prayers for this nation. The Court did not unanimously see the logic in Hobby Lobby’s reasoned objection to offering free contraceptives and abortifacients. In fact, the decision was close, with four of the Justices taking the opposing position which would have mandated that employers lay aside their conscience in order to do business. The religious exemption from the Mandate won–but just barely.
Pray, too, that additional Court victories will further strengthen our First Amendment protections. Today’s ruling said that the Mandate could not be applied to “closely-held corporations” with religious owners who object to it. However, there are many who object but who do not fall into that narrow category: The IRS defines “closely-held corporations” as those with more than 50 percent of their stock held by five or fewer individuals. So Catholic hospitals, EWTN, religious orders and other organizations which have an obvious reason to oppose the HHS Mandate will not be protected under this ruling.
And pray that this nation will turn again to God, that we may continue to enjoy His favor.
Dr. Benjamin Carson, the noted neurosurgeon, author and conservative leader, has written that America has been favored by God because we acknowledged him. Is our nation such a God-fearing nation today?
Ben Carson, in a bio posted on CBN’s website, notes:
The forefathers of this nation were clearly guided by Sovereign leadership when they knelt and prayed for wisdom at the Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia in 1787. Together they stood up and assembled a seventeen page document known as the Constitution of the United States of America. Our nation was founded on principles revealed to us in the Bible by a righteous and just God. These teachings began in the home and continued at school. In early public schools reading from the Bible was not only common, it was expected.
Children were taught that there was a Creator to whom they were responsible and that there was a moral code given to us by the Creator to whom we should all have to answer in the afterlife. Today the forces of political correctness are trying to erode our values by attempting to push God out of our lives. Prayer is not allowed in public schools. Many people are afraid to say “Merry Christmas” because it contains the word Christ. Dr. Carson says it is our job to stand up and be counted. We can no longer be passive. He says we should not be ashamed of our faith, and we certainly should not allow those who believe differently to change who we are in order to be politically correct. “If they do not wish to accept the godly principles that we choose to live by, we should make no attempt to force them, but by no stretch of the imagination should we allow them to force their beliefs on us,” reveals Dr. Carson. He says for America to remain a pinnacle nation we must stop being political and start being logical; apply godly values and principles to govern our lives; and develop our God given talents so we become valuable to those around us.
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The repercussions of this important decision are being felt already. The Eternal Word Television Network (EWTN) today won an injunction against implementation of the HHS Mandate, requiring the Catholic network to provide contraceptive and abortifacient coverage in its health insurance for employees.
Citing the Burwell v. Hobby Lobby decision announced by the Supreme Court on June 30, the 11th federal circuit appeals court issued an injunction blocking fines that would have been assessed against EWTN beginning on July 1 for a failure to comply with the contraceptive mandate.
The 11th circuit court found, in issuing its order, that EWTN “has asserted, without dispute, that it ‘is prohibited by its religion from signing, submitting, or facilitating the transfer of the government-required certification’ necessary to opt out of the mandate.” EWTN has challenged the federal regulation that compels religious employees to certify their objections to covering contraceptive costs. That certification triggers coverage of the contraceptives by other insurers.
The 11th circuit did not decide the merits of the EWTN lawsuit, but blocked enforcement of the HHS mandate until the case is decided.