Supreme Court ruling will have lasting religious liberty implications, leaders say

Meredith Flynn —  June 24, 2014

Hobby_LobbyNEWS | The U.S. Supreme Court is expected to hand down its decision in Sebelius v. Hobby Lobby and Conestoga Wood Specialties sometime this week. The case has been closely watched by religious liberty advocates who believe the Court’s ruling will have significant impact on the freedom Americans have to practice their religious convictions.

At issue is the businesses’ refusal to cover abortion-inducing drugs for its employees, a measure required of for-profit companies by the Obama administration’s healthcare plan.

“The United States Supreme Court is deciding whether or not in this country there is the freedom to dissent, and the freedom to accommodate these conscientious objections in the governing of people’s lives and in the running of their businesses,” Russell Moore told Southern Baptist pastors and leaders meeting in Baltimore. The president of the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission took part in a panel discussion about the case during the SBC’s annual meeting in June.

“It’s going to be a tremendously significant and important case for every single one of your churches and your ministries,” Moore said. “This will have everything to do with everything that your church does for the next 100 years.” In March, the ERLC issued a call to prayer for Hobby Lobby and the Supreme Court’s ruling.

Several institutions have won their fight against the health care mandate, including Colorado Christian University just this week. But Hobby Lobby and Conestoga Wood Specialties’ status as Christian-owned, for-profit businesses is what makes their case different.

The Hobby Lobby case sparked an online discussion about what makes a business “Christian.” See today’s Briefing for more.

Meredith Flynn

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Meredith is managing editor of the Illinois Baptist newspaper.