Today, the Southern Baptist Convention’s president, Dr. Richard Land, appeared on America’s Radio News to discuss the president’s “accommodation” in which the administration will henceforth mandate that insurance companies pick up the cost of contraceptive, abortifacient and sterilization services. Dr. Land notes that the SBC is self-insuring. Therefore, the “accommodation” still forces religious institutions to pay for services they find morally unconscionable.
Dr. Richard Land Rejects Obama’s Plan by PJ Tatler
DR. LAND: Does he think he can put lipstick on a pig and we’re gonna think it’s anything other than lipstick on a pig? … In the case of Southern Baptists, we have self-funded insurance through GuideStone, which has been around since 1918 and covers over 200,000 missionaries, social workers, pastors, church employees, nurses, doctors, et cetera. And I just talked to the head of Guidestone and he said “We can’t do this. This violates our conscience because we’re the insurance company, and we’re not gonna be forced to pay for that which we find unconscionable.”
Dr. Land added that the president’s “accommodation” totally ignores this self-funding aspect of many religious institutions’ insurance, and suggested that the Hawaii compromise would have been more acceptable.
The Southern Baptist Convention is home to some 15 million Americans, including your humble blogger.
Update: The Conference of Catholic Bishops has reacted to the president’s announcement.
“The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) sees initial opportunities in preserving the principle of religious freedom after President Obama’s announcement today. But the Conference continues to express concerns. “While there may be an openness to respond to some of our concerns, we reserve judgment on the details until we have them,” said Cardinal-designate Timothy Dolan, president of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.
‘The past three weeks have witnessed a remarkable unity of Americans from all religions or none at all worried about the erosion of religious freedom and governmental intrusion into issues of faith and morals,” he said.
‘Today’s decision to revise how individuals obtain services that are morally objectionable to religious entities and people of faith is a first step in the right direction,” Cardinal-designate Dolan said. “We hope to work with the Administration to guarantee that Americans’ consciences and our religious freedom are not harmed by these regulations.”