Guest / Limited Access /
Honoring Faith in the Public Square
Image: Rob Day
Honoring Faith in the Public Square

During the past year, The Obama administration has been subjected to strenuous criticism for its perceived hostility, or at best cavalier indifference, to the cause of religious freedom in the United States.

First there was the Supreme Court's decision in the Hosanna-Tabor case. The Obama administration's lawyers sought to deny church-run schools a longstanding exemption from antidiscrimination laws, meant to safeguard religious schools' freedom to hire and fire employees according to their own faith-based criteria. The Court delivered a stinging and unanimous rebuke, reaffirming the exemption.

Then, more famously, came the still-simmering case of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) mandate requiring all employers, including church-run schools, hospitals, and charities, to provide their employees with health-insurance plans covering contraceptives, abortifacients, and sterilization procedures.

Religious leaders quickly realized that this requirement would necessitate the violation of core moral teachings, particularly for the Roman Catholic Church. Opposition was swift and unequivocal, taking the form of a remarkably ecumenical coalition. The often fractious Catholic bishops achieved an unprecedented degree of unity. They were joined soon enough by a broad array of evangelical leaders, such as the president of Wheaton College, as well as eminent figures from across the full spectrum of American religious communities: Jews, Muslims, Mormons, Sikhs, and so on. Everywhere the rallying cry was directed, not to the support of specific Catholic doctrines, but to the general defense of religious freedom.

Secular supporters of the administration seemed both annoyed and mystified by the protests. How, wondered Ed Kilgore, ...

Subscriber access only You have reached the end of this Article Preview

To continue reading, subscribe now. Subscribers have full digital access.

Tags:
From Issue:
Read These NextSee Our Latest
TrendingIntroducing the Bible! Now with Less!
Introducing the Bible! Now with Less!
Delete the chapter and verse numbers. Kill all the notes. Make it one column. Make a million bucks.
Editor's PickWater Works: Why Baptism Is Essential
Water Works: Why Baptism Is Essential
Some churches say Baptism is optional, but the New Testament teaches it is integral to the life of faith.
Comments
Christianity Today
Honoring Faith in the Public Square
hide thisNovember November

In the Magazine

November 2012

To continue reading, subscribe now for full print and digital access.