Baptist Press -Hobby Lobby at the Supreme Court: landmark case for religious liberty to be heard Tues. – News with a Christian Perspective.
Today, as the Supreme Court returns to its work, our justices will begin treating the cases of two companies owned by Christian families who are opposed to the unbiblical and unethical demands of the Affordable Healthcare Act (unaffectionately known as “Obamacare”). Baptist Press carried this report about the significance of these cases, and indeed, as Christians we ought to be informed and concerned about the outcome of these cases (Read the full report at the link above.).
Which means that we ought also be in prayer today for our SC and those defending these Christian businesses. The AFA (American Family Association) offered a sample prayer in its mailing yesterday, which I thought was appropriate to use as a guide (see below).
WASHINGTON (BP) — The fate of religious freedom for Americans, especially business owners, could hang in the balance when the U.S. Supreme Court convenes March 25.
The justices will hear oral arguments that day in challenges by two family owned corporations to the Obama administration’s abortion/contraception mandate, which requires employers to provide abortion-causing drugs for their workers. Hobby Lobby, a nationwide retail chain based in Oklahoma City, and Conestoga Wood Specialties, a Pennsylvania business, contend the federal regulation violates their owners’ consciences and a 1993 law protecting religious liberty.
Religious freedom advocates predict the Supreme Court’s decision will be far-reaching.
The high court’s opinion “will determine the next 100 years of church/state jurisprudence,” said Russell D. Moore, president of the Southern Baptist Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission.
Joshua Hawley, a lawyer assisting Hobby Lobby, described it as “a landmark case.”
“It has major significance for religious liberty” and “for what constitutional rights business owners can claim,” said Hawley, a member of the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty’s legal team and an associate professor at the University of Missouri School of Law.
Matt Bowman, senior legal counsel for the Alliance Defending Freedom, explained to Baptist Press the consequences for not only the Green family, the evangelicals who own Hobby Lobby, and the Hahns, the pro-life Mennonite family that owns Conestoga Wood, but other people who seek to exercise their religious beliefs.
“If the Hahn and Green families lose, the door would be open to allow the government to force people of faith to pay massive fines threatening jobs and health coverage just simply because they are choosing not to violate their faith and conscience,” Bowman told BP in an email interview.
“If the Hahn and Green families win, it will protect religious liberty as promised in the Constitution and American law, and people of faith will not be subject to massive fines just because they don’t want to help destroy human life.”
P.S. You may also be interested in this infographic on the Hobby Lobby case.
The AFA offered this prayer as a guide for Christians today (You will want to adapt some of the wording to match your own convictions, but I hope you can appreciate its emphasis on the sovereignty of God.):
Lord God, Our Father, you are the Righteous Judge over all the earth. We pray that you will have mercy on the United States as the Supreme Court hears a case that will shape the balance between government power and freedom of religion.
Give words to the attorneys for Hobby Lobby as they argue that our free exercise of religion includes how Christians live and work, not just what we do when we gather for worship, so that whatever we do in word or deed, we may do it in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him.
God, enlighten the Justices of the Supreme Court to acknowledge that you alone are Lord of our consciences. Give the Court humility to recognize that you are the King of Kings and Lord of Lords and that you have instituted human government so that your people may serve the Lord without fear, in holiness and righteousness before you, all the days of our life.
And Lord, give us grace and boldness to use the religious liberty that we still have to make your truth and mercy known. Amen.