Thursday, July 19, 2012

Evangelical Wheaton College Sues ObamaCare

Wheaton College, a bastion of Christian conservatism in Wheaton, Illinois, has joined forces with dozens of Roman Catholic institutions to fight for religious liberty against President Obama's war on Christianity. Wheaton's president Dr. Philip Ryken says the ObamaCare mandate requiring the college to provide contraceptives, sterilizations, and abortifacient drugs to employees and students violate the Christian organization's freedom of religion.

For background, read ObamaCare Stakes Ground in War on Christianity and also read Supreme Court OKs Taxes for Abortion: ObamaCare as well as Wide-ranging Christian Leaders Sign Manifesto Opposing Obama Agenda

UPDATE 12/19/12: Federal appeals court holds lawsuit open to ensure Obama keeps promise to exclude Christian colleges from ObamaCare mandate by March 31, 2013

UPDATE 8/28/12: U.S. District Judge Ellen Segal Huvelle dismisses Wheaton College lawsuit as premature because ObamaCare mandate doesn't fully deny religious liberty until August 2013

-- From "Wheaton College joins suit opposing contraception mandate" by Monifa Thomas, Chicago Sun-Times Health Reporter 7/19/12

On Monday, the west suburban evangelical college joined Catholic University of America in its suit, filed in May, against federal Health and Human Services (HHS) in the U.S. District Court for District of Columbia.

The suit opposes Health and Human Services “preventive services” requirement that most employers provide health insurance that covers the cost of contraception and sterilization procedures to their employees as part of the health care law Obama signed, or else face a fine.

Though Wheaton College has been concerned about the mandate for months, Wheaton College President Dr. Philip Graham Ryken said the decision to file the suit came after the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision to uphold the Affordable Care Act in June.

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

From "Wheaton College joins lawsuit over health care law" by Manya A. Brachear, Chicago Tribune reporter 7/18/12

Unlike Catholic Church teaching, evangelical doctrine does not oppose all contraception. But evangelicals do oppose prescription drugs such as morning-after pills that they believe cause abortions.

"Wheaton is an evangelical institution with a Protestant conviction that takes a clear pro-life position as a community," Ryken said. "This insurance mandate is against our conscience and our Christian conviction. We as yet have found no recourse but to file this suit."

The federal government's decision to define what constitutes a religious institution creates two classes of such institutions: those that enjoy full religious freedom and those that don't, he said.

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

From "Wheaton College Joins Lawsuit Against Obama Birth Control Mandate" by Bernie Tafoya, WBBM-780 CBS (Chicago) 7/18/12

“Wheaton College and other distinctively Christian institutions are faced with a clear and present threat to our religious liberty,” Ryken said in the release. “Our first president, the abolitionist Jonathan Blanchard, believed it was imperative to act in defense of freedom. In bringing this suit, we act in defense of freedom again.”

Dr. Ryken says it would cost Wheaton College nearly $1.5 million in fines to disobey the law’s birth control and abortion coverage just for faculty and staff.

As for talk the Obama administration may exempt Wheaton College and other religious institutions but require their insurance companies to separately provide birth control and abortion service coverage, Dr. Ryken says, “We think that is a shell game that does not resolve the moral issue that we have”.

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

From "Wheaton College, Catholic University Jointly Sue Over Birth Control Mandate" by Napp Nazworth, Christian Post Reporter 7/18/12

[Ryken said,] "We have a respect for Roman Catholic institutions and in this case we recognize we have common cause with Catholic University of America and other Catholic institutions in defending religious liberty. We're, in effect, co-belligerents in this fight against government action. I think the fact that evangelicals and Catholics are coming together on this issue ought to be a sign to all Americans that something really significant for religious liberty is at stake."

"This is not a fight over contraception. Evangelicals, in fact, don't agree with Catholics on their opposition to contraception and birth control."

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

From "Wheaton sues to strike abortion drug mandate" by Michael Foust, Baptist Press Associate Editor 7/18/12

Illinois-based Wheaton is represented by the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, which said the suit was filed in partnership with Catholic University, a Washington D.C.-based school which previously filed suit against the mandate in May.

Churches are exempt from the [ObamaCare] mandate, but many religious organizations -- such as universities and faith-based ministries -- are not. The Obama administration has argued that under the mandate, the insurance company -- and not the religious organization -- would be the one paying for the drugs. But Wheaton, in its suit, rejected such logic. Subsidizing an insurance plan that would "facilitate access" to abortion-causing drugs violates its religious beliefs, even if the drugs themselves are paid for by the insurance company, Wheaton said.

"The government issued an administrative rule ... that runs roughshod over Wheaton's religious beliefs, and the beliefs of millions of other Americans, by forcing it to provide health insurance coverage for abortifacient drugs and related education and counseling," the lawsuit states.

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.