Please Pray for Hobby Lobby!
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Lord God, I thank you today for the gift of our nation.
You alone rule the world with justice,
Yet you place in our hands the solemn duty
of participating in the shaping of our government.
I pray today for our President and Senators
Who have the responsibility of placing judges on our courts.
Please protect this process from all obstruction.
Please send us men and women of wisdom,
Who respect Your law of Life.
Please send us judges with humility,
Who seek Your truth and not their own opinions.
Lord, give all of us the courage we need to do what is right
And to serve you, the Judge of all, with fidelity.
We ask this through Christ our Lord.
Prayer from About.Com, Catholicism, by Scott P Richert
[Justice Elena] "Kagan suggested that the corporate owners have a choice other than breaking the law and betraying their religious principles. It’s an option, she said, “that nobody talks about . . . Hobby Lobby could choose not to provide insurance.” Under the health care law, the companies would have to pay a tax instead, but it would be comparable to the costs of insurance, she said.
Paul D. Clement, the lawyer for the companies, countered that such a tax would better be described as a penalty, and that the corporations would suffer for it, having to raise wages to compensate for their lack of a health care plan. “It certainly feels punitive,” he said."
Supreme Court Takes Up Hobby Lobby's Challenge to the Contraception Mandate, by Lauren Markoe, at Christian News Headlines
The Obama administration's acknowledgment that its stance would require businesses to underwrite abortions without the right to a legal challenge may have been a particularly telling moment in a March 25 U.S. Supreme Court case that likely will be a landmark in religious liberty.
It seemed that way to some who oppose the government's position, and they expressed an opinion that it seemed that way to some of the justices.
The Supreme Court heard 90 minutes of oral arguments regarding the federal government's abortion/contraception mandate, which requires employers to provide abortion-causing drugs and devices for their workers. Two family owned businesses -- nationwide retail chain Hobby Lobby and Pennsylvania-based Conestoga Wood Specialties -- had their opportunity to present their contention that the federal rule violates free exercise of religion rights and a 1993 law protecting religious liberty.
Associate Justice Anthony Kennedy asked Solicitor General Donald Verrilli, the Obama administration's advocate, if he thought a for-profit corporation "could be forced in principle to pay for abortions."
At first, Verrilli seemed to deny it would, saying, "[T]he law now is to the contrary."
Kennedy countered: "But your reasoning would permit that."
Verrilli eventually said, "Well, I think that if it were for a for-profit corporation and if such a law like that were enacted, then you're right, under our theory ... the for-profit corporation wouldn't have an ability to sue."
Feds Admit Abortion Mandate in SCOTUS, by Tom Strode, Baptist Press
On Tuesday (March 25), the justices heard lawyers for the Obama administration and two corporations debate the constitutionality of the federal government's abortion/contraception mandate, which requires employers to provide abortion-causing drugs and devices for their workers. Hobby Lobby, the nationwide retail chain, and Conestoga Wood Specialties, a Pennsylvania business, contend the federal regulation violates their owners' consciences and the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA), a 1993 law protecting religious liberty.
The three female justices – Elena Kagan, Sonia Sotomayor and Ruth Bader Ginsburg – challenged Paul Clement, arguing for Hobby Lobby and Conestoga Wood, in the first half of the 90 minutes of arguments, while Chief Justice John Roberts and associate justices Anthony Kennedy, Samuel Alito and Antonin Scalia seemed most suspicious of the government's position in questioning Solicitor General Donald Verrilli.
Advocates for the corporations said some of the justices seemed particularly concerned the government position would support an abortion requirement for families and businesses. They expressed optimism after the arguments.
"We're hopeful that the court will end up in the right place and protect religious liberty here, and they had an awful lot of difficult questions for the government," said Mark Rienzi, senior counsel for the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, which has represented Hobby Lobby.
Pro Hobby Lobby Side Remains Hopeful, by Tom Strode, at Baptist Press
"Across social media last week, some in the Twittersphere claimed family businesses fighting for a fundamental freedom want to impose their religious and moral beliefs on their employees. Nothing could be further from the truth.
"The distortion is part of a fierce national argument into which the Supreme Court is about to wade. One side insists government must force all to agree with them. The other wishes simply to be left alone to pursue their own occupations in accord with their conscience.
"In a reversal of commonly held stereotypes, many so-called progressives now seek government-enforced conformity. The left used to argue that we should be free to live without fear of government sanction. Today they insist everyone agree with them – or else.
"President Barack Obama’s health care law includes a mandate that employers must provide coverage of drugs that can cause an early abortion – without cost to the employee. Some object on religious grounds and on March 25, two family-owned businesses – one is evangelical, the other Mennonite – will get their day before the Supreme Court.
"The Constitution and a law called the Religious Freedom and Restoration Act prohttp://www.lifenews.com/2014/03/24/supreme-court-should-uphold-hobby-lobbys-religious-freedom-overturn-obamas-hhs-mandate/vide a check against unreasonable government coercion. Before imposing a substantial burden on those with sincerely held religious beliefs, the government must show a compelling interest, pursued through the least restrictive means."
Supreme Court Should Uphold Hobby Lobby's Religious Freedom, Overturn Obama's HHS Mandate, by Derrick Morgan, at Life News