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Posts Tagged ‘First Amendment’


Someone, somewhere, has proclaimed this Free Speech Pulpit Freedom Sunday (see what happens when you blog after getting up at 3 am- this was the least of my worries). People do that- declare a Sunday for their causes. It can be good to move us to focus prayer on particular issues like abortion, adoption, and the persecuted church.

Free Speech Sunday is a new one, at least to me. Sometimes I feel like I live in a cave. You’d think I wasn’t connected to the internet by an umbilical cord.

The purpose, as I understand it, of Free Speech Pulpit Freedom Sunday is to recognize what the IRS says a church can and cannot say. My understanding of the tax code (I am not an accountant, and getting one’s opinion on the tax code is about as helpful as asking a roomful of theologians a question) is that churches can address political issues, but not lobby for particular candidates. That this law is not fairly applied, from my opinion, is not the point. Actually, it is the point in terms of the intention of the day. Some use this fear of removing 501(c)3 status from conservative churches to silence them. But churches can talk politics, according to the law. We can say if a candidate’s position on abortion or marriage is immoral. We can say if the candidates break the 9th commandment (oh, boy do they do that early and often). We are on less solid ground when discussing the economic theory of the candidates (I have strong opinions on this matter, having a degree in economics, but that is not the same as comparing someone to a biblical standard on truth-telling in campaigning, or killing babies.

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Both the media and the social media have been abuzz with the mandate to provide contraceptives as a part of health care, and the “compromise” plan made by the President. There has been plenty of heat over this subject. I’m not sure how much light there has been.

One issue that has been cloudy is whether or not this contraceptive care includes abortion. The President said it does not. If one limits this to abortion as a medical procedure, he is correct. Roman Catholic spokespersons say it does. If, by that, they refer to the Pill they are sort of right. The Pill is intended to prevent ovulation and therefore pregnancy. If the egg doesn’t drop it can’t be fertilized. But sometimes it fails. In that instance, the egg may be fertilized. The Pill creates an environment in which the fertilized egg has a difficult time implanting on the wall of the uterus. This can and does happen for women who don’t take the Pill. But in this case, the Pill produces an unknown number of chemical abortions. This is why some Protestants oppose the use of the Pill (the Church of Rome prohibits all use of all contraceptives).

But the larger issue is that of whether or not the government mandating such coverage is a violation of the U.S. Constitution with regard to the free exercise of religion.

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