Tony Perkins / Oct. 27, 2014

California ups the Abortion Ante

In a stunning move, California has upped the abortion ante by forcing churches to pay for elective abortion coverage. California’s Department of Managed Health Care has ordered all insurance plans in the state immediately to begin covering elective abortion at the urging of American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), which pushed for abortion to be considered a “basic health service”. California bureaucrats no doubt feel emboldened by the Obama administration that has all but declared open season on people who seek to live their lives according to orthodox biblical teachings. On its face, this is clearly an illegal act by the state of California and violates the federal Hyde-Weldon Amendment, which bars states receiving federal funds from discriminating against people who object to paying for abortion coverage. One of FRC’s Watchmen on the Wall pastors, Jack Hibbs, Senior Pastor of Cavalry Chapel Chino Hills, along with pastors from six other churches are now working with Alliance Defending Freedom and Life Legal Defense Foundation and have filed a formal complaint with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

In a stunning move, California has upped the abortion ante by forcing churches to pay for elective abortion coverage. California’s Department of Managed Health Care has ordered all insurance plans in the state immediately to begin covering elective abortion at the urging of American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), which pushed for abortion to be considered a “basic health service”. California bureaucrats no doubt feel emboldened by the Obama administration that has all but declared open season on people who seek to live their lives according to orthodox biblical teachings. On its face, this is clearly an illegal act by the state of California and violates the federal Hyde-Weldon Amendment, which bars states receiving federal funds from discriminating against people who object to paying for abortion coverage. One of FRC’s Watchmen on the Wall pastors, Jack Hibbs, Senior Pastor of Cavalry Chapel Chino Hills, along with pastors from six other churches are now working with Alliance Defending Freedom and Life Legal Defense Foundation and have filed a formal complaint with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

Congregations shouldn’t have to violate their beliefs about the sanctity of every human life by being forced to pay for abortion coverage as part of their church’s health care package. Abortion is not healthcare. Pastors and churches should not be put in a position to choose between violating their consciences or leaving church staff without healthcare. This move by California transcends politics or ideology– it’s a blatant assault on America’s founding freedom of religion. In the wake of the Supreme Court rebuff of the Obama administration’s attack on the Christian faith of businesses like Hobby Lobby, they should tell California to stop breaking the law and end this direct assault on churches.

Michigan Pastors Stand for Religious Liberty

With “sexual orientation” and “gender identity” (“SOGI”) laws increasingly being used around the country as a club to batter religious organizations and citizens of faith, pastors and religious leaders in Michigan rallied on the steps of the State Capitol in Lansing [Thursday] to take preventive action against any similar developments in their state. A bill was introduced in both houses of the Michigan legislature last month to expand the state’s Elliott-Larsen Civil Rights Act to give special status to “sexual orientation,” “gender identity,” and “gender expression.”

Despite the obvious moral and religious implications of stigmatizing disapproval of homosexual behavior, the proposed bill contains no religious exemption of any kind. It was bad enough when religious agencies were forced out of the adoption business, and people in the wedding industry were told they must participate in the celebration of same-sex weddings. Now, ordained ministers in Idaho are told they must perform same-sex weddings and pastors in Houston, Texas are being subjected to intrusive, harassing subpoenas in an effort to silence their effort to let the people vote on a SOGI law in that city. I’m heartened, though, that pastors and Christian citizens around the country, like those in Michigan, now see the direct threat to religious liberty that laws like these pose and they are standing up and speaking out in defense of our first freedom. They are clearly counting the cost – as one of the Michigan pastors declared, “We shall disobey your unjust law. Here we stand, Black and White together, ready to go to jail!” Let us continue to pray that it does not come to that.

I Stand Sunday Gains Momentum – Stand with Us!

In just [under] a week, churches and individual Christians from around the country will rally around pastors and churches in Houston, Texas, who have had their right to freely proclaim truth threatened by the city government. There’s still time for your church to join us for I Stand Sunday, a special nationwide simulcast event on November 2 at 6 p.m. CT/7 p.m. ET. Watch the promo video below and follow the link to istandsunday.com for more information.

Bus Tour: We’re not in Kansas anymore…but Values Voters are!

It was an electrifying night [Thursday] night as FRC Action’s “Faith, Family, Freedom” bus tour stopped in Wichita, Kansas to support Gov. Sam Brownback. Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar of reality TV’s 19 Kids and Counting and Kansas First Lady Mary Brownback were enthusiastically welcomed by a crowd of 500 people. They encouraged the group to get involved and reminded them of the special opportunity they have to send a clear message to the country as many eyes across the nation are watching what Kansas voters will do in several hotly contested races. The group was also challenged to not only vote November 4th, but also remind other likeminded citizens to do the same and speakers encouraged each one that no matter how young or old, we all have an important part to play.

The Tour’s next stops are in Louisiana where it will join Duck Dynasty cousin and Congressional Candidate Zach Dasher, U.S. Senate Candidate Rob Maness, U.S. Congress Candidate Lenar Whitney, Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar, and other conservative leaders. More information is available at frcaction.org/bustour and under social media tag #FFFTour14.


This is a publication of the Family Research Council. Mr. Perkins is president of FRC.

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