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Catholic, Lutheran, Baptist and Jewish Leaders Swear Disobedience to HHS Contraception Mandate

February 16th, 2012

By Susan Jones and Eric Scheiner

(CNSNews.com) – Would you go to jail–or even close down your hospitals and schools–rather than violate your religious faith, a Republican lawmaker asked religious leaders at a House hearing on Thursday. The answer, given under oath, was unanimous: They will disobey.

“We’re not going to violate our consciences,” William E. Lori, the Roman Catholic Bishop of Bridgeport, Conn., told Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.) in response to Gowdy’s question about the Obama administration’s contraception mandate.

The Rev. Dr. Matthew C. Harrison, president of the Lutheran Church’s Missouri Synod, said, “Yes, I would, clearly” rather go to jail.

“I’d like to be in his cell,” said Dr. Ben Mitchell, a philosophy professor at Union University. (“We’ll try to work that out,” Rep. Gowdy said, prompting laughter.)

Rabbi Meir Soloveichik of Yeshiva University told the House Oversight and Government Affairs Committee that freedom of conscience and of religion “is first and most sacred to our country.”

And finally, Dr. Craig Mitchell, an ethics professor at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, told Rep. Gowdy, “This is not the kind of thing that we can afford to play with. This is essential to our country.”

Gowdy suggested that maybe the Obama administration really wants to close down religiously affiliated hospitals and schools:

“Well, just so everybody understands what is going to happen: These guys are either going to go to jail because they won’t violate their religious beliefs, or the hospitals and the schools are going to close, which means governemnt is going to get bigger, because they’re going to have to fill the void that is left when you guys quit doing it. And maybe that’s what they wanted all along.”

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