Friday, July 4, 2014

Christian Leaders Request a New Kind of Religious Exemption

Let the Burwell v. Hobby Lobby floodgates open.  

It was only a matter of time before other Christian organizations asked for religious exemptions based on issues unrelated to the Affordable Care Act. The first major exemption request comes from a group of Christian leaders who have asked President Obama for a religious exemption from a forthcoming executive order that will forbid organizations that discriminate based on sexual orientation from competing for government contracts. 

You can read the letter here.  ,

The signers of the letter include Michael Lindsay (President of Gordon College), Andy Crouch, (Executive Editor of Christianity Today), Joel Hunter (Pastor of Northland Church and a spiritual adviser to Barack Obama), Rick Warren (Pastor of Saddlebach Church), Larry Snyder (CEO of Catholic Charities), and Steven Bauman (President and CEO of World Relief).

The Boston Globe has published an article about Gordon College President Michael Lindsay's decision to sign this letter.  The article states that Lindsay's decision to sign the letter  "drew sharp criticism from Gordon alumni and students." It then quotes an interview with a Gordon alum, Paul Miller, who now heads an LGBTQ organization of former Gordon students and graduates.  While I am sure members of Miller's group are upset with Lindsay's decision to sign this letter, I would venture to guess that the percentage of the entire Gordon alumni base that disagrees with Lindsay's choice is rather small.

This will be the first of many such exemption requests.  We are already seeing the implications of Burwell v.Hobby Lobby.