The U.S. Supreme Court voted June 29 to uphold religious liberty protections for closely held corporations such as Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc., and Conestoga Wood Specialities. The Court ruled that they have the legal right to exercise religious, conscientious objections to covering abortion-inducing contraceptive devices under their employee health insurance plans.
Russell D. Moore, president of the Southern Baptist Convention’s Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission reacts to the decision: “This is an exhilarating victory for religious freedom. The Greens refused to render to Caesar that which did not belong to him and the Supreme Court agreed.
“As a Baptist, I am encouraged that our ancestors’ struggle for the First Amendment has been vindicated. This is as close as a Southern Baptist gets to dancing in the streets with joy.”
The justices’ 5-4 decision is the first time the Supreme Court has ruled that family-owned businesses can hold religious views under the federal Religious Freedom Restoration Act.
The ERLC filed a friend-of-the-court brief Oct. 21 calling for the Supreme Court to rule in favor of Hobby Lobby and other family-owned businesses that have conscientious objections to a regulation that requires employers to provide abortion-causing drugs for their workers.
Moore honored the Green Family of Hobby Lobby with the John Leland Religious Liberty Award during his ERLC report to the SBC, June 11, for their heroic efforts in demonstrating a commitment to religious freedom.
The Southern Baptist Convention is America’s largest Protestant denomination with more than 15.8 million members in over 46,000 churches nationwide. The Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission is the SBC’s ethics, religious liberty and public policy entity with offices in Nashville, Tenn. and Washington, D.C.