The U.S. Supreme Court ruled Monday that certain “closely held” for-profit businesses can opt out of the contraceptive mandate forced by the Affordable Care Act.
Earlier this year Hobby Lobby sued the Obama Administration for this unlawful mandate. The company argued that while they don’t oppose their employees’ personal decisions, they don’t want to be forced to help pay for certain methods of birth control that conflict their religious beliefs. The lawsuit challenged the administration’s mandate that forces employers to provide insurance coverage for abortion-inducing drugs, sterilization and contraception under threat of heavy penalties.
Oklahoma Wesleyan, along with dozens of other companies followed suit and decided to take a stand against this unlawful mandate that violated their religious freedoms. The Alliance Defending Freedom helped OKWU, along with three other Christian universities in Oklahoma file against the Obama Administration.
Oklahoma Wesleyan President Dr. Everett Piper was elated by the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision to stand by Hobby Lobby.
“The First Amendment is unequivocal that ‘Congress shall make no law.. prohibiting the free exercise of religion.’ Questions of sexual behavior are clearly religious in nature and have been for several millennia,” Piper explained. “It should embolden all people of all faiths to learn that whether you’re a Buddhist or a Baptist, a Mormon or a Methodist, or a Catholic or a Calvinist that it’s none of the government’s business to tell you how to exercise your religion. We all owe the Green family a note of thanks for leading the defense of such Constitutional rights.”
At this time the 5-4 ruling does not appear to be a blanket ruling, open to all companies. Large companies with diverse ownership could not claim exclusion from the contraceptive mandate.
The fate of OKWU and other universities is yet to be decided. However, this lawsuit shows progress in the Supreme Court, and hope for the future.
Dr. Piper’s original column about the lawsuit, titled “We Believe” was published in the local newspaper, The Examiner-Enterprise. Many other media outlets have since published the column on their websites. His second column, “Don’t Tear Down This Wall” brings further clarification on why the university felt the need to act.
For more information on the lawsuit, listen to Dr. Piper’s interview on the Pat Campbell show on KFAQ Tulsa Talk Radio.