Skip to comments.(LCMS President) Harrison to speak before House committee
Posted on 02/15/2012 6:46:57 PM PST by Charles Henrickson
LCMS President Rev. Dr. Matthew C. Harrison will take part in a Capitol Hill hearing before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee in Washington, D. C., on Thursday, Feb. 16. The hearing will focus on the issues of freedom of religion and freedom of conscience in relation to the Obama administration's recent health-care ruling regarding contraceptives.
The panel also will include Roman Catholic, Orthodox, Baptist and Jewish leaders.
The Rev. John T. Pless, who teaches theological ethics and is an assistant professor of Pastoral Ministry and missions at Concordia Theological Seminary, Fort Wayne, and Ann Stillman, vice-president and general counsel for Concordia Plan Services (the LCMS' church workers' health plan), will accompany Harrison to the nation's Capitol.
On Tuesday, Feb. 14, Harrison also released a statement in response to President Obama's Friday, Feb. 10, revision of the initial health-care ruling--one that required religious organizations to cover the cost of contraceptives (including abortive drugs)--calling the modification simply a "temporary enforcement delay."
The original Jan. 20 U.S. Department of Health and Human Services announcement required that health insurance plans "cover preventive services for women including recommended contraceptive services."
But on Friday, after a public outcry concerning a violation of religious rights and rights of consciences, President Obama appeared to offer an "accommodation," saying that non-profit religious organizations will no longer be required to include contraceptives in their health insurance plans. Coverage of contraceptives, however, would still be available through the insurance providers themselves.
"We see President Obama's action Friday as significant," said Harrison, but "the 'accommodation' did not expand the exemption for religious employers, nor did it restrict the mandate in any way."
"We remain opposed to this mandate because it runs counter to the biblical truth of the sanctity of human life," Harrison noted. "We can no longer expect a favored position for Christianity in this country. But we can, as citizens of this great nation, fight for constitutional sanity against secularizing forces."
Harrison also encouraged members of the LCMS to "pray for and support our government" while reminding them that "our consciences and lives belong to God."
James F. Sanft, president and CEO of Concordia Plan Services, praised Harrison for taking a strong stand on the issue, noting that the administration's mandate has far-reaching implications for the Church.
"We strongly support President Harrison's statement on behalf of the LCMS," said Sanft. "The issues here go well beyond the Concordia Health Plan and our ability to serve our members in a manner consistent with our Lutheran doctrine."
"This is, first, an issue of religious freedom and the First Amendment," he said, "and second, an issue of life, as drugs that result in abortions are being defined as 'contraceptives.'"
Harrison's statement regarding Obama's revision of the ruling can be read here. Harrison also released a video statement that can be seen here.
The Washington, D.C., hearing, which will begin at 9:30 a.m. EST, can be streamed live at the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform's website.
Greetings in the precious name of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ!
Synod President Matthew C. Harrison will be one of several religious leaders to testify during the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform's hearing, "Lines Crossed: Separation of Church and State. Has the Obama Administration Trampled on Freedom of Religion and Freedom of Conscience?"
The hearing will be held Thursday, Feb. 16, between 9:30-11:30 a.m. EST at the Rayburn House Office Building, Washington, D.C. It can be streamed lived at the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform's website here.
Harrison has issued two letters to the church about the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' recent mandate that health plans must cover all forms of birth control, which the LCMS opposes because it includes birth control products that can cause the death of a baby developing in the womb. The statements, a video message, press release and media coverage about this issue can be found at http://www.lcms.org/hhsmandate.
A bulletin insert also is available for congregational use.
We encourage you and your family, friends, churches and schools to watch President Harrison's testimony and to learn more about this mandate, which we view as a government intrusion into what is the realm of traditional and biblical Christian conscience. In the words of President Harrison, "We will stand, to the best of our ability, with all religious and other concerned citizens, against this erosion of our civil liberty. Come what may, we shall do everything we can, by God's grace, to obey God rather than men' (Acts 5:29)."
Please pray for our country's leaders that they will make wise decisions on this issue, wise decisions that give glory and honor to our heavenly Father who has deemed all life precious.
LCMS President Matthew Harrison
I was raised LCMS. Still pretty much the no nonsense wing.
Requiring the insurer to provide abortive services is actually forcing everyone who pays premiums to those insurers to pay for abortions.
I must agree with a colleague who says that he can’t look at that picture without thinking of Teddy Rosevelt.
Let’s hope he uses the Congressional hearing table as a “bully pulpit!”
This could use a general Lutheran ping.
Christ is in our midst!
Whats the big deal? Or why Lutheran Christians should care about the HHS Birth Control Mandate.
You may have been hearing a lot in the news about the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) recent decision to require nearly all private health plans, including those offered by religious employers, to cover all forms of birth control. This mandate includes all birth control (even those which work post-conception and can cause the death of a baby developing in the womb). Contrary to the language heard in the media, these products are NOT contraception because they can operate after conception to destroy the developing baby in the womb. The Lutheran ChurchMissouri Synod (LCMS) objects to the use of drugs and procedures that are used to take the lives of unborn children, who are persons in the sight of God from the time of conception.
We see this as not only a pro-life issue but also an affront to the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. This mandate is an infringement of our religious liberties, because never before has our government required religious institutions to obey a course of action that clearly goes against our biblical and moral beliefs.
In response to an immediate outcry, President Obama presented a compromise on this mandate. After rigorous study and consultation with other concerned Christian denominations, we have determined that the compromise did not address any of our previous concerns, and we remain opposed to this mandate, which runs counter to the biblical truth of the sanctity of human life.
So what has been done and what do we do?
You can learn more about the LCMS response to this matter and read the statements sent to some 3,500 newspaper, television and radio reporters across the country from LCMS President Rev. Dr. Matthew C. Harrison by logging on to www.lcms.org/hhsmandate.
We encourage you to do what you can to add your voice to those of the many others concerned about the implications of the mandate. Please contact your elected leaders and help us create awareness by sharing President Harrisons statements with others in your circle of influence.
For freedom of religion extends beyond simply our houses of worship; we must be free to put our faith into action in the public square, and in response to Christs call as we demonstrate His mercy through our love and compassion for all people, of all ages of life.
The Rev. Dr. Matthew C. Harrison, President The Lutheran ChurchMissouri Synod
Post #10 is the text of the bulletin insert linked here:
Please add me to the LCMS ping list
As a fellow Protestant Christian of the PCA variety, God bless our LCMS brethren and their leaders. I’m very happy to read that their President is doing this.
Please add me to the LCMS ping list.
Please add me to the ping list too! Thanks.
You want to know what this is really all about?
It is this:
The liberals have made it so that individual citizens have NO CHOICE but to pay for abortion and birth control for everyone else.
They can’t stand there’s a law that prevents Congress from directly funding abortion. They said “screw you” and are forcing it through mandated insurance coverage so you can’t not be sucked into paying for it. If you don’t get insurance you pay a fine which winds up paying for it.
They have no respect for laws they don’t like. They have no respect for individual choice when you don’t choose what they want.
And I would venture to say if we have to PAY for this supposed right for others to abort and have contraceptives, then we better damn well have everyone paying in so I can have multiple firearms. At least I can point to the Constitution exactly where my gun rights are, I have a much stronger position for my view than their claim women have a ‘right’ to free abortions and contraceptives.
There’s also a bigger picture that people need to grasp. The Obamacare mandates do not apply to Muslims because shortly after Obamacare was passed an imam gave a ruling saying that Islam opposes insurance as a form of gambling.
My husband is an LCMS pastor; we have to do the self-employment tax even if we are morally opposed to “insurance” because our denomination hasn’t had a standing for the past 50(?) years saying that they were conscientiously opposed to it. Yet all Muslims are now exempt from Obamacare requirements because an imam decided - AFTER OBAMACARE passed - that they oppose insurance?
The net effect of this whole situation is that non-Muslims (dhimmis) have what amounts to a dhimmi tax that Muslims don’t have to pay. That is one of the requirements of sharia. Dhimmis are only allowed to exist as subservient to their Muslim masters, and their subservience is shown in their paying of the dhimmi tax.
So what this requirement does is - first off, tax the dhimmis but not the Muslims, and secondly, force Christians to violate their own religion in favor of a religion set by the government. Another requirement of sharia. Forcing Christians to abandon their own conscience and belief system is the first step in the government establishing its own religion. And there is one religion which seeks to force EVERYBODY to accept a government-mandated religion: Islam. And that system is sharia. This is not just a violation of individual religious liberty; it is the actual beginnings of a GOVERNMENT-ESTABLISHED RELIGION.
A person may ask how a requirement for Christian bodies to provide free abortions fits with Islam, which opposes abortion. But Islam recognizes no sanctity of INFIDEL human lives; in fact, the non-abrogated (later) texts of Islam call for the extermination of infidels. Just as Margaret Sanger believed that Blacks would exterminate their own race if the “right to abortion” was presented as if it was a gift to them, forced Christian involvement in abortion is a way for Muslims to exterminate infidels - since Muslim women would not abort their babies without being in danger of their own execution. So forcing Christians to provide free abortions not only undermines their freedom of conscience and religious faith - it also results in infidels being exterminated while Muslims continue to grow in numbers, which then gives them ever-increasing electoral power. With enough electoral power they can use non-violent means to accomplish their true goal: the institution of sharia.
What is going on here is really, really ominous - particularly because people fail to understand where it’s coming from and where it is headed.
In January of 2010 Barack Obama met with the Egyptian ambassador. A few months later that ambassador said on TV that Obama had told him in private that he was and still is a Muslim who supports the Muslim agenda, and that the Muslim world needed to be patient with him because he had to get Obamacare passed first and then he could move on to the worldwide Muslim agenda.
There are 2 major items that every Muslim sect agrees with: the destruction of the United States and Israel, and the institution of worldwide sharia.
Now when we look at the context of the US supporting “Arab Spring” - where formerly secular allies in the war on terror have been replaced with Muslim Brotherhood and Al Qaeda movements which have been persecuting and driving out Christians from the entire Middle East - and also see the first steps towards instituting sharia in the US, we see why Obama wanted to get Obamacare passed first. In order for the US to have its own “Arab Spring” the foundations for sharia first had to be laid. The speed with which all te foundations are being taken over is breathtaking.
In Germany, the Reichstag Fire gave Hitler an excuse to grab greater powers, and the Reichstag itself actually handed over to Hitler dictatorial powers in the Enabling Act of 1933. Once they gave Hitler the power to make laws - even laws that contradicted the German Constitution - there was no legal path of resistance to Hitler’s entire agenda. Like a computer trojan that takes over your whole computer and runs its own .exe files, once the Reichstag “clicked” that permission box, Hitler took over EVERYTHING and the only resistance left was either civil disobedience or violence.
Obama has been systematically taking over all the foundations - economy, elections, media, education, courts, law enforcement, and military. You’ll be hearing more about that soon. There is nothing he believes he can’t do. He’s got Eric Holder to make sure that no federal law enforcement will do its job and stop the crimes of this lawless administration. He’s got unaccountable “czars” deciding whatever he wants. He’s got the media threatened into saying whatever he wants them to say. He’s got the courts eating out of his hand - including Chief Justice John Roberts who said he trusts the justices to know when to recuse themselves, shortly after Kagan and Sotomayor had refused to recuse themselves from a case where their own jobs were at issue (about the worst conflict of interest imagineable). He’s got Congress refusing to hold Holder accountable for perjury and for acts of war against Mexico and the people of Arizona.
George Soros has said that he owns the democrat party - he bought and paid for them; they are his. He has also said that he fears that America will win the “war on terror” because then America and capitalism will be strong, and he views those as the two great evils that he has to fight. He has also said that he believes he is God. The two world movements that oppose both Christianity and the freedoms that Christianity brings are the two world movements that Soros now embraces and that Obama has ALWAYS embraced - communism (corrupt government) and Islamism (corrupt religion). The two beasts working together for the common goal of defeating Christ and His followers.
Does that sound familiar to anybody besides me?
What’s going on here needs to be fully understood. Unfortunately, most people aren’t willing to see how serious these times are. This is about a LOT more than just “birth control”.
Later this morning when I have timne I’ll go back and read Harrison’s whole statement.
God bless the LCMS, God bless this good man.
President Harrison has not yet spoken, I think. According to the schedule, it looks like he is slated to speak as the second witness.
A strong opening statement.
Having watched this morning’s hearing, I thought President Harrison did an excellent job representing our church body. Indeed, I was impressed with all five panelists. Harrison’s opening statement and his answers to questions were solid throughout. He did us proud.
I think some folks who saw this might have had the feeling that he was pandering at times (mentioning Selma and his extensive work in third-world countries).
Couldn’t be helped because our theological stance is so foreign to the average citizen’s.
Excellent summation, and yes, the scenario does sound very familiar to us also...
Thanks for the ping!
I just re-read your profile. Very interesting.
Knowing the use of taqiyya, I’m wondering if faithful Muslims would have a problem with Obama pushing both the homosexual and abortion agendas in the US, or if they would see this as simply taqiyya and/or a way to undermine the western culture so it will be destroyed by its own corruption.
It’s always seemed to me that the Muslim world has believed Obama is practicing taqiyya when he calls himself Christian, because they have always said he is Muslim, they trust him to push the Muslim agenda, and they have not condemned him as an apostate.
I’m wondering if there’s any chance that the Muslim world sees Obama himself as the Mahdi. Seems like Ahmadinejad’s mockery of Obama doesn’t fit that picture, though, and I always thought they believed the Mahdi would appear suddenly.
Given that taqiyya allowed -- indeed, encouraged -- some of the 9/11 terrorists to drink alcohol at strip joints, and ignore their daily prayers, in order to maintain their cover, I think your guess would be correct. I think also that usually Obama has poised himself on these things with an attitude that "I'm not advocating these things, but simply allowing these Americans to live according to the man-made laws of American freedom which they have devised."
Im wondering if theres any chance that the Muslim world sees Obama himself as the Mahdi.
That I don't see. Though maybe one of those who "pave the way."
Seems like Ahmadinejads mockery of Obama doesnt fit that picture, though, and I always thought they believed the Mahdi would appear suddenly.
Ahmadinejad would most definitely not think of BHO as the Mahdi, because for him the Mahdi is the still-living Twelfth Imam from the 9th century AD.
Besides that, if Obama is a Muslim, he is a Sunni.
In your opinion, is Obama doing what the Muslim world believes needs to be done to pave the way for the Mahdi?