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Pastor Rick Warren releases statement on Hobby Lobby morning-after pill lawsuit

Published: Tuesday, Jan. 8 2013 2:00 p.m. MST

In this Aug. 16, 2008 file photo, then Democratic presidential candidate, Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill.,  left, joins Pastor Rick Warren of Saddleback Church, for a discussion on moral issues.   (Richard Vogel, AP) In this Aug. 16, 2008 file photo, then Democratic presidential candidate, Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., left, joins Pastor Rick Warren of Saddleback Church, for a discussion on moral issues. (Richard Vogel, AP)

Our take: Following a statement released by conservative Christian-owned arts and crafts store Hobby Lobby stating it would defy a federal mandate requiring it to offer employees health coverage that includes access to the morning-after pill, Evangelical megachurch pastor Rick Warren issued a statement addressing the situation.

Every American who loves freedom should shudder at the precedent the government is trying to establish by denying Hobby Lobby the full protection of the First Amendment. This case is nothing less than a landmark battle for America’s FIRST freedom, the freedom of religion and the freedom from government intervention in matters of conscience. Religious liberty is often called our “First Freedom” because it is the first phrase of the first sentence of the First Amendment of our Bill of Rights. Freedom to practice your religion is listed before the freedom of speech, freedom of the press, freedom to assemble, and the right to bear arms. The first American settlers, Pilgrims, came to America for this very reason — seeking the freedom to PRACTICE their religion, which they were denied in Europe. This is the freedom that made America unique from all other nations.

Today, the government has tried to reinterpret the First Amendment from freedom to PRACTICE your religion, to a more narrow freedom to worship, which would limit your freedom to the hour a week you are at a house of worship. This is not only a subversion of the Constitution, it is nonsense. Any religion that cannot be lived out … at home and work, is nothing but a meaningless ritual.

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