By Matthew Bowman
Can the government force you to violate your conscience, and then when you object, tell you your theology is wrong?
That's the issue the Supreme Court will consider today in Zubik v. Burwell, involving seven different lawsuits including five Christian colleges and universities represented by Alliance Defending Freedom.
Dr. Everett Piper, the president of one of those schools, Oklahoma Wesleyan University, knows a little something about the mission of a Christian university. He joined Kerri Kupec and I on ADF's podcast Freedom Matters this week to discuss the case.
Isn't the government imposing its own religious views when it tells Oklahoma Wesleyan what the school's conscience means, and when it tells Christian schools and even nuns that they aren't religious enough to get the same exemption that church groups get?
That is a fair questions that the court will confront at the argument. Meanwhile, scores of students from ADF's college clients will be standing outside the court - not to demand that the government force the schools to buy them abortifacient drugs - but to tell the court that they want to go to a devout Christian school that does not assist early abortions through its health insurance plan.
The Obamacare mandate requiring these items was not even written into the statute Congress passed in 2010. Professor Helen Alvare of George Mason School of Law wrote a friend of the court brief that she explained on this week's podcast, pointing out that the bureaucrats who invented this mandate did not connect the dots to justify violating religious groups' religious beliefs. The government didn't even bother to give this mandate to millions of women for secular reasons, and exempts churches while refusing to exempt schools, or nursing homes run by nuns. But the government somehow insists that those exemptions are intolerable for devout Christian colleges, charities, and ministries.
Listen to the latest episode: