This week – just prior to the Independence Day Celebration – over 100 prominent religious leaders issued an open letter entitled Standing Together for Religious Freedom. The letter calls on the Obama Administration and Congress to respect rights of conscience and religious freedom.
The letter calls attention to various threats to religious liberty, including the mandate that all employers provide health coverage for contraception, sterilizations and abortion drugs. At a press conference at the National Press Club in Washington, Baltimore Archbishop William Lori, chairman of the bishops Ad Hoc Committee on Religious Liberty, said:
“As the Catholic bishops have said from the very beginning, the underlying issue with the HHS mandate is not about any specific teaching. In fact, other signatories on the letter do not share our view on contraception and probably disagree with us in many other ways, but they understand the core religious freedom issue at stake here.”
Signers of the letter include representatives from the Southern Baptist Convention, the Church of Jesus Christ of the Latter-day Saints, the International Society for Krishna Consciousness, and Orthodox Christians and Jews.