Some Baptist leaders in Texas are telling Uncle Sam: "Don't mess with religious liberty."
East Texas Baptist University and Houston Baptist University are the latest religious institutions to sue the government over the Department of Health's contraception mandate.
"Baptists in America, by virtue of their history, are particularly sensitive to coercive government actions that infringe on religious liberty," says Eric Rassbach, Deputy General Counsel for The Becket Fund for Religious Liberty. "America's first Baptist leader, Roger Williams, had to flee Massachusetts and found a colony in Providence, Rhode Island, because his religious beliefs were not tolerated by the laws of Massachusetts. We shouldn't have to fight for that same right today."
Both universities argue their religious convictions prevent them from providing their employees access to "abortion- causing drugs." They believe they should be able to carry out their missions "free from government coercion."
According to the Becket Fund, the schools each face fines of over $10 million per year if they don't comply with the mandate.
Houston Baptist University President Dr. Robert Sloan says, "We will not comply with this unconstitutional mandate, and we plead with our government to respect the liberties given by God and enunciated in the Bill of Rights."
There are now 33 separate lawsuits challenging the Obama administration's contraception mandate.