On Tuesday at 10:00 a.m. ET, the Supreme Court will hear oral arguments on Sebelius v. Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc. and Conestoga Wood Specialties Corp. v. Sebelius, both of which will have a profound impact on the future of religious liberty and freedom of conscience in America.
Thus, Hobby Lobby supporters across the country have been invited to offer their prayers in support of the company, and I encourage you to participate. You can help spread the word by changing the avatar on your social media accounts and posting with the hashtag #PrayForHobbyLobby. Although the Court will be hearing arguments tomorrow, I would encourage us to begin our intercession today.
Russell Moore of the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission explains:
The government is telling the Hobby Lobby owners, the Green family, that their free exercise rights aren’t relevant because they run a corporation. They’re telling these Anabaptist woodworkers and the Catholic Little Sisters of the Poor and ministries of all sorts all over the country that what’s at stake is just the signing of some papers, the payment of some money.
Our government has treated free exercise of religion as though it were a tattered house standing in the way of a government construction of a railroad; there to be bought off or plowed out of the way, in the name of progress …
…We cannot accept the theology lesson the government has sought to teach us, that religion is simply a matter of what happens during the scheduled times of our services, and is left there in the foyer during the rest of the week.
I wrote last week that Hobby Lobby is in a fiery furnace of sorts. Let us pray that, in this pressing hour a Fourth Man stands close by, offering peace and protection according to a different system altogether. For the future of religious liberty and the free society, yes, but also for the further empowerment of our God-given callings, vocations, and activities in business, the family, the church, and beyond.
The ERLC provides this helpful guide to help guide and focus our prayers:
- God wants people to be free to seek him and to serve him (Acts 17:24-28). Pray for a favorable outcome. The cherished principle of religious freedom should receive the strongest constitutional protection it deserves.
- God is Lord of the conscience, not government (Acts 5:29). Pray that the justices of the Supreme Court will understand the importance of the separation of the state from the church.
- God can give understanding to make sound decisions (Prov. 2:6-8). Pray for those who disagree with us, that God would help them understand and respect the consciences of people of faith.
- God can turn the hearts and minds of the justices to do his will (Prov. 21:1). Pray for the Supreme Court justices, that they would be receptive to the arguments being made passionately before them.
- God can guide the mind and speech (Exod. 4:11-12). Pray for lead attorney, Paul Clement, who will be arguing on behalf of Hobby Lobby and Conestoga Wood. Ask God to give him clarity and wisdom, for his arguments to be persuasiveness, and for God to give him favor before the justices.
For more background on the case and its reach and implications, check out the following commentary posted here on the blog:
- Explainer: The Hobby Lobby Amicus Briefs
- Hobby Lobby Owners Speak Out on HHS Mandate
- ‘Little Victims Of The State:’ Steam-Rolling Religious Liberty In America
- HHS Mandate: Does This Sound Like Freedom?
- HHS Mandate: Hobby Lobby Explains Its Stance
- Faith On The Line: Catholic Businessman Battles HHS Mandate
- Religious Liberty and Business as Culture-Making
- Hobby Lobby in the Fiery Furnace
- Notre Dame To Comply With HHS Mandate
- Gov. Jindal: The Silent War on Religious Liberty
- Economic Martyrdom and the Great Irony of Progressivism
- What Does Religious Liberty Stand Upon?
- Do We Need To ‘Check Our Faith At The Door?’