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Evangelical leaders urged to mobilize against administration contraception policy
Chuck Colson is urging evangelicals to join with Catholics in a fight against a contracpetion mandate.
March 16th, 2012
06:38 PM ET

Evangelical leaders urged to mobilize against administration contraception policy

By Jessica Yellin, CNN

(CNN)–An influential Christian leader is calling for the evangelical community to match the Catholic church's efforts mobilizing against the Obama administration's policy on contraception coverage.

"I'm asking evangelical churches to get as involved as the Catholic church has," said Chuck Colson, founder of the Prison Fellowship and the Christian radio broadcast Breakpoint. "Catechize members. If it's from the pulpit, that's fine. If by pastoral letter, that's fine. If by announcements at Bible studies, that's fine. The church in America is a sleeping giant. On an issue like this, it will be aroused."

Colson e-mailed more than 500,000 people of faith Thursday afternoon and called the contraception policy "the greatest threat to religious liberty in the history of this country."

The e-mail added, "We evangelicals need to take a page from the Roman Catholics. ... It would be difficult for a Catholic attending mass to avoid reading or hearing about this battle. ... I don't want to impugn anyone's motives, but the New York Times reported last week that the Obama administration is preparing a major campaign. It has programmed one million letters to influential women across America, energizing them over this issue."

The letter urges followers to frame this as a debate about religious freedom, not contraception, because it's a more effective way to sway public opinion.

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Colson concludes, "Brothers and sisters, let me tell you bluntly that if we don't win this battle, we lose not only religious freedom, but every freedom guaranteed by the Bill of Rights. When freedom of conscience is lost, history teaches that the rest follow quickly. So let's all join together. Contact your constituents and supporters. Why shouldn't every evangelical leader do what the Catholics are doing—start circulating to our own mailing lists explaining why this issue is NOT about contraceptives; it is about religious freedom. It's unprecedented. We must not stand idly by while our most precious freedom is imperiled."

In the coming weeks, Colson and other evangelical activists will participate in events designed to educate supporters to write letters to their members of Congress, attend rallies or support lawsuits on the policy.

Speaking to CNN, Colson invoked the Manhattan Declaration, an interfaith statement of unity defending pro-life and traditional marriage positions. "The 525,000 people who signed the Manhattan Declaration said we'll render unto Caesar what belongs to Caesar but not what belongs to God."

He added, "We're headed for the biggest constitutional clash between government and church in my lifetime, and it will hurt us both, and we cannot do that."

Colson spoke the same day the Obama administration released updated rules to its contraception policy. The update effectively restates the administration's position that women who work for religious institutions with moral objections to contraception can get birth-control pills and other reproductive health care directly though their insurers.

The policy also begins a process of public comment for religious institutions that fund their own insurance plans.

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: 2012 Election • Belief • Christianity • Politics

soundoff (367 Responses)
  1. Iamnotfooled

    Just another Republican trying to further "The War on Women". Women of all religions-Do you want to go forward or backward? Do you want to be barefoot and pregnant in the kitchen or be your own person? Vote accordingly.

    March 16, 2012 at 8:23 pm |
  2. w l jones

    Well well hate to spoil some people day but women been praction some form of contraception for the last three of four million years otherwise planet Earth will have so many people on it their would be standing room only. Bless.

    March 16, 2012 at 8:21 pm |
  3. Four Jumps to Insanity

    Another grey-haired OLD MAN, telling women what to do. When will they get it ?
    Shut up, Chucky, go back to breaking into hotels for Republicans, or praying in prisons, or whatever it is you do.

    March 16, 2012 at 8:19 pm |
  4. Iamnotfooled

    It's ironic that the women they are trying to "Save" with religious beliefs are the ones who are using contraceptives. 98% of women do.

    March 16, 2012 at 8:16 pm |
    • Yes, you are fooled

      Yeah, you sorta kinda are fooled. 98% of women do NOT use contraceptives. If we ALL did from the time when we conceive, the birth rate would be pretty low. What needs to be done is young women NEED to be educated about reproduction. Part of that education is preventative.

      March 16, 2012 at 9:01 pm |
    • wayh

      Yeah...that worked SO WELL for Sarah Palin's daughter!!

      I think he meant that 98% of women HAVE USED contraception at one time or another.....not all the time, stupid!

      March 17, 2012 at 11:19 am |
  5. Snow

    say.. Since the church considers s e x as sin, and contraception encourages people to have it more, why aren't they against viagra? after all, it gives a man with problem (who wouldn't have been able to do it) a chance to do something they discourage.. shouldn't their argument against contraception apply directly to viagra? why aren't they against that drug though?

    March 16, 2012 at 7:57 pm |
    • HawaiiGuest

      It is also worthy to notice that they're not speaking about any other kind of contraceptives, merely the pill. Strange that they focus on a medication where ONE effect out of many, is preventing pregnancies.

      March 16, 2012 at 7:59 pm |
    • Mike

      Because these religious whack jobs only jump onto an issue they can understand....they do not see the whole picture of how the evil "pill" is used for a variety of health issues...if viagra is covered by insurance for evangelical men, then cover other meds...what is the big deal? It is old white men losing their control of society as a whole and they are just grasping at memories of the good old days...blacks were owned, women had no rights, the world was flat, the earth was the center of the universe...

      March 16, 2012 at 8:34 pm |
  6. George Marshall

    Save us from the evangelicals–the greatest internal threat to America.

    March 16, 2012 at 7:56 pm |
    • AGuest9

      They ARE the American Taliban!

      March 17, 2012 at 2:19 pm |
  7. NotFooledByDistractions

    Go ahead evangelicals – get your churches involved – it will only cost you your tax exemption. It's a small price to pay, right?

    March 16, 2012 at 7:45 pm |
  8. Joeschlag

    Story says, "The letter urges followers to frame this as a debate about religious freedom, not contraception, because it's a more effective way to sway public opinion." Well of course they don't want to say it springs out of a contraception issue, that would be the truth. They'd rather pretend some evil force is out to quell all religion all the time. Just like they want to say that women want the taxpayers to pay for birth control, rather than the truth which is that insurance would cover it like other health issues.

    March 16, 2012 at 7:44 pm |
  9. Snow

    What the F? These holy celibate men, who, if they follow their church have never done "it" with a woman, know more about women's reproductive health? that they can tell how woman should lead her life and what happens to her own body.. Does any sane person find it anything other than plain stupidity? Did they forget that we are living in 2012?

    March 16, 2012 at 7:40 pm |
    • ThinkAgain

      Priests supposedly know more about s*e*x, marriage and raising children. Explains why the Catholic church believes in miracles!

      March 16, 2012 at 7:41 pm |
    • fred

      Make that we are living in the Year Of our Lord 2012 ! or AD 2012

      March 16, 2012 at 7:43 pm |
    • fred

      ThinkAgain
      That's, right someone please tell Obama that birth control cannot stop virgin births.

      March 16, 2012 at 7:46 pm |
    • EvolvedDNA

      This is only a concern of the catholics that they have dwindling numbers being born into their church..and the third world is not rich enough to support them.

      March 16, 2012 at 7:49 pm |
    • Ah....wait just a second

      Nope. It's 2012 of the CE. Get with it, old man.

      March 16, 2012 at 9:16 pm |
    • fred

      Yeah if you take out the Divine nature of 2012 AD then all that is left are evolved animals. Just the the rest of the animals you are common. So for you Common Era . Like letting the ball go between your legs in baseball it is a common era as they say in Boston.

      March 16, 2012 at 11:11 pm |
    • EvolvedDNA

      Fred...congrats... you are an animal like it or not...and you evolved...if you think you were made in the image of god.. he is an animal to.....and does god have, you know, the "naughty" bits? Reason i ask was he manged a baby with out actually using them..similar to the gods that came, so to speak, before him.

      March 16, 2012 at 11:20 pm |
    • fred

      Evolved
      The image of God is love, an eternal love that transcends all understanding. That image is often referred to as heart / soul / spirit because it is what is in a man that makes him different from pure animal. This is the essence of the glory of God that is in us. It is why we are capable of thinking outside the box and have creative imagination and abilities that exceed all the animal kingdom. That is why even thousands of years ago early man made provision for the dead and worshiped something wonderful, great and powerful. Christ gave a wonderful example of the man worship towards God in honor and awe. The biggest example to us was love how we are to love and who we are to love.
      God is not animal, and as a matter of fact cannot be defined by man as any words we can think of limit the infinite glory of God. You cannot see God you can only see the effect and affect of that Glory. Jesus was physical representation that man could understand and fulfill the Old Scripture truths.

      March 16, 2012 at 11:39 pm |
    • wayh

      They don't need birth control, because you can't get a choir boy pregnant!

      March 17, 2012 at 11:23 am |
    • wayh

      Great religion....the number one guy is an adulterer and the number two guy is a b*st*rd!

      March 17, 2012 at 11:26 am |
    • wayh

      @ fred..... I think HE loved Mary a little too much!!!

      March 17, 2012 at 11:27 am |
    • AGuest9

      "Yeah if you take out the Divine nature of 2012 AD then all that is left are evolved animals."

      DING DING DING!!! I think he finally got it!!!

      March 17, 2012 at 2:21 pm |
  10. Sam Yaza

    [copy and past into address bar]

    every year we get closer and closer till Thor drops the hammer for Yahweh

    March 16, 2012 at 7:38 pm |
  11. AK_steve

    How the heck is providing contraception impinging on religious rights? If it it against your religion then don't use it. Who the heck are you – christian right – to tell me what to do. Where is my freedom?

    Please, please, please – make this an political issue. Please push this so hard that it hits headlines everywhere. You will single-handedly prove that the GOP is anti-women. You will win the election for Obama. And you will finally learn just how out of touch you are with American and the rest of the world.

    March 16, 2012 at 7:36 pm |
    • ThinkAgain

      Start paying taxes, religious organizations, and we'll start considering your opinions.

      March 16, 2012 at 7:44 pm |
    • fred

      ThinkAgain
      Ok,I am with you on that plus tax Planned Parenthood or just throw the hoods in jail

      March 16, 2012 at 7:50 pm |
    • Yes, you are fooled

      Fred, why would you want to tax an organization that gives free, or close to free medical care to women in many different forms?

      March 16, 2012 at 9:06 pm |
    • fred

      Yes,
      Planned Parenthood is a left wing political organization that works to oppose the things of God. I am not going to defend the Catholic Church and I think that if you are going to tax the Church then you need to tax its advasary if you want to play fair.
      The truth of Planned Parenthood will come out eventually. If you wish to fund free health care then send the funds to medical clinics for the support of men and women. Get the government and liberal control freeks out of your pants and out of your bedroom. The same goes for the church get them out of your pants and out of your bedroom. The rest is a smoke screen.

      March 16, 2012 at 11:48 pm |
    • wayh

      @fred..... how can one POSSIBLY oppose the WILL of GOD? Can't He just wave his magic wand and 'make it so'? You are stupidly supposing that He doesn't want abortion (and women's healthcare, because that is a major part of planned parenthood!). If He doesn't want abortion, there won't BE abortion, therefore He must want abortion. There is nothing we can do about it.

      March 17, 2012 at 11:34 am |
    • AGuest9

      wayh makes a great point. What happens when a woman's body "spontaneously aborts"? Your god did that, then, right? Then, he performs abortions himself! The hypocrite.

      March 17, 2012 at 2:24 pm |
  12. aaron

    The old fanatics obviously wore out gay marriage as the major issue during an election year. On to some nonsense that few Americans care about...withholding contraception as the major Repub social issue of the year to stir up the unsophisticated, aka Fox News fans.

    March 16, 2012 at 7:35 pm |
  13. bobcat

    Freedom ends at anothers nose, sadly the church continues to struggle with this concept. One person's religious rights apply to their actions alone and no one else, not even their spouse or children and certainly not employees.

    March 16, 2012 at 7:34 pm |
  14. Rick in AZ

    Wow!!! Does this man know MEN are as interested in Birth Control as women? Proof positive that Religion is the ruination of humanity.

    March 16, 2012 at 7:32 pm |
  15. momoya

    Ugh!! Go away, Colson..

    March 16, 2012 at 7:27 pm |
  16. Marty

    Separation of Church and State.......vital to a healthy government.

    March 16, 2012 at 7:13 pm |
  17. *frank*

    This joker is composed entirely of hyperbole, stupidity, and wrinkles.

    March 16, 2012 at 7:10 pm |
  18. Nixon Loved Colson

    Colson is one of the ugliest monsters ever to get into political power in America.

    Thanks for Watergate, Colson! Hope you enjoyed your well-deserved stint there!

    March 16, 2012 at 7:04 pm |
  19. Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

    A convicted felon telling people what to think.

    Great job the church is doing there!

    March 16, 2012 at 6:54 pm |
    • /

      He is doing far greater good for humanity, what about you? 0, Zero, Nada, Zilch...

      March 16, 2012 at 7:02 pm |
    • fred

      On guard Tom Tom Colson said "On an issue like this, it will be aroused."

      Do you really want to arouse him? You could inflame Colson from middle river

      March 16, 2012 at 7:02 pm |
    • NH Ski

      Men like you support bra burning women. Do you even realize that is the only support they've got?

      March 16, 2012 at 7:08 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Prove he's doing far greater good for humanity than I am, / honey. NH, I'm not a man; I'm female.

      fred, I'd love to respond, but your post, as is often the case, is completely without any meaning. If you care to translate it into English, I'll give it a shot.

      March 16, 2012 at 7:31 pm |
    • Joeschlag

      Here's hoping the Republicans do also go back to that biting topical issue of evil "bra burning women" as well.

      March 16, 2012 at 7:53 pm |
    • Ah....wait just a second

      beware...
      ferd is getting aroused

      March 16, 2012 at 9:17 pm |
  20. Liberty

    So let's all join together.

    March 16, 2012 at 6:47 pm |
    • Phillip Phillips

      Amen!

      March 16, 2012 at 6:48 pm |
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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.