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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.

CNN's Belief Blog – all the faith angles to the day's top stories

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. CaliforniaBC

    Well would ya look at that.... another old, white fart telling women what they can and cannot do with their own bodies.

    March 17, 2012 at 3:07 pm |
    • Archie

      farts are colorless u moron.

      March 17, 2012 at 3:34 pm |
  2. BB

    This is ridiculous. They are not requiring the church or its member to take contraceptives, they are mandating that insurance companies provide it free of charge. From an actuarial standpoint, it a wash for the insurance companies.
    Why don't these religious loons preach more to their blind followers that they should not be using contraception.

    March 17, 2012 at 2:56 pm |
    • marmalade

      Wallow like a pig in your own spittoon u s l u t

      March 17, 2012 at 3:37 pm |
  3. Pete

    There we go again,shut up this hypocritical rightwingers.Only at election time do rear their ugly heads up to be seen and heard.It's time to unleash the CRACKKIN,the monster that the IRS people use on unruly religious groups,exemption is like a death sentence to these groups.Most of these religious leaders are wolves in sheeps clothing,selling their political poison to anyone in their flocks.They push the envelope on the seperation of church and state issue,seeing how far they can go.Pastors and ministers would never speak politics like this years ago,that was taaboo.Now people like Robertson,Graham,and the rest ,flaunt their ideaology both religious and political at every event.They don't care about the legal consequences,they have LAWYERS ,perishioners pay for that .These religious egomainiacs try to push their ideas on everyone no matter what religion your from.Maybe its time for tougher government intervention in the religious arena to calm this down.Religion has also become a booming business for some aspiring individuals,a multimillion dollar goldmine paid for by their religious sheep.God didn't think religion would go to these extremes,religious or political,it wasn't meant to be....

    March 17, 2012 at 2:38 pm |
    • pander

      You SHUT UP!

      March 17, 2012 at 3:38 pm |
  4. Jeb

    Your priest is no more qualified to make your health care decisions than your garbage man.

    Birth control has been the standard of care for a variety of health problems and has been included in most health plans for over 60 years now!

    Welcome to the 21st century!

    March 17, 2012 at 2:12 pm |
    • pander

      We are accepting applications for the sanitation experts like you and you seem like a good fit to clean out the garbage

      March 17, 2012 at 3:41 pm |
  5. Leroy jackson

    most posts on here seem to be just name calling – everyone has a right to an opinion, but it doesn't mean one's opinion is correct – i prefer a secular government where one can practice religion or not – if it is mandated that insurance provide contraception it does not force anyone to use it – this debate is not worthy of listening to – my opinion

    March 17, 2012 at 1:11 pm |
  6. andy

    So a convicted felon is representing the Evilgelical movement? As if I needed another reason to vote for Obama.

    March 17, 2012 at 1:10 pm |
    • jack

      Amen brother

      March 17, 2012 at 1:34 pm |
  7. MaryM

    These right wing nut jobs will be voted out of office soon. Religion has NO place in government.
    Remember SEPARATION OF CHURCH AND STATE.

    March 17, 2012 at 1:09 pm |
    • AGuest9

      Not soon enough. Look at the war and destruction, the families out of work who lost their homes (not talking about all the people who lied or were lied to about their mortgages).

      March 17, 2012 at 2:15 pm |
    • bill

      Happily, Colson can't be voted out of office gut his influence can be ended when his listeners, many of whom use(d) bc or have daughters and sons who use bc, stop listening and sending him dollars.

      March 17, 2012 at 7:44 pm |
  8. jack

    Sneaky underhanded crook then and a sneaky underhanded crook now!

    March 17, 2012 at 1:03 pm |
  9. True Beliver

    If these churches want to play in our politics then they can start to pay TAXES!

    Until then, keep your ideas in your temples and out of civil society.

    March 17, 2012 at 12:58 pm |
  10. Truth nothing but truth

    Obama will lose in a lamdslide.
    Time to put god back in the whitehouse.
    Woman came from adams rib, she belongs to him.
    Woman should just raise children and do as the husaband says.
    Bring back real america.

    March 17, 2012 at 12:56 pm |
    • Leroy jackson

      hope this is sarcasm – otherwise ur nuts but free to be nuts as long as you do not hurt anyone

      March 17, 2012 at 1:05 pm |
    • jack

      I dont think most women today will agree to that, and that will be the GOPs downfall

      March 17, 2012 at 1:14 pm |
    • Celeste Jimenez

      I feel sorry for your wife if you're married, and cannot imagine any women putting up your totally antiquated ideas. Actually, you're just plain NUTS!!!

      March 17, 2012 at 1:18 pm |
    • TR6

      ” Time to put god back in the whitehouse.”

      We had “god in the whitehouse” for 8 years and are just beginning to get out of the 2 wars and economic collapse it caused. We may never dig ourselves out of the national debt god’s candidate left us with. We have learned our lesson. We can’t afford to have “god” back in the white house because the last time nearly killed us

      March 17, 2012 at 5:08 pm |
  11. Karla M Dudek

    Since the Talibangelist feather on the extreme right wing of the Christian-Republican Party-Synod wants to break down the division between church and state, I say we start with ending tax all subsidies for religious organizations. Where do we start? Paul Crouch? Pat Robertson? James Dobson?

    March 17, 2012 at 12:51 pm |
  12. Keith

    It would be about damn time the Christians mobilized to combat SOME form of evil. Too bad it wasn't 40 years when abortion(child sacrifice) was legalized in this country. Too bad it was last fall when DADT was repealed. Too bad it wasn't before 7 states legalized gay marriage. Better late than never-but I'm not holding my breath that we'll mobilize on this, either. Christians are too content to sit in the same spot in "their" pew every Sunday, hear the message, then hurry off to get a good spot at the restaurant. The vast majority, leadership included, do not want to contend for the faith.

    March 17, 2012 at 12:28 pm |
    • Alley Loo Ya

      Keith,

      Never fear, Sister Glory is on the case!

      March 17, 2012 at 12:44 pm |
    • Fire And Brimstone

      Pick up your sword christian soldiers,
      smite them on the streets of sin.

      March 17, 2012 at 12:58 pm |
    • Leroy jackson

      God aborts and kills people all the time (including critters) – i do not need such a god – i prefer the real God if there is one

      March 17, 2012 at 1:07 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Caveat: Keith is a wackaloon who believes Obama is a Muslim and that he has a forged birth certificate and a phony draft card.

      March 17, 2012 at 6:22 pm |
    • rick

      if they want combat evil, i suggest they consult a mirror

      March 18, 2012 at 3:11 am |
  13. w l jones

    Those Bazil Clydedale women been saying for million of years you not going to ride me to death so they are practing old contracetion through the ages. Bless.

    March 17, 2012 at 12:16 pm |
  14. JimAR

    Chuck Colson is a convicted felon who went to prison for crimes as part of Nixon's gang of thieves in the White House. That gang almost destroyed America. And now, instead of living a humble, Christian life, this evil man wants to get back in politics and tell others what to do. He better be ready with some fast answers come Judgment Day!

    March 17, 2012 at 11:52 am |
  15. Janine from TX

    This guy is a creep, pure and simple. He has the right to believe whatever the heck he wants, but he has not right to dictate his moral beliefs on me or anyone else and certainly he needs to understand that the church (flavor of the month, who cares) has no place in law making. The GOP is way over the top on this topic and I hope they get blown out of the water come Nov. Looks like this old dude can use some Viagra.

    March 17, 2012 at 10:42 am |
  16. Alfred K. Rocci

    hey.... Discerning Glory....t-i-t-h-e-s

    March 17, 2012 at 10:32 am |
    • Discerning Glory

      Thanks for the corrective spelling, but most of all thanks for reading the blog. I hope the one misspelled word didn't coerce you or any other reader to miss the message. I luv You 2!

      March 17, 2012 at 11:46 am |
  17. False Dichotomy

    Isn't it wonderful how Colson, one of Richard Nixon's right hand men who did prison time for Watergate, can talk to us condescendingly about morality? Suck it, you shriveled good-ol-boy felon.

    March 17, 2012 at 9:54 am |
    • R L Campbell

      Your base, hate-mongering language against a self-confessed former lawbreaker who turned his life around 4o years ago demonstrates the Great Hypocricy of the Left: Demand tolerance for views with which you agree while denigrating not only the ideas but also the people with whom you do not.

      March 17, 2012 at 10:24 am |
    • bob form pittsburgh

      At RL Cambell.

      He did wrong and he paid for it, but he still has no moral ground to lecture us..

      March 17, 2012 at 10:30 am |
    • guerito

      false dichotomy, at the time of colson's 'crime' there was no law against what he did! he CHOSE to serve time because he felt guilty for what he did(after becoming saved he knew it was wrong even though it had been legal at the time). since then he has done more to reform prisoners than anyone else in the world.

      March 17, 2012 at 11:35 am |
    • guerito is a dingbat

      There was no crime for what he did?!?!?! Colson was convicted of obstruction of justice, which is a major felony that had been on the books in various forms for almost as long as the country existed.

      "He CHOSE to serve time" – are you really insane enough to actually believe that?

      Do you actually believe that serving time totally exorcizes the character failings of the offender? Really?

      March 17, 2012 at 11:58 am |
    • False Dichotomy

      Granted, my language was flippant and coa.rse, but he did not choose to do time for a law that didn't exist. That's outrageous. He was sentenced to 2-7 yrs in a federal pen and did only a few months time. As for ha.te-mongering, that is not for his role in Watergate, it is for the self-serving condescension of using the health of actual people as a pawn in religious politics.

      March 17, 2012 at 6:35 pm |
  18. Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

    Prayer changes things .

    March 17, 2012 at 9:43 am |
    • Jesus

      The statistical studies from the nineteenth century and the three CCU studies on prayer are quite consistent with the fact that humanity is wasting a huge amount of time on a procedure that simply doesn’t work. Nonetheless, faith in prayer is so pervasive and deeply rooted, you can be sure believers will continue to devise future studies in a desperate effort to confirm their beliefs!!!~~~~~

      March 17, 2012 at 10:06 am |
    • wayh

      Just so you know..... you accidently put an 'A' in front of your 'name'!

      March 17, 2012 at 10:17 am |
    • bob form pittsburgh

      It amazes me at how these poeple make no sence.. Prayer? primitive man prayed to God Thunder, and Lighting, and the volcano.. until sciense proved it wrong.. Dear sir.. your imaginary friend will not help you..
      On top of that look at the guy in the picture, does he need contraception? his presonnality and looks will take care of that...

      March 17, 2012 at 10:28 am |
    • just sayin

      I know and respect Charles Colson. I have worked with Charles Colson. You sir are no Charles Colson !

      March 17, 2012 at 2:59 pm |
    • AGuest9

      That speaks volumes.

      March 17, 2012 at 3:36 pm |
  19. Beavis

    heh, heh, he said aroused, heh, heh, heh, heh

    March 17, 2012 at 9:40 am |
    • bob form pittsburgh

      i am telling you... the one guy that desn't need contraceptives.. his looks, background, and personality will do the trick..

      March 17, 2012 at 10:32 am |
  20. Discerning Glory

    Every Church in the United States of America who pays their tides and offerings at a congregational building where they have worship service, also pays the same high taxes as the other 99%ters. You see, You the readers of this blog whom believe on the Lord; are the Church. The Church is made of many members that is of the same body. The building according to the Word of God isn't the Church. Nobody can undo what the Lord has done; no matter how hard they try. Uncle Sam is like Caesar, he always has wanted more than 10% of the middle and low income Americans. He now is trying to force you the readers of this blog to believe that being a hypocrite is the righteous way. This message is to be shared with a candid world. Let me break it down for you. "Uncle Sam don't care if you're a conservative or liberal. It doesn't matter if your black, white, Hispanic, male or female. You could be an Atheist, a liberal Mensa member since 1983 living in Omaha who has served in the US Navy for a long time; like MIROSOL posted on his blog or if you pay taxes so your voice is heard like KEVIN post says he must do in his blog, I bet you that over 30% of your income is still required by the US tax laws. Mirosol, the only exception to the rule is for the 1%ers, then you'll be obligated to pay 15% lesser taxes. To be free from such unfair bondage will take the Power of God. Throwing away the truth in the manner of being ignorant will only enhance the bondage of a person's mind. All who believes on the Lord are free from the bondage of worrying about this worldly matter because the truth has set us all free! Were protesting, marching, and voting strongly by numbers; worry free! Satan's messengers promotes anger and God's messengers promotes peace. Peace be Still! Go, Understand, and Get to know who you are worshiping! The Lord isn't partial nor did the Almighty and merciful Lord God come to bring division and confusion like YODELLING BOB WOBBLEBRAIN, Republican Strategist post says that he and his friends are doing. O yea! I can't end this without replying to BOOTY FUNK post!!! Hey Booty Funk, religion isn't the key that I'm focused on. I'm not religious, I'm Spiritual. I'm not one who uses the Word of God to divide one religion against another. The ordinance of my life is to bring unity by compare Spiritual things with Spiritual things and I don't expect you or anyone like you to comprehend what I'm saying. It's a parable which isn't designed for you to know. I love you all whom reads and comments on my blog even if you don't love me back, because God first loved me. AMEN! ! !

    March 17, 2012 at 9:39 am |
    • bob form pittsburgh

      Bummer I feel left out... I don't have an imaginary friend..

      March 17, 2012 at 10:33 am |
    • Prayer drove you insane!

      Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha!

      Hey look! just-lyin-atheism-is-not-healthy-for-chickens-and-other-living-poultry-prayer-troll has a new identity! And he has written something new, an immense ocean of verbal dairrhea!

      March 17, 2012 at 11:48 am |
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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.