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. Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

    Prayer changes things .

    March 17, 2012 at 9:28 am |
    • AGuest9

      Just lyin

      March 17, 2012 at 9:32 am |
    • Montanbud

      Like what???????

      March 17, 2012 at 9:33 am |
    • Digital Backlash

      Change your diaper.

      March 17, 2012 at 12:12 pm |
  2. Yellowdog

    Old white guys will again rule the world.

    Colson – you are no better now than when you were helping to destroy our country with your sidekicks Haldemann and Segretti.

    March 17, 2012 at 8:10 am |
  3. kevin

    Pay taxes or shut up! Sorry folks but freedom of religion doesn't need to be free of cost. I pay taxes so my voice is heard. Churches fleece their flocks and pay nothing! Shut up Shut up Shut up!!!

    March 17, 2012 at 7:18 am |
  4. sick of republican phonies

    Shouldn't this crook be back in jail?

    March 17, 2012 at 6:22 am |
  5. Discerning Glory

    I urge all Evangelicals to stand up for the truth, and not to be intimidated by the religious war of the hypocrites who likes to use the Word of God as a cloak of maliciousness against you during their lip service! THEY TELL YOU what you ought not to do and THEY DO THE SAME THINGS.

    March 17, 2012 at 5:19 am |
    • Bootyfunk

      i think one of the loonies escaped from the asylum...

      March 17, 2012 at 5:21 am |
    • jim

      I say tax them if they want to get involved in politics.

      March 17, 2012 at 7:04 am |
    • Digital Backlash

      See the men standing behind you in the white coats ?
      They promise not to hurt you.
      Please go quietly.

      March 17, 2012 at 12:16 pm |
  6. Bootyfunk

    the cult of christianity is holding a meeting! turn your brain off at the door, derp!

    i love it. i absolutely love it. keep going crazy on women's health issues like this, christians. this 18th century philosophy is what's pushing religion toward extinction. people are realizing that living your life by a book written in the iron age by people that thought the world was flat is not a good idea.

    March 17, 2012 at 5:11 am |
  7. Discerning Glory

    Those who religiously are going after women rights are the same ones who serve the Lord God with there lips as too give lip service, but their hearts are far from him. In other words, They are simply defined as hypocrites. The Catholic women must live as hypocrites, in fear of men who desires for them to lie against the truth of how contraception really works in their lives. If it's the truth why lie about it? The Catholic Priests must lie against the truth to say that they don't lust after the flesh of the women whom God created to be their help mete; not their doormat. If it's the truth why lie about it.? There is a separation of Church and State and this separation is very well needed; not to cause the hypocrites of today's society to lose their hypocritical religious freedoms to be hypocrites, but it's designed to prevent the despots' hypocritical religious beliefs from being forced on the rest of us. If your prejudice the Holy Bible in the New Testament says admit it! If it's the truth WHY LIE ABOUT IT! You must read my book "Discerning Perceptive; by Sister Glory Sanders Thompson." The truth will set you free from the bondage of lies that lurks against you in the cunning form of a legal attack.

    March 17, 2012 at 5:05 am |
    • Mirosal

      If you want to be free of the "bondage", just throw away that archaic book written by sheep and goat herders over 2000 years ago, then revised and added to about 1700 years ago. Just throw it away, treat it as it is, a work of fiction, like ANY other book written about Zeus, Apollo, Thor, Odin, or any other 'god'. Live YOUR life, and stop worrying about what some non-existent sky-fairy thinks about you. In time, this current 'god' will also fall into the realm of mythology.

      March 17, 2012 at 5:26 am |
    • AGuest9

      It is a work of fiction. Just old folk tales, like Beowulf and The Illiad.

      March 17, 2012 at 9:34 am |
    • Fearless Freep

      This one got seperated from his mind.

      March 17, 2012 at 12:38 pm |
  8. Franklin Phillips

    Believers are the mouth-breathing retards of society. It's sad that it isn't legal to pack them all into buses and ship them off to brick walls at 400 MPH.

    March 17, 2012 at 3:28 am |
    • I am a Marxist! A Groucho Marxist!

      Now now, the country needs people dumb enough it live in palces like Utah and Nebraska and Arkansas.

      And let's face it – there just aren't enough buses and brick walls.

      March 17, 2012 at 3:38 am |
    • Mirosal

      @ Marxist ... please, be careful. I am an Atheist, a liberal, a Mensa member (since 1983), and I live in Omaha. Or, am I the execption to your "rule"?

      March 17, 2012 at 3:44 am |
    • I am a Marxist! A Groucho Marxist!

      Sure. You can be the exception. Whatever floats your boat.

      March 17, 2012 at 3:59 am |
    • Yuppy Puppy

      Mirosol's situation reminds me of the Kingston Trio joke about how Los Angeles is quite an intellectual town, and they were lucky enough to meet him while they were down there.

      March 17, 2012 at 4:35 am |
    • Mirosal

      Whatever floats my boat?? lol Interesting thing to say. I was also in the U.S. Navy for a LONG time. 🙂

      March 17, 2012 at 4:35 am |
    • From the planet Mindroid

      It's becoming really obvious that these people are from another planet. Not mine!!!! so anyway where do these people stand (Squat) on intelligence? If life begins at inception then when does intelligence start..................................

      March 17, 2012 at 4:35 am |
    • just sayin

      President George H W Bush said an atheist is not a patriot and should not be considered a citizen of the USA. IF Mirosal is to be believed it has lived on the public dime for a good many years undermining the country all the while personally safe from any serious threat.

      March 17, 2012 at 9:34 am |
    • AGuest9

      Subscribe to Bush politics? Go figure.

      March 17, 2012 at 9:37 am |
  9. Nemo Amicus

    Colson was one of Nixon's Watergate thugs, did time and found religion in some country club federal prison...

    March 17, 2012 at 2:59 am |
    • Woodward Bernstein

      He's still a thug.

      Having Charles Colson involved in deciding morality is like having Charles Manson run a home for teenage runaway girls.

      March 17, 2012 at 3:08 am |
    • Mirosal

      @ Woodward ... I love the screen name, and your an'alogy is dead-on!!

      March 17, 2012 at 3:46 am |
  10. Here Is What Is Really Going On

    This is a Red Herring issue, a emotionally-charged topic that gets people agitated and polarized, intended to get people to vote a certain way. However, Red Herring issues are usually irrelevant to the question at hand, namely, who has the best talents and ideas to lead this country forward for the next four years.

    The reality is that this non-issue is so far down the list of important policy items that it is effectively irrelevant to the elections. The real purpose is for the religions to agitate their parishoners into voting Republican, preferably Santorum.

    Look at you – all worked up. Is this more important than economic policy or foreign policy? More important than our forward strategies for wars and infrastructure improvement and so many other things that, unlike this "issue", the government IS supposed to be responsible for? Notice how the side that the right, who is driving this bickering, is not even discussing those true issues, much less presenting ideas to deal with them?

    You are being manipulated, Christians, and it is your own leaders doing it. Your leaders are grifters, and you are the marks.

    March 17, 2012 at 2:37 am |
    • False Dichotomy

      Good job, that is indeed a pretty good summary of what is really going on.

      March 17, 2012 at 9:49 am |
    • AGuest9

      {Gasp} "IGNORE the man behind the curtain! I AM the Great and Powerful OZ!"

      March 17, 2012 at 9:55 am |
  11. RillyKewl

    Bring on the fundies, its time to play War on Women!!!
    On with the Inquisition!

    March 17, 2012 at 2:31 am |
    • Yodelling Bob Wobblebrain, Republican Strategist

      Our strategy is to anger Hispanics by freaking out about the illegal aliens, to anger women by reducing their control over their own bodies and lessening their health care choices, to anger Blacks by calling the NAACP and MLK racist, to alienate moderates with our extremist ideologies like Tea Party and Limbaugh and the Religious Right.

      Then we are going to try to get the Hispanics and women and Blacks and moderates to vote for either a religious extremist or a Mormon stiff in November. That's our strategy.

      March 17, 2012 at 2:56 am |
  12. Reality

    Condoms are available over the counter. Make the Pill available over the counter and there will be no more debate. Planned Parenthood can offer deep discounts for those who say they cannot afford said protection.

    March 17, 2012 at 12:22 am |
  13. False Dichotomy

    How do the evangelicals manage to be on exactly the wrong side of most every issue? It's uncanny.

    March 17, 2012 at 12:16 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      How do you?

      March 17, 2012 at 12:36 am |
    • RillyKewl

      How do they manage to dress themselves + feed themselves?

      March 17, 2012 at 2:33 am |
    • Fearless Freep

      They think they are right.
      The rest of us know better.

      March 17, 2012 at 12:51 pm |
  14. Reality

    Going beyond the politics and getting to the nitty gritty of the situation:

    The reality of contraception and STD control: (from a guy who practices intelligent se-x)

    Note: Some words hyphenated to defeat an obvious word filter. ...

    The Brutal Effects of Stupidity:

    The failures of the widely used birth "control" methods i.e. the Pill ( 8.7% failure rate) and male con-dom (17.4% failure rate) have led to the large rate of abortions and S-TDs in the USA. Men and women must either recognize their responsibilities by using the Pill or co-ndoms properly and/or use safer methods in order to reduce the epidemics of abortion and S-TDs.- Failure rate statistics provided by the Gut-tmacher Inst-itute. Unfortunately they do not give the statistics for doubling up i.e. using a combination of the Pill and a condom.

    Added information before making your next move:

    from the CDC-2006

    "Se-xually transmitted diseases (STDs) remain a major public health challenge in the United States. While substantial progress has been made in preventing, diagnosing, and treating certain S-TDs in recent years, CDC estimates that approximately 19 million new infections occur each year, almost half of them among young people ages 15 to 24.1 In addition to the physical and psy-ch-ological consequences of S-TDs, these diseases also exact a tremendous economic toll. Direct medical costs as-sociated with STDs in the United States are estimated at up to $14.7 billion annually in 2006 dollars."

    And from:

    Consumer Reports, January, 2012

    "Yes, or-al se-x is se-x, and it can boost cancer risk-

    Here's a crucial message for teens (and all se-xually active "post-teeners": Or-al se-x carries many of the same risks as va-ginal se-x, including human papilloma virus, or HPV. And HPV may now be overtaking tobacco as the leading cause of or-al cancers in America in people under age 50.

    "Adolescents don’t think or-al se-x is something to worry about," said Bonnie Halpern-Felsher professor of pediatrics at the University of California, San Francisco. "They view it as a way to have intimacy without having 's-ex.'" (It should be called the Bill Clinton Syndrome !!)

    Obviously, political leaders in both parties, Planned Parenthood, parents, the "stupid part of the USA" and the educational system have failed miserably on many fronts.

    March 17, 2012 at 12:15 am |
  15. SafeJourney

    This old men will go the way of the dinosaurs soon.

    March 17, 2012 at 12:15 am |
  16. heshe

    Colson go back where you came from. Since you are not a woman, I would suggest you "shut up and sit down, now!"

    March 17, 2012 at 12:09 am |
  17. Randy, San Francisco

    It is absurd that in the 21st century that we are still fighting for womens health care rights.

    March 16, 2012 at 11:50 pm |
  18. Keith A. Sillsbury

    How about yall just go back to your church's and pray and leave the politics and policies to the real people.

    March 16, 2012 at 11:13 pm |
    • Bugs Talibunny

      Decent people don't become politicians. Only the corrupt are attracted to power, and only the most ruthless achieve it.

      March 16, 2012 at 11:51 pm |
  19. Bugs Talibunny

    In looking at his picture, I wonder why Colson decided to pop a pimple in Congress?

    March 16, 2012 at 11:12 pm |
  20. SafeJourney

    Just keep talking Repubs, just keep talking and trying prohibit womens health care. You will be voted out the next election.
    Why do you think the intelligent, sane repubs are sitting out this general election.

    March 16, 2012 at 11:07 pm |
    • RillyKewl

      Its funny how many of them aren't coming out to vote. They're demoralized. Who can blame them? With pukes like this one telling them what to do + when to do it, they're showing up in primary states by the hundreds, literally.

      March 17, 2012 at 2:38 am |
    • Discerning Glory

      I like your comment SafeJourney. And I love your name. It sends a message out with a roaring sound!!!! It's nice to know that somebody besides me and my family understands that not all Republicans are insane.

      March 20, 2012 at 2:05 pm |
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About this blog

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.