Evangelicals added weight to Catholic outcry over mandate



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ABSTRACTEvangelicals added weight to Catholic outcry over Obama contraception rule – CNN Belief Blog - CNN.com Blogs Home | Video | NewsPulse | U.S. | World | Politics | Justice | Entertainment | Tech | Health | Living | Travel | Opinion | iReport | Money | Sports NYC wants to ban ‘dinosaur’ from tests My Take: ‘Stand your ground’ laws invite killing 4 big myths of Book of Revelation The 7 reasons Catholics leave church WWJD on health care reform? Religion as justification for slavery My Faith: Writers on what they’ve learned Richard Dawkins: Come out, atheist lawmakers Opinion: Mitt, embrace America’s faith Why Jimmy Carter wrote a study Bible Why Jewish dead are flown to Israel Facing death, pastor rethinks Christianity Colbert’s chaplain: Jesus was funny What people talk about before they die The nation’s ‘it’ Mormon girl What’s in Jefferson’s secret Bible? Explain it to me: John 3:16 Santorum: Reversing JFK on faith and politics Mitt Romney’s faith journey My Take: 3 biggest Biblical misconceptions The risks of speaking 'Christianese' The atheist way through Alcoholics Anonymous 10 things Belief Blog has learned Actually, that's not in the Bible Onetime priest crusades for church’s victims Learning to stop 'praying away the gay' Evangelical pastor Rick Warren lent his voice to the contraception fight with the White House. February 10th, 2012 10:35 AM ET Share this on: Facebook Twitter Digg del.icio.us reddit MySpace StumbleUpon Share Comments ( 472 comments ) Permalink Tweet Evangelicals added weight to Catholic outcry over Obama contraception rule By Eric Marrapodi , CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor Washington (CNN)– The battle over who should pay for contraceptives and how has been framed in the news media as Catholics versus the Obama White House. When the administration announced religiously affiliated institutions would have a year to comply with a new policy that require them to pay for contraceptives through insurance plans, it was Catholic bishops who led the criticism, firing off angry letters to be read at Mass in parishes nationwide. That campaign appears to have worked, with the White House signaling it will announce a compromise on its rule on Friday. But in pushing the White House to change the rule, Catholics were joined by a politically formidable religious group that's OK with contraception but increasingly sensitive about what they say is a government bent on secularizing the public square: evangelical Christians. "I'm not a Catholic," California megachurch pastor Rick Warren wrote on his Twitter feed Tuesday, "but I stand in 100% solidarity with my brothers & sisters to practice their belief against govt pressure." A survey released this week by the Public Religion Research Institute showed Catholics were evenly divided over the issue of government mandated contraception insurance for Catholic institutions. The White House touted the survey to reporters to show there was support for the measure among Catholics. The same survey showed that white evangelicals are the religious group who voice the greatest opposition to the new policy from the Department of Health and Human Services. "We do see white evangelicals pretty much right in line with the bishops on this one, while Catholics are actually more divided," said Daniel Cox, the director of research at the Public Religion Research Institute, a nonprofit and nonpartisan research group. "White evangelicals are strongly in support of having these religiously affiliated institutions being exempted," Cox said. Most evangelical and conservative Christians from Protestant backgrounds do not oppose the use of contraceptives, as official Catholic teaching does. The issue for these groups is what they see as a threat to religious liberty. Samuel "Dub" Oliver, the president of East Texas Baptist University in Marshall, Texas, said in an interview Thursday that he was willing and ready to go to jail rather than comply with the policy because he said it would violate his school's religious liberty. "In the long history of Baptist leaders, we feel strongly about religious liberty," he said. "Many have gone to jail and many have died defending religious liberty for all." While his university's health center provides oral contraceptives, or the birth control pill, it does not provide emergency contraceptives. "We specifically exclude those, because according to our conscience, that's an abortifacient that we don't want to provide under our [insurance] plan," he said. Many abortion opponents have argued that emergency contraceptives like "the morning after pill" acts to be an abortifacient, a medicine that can induce abortions. Emergency contraceptives are a stronger dose of birth control and health providers make a distinction between them and the abortion pill RU-486. "The deeper idea for us i.......