Southern Baptist Reaction To Hobby Lobby Decision: ‘Hallelujah’

Russell Moore, who heads the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention, spoke to reports around the country after the Hobby Lobby decision came down. Credit: Blake Farmer / WPLN

Russell Moore, who heads the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention, spoke to reports around the country after the Hobby Lobby decision came down. Credit: Blake Farmer / WPLN

The Nashville-based Southern Baptist Convention is praising God for the Supreme Court’s ruling in favor of Hobby Lobby, which challenged an Obamacare requirement to cover birth control. The denomination has been a vocal supporter of the Green family, which owns the for-profit retailer and are SBC members.

Hobby Lobby took issue with some of the contraceptives that have to be covered, such as the Plan B morning-after pill, citing religious convictions regarding abortion. After the 5-4 decision in the company’s favor, the first word from Baptist public policy chief Russell Moore was “hallelujah.”

“This is as close as it gets to dancing in the streets for joy for a Southern Baptist,” Moore told reporters on a conference call. “I’m elated by this decision.”

Moore says it’s an “encouraging sign” that the Supreme Court recognizes “religious liberty.” He says a ruling the other way would have been “catastrophic” for “freedom of conscience.”

But faith groups are divided. The Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice – which includes the Episcopal Church and Jewish organizations – says the Hobby Lobby decision has “perverted” religious freedom “to privilege a boss’s faith over an employee’s.”

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