Republican Leader McConnell reads Mohler’s letter on Senate floor

Communications Staff — March 1, 2012

During the Senate’s March 1, 2012, discussion of the proposed Respect for Rights of Conscience Act, Republican Leader Mitch McConnell read from the floor Southern Seminary President R. Albert Mohler Jr.’s letter concerning the Department of Health and Human Services’ recent policy that requires religious institutions to provide employees with contraceptive and abortifacient services.

The Senate Minority Leader from Kentucky appealed to Mohler’s letter among many other “religious leaders and concerned citizens” from his state in order to make his case for what has been shorthanded “the conscience amendment,” concluding his presentation by reading the entirety of Mohler’s letter. The amendment would have allowed employers to opt out of providing health care coverage to which they might object on moral grounds.

According to CNN, the Senate killed the amendment with a 51-48 vote, the Democrats motioning to table the proposal. McConnell insisted on a floor vote regarding the amendment sponsored by Sen. Roy Blunt of Missouri.

Mohler in his letter to McConnell argues that the contraceptive policy undermines religious liberty and forces Christians and many other Americans to violate conscience in order to comply with it. Referring to the Obama administration’s policy as a “gross and deliberate violation of religious liberty,” Mohler’s letter includes a request for Congress to provide an immediate remedy to the policy.

“This is a policy that will either require millions upon millions of Americans to accept a gross and deliberate violation of religious liberty, or to accept the total secularization of all education and social services,” Mohler writes in his letter to McConnell, noting the objections to the policy are rooted in centuries of teaching, belief and moral instruction.

A video excerpt of McConnell’s presentation supporting the Respect for Rights of Conscience Act is available on YouTube at the following URL: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YqSiuueO2rE&feature=channel_video_title. McConnell begins reading Mohler’s letter near the 2:52 mark of the video.

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