Rev. Richard Cizik on the “War on Religion”
At the Huffington Post, Rev. Richard Cizik, President of the New Evangelical Partnership for the Common Good weighs in on the “war on religion” rhetoric emanating from religious opponents of the HHS contraception regulation:
The fierce backlash from some evangelical Christian leaders to President Obama’s sensible decision to cover contraception services under the health care reform law brings to mind Groucho Marx’s definition of politics: “The art of looking for trouble, finding it, misdiagnosing it, and then misapplying the wrong remedies.”
Christian mega-pastor Rick Warren is willing to engage in civil disobedience. The National Association of Evangelicals is reportedly considering asking pastors of every evangelical denomination to read an open letter to their congregations calling the requirement to make birth control for women available without co-pays an attack on religious liberty — despite an exemption for religious institutions affiliated with faiths that forbid contraception. Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council, insists there is “no compromise.”
As an evangelical leader, I’ve been involved in defending religious freedom for three decades. Compromise is not always a moral failure in a pluralistic society. In an election year, we must also distinguish between real attacks on faith and cheap demagoguery to score political points. GOP presidential candidates who have been assailing President Obama’s supposed “war on religion” should be ashamed of themselves. This irresponsible and inflammatory rhetoric makes a mockery of the victims of real wars and unconscionable religious persecution around the world.