Wheaton College (Protestant) joins Catholic institutions in lawsuit against HHS mandate

Wheaton College is joining Catholic instititutions to fight the Obama Administrations attacks on our 1st Amendment rights.

Remember: Even though the newsies incessantly talk about contraception contraception contraception, the real objection about the HHS mandate is not the contraception angle. This is about religious liberty for everyone.

In the letter sent out by Wheaton College (I received a fowarded copy) we read:

This morning, the Board of Trustees filed a lawsuit in the Washington, D.C. District Court opposing the mandate, which, if enacted, would force the College to violate its religious beliefs or pay severe fines. We are joining with Catholic University of America in order to demonstrate that a deep concern for the sanctity of human life and a strong belief in the importance of religious freedom are areas of commonality that transcend our theological differences. More information can be found here.

From FoxNews:

Evangelical college joins suit against ObamaCare contraception mandate

An evangelical college is joining Catholic groups in suing the Obama administration over the so-called contraception mandate.
Illinois-based Wheaton College announced Wednesday morning that it had joined The Catholic University of America in filing suit before District of Columbia federal court.
The wave of lawsuits has so far been dominated by Catholic organizations. After the Supreme Court upheld most of the federal health care overhaul last month, those groups vowed to continue their legal challenge against the requirement that employers provide access to contraceptive care.
The announcement Wednesday marks the first time an evangelical group has joined that effort.
“In this case, we recognize we have common cause with the Catholic University of America and other Catholic institutions in defending religious liberty,” Wheaton College President Philip Graham Ryken said on a conference call.
Wheaton, a protestant institution, is objecting to the Department Health and Human Services rule on slightly different grounds than the Catholic institutions. While those institutions are opposed to the requirement regarding all contraceptive coverage, Wheaton objected only to the possibility that they would have to provide access to coverage for “abortion-inducing drugs.”  [These blinkered newsies don’t quite get it.  Anyway…]
“We’re very clear on the sanctity of life, and this insurance mandate goes against our conscience,” Ryken said. [CONSCIENCE!  YES!] He said the fact that Catholic groups are teaming up with an evangelical college in this lawsuit should signal that “something really significant in terms of religious liberty is at stake.”
In May, dozens of Catholic groups filed a dozen separate but related federal lawsuits challenging the constitutionality of the requirement. Among the organizations were the University of Notre Dame, the Archdiocese of New York and The Catholic University of America.
The Obama administration several months ago softened its position on the mandate, [B as in B.  S as in S.  It didn’t.] but some religious organizations complain the administration did not go far enough to ensure the rule would not compel them to violate their religious beliefs.
Ryken accused the administration of creating “two classes” of religious institutions by providing an exemption for churches but not religious-affiliated colleges.
The lawsuit filing came a day after a federal judge in Nebraska dismissed a suit over the HHS rule filed by seven states.
The Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, which is representing Wheaton College, claims the ruling will not affect their case.

WDTPRS kudos to Wheaton College.

BTW… I went there with a friend many years ago to look at their Chesterton and C.S. Lewis collections.  Did you know that they have the wardrobe that inspired Lewis’s books?

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. AvantiBev says:

    Mr. Chuck Colson must have interceded from Heaven. I am happy too that the College in suburban Wheaton has joined the lawsuit against the mandate. However, as a Roman Catholic AND Constitutional conservative, my opposition to the so-called “Affordable Health Care Act” runs far deeper than mentioned grievances in this lawsuit.

  2. Dennis Martin says:

    As a Wheaton alumnus (1974), let me be the first to point out [ehem… the second… check the top entry!] that Wheaton has a wardrobe said to be the one that inspired the Narnia story. I forget what the other institution is that also claims to have a relic of the head of John the Baptist, oops, I mean, the holy War Drobe, as Mr. Tumnus would say.

    It’s a good illustration, for those who like to mock veneration of relics, that the desire to see, touch, smell tangible connections to the past, ancient or recent, family or stranger, is universal.

  3. Dennis Martin says:

    Nope, my point was that you said it IS the wardrobe that inspired. My point is that it is said to be the wardrobe but there is a rival claimant, I forget where. Both wardrobes have plausible claims, both could have been the inspiration. Not unlike claims about relics.

  4. pfreddys says:

    I may be wrong but it seems that only Fox New is covering this whole story.

  5. r7blue1pink says:

    Wheaton College is 10 mins from my house. I give them Kudos for this given their anti-catholic sentiment over the years..

    funny, I think cardinal George had some effect.. He spoke there earlier this year..

    Who says TRUE Ecumenism doent work??


  6. r7blue1pink says:

    BTW, you can hear the talk here:


  7. jhayes says:

    Wheaton and CUA are not jointly suing the government. CUA filed its lawsuit in May and is represented by a different law firm ( Jones Day). Wheaton filed its lawsuit today and is represented by Becket Fund.

    In its complaint, Wheaton says “39. Wheaton College has no conscientious objection to providing coverage for non-abortion-causing contraceptive drugs and devices.”


  8. robtbrown says:

    CCEL was originated at Wheaton College by Harry Plantinga. Not only does it have online the Early Church Fathers, it also has St Thomas’ Summa Theologiae and Summa Contra Gentiles (a bit abridged). A few years ago I wrote him and suggested that the site also have the Catena Aurea (at least of the first two Gospels, then on line)–it was quickly added.

  9. Supertradmum says:

    Be careful with CCEL, some of the commentaries are Calvinist and so anti-Catholic even on the Catholic texts which are laughable. Has its uses, I suppose.

  10. robtbrown says:


    When you check a book out of the library, are you committing yourself to every opinion of every book in the library?

  11. Gail F says:

    I don’t think it’s right that it’s the first evangelical college to sue. Weren’t there a bunch of suits — not all of them Catholic — BEFORE the 43?
    There are plenty of other things going on as well, including the Southern Baptist Convention resolution about religious liberty. If you look at htem all together it’s very interesting. Unfortunately, most media outlets aren’t looking at them even individually.

  12. jhayes says:

    Be careful with CCEL, some of the commentaries are Calvinist and so anti-Catholic even on the Catholic texts which are laughable. Has its uses, I suppose.

    Supertradmum, Fordham has a lot of full texts and commentary online:


  13. Supertradmum says:

    robtbrown, I just do not want to waste precious time.

    jhayes, thanks.

  14. Supertradmum says:

    robtbrown, and to add insult to injury, I am not allowed to have a library card until I have more permanent status here. Social engineering effects trivia as well….

  15. Supertradmum says:

    PS which is why I have a wishlist on my blog for my studies.

  16. SKAY says:

    “Statesmen, my dear Sir, may plan and speculate for liberty,
    but it is religion and morality alone, which can establish
    the principles upon which freedom can securely stand.
    The only foundation of a free Constitution is pure virtue.”

    – John Adams, June 21, 1776

    I think Obama missed that quote from one of our founders during his education about the Constitution.

    A small Baptist College in Pineville La.–Louisiana College–joined with the Catholic institutions very soon after they filed also.

  17. onearmsteve says:

    You may like this little talk http://youtu.be/JLAkWpUm8O4

  18. disco says:

    I have strong objections to the phrase “contraceptive care”. Near as I can tell that means either genital mutilation, drugs that cause breast cancer and other maladies, or your standard prophylactic. Hardly ‘care’ by any reasonable definition.

  19. Pingback: Convert Journal – Obama’s war on religion (update #9)

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