"We've laid down our blood to have a free exercise of religion in this country and will continue to do so."
Working from a variety of sources, I really don't wonder very much what the motive is.
“Experience should teach us to be most on our guard to protect liberty when the Government’s purposes are beneficent.” Supreme Court Justice Louis D. Brandeis
Just as the spectacle of an all-male Senate Judiciary Committee’s stern questioning of her in the 1990s drew women voters to the polls, these lawmakers and women’s groups say Thursday’s House hearing on the Obama administration’s contraception rule — with an all-male panel testifying before a largely male committee — could provoke the same kind of response
First thing: There were two panels, the second panel included two women.
Second thing: it's not about contraception, it's about religious freedom and it's fitting that religious leaders were on the panel.
"The real issue here, it's not birth control; it's religious liberty, it's freedom of conscience, [and] it's the freedom of individuals and their churches to determine their own positions and their own policies about contraception and abortion,"
From the Catholic News Agency (quoting Pamela Haag):
“The phrase 'women’s health' in the birth control dispute is the latest nimble euphemism,” author and blogger Pamela Haag wrote in a Feb. 17 essay published on the “Marriage 3.0” blog.
Access to contraception, she said, “isn’t really about my 'health.' It’s not principally about the management of ovarian cysts or the regulation of periods.”
“Birth control isn’t about my health unless by 'health' you mean, my capacity to get it on, to have a happy, joyous sex life that involves an actual male partner,” wrote Haag, criticizing White House supporters for discussing contraceptives mainly as “preventive services” for women's health.
Even the folks who support the mandate (who are not following the administrations party line) know that it's not about health, it's about the ability of women to have sex without responsibility or consequences.
From Timothy George and Chuck Colson , via Christianity Today:
But Catholic institutions aren't the only ones affected by this mandate. Prison Fellowship, for example, which employs 180 people, could not purchase insurance for its employees that covers abortifacients. Nor could the world's largest Christian outreach to prisoners and their families afford the fines we would incur.
Three years ago, when we co-authored the Manhattan Declaration, we predicted that the time would come when Christians would have to face the very real prospect of civil disobedience—that we would have to choose sides: God or Caesar.
Certainly for the Catholics and for many of us evangelicals, that time is already upon us.
Rev. Matthew Harrison, president of the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod:
Harrison's goal Thursday, he said, was to tell Congress to "get the federal government out of matters of conscience for religious people, particularly in life issues where there's long-standing moral and ethical church precedent."
But he also wanted to drive home the intense feeling of alienation that, he said, conservative people of faith feel under the Obama administration. He said he would rather go to jail than comply with even the modified mandate, and that he would "give up my sons to fight" for the First Amendment.
On Friday, he explained those comments: "We've laid down our blood to have a free exercise of religion in this country and will continue to do so."
Harrison told the committee of the charitable work of the Missouri Synod and its members, calling the church "a machine which produces good citizens for this country, and at tremendous personal cost."
The members of his church "work, pay taxes, are charitable and responsible, take care of their children, participate in their communities and government, and serve in military," Harrison said. "The state should be interested in religion for this purpose: We produce good citizens. So stop attacking us. We are in every way a blessing for this country. We feel attacked for our fundamental convictions as if we're a detriment to our country. And that is a lie."