The Enid News and Eagle, Enid, OK

ENE Xtra

July 1, 2014

Protesters pray for Green family, Hobby Lobby employees

EDMOND, Okla. — Just before a moment for silent reflection, Bruce Prescott, who served 12 years as pastor at Easthaven Baptist Church in Houston before coming to Oklahoma, said he was going to pray for the Green family.

Prescott organized an event advertised as a vigil outside Hobby Lobby’s Edmond store to pray for employees who will now have difficulty accessing health care.

Monday’s Supreme Court ruling means the Oklahoma City-based crafts store will not be required to cover four objectionable types of contraception in its health insurance plan. The company has said it will continue to cover 16 preventative contraceptives.

Speaking to several dozen people, an audience that included another clergyman and a University of Central Oklahoma professor, Prescott said Monday’s ruling lacks common sense.

“It tramples on the religious liberty rights of real flesh and blood persons in order to extend religious liberty rights to corporate ‘pseudo persons,’” Prescott said. “The right of religious liberty is a fundamental human right. Corporations are legal constructs. They are not human beings.”

Prescott said the conscience of employers should not trump the conscience of employees, particularly when decisions are being made about an employee’s family planning, reproductive health and their access to FDA-approved medications and contraceptives.

“Those decisions are best made by the employee in consultation with their physician, their family and under the guidance of their own ministers and spiritual advisors,” Prescott said.

After Prescott finished, he encouraged others who wanted to step forward and speak. Among them was Daniel Wade.

“Jesus Christ is my Lord and Savior. Without Jesus Christ, I’m not sure if I’d be alive today,” Wade said, noting his concern about what has been said and done in the name of religious liberty. “My faith is being misused.”

Toward the end of the event, acknowledging the variety of religious, or non-religious, beliefs represented, Prescott led a moment of silent reflection. In addition to praying for the Green family, Prescott said he will pray for the “war on women” to end.

 

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