QUICK QUOTES: What Do Religious Leaders Think of the Obama Administration's Policy Regarding Contraceptives?
Tonight at 9p/12a ET, Sean Hannity goes inside the controversy over the new health care mandate that requires religious institutions to provide contraceptives to employees. Many faith-based leaders from various religions joined the discussion on Hannity. Prior to the show, we caught up with some of the guests to get their commentary on the controversial policy.
Father Edward Beck, Religion Correspondent for ABC News: "Religious instiutions cannot be asked to go against mission statements, and the government can't get involved in limiting religious freedom. I think we will eventually get some compromise and middle ground on it to find exemptions for Catholic universities and schools."
Rabbi Eric H. Yoffie, President of the Union for Reform Judaism: "I support the decision of the administration and I think there will be some kind of compromise that will ultimately be accepted because I don't believe that this is a matter or religious freedom. I feel it's more a matter of employee rights."
Father Frank Pavone, Priests for Life: "We don't need a year to decide what we are going to do because the rule is unjust.
We don't see anyway to litigate the problems here. If you ask somebody to live in a way not consistent with their faith, you're asking them to divide their faith. It's not just freedom, it's freedom of worship. We want to see an approach that says if a person wants his or her own insurance plan that covers the procedures, well then they're free to do so.
We're not under an obligation here to pay for it, and there's no two ways around that. And the administration has got to back away from that."
Penny Nance, CEO of Concerned Women for America: "I've noticed with this administration that each time there's a conflict between a sexual instance and religious freedom -- always people of faith have to take a back seat and I believe strongly that that has got to stop.
There's no reason to have this overarching, big government thing -- this should never have happened. We'll fight it in Congress, we'll fight it in the courts and we will protest. We'll fight it peacefully in the streets if need be."
Chris Hahn, Democratic Strategist: "Bottom line is the Constiution is very clear. It protects against the establishment of a federal religion and it allows you the free exercise of a religion. It does not, however, exempt religious institutions from American labor laws.
Ninety-nine percent of Americans use birth control, including 98 percent of Catholics. Seventy-seven percent of Catholic women support this rule where the employer will have to pay for birth control and that's higher than the national average.
The thing I love about the church, and I know they will come around on this ... the Catholic church for centuries has admitted when they were wrong on something, and I believe on birth control they will change course as well. Birth control is good for society -- it keeps the birth rate down, it acknowledges that people in loving relationships have sexual activities for things other than reproduction."
For more insight, tune in to this special Hannity, tonight, 9p/ 12a ET.