ObamaCare Abortion Mandate Lawsuit Lost, A Major Win For Pro-Life: In today’s episode we discuss why ObamaCare became a challenge for Christian ministries because of the federal mandates that were placed on them and how we are starting to see a major shift. Tune in now to learn more!
Air Date: 04/17/2019
Guest: Dr. James Dobson
On-air Personalities: David Barton, Rick Green, and Tim Barton
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Transcription note: As a courtesy for our listeners’ enjoyment, we are providing a transcription of this podcast. Transcription will be released shortly. However, as this is transcribed from a live talk show, words and sentence structure were not altered to fit grammatical, written norms in order to preserve the integrity of the actual dialogue between the speakers. Additionally, names may be misspelled or we might use an asterisk to indicate a missing word because of the difficulty in understanding the speaker at times. We apologize in advance.
Faith And The Culture
Welcome to the intersection of faith and the culture. This is WallBuilders Live! Where we’re talking about today’s hottest topics on policy, faith, and the culture, always doing that from a Biblical, historical, and Constitutional perspective.
We’re here with David Barton, America’s premier historian and the founder of WallBuilders. Also, Tim Barton, national speaker and President of WallBuilders, and my name is Rick Green, I’m a former Texas state legislator, national speaker, and author. Check us out at WallBuildersLive.com, that’s where our station is, you can also find archives of our program over the last few weeks.
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David, Tim, later in the program we’ve got Dr. James Dobson joining us today. Great victory on the legal front for his ministry, that’s actually great for everyone out there. We probably need to set this up a little bit by just kind of going back to when Obamacare passed, and why Obamacare became a real challenge for Christian ministries. Some of the federal mandates, where the government not only was telling you that you had to buy insurance, but was making you buy types of insurance that actually violated the conscience.
How Could Insurance Violate the Conscious?
Some people may say, “Wait, how could insurance violate the conscience?”
So we probably could spend a little bit of time about where this is coming from.
Yeah. As this was going for the vote back in 2009 it really was divided between pro-life and pro-abortion folks. There were a number of, at that time in 2009, there were still a number of pro-life Democrats.
The pro-life Democrats said, “We don’t want the money this is being mandated for people to pay to cover abortions. That should not be federally funded, it should not be funded through this.”
They talked to the president.
He told them, “Oh no, it’s not going to be in there.” So you had a number of pro-life Democrats that voted for Obamacare on the promise that it would not be there, and it really came down to really some late night/last night kind of negotiations. Some pro-life Democrats took the floor and said it won’t be there. Well, immediately after it goes into place, you suddenly find out that it does fund abortions, and by the way, if you’re pro-life, you don’t have a way out of it.
You have to pay for that.
That’s where one of the famous cases was, Little Sisters to the Poor. Now, these are people who are nuns. They are celibate. There is no pregnancy among nuns.
Yet they’re having to pay for abortifacients, and contraceptives, and other things as well that violates their religious belief, their conviction, why they exist. It goes against that fundamental doctrine of what they do behaviorally. So even they were having to pay for other people’s abortions, and there’s just no way they wanted to do that, and the same with several Christian colleges, same with, for example, Liberty University.
You Can’t Force People to Pay for Abortions
They’re having to cover insurance that covers abortion for all their employees. Conestoga was a famous place up in, I think, Pennsylvania, and those cases went all the way to the Supreme Court, and the court said, “No, you can’t force people to pay for abortions.”
But then they kept finding ways to do that, and finding ways in the insurance to make sure you could pay for abortions.
Here we are now, ten years later, we’re still fighting cases on whether Christians have to pay for abortions and health care. It is absolutely crazy that this has gone on for 10 years despite the court rulings, despite all the victories that have been won, these cases are still out there. Dr. Dobson is one of the guys who’s had a case out there for a number of years, and they recently came back with a favorable decision that said, “No, Dr. Dobson does not have to pay for abortions for all of his employees.”
He’s led the way in many different areas of the culture and thrilled to see him lead on this one and win. We’re looking forward to talking to him, he’ll be with us when we come back from the break. So stay with us. You’re listening to WallBuilders Live.
Moment From American History
This is Tim Barton with another moment from American history. The Second Amendment to the Constitution, which guarantees to every individual the right to keep and bear arms, has been targeted for years now by those who are determined to dismantle the individual right to self protection.
Opponents argue that, “Only the militia, the military, and law enforcement are to have and use firearms.” But those who wrote the Second Amendment strenuously disagreed, including Founding Father Richard Henry Lee, a signer of the declaration, a president of the Continental Congress, and one of those who actually framed the Second Amendment.
He declared, “To preserve liberty, it is essential that the whole body of the people always possess arms and be taught alike, especially when young, how to use them.”
For more information about Richard Henry Lee and the history of the Second Amendment go to WallBuilders.com.
Welcome Dr. James Dobson
Welcome back to WallBuilders Live. Thanks for staying with us. We are honored today to have Dr. James Dobson with us. He’s a great friend of the program and a great friend of the WallBuilders ministry.
Dr. Dobson, always great to have you, sir. Thanks for coming on with us today.
I appreciate you guys calling me and giving me an opportunity to share the stunning victory that the Lord provided for us with the help of two marvelous law firms.
Well, we’re excited to share it with our listeners. We were excited when we saw the press release. You’ve been like a lot of Christian businesses and organizations, having to grapple with Obamacare and the mandate to provide abortion to employees. You guys decided to take a stand a few years ago.
Tell us, first of all, about that decision. This was a financial—it could have destroyed the ministry if the government decided to go all the way on this thing. It was going to cost you guys a tremendous amount of money to deal with the penalties.
That is absolutely true and there’s a background to this story. Let me summarize it. It goes back to September 9th 2009. You probably remember it, but it was when Barack Obama gave a speech to the joint session of Congress, and at that time he absolutely promised that there would be no federal dollars spent for abortion. We have an absolute quote from him guaranteeing that.
That was within the Affordable Care Act, so called, and that was not truthful. One congressman got so angry over it that he shouted out—that was Joe Wilson—shouted out, “You lie!”
22 Million Dollar Fines
He really was vilified for that, but as it turns out he was absolutely correct.
Not only did the Obama Administration begin providing money, millions—hundreds of millions of dollars—to support abortion, they did that very quietly, but then they came after organizations like ours, a pro-life Christian organizations, and issued a mandate, and they called it that, which means you don’t have a choice, requiring pro-life organizations to give abortifacients to their employees. Such as a morning after pill and the Plan B, so called, and they absolutely demanded that we do that.
That hit Little Sisters of the Poor, and us, and many other organizations, and the consequences for not complying with this mandate were horrendous. They were ruinous.
If we had lost the case that ensued, it would have cost 22 million dollars and we’d have had to close the door long before that, obviously, so they really came after the heart and soul of us.
“Not One Cent for Abortion”
But thankfully, two things happened. Two law firms, the Alliance Defending Freedom and the Nussbaum Organization here in Colorado Springs, stepped up to help us take on the federal government and the lawsuit that ensued that lasted now for five years.
It was—we took on the power of the bureaucracy and government, and right at that time—I don’t want to prattle on here, but I do need to read you what I wrote, because I sent a letter that said, “I believe in the rule of law. It’s been my practice since I was in college to respect and honor those who have authority over us. It’s my desire to do so now. However, this assault on the sanctity of human life takes me where I cannot go. I will not.”
There was a surcharge on the books.
“I will not pay this surcharge for abortion services. It doesn’t matter what the amount was to pay, one cent for the killing of babies is egregious to me. I’ll do all I can to correct a government that lies to me about its intentions and then tries to coerce my acquiescence with extortion. It would be a violation of my most deeply held convictions to disobey what I consider to be the principles in scripture. The Creator will not hold us guiltless if we turn a deaf ear to the cries of innocent babies. So come and get me if you must, Mr. President, I will not bow to your wicked regulation.”
So that was the prelude to five years of litigation which just ended.
Willing to Fight
Dr. Dobson, I can only imagine, for someone that has, for years, led in many ways the fight to defend the innocent, for you this probably was not even a tough decision for you as a, “There is no way I can support this and we’re willing to go to the mat on it.”
But for y’all as a ministry, how did you come to that decision? Was it difficult at all, or did it seem right from the beginning?
It was not difficult. I took it to my board of directors and they voted unanimously to defy the federal government in this regard, and that’s what we did, and we never looked back. But we had a lot of help and a lot of legal help and I’m very very grateful for it.
Five years is a long time to have to fight a legal battle like this. You said you never looked back, so even in the midst of all of that year after year, and appeals, and all of those things, you guys kept going, and like you said, you had a great legal team from Alliance Defending Freedom. What a different world we live in now than 30 years ago, to have so many good Christian attorneys out there to come alongside you as well.
Justice Department Backed Down
Well, if Hillary Clinton had been elected, we would have been appealing to the Supreme Court. Although the Trump Administration really didn’t have anything to do with the final decision, that was done by a court because we had constitutional rights to religious liberty. It was a terrible thing that the president tried to do, to use the power of the government to coerce us like that. He was the most rabid pro-abortion president in the history of the country. I’m so glad we prevailed.
Dr. Dobson, a case like that, I know you’ve taken on the Justice Department and they have unlimited attorneys, unlimited funds, they can go for years, I’m curious that, with Trump coming in, did the Justice Department back down, or did they continue to move forward with the case, or did they kinda’ throw the case and walk off? Did they do anything to make it easier for you to get a resolution to this thing?
Well, the Justice Department did back off. Our case was before the 10th Circuit. We actually won at the district level, and the federal as the federal judge ruled in our favor, and then the Obama administration appealed to the 10th Circuit and we were about to lose there, and that meant our only recourse was the Supreme Court. The Justice Department did not create problems for us. While the final decision was made by a judge, we are just grateful for it—that we didn’t have to fight the other branches, such as the executive branch of the federal government.
Thirty-Six Thousand Per Employee, Per Year
I’m curious. The 22 million, what would that have entailed? Was that the fines and all the stuff that would have…?
Yeah, it was thirty six thousand dollars, per employee, per year, times the number of people that you have working for you. Then that is compounded year after year with penalties in addition to the the initial cost. So it was twenty two million dollars and that was accumulating all the time. So sometimes it’s never wrong to do right, and it’s never right to do wrong. I want to just say that this, because this ruling, every religious institution, not just ours, has greater legal standing to combat the threats of extinction from this health care plan or anything else the federal government does. We won a battle that God gets the glory for, and it will benefit other Christian organizations in the future.
And that was my thought, Dr. Dobson, is, as your employees of course, and you, and the ministry, very important victory for everyone in your organization. Exactly what you just said. It’s a victory for ministries and individuals across the nation as well. So we owe you a debt of gratitude, and your board, and your supporters, and the legal team that you had ,because it really is, it’s a victory for every ministry out there that agrees with you, that we should not have to forced by the government.
“The Most Important Religious Liberty Case in History”
Thank you for that. Alan Sears, the founder of the Alliance Defending Freedom, said, “This is the most important religious liberty case in history.”
I don’t know what his background—I don’t know what is the reason for saying that was but it was significant very significant, and God gave us the victory.
Well, thank you for fighting it, and thanks for your time to come on to share it with our listeners as well. We just so appreciate you and your ministry and really appreciate you sharing with everybody today.
David and Rick, you guys are doing your own great work for the Lord. We appreciate you. I follow you. We’ve aired some of your work, and we’ll continue to do so. So it’s a pleasure to stand shoulder to shoulder with you.
Well, it’s our pleasure sir. We appreciate having been with you for years and your unwavering stand not only for this, but other areas as well. You’ve been a great leader and you have never compromised principles at all that I’ve seen, and you’ve always taken a very, very strong public stand on issues like this. So thank you for the clarion voice you’ve had for actually a number of years for so many of us.
You Ever Feel God Smiling?
Are there times in your lives where though you can’t see the face of God you can see Him, feel Him smiling? I think He smiled over this great man. He sure stood with us.
Well brother, God bless you We love you and we appreciate it.
Thank you sir. We appreciate it. Enjoyed it. Appreciate you. We’ll talk again.
Thank you Dr. Dobson. That was Dr. James Dobson. Stay with us folks. We’re back in just a moment on WallBuilders Live.
We Want To Hear Your Vet Story
Hey friends! If you have been listening to WallBuilders Live for very long at all, you know how much we respect our veterans and how appreciative we are of the sacrifice they make to make our freedoms possible. One of the ways that we love to honor those veterans is to tell their stories here on WallBuilders Live. Once in awhile, we get an opportunity to interview veterans that have served on those front lines that have made incredible sacrifices have amazing stories that we want to share with the American people.
One of the very special things we get to do is interview World War II veterans. You’ve heard those interviews here on WallBuilders Live, from folks that were in the Band of Brothers, to folks like Edgar Harrell that survived the Indianapolis to so many other great stories you heard on WallBuilders Live.
You have friends and family that also served. If you have World War II veterans in your family that you would like to have their story shared here on WallBuilders Live, please e-mail us at [email protected] Give us a brief summary of the story and we’ll set up an interview. Thanks so much for sharing here on WallBuilders Live!
When the Government Gets Into Marketing…
We’re back on WallBuilders Live. Thanks for staying with us, and special thanks to Dr. James Dobson for joining us on today’s program.
David, Tim, great news and of course a victory not only for Dr. Dobson and his ministry but for all of us because this affected everyone in the country, this mandate, and this is just a perfectly good example of when you have government do something the market should be doing, government’s probably gonna mess it up and actually start infringing on freedom.
Yeah. One of the things that we are so grateful for is Dr. Dobson. He has been a courageous leader for family values for longer than I’ve been alive.
I remember growing up the first time I heard Adventures in Odyssey, and then I got to meet Dr. Dobson, and I was like, “You’re the guy who is responsible for that creation! you’re so awesome!”
For me in my life, there’s a lot of endearment. I’ve read so many of his books, Love must be Tough and Bringing Up Boys and the Strong Willed Child and things that I thought, “OK, I want to make sure, when I’m a parent, when I’m a husband, I want to make sure I do a good job at these things.”
He was just—for years the guy that was speaking truth in a culture that wasn’t embracing truth. Here he is, decades later, still being one of the ones leading the fight, and although this has really good court precedent, we also are grateful that—you guys even mentioned it during interview—that President Trump is helping take things in a different direction.
A Great Court Precedent
So, even though the President is very good at that now, not only do we have that, the Hobby Lobby decision, Little Sisters of the Poor, now Dr. Dobson, we’re seeing these cases that are ones which are great court precedents. They never should have gone to court, as we’ve also acknowledged many times in this program before, but President Trump is taking things in a different direction which, hopefully, we won’t have to see the same level of battles going forward. Although, if there are more people standing up and fighting this, at least now we do have one more great precedent of getting the win at court in something like this.
Now, think how onerous this provision was, because as he pointed out, he was looking at having to pay thirty six thousand dollars per year, per employee which was going to be 22 million dollars. Now, think about him having to pay a fine of thirty six thousand dollars per year per employee. There is no way the insurance costs that, it cost only a fraction of that.
“But if you’re not willing to pay for abortions, we’re going to fine you so high that you will decide you’re going to pay for abortions.”
That is so onerous in itself, that they would put such a high fine against him because he’s not willing to pay for abortions. That’s extortion. It’s like blackmail, literally, to get him to back down.
He said a couple of things that really jumped out to me when he read that letter of why they did what they did.
“Not a Penny for Tribute” “Not a Penny for SLavery”
He said, “I will not pay one cent toward abortions.”
And I was instantly taken back to under Thomas Jefferson. They had a button that came out at that time that says, “Not a penny for tribute.”
It was the deal of—at that time we were having to pay massive amounts to the Muslim terrorists who were attacking us, and we would pay them not to attack us.
Finally people got so fed up with this that they said, “We’re not going to pay to keep peace, we’re going to do the right thing. We’re not going to give one penny in tribute to the Muslims to leave us alone. If we have to go fight, then we will.”
Then I thought again about Lincoln.
There was a button that came out in his generation that said, “Not a penny for slavery.” “We’re not going to put one penny toward helping enslave anyone else.”
I thought, “That’s the same kind of moral line in the sand that Dr. Dobson drew.”
What we’ve done historically is, “Look, if we have to fight over this, we will,” and he fought in court, and it was a number of years, but they fought in court.
The other thing that struck me, was he said his board voted unanimously, and he said they voted unanimously to defy the federal government in this regard. Defy the federal government? That’s civil disobedience!
I was thinking, “I wonder how far people would go today before they’d be willing to commit civil disobedience?”
How many Christian ministries, where would the line be for them?
What would it take for them to say, “We’re not crossing that line, and if we have to engage in massive civil disobedience, we will not cross this conscience line.”
Where do We Draw the Line?
I don’t know where that might be, but I think that’s a good question for all of us to ask, “What line would we draw?”
Say our conscience will disobey government if we have to, but our conscience will not allow us to cross this line of thought. Those are really two pretty courageous stands.
“I’m not going to give one penny, not even one penny, even if it cost me twenty two million and I have to shut the ministry down. I’m not giving one penny to pay for abortions,” and then a board that says, “We will commence civil disobedience because we’re not going to cross this line. We are going to defy the federal government.”
I thought those are two strong positions of conscience that he took.
Well, hopefully it’ll inspire other Christian ministries to be willing to stand because it’s not the only battle that’s out there. We talk on the program about, sometimes, not having the backbone in the Christian community that we need because we don’t want to be ridiculed, or we don’t want to be called mean, or whatever the names might be. I’m sure Dr. Dobson took a lot of heat while he was fighting this battle, but thankfully he did, and five years is a long time—no tellin how much time it took because when you’re in a lawsuit it drains the finances, and mental energy, and bandwidth, and all of those things. So just super thankful he was willing to see it through.
A Long Line of Victories
Well, and as he said this is a victory for lots of others as well. Alan Sears pointed out, this may be the greatest one they’ve had, and and him having many years with these when he was with ADF. It’s a big deal, it is big for other ministries, and now the Trump Administration definitely is not pursuing these folks anymore.
We’ve actually seen through HHS, Ben Carson/Secretary Carson, others, where they have now put in place guidelines to keep this from happening and to make sure you don’t violate conscience.
They actually have an entire new division in Health and Human Services to protect the rights of conscience, to scrub all those regulations, to make sure none of them put people in this position of having to violate their religious conscience. The Trump administration has moved in such a radically different direction.
He mentioned how, that even at the State of the Union, when Joe Wilson popped off and said, “You lie!” when Obama said not a single penny will be used to fund abortions, and people made fun of Joe Wilson, derided him, and yeah, sure enough he was exactly right.
They knew it back then, and I think about the Democrats who carried water for President Obama in that final vote saying, “No, he’s assured us that it doesn’t have any money in there and will never be used to fund abortion.”
Hopefully this Will Bring a Close to the Fight
Sure enough, it was there all the time. It didn’t take long at all to surface. But it was such a long bill that, remember, nobody really had time to read it. He was assuring them that it wasn’t there. You go from that position to where Trump has been exactly on the opposite side, hasn’t used deception, hasn’t used coercion. He told everybody what he was going to do, and he’s been doing that.
But as for the life side, I think that says a significant change. Now I think what Dr. Dobson has done will bring a close to this 10 year battle that’s been going on.
The Justice Department is not going to pursue these guys anymore, and that will be such a big difference for so many Christian ministries that had sued to get out from under these onerous restrictions.
ObamaCare Abortion Mandate Lawsuit Lost!
Great victory for people of liberty everywhere. So thank you, Dr. Dobson, for fighting that fight for us. Thank you for listening today, we encourage you to come alongside us in the fight in this culture war to stand for truth and have the backbone to speak that truth and to speak it effectively and win over others in the culture. You can be a part of our team here at WallBuilders by going to WallBuildersLive.com and making a contribution. As a listener supported program, you as a listener, and your support, it’s absolutely critical for us to do what we’re doing.
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