Dear Mr. President:
I am one of the pastors at First Baptist Church of Farmersville, Texas. For many years, our church has housed and administered a food pantry. Ours is the only food pantry operating in Farmersville. During the years of your administration, the demands upon our food pantry have greatly increased. Several months ago, our church initiated a conversation about the possibility of moving the food pantry into its own organization, separate from the church. We believe that the food pantry would benefit from such an organizational change, and we were well on the way to formalizing this decision.
At this moment, those plans are completely on hold, and you are the person responsible. Your recent actions regarding Obamacare have made it clear to us that you and a sizable number of people in your political party do not regard the religious liberty of church-related ministries as inalienable rights that you must respect. Rather, you have signaled an intent to withdraw religious liberty from church-related ministries. Today you would force such ministries to fund abortifacient drugs contrary to their religious convictions. Since our food pantry does not employ anyone, your current directive would not affect our food pantry…yet. But once it becomes a settled matter that church-related ministries do not merit the same level of religious liberty that a church enjoys, then we can hardly anticipate all of the draconian dictates yet to come that WOULD affect our food pantry.
And so, the only wise course of action is for FBC Farmersville to refrain from allowing ANY of our ministries to achieve separate legal status from our church. This may not be the ideal circumstance for our ministries, but we're not confident that your policies will allow us to do what is in the best interest of serving those in Farmersville who are hungry. Perhaps you have not considered the overwhelmingly negative impact your astonishingly narrow construal of religious liberty would have upon church-related ministries. It seemed important to me to make the harm done by your policies clear to all.