Wheaton College Adds Name to Lawsuit: An Issue Related to Integration

Wheaton College is widely considered a flagship evangelical academic institution. It is significant that Wheaton has joined other Christian organizations and institutions in a lawsuit against the contraception mandate in President Obama’s healthcare plan. Christianity Today has a report on the breaking news.

The key sentence is as follows:

The issue at stake for many evangelicals related to the health care mandate, however, has less to do with providing contraception than how religious institutions are defined by the government. While churches are exempt from the mandate, insurers of parachurch organizations still will be required to provide contraception, raising questions about religious exemptions.

So you might assume that evangelicals are primarily concerned with the contraception mandate as such. Not so.

Private Christian colleges and universities have a stake in how broadly the government defines religious institutions. Is Christianity simply relegated to the local church, or are various parachurch institutions and organizations recognized as viable groups that warrant exemption status?

This discussion extends far into a number of realms, including education, which is why so many Christian academic institutions appear ready to sign on to the lawsuit. This will be an important one — something to keep an eye on.

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