ON-Lion Letter
In July, Wheaton College in Wheaton, Ill., a leading evangelical liberal-arts institution, joined a federal lawsuit alongside The Catholic University of America (CUA) in Washington, D.C., opposing the new national health-care law's "preventative services" mandate that forces both institutions to violate their deeply held religious beliefs or pay severe fines.  The alliance marks the first-ever partnership between Catholic and evangelical institutions to oppose the same regulation in the same court.

"This mandate is not just a Catholic issue -- it threatens people of all faiths," according to Kyle Duncan, general counsel of The Becket Fund for Religious Liberty in Washington, which is representing Wheaton and CUA and is substantially supported by Milwaukee's Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation.  "Wheaton's historic decision to join the fight alongside a Catholic institution shows the broad consensus that the mandate endangers everyone's religious liberty."

Wheaton's religious convictions prevent it from providing its employees with access to abortion-causing drugs.  The college's lawsuit acts to preserve its religious liberty and the right to carry out its mission free from government coercion.

"Wheaton College and other distinctively Christian institutions are faced with a clear and present threat to our religious liberty," says Wheaton College president Philip Ryken.  "Our first president, the abolitionist Jonathan Blanchard, believed it was imperative to act in defense of freedom.  In bringing this suit, we act in defense of freedom again."

CUA president John Garvey added, "As the president of the national university of the Catholic Church, I am happy to express solidarity with our evangelical brothers and sisters from Wheaton College ....  Wheaton's lawsuit is another sign of how troubling many people of faith find the government's efforts to chip away at our first freedom."
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