Accuracy in Media's (AIM) Benjamin Johnson sat down with Rev. Avelino Gonzales, Imam Johari Malik and Rabbi Charles Feinberg in Washington, D.C. to discuss the religious freedom issues associated with the Obama administration's contraception mandate. AIM reports on the video project, which reveals the faith leaders' intriguing stances on religious-freedom issues:
Accuracy in Media discovered an alarming narrative developing in the mainstream press. Pundits and reporters have chosen to apply the debate to the horse-race for the GOP nomination, or another battle in the culture war for reproductive rights. Unfortunately a larger, constitutionally intrinsic question is being overlooked: will this pending mandate forever endanger our religious liberties for the sake of public policy?
"Never in the history of the U.S. has such an assault on religious freedom been seen," said Rev. Gonzales. "[The mandate is] forcing the church to take a position where they're going to violate their most fundamental beliefs with regards to the sanctity of human life."
Imam Malik strikes a similar tone throughout the video.
"That contraception should be mandated in insurance benefits of employers, we open a huge can of issues," he explains. "When you require nonprofits -- religious organizations to engage in something that they don't believe in, because you think it's for the public good -- now you have a church and state quagmire."
Rabbi Feinberg, though, takes a different view.
"No one's saying that they have to use birth control," Feinberg says. "If we had a single-payer system here, this wouldn't be an issue...it's only an issue because health insurance is provided by employers."
See how these leaders explain their diverse views on the contraception mandate and the associated religious freedom issues, below: