Rick Warren, the noted evangelical Christian pastor and writer, said Wednesday that a provision in the Affordable Care Act requiring businesses to provide their employees with insurance that covers birth control was “like making a Jewish deli sell pork.”
In an interview with HuffPost Live, Warren questioned the constitutionality of President Barack Obama’s signature health care law because it mandates that for-profit companies, including those with religious affiliations, provide coverage for contraception. Warren said that he did not personally challenge a woman’s right to use contraception, but he said the law "without a doubt" violated the First Amendment.
“If a Catholic brother or sister says, ‘Well, we don’t believe in contraception,’ they’ve got that right ... That’s freedom of belief,” Warren said. “The first sentence of the first phrase of the First Amendment –- the first freedom in America is freedom of religion.”
The U.S. Supreme Court announced last month that it would take up the issue of the birth control insurance mandate in a high-profile case filed by craft supply chain Hobby Lobby, which was founded by a conservative Christian family.
When asked about supporting potential presidential candidates for the 2016 election, Warren, who identifies himself as a registered independent, said he had no plans to endorse anybody.
“People say, ‘Are you left-wing or are you right-wing?' I always say, ‘Well, I’m for the whole bird,'” Warren said. “A bird with one wing literally goes in circles.”
View Warren’s discussion of the contraception mandate in the video above from HuffPost Live.