"While we rejoice in this strong upholding of religious freedom, this decision does not signal an end to the discussion. For the Lutheran Church--Missouri Synod, it simply emboldens us to carry on, doing what we do best as Christians: praying, confessing the faith and living it out in our daily callings.
We pray that Americans, whose consciences are burdened because they have been forced to violate their religious beliefs, would know God's comfort and forgiveness.
We confess that life, which begins at conception, is a gift from God and ought to be held in the highest regard in this country.
We live, knowing that the First Amendment guarantees us not only the right to worship, but also to practice our faith as Lutheran citizens of this great nation, serving our neighbor where the Lord has placed us.
The LCMS rejoices with the Greens of Hobby Lobby, with the Hahns of Conestoga Wood Specialties and with our millions of brothers and sisters in the United States who believe just as strongly in the religious liberties guaranteed in our Constitution. Today we are thankful for this step toward maintaining the integrity of our religious freedoms inherent in the First Amendment, but we will also remain ever mindful. The issue is and will continue to be purely and simply about religious freedom."
The Rev. Dr. Matthew C. Harrison is the current and 13th president of The Lutheran Church--Missouri Synod. He testified regarding this issue before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee in a Capitol Hill hearing in Washington, D.C., on Thursday, Feb. 16, 2012, alongside four other religious leaders. Here is a link to an LCMS story about that hearing: http://blogs.lcms.org/2012/harrison-defends-freedoms-before-house-committee .
Director of Public Relations
The Lutheran Church--Missouri Synod