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POLICY DIGEST: Another setback for vaccine mandate; Senate drops draft requirement for women

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Biden Administration suffers another setback on vaccine mandate for workers

AUGUSTA, Ga. (BP) – The Biden administration suffered a setback Tuesday (Dec. 7) on the president’s mandatory vaccination order for employees of federal contractors. The ruling by U.S. District Judge R. Stan Baker is the latest win for those pushing against the federal order.

The trade group Associated Builders and Contractors, Inc. filed suit against the Biden administration. Some of their work is through government contracts in Alabama, Georgia, Idaho, Kansas, South Carolina, Utah and West Virginia.

The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary filed a petition against the Biden administration in early November over the order.

Ryan Bangert, senior counsel with Alliance Defending Freedom, is representing the seminary.

“Everybody should be free to make their own healthcare decisions. Whether Americans agree on the COVID-19 vaccines or not, every American should agree that the Biden Administration’s threatened mandate is a vast and unlawful executive power grab,” he said in response to Tuesday’s decision.

Brent Leatherwood, acting president of the Southern Baptist Convention Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission said, “As we have consistently said to elected leaders from the outset of the challenges brought by COVID, provide guidance instead of mandates. This string of court rulings confirm why that should have been the course that was pursued all along.”

Leatherwood urges government leaders to provide information and partner with local officials, “In doing so, public officials can invite individual Americans to be part of the solution for combatting COVID-19 by getting vaccinated and helping mitigate the worst effects of this terrible plague.”

Senate drops potential requirement for women to register for draft

WASHINGTON D.C. (BP) – The U.S. Senate dropped a controversial provision Tuesday (Dec. 7) in the National Defense Authorization Act requiring women to register for the selective draft when they turn 18.

Sen. Josh Hawley (R-Mo.) led the fight against the provision. On Monday he posted on Twitter: “It appears the NDAA will no longer require women to register for the military draft. I certainly hope that is the case. If it is not, then I will keep fighting for a vote on the Senate floor to strip this wrong and misguided provision out of the final bill.”

In 2019, messengers to the Southern Baptist Convention annual meeting in Birmingham, Ala., passed a resolution to “strongly urge the President and Congress not to expand the Selective Service to include women, which would be to act against the plain testimony of Scripture and nature.”

Chelsea Sobolik, public policy director for the Southern Baptist Convention Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission said, “The U.S. draft has historically been filled by men, and a government that coerces women into the draft, as the SBC has clearly stated, ‘would be to treat men and women interchangeably and to deny male and female differences clearly revealed in Scripture and in nature.'”

The resolution echoed the sentiments of Southern Baptists in 2016, who passed a similar resolution.

Albert Mohler, president of Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, said of 2016 resolution, ““We are now in a secular society that seems to have lost not only its sanity, but also to have lost any ability to make a moral argument against women serving in combat.”

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