President Barack Obama has nominated a new “Religious Freedom Ambassador,” but his nominee opposes protecting the religious freedoms of the owners of Hobby Lobby, who don’t want to be forced to pay for drugs for their employees that cause abortions.
Obama announced that he will nominate Rabbi David Nathan Saperstein as Ambassador at Large for International Religious Freedom at the State Department. Saperstein is a longtime pro-abortion advocate whose group has opposed pro-life legislation.
“I am grateful that Rabbi Saperstein has chosen to dedicate his talent to serving the American people at this important time for our country. I look forward to working with him in the months and years ahead,” he said. Saperstein, director of the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism, is subject to Senate confirmation.
Secretary of John Kerry also introduced him at a press briefing late Monday morning, saying that religious freedom is an “integral part of our global diplomatic engagement.”
However, Saperstein is strongly opposed to the Supreme Court’s decision protecting Hobby Lobby’s religious freedoms and, in an interview, Saperstein called the decision “deeply troubling.”
The Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism has also been a long-time abortion supporter and officially co-sponsored a pro-abortion march in 2003. The Union for Reform Judaism and its Washington-based Religious Action Center for Reform Judaism have agreed to be co-sponsors, as have the American Jewish Congress’s commission for women’s equality and Hadassah.
In addition, former NARAL President Kate Michelman was invited to attend the Union for Reform Judaism’s biennial convention in Minneapolis in 2003.
She told convention-goers, “We are counting on groups like this — activists like you — to pack the buses and come to Washington” for the pro-abortion march.
Saperstein himself has attacked pro-life advocates and, in 2005, called “reprehensible” and “abhorrent” comments Focus on the Family head Dr. James Dobson made comparing the destruction of human embryos in embryonic stem cell research to the deaths of Jews killed during the Nazi holocaust.
Saperstein chided Dobson for trying to “link for political purposes” to the death of Jews “research on blastocysts that will be destroyed anyway.”