Garrett Appears in Congressional Hearing

Oklahoma Christian’s Dr. Allison Garrett (84) testified in a February hearing by the U.S. House Committee on Oversight & Government Reform, “Lines Crossed: Separation of Church and State. Has the Obama Administration Trampled on Freedom of Religion and Freedom of Conscience?”

Garrett, OC’s senior vice president for academic affairs, was one of four witnesses representing Council for Christian Colleges and Universities member institutions.

Dr. Garrett’s testimony addressed a recent government mandate that requires religion-affiliated institutions to include free coverage for abortifacients in their employee health plans. Churches are exempted from the requirement.

“We believe strongly in our right to practice our faith without interference from the government,” Garrett said at the hearing. “While we believe that every person is to be in subjection to the governing authorities, we respectfully ask that you not force Oklahoma Christian to choose between following our sincerely held religious beliefs or violating federal law ...

“We teach our students not just to be proficient as engineers or historians or writers, but to approach their disciplines from a Christian worldview. We incorporate our faith in everything we do at Oklahoma Christian, from daily chapel to prayer before intramural athletic events to service activities around the world, yet the exemption does not apply to us ...

“Forcing employers to cooperate in offering drugs or services that they believe are morally wrong leaves employers in the same moral quagmire as the original regulations. We ask that the Administration and the Congress overturn these regulations because they infringe on our religious liberty.”

Spring 2012

View more stories from the Spring 2012 issue of Vision magazine.