Multiply Justice

Why the Hobby Lobby hubbub matters

Many of the comments we have been hearing about the HHS abortion mandate and Christian conscientious objection come from people who completely ignore the Constitution and the First Amendment as they form their opinion. That ought to deeply concern any person of any faith who can identify even one faith conviction they would be unwilling to compromise on order of the government.

hg scottHalee Gray Scott writes for Relevant magazine:

Can the government require Christians to observe business practice that compromises their faith practice?

“This is the way the world ends,” wrote American-English poet T.S. Eliot, “not with a bang, but a whimper.” Buried somewhere in the top news stories of the day—“U.S. Marine Pens Response to Gun Control Bill,” “Cat Arrested at Brazil Prison,” “Father of India Gang Rape Victim Reveals His Daughter’s Name,” “Candlelight Vigil Planned in Boulder for Slain Bull Elk”—you might have read about Hobby Lobby.

No? That’s not surprising, since many of the major networks have remained largely silent on the issue. Yet, this “whimper” of a story might be one of the most significant legislative decisions in our time. Lest you think I overstate my claim, let’s take a look at Hobby Lobby’s case and what’s actually at stake.

What’s at stake in this case is whether or not the government can force private business owners to act against their religious convictions.

As of today, the Green family, the evangelical Christian owners of Hobby Lobby Creative Centers and Mardel Christian Bookstores, potentially owes the federal government $21.3 million in fines for defying the HHS mandate ….

If a privately owned company is paying for health care, should the federal government have a say in what is covered? There are three reasons why Christians and non-Christians alike should be concerned about the ruling in the Hobby Lobby case.

First, the religious exemption proposed in the HHS mandate is so narrow that the vast majority of faith-based organizations—including Catholic hospitals, charities, colleges, universities and nonprofit organizations—fail to meet the criteria. …

Second, some critics claim, “No employers in the private sector have the legal right to force their employees to obey their employer’s religious beliefs.” The Greens do not oppose their employees using emergency contraception, they just oppose paying for it. …

Third, … ultimately, it doesn’t matter whether or not one agrees with the Green’s convictions or not. You don’t have to be Christian to understand that this ruling is potentially a watershed moment in our nation’s history. If we, as a free republic, don’t stand now for the freedoms afforded us in our Constitution, who will be next?

Read the full text of this excellent article by clicking here.

Dr. Halee Gray Scott is an author, scholar, and researcher who blogs at hgscott.com.

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2 thoughts on “Why the Hobby Lobby hubbub matters

  1. Sorry, but Hobby Lobby is not a religious entitity under the law, so no, they don’t get a pass on paying for healthcare for their employees, regardless of what that care entails.

    • Actually, the tax status of an organization has nothing to do with the constitutional issue. It makes no difference whether a person leads a non-profit church or a for-profit business, the Constitution is clear that Congress is not allowed to pass a law that dictates how that individual must or must not express his or her faith. Your comment repeats an Administration taking point, but as far as I know it has no basis in law. It also completely misses the point of the whole debate. Even those who strongly disagree with the dissenters’ viewpoints in this case ought to defend their faith freedom, because one day another Administration may take power that wants them to pay for something they find abhorrent.

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