Archive for the tag “Hobby Lobby”

On religious freedom, at CNN it’s still 1984

Mark Kelly writes at kainos:

orwell 1984 2Do not take a press release at face value, nor press releases regurgitated by “news” organizations.

Dan Merica and Kevin Bohn report for CNN, in a post RealClearReligion styled as “White House Caves on Mandate” that the Obama administration has finalized rules on the HHS abortifacient mandate that “appropriately balance” religious liberty and contraception coverage. Yet the article goes on to point out that those rules “have undergone only minor changes” and you have to read 13 paragraphs before you find out  the very serious conscience issues faced by Christians in for-profit business like Hobby Lobby have not been resolved. Five administration voices — named and unnamed — are quoted glowingly that justice has been done, contrasted with only one opposing voice speaking directly to the finalized rules.

In stark contrast, Sarah Pulliam Bailey’s article for RNS got straight to the real news in an article headlined “White House denies contraception exemption to private businesses.” The article lead plainly says what the CNN presser did its best to ignore: “The Obama administration on Friday (June 28) issued final rules for religious groups for its controversial contraception mandate, maintaining its position on who qualifies for religious exemption and allowing no carve-outs for private business owners.”

I’m supposing someone at RCR rewrites the headlines. CNN’s said “Finalized rules let religious groups opt out of contraception mandate.” But that’s only marginally more accurate than the RCR head, and the CNN piece goes to great lengths to bury the still-serious concerns about religious liberty and completely ignores recent developments like Hobby Lobby’ssuccessful appeal against the mandate.

Only in 1984 would news media portray an administration’s determined opposition to religious freedom as listening to the people’s voice and allowing conscientious objection.

Hobby Lobby appeal update: Court unanimously agrees

david green hobbyBrianna Bailey reports for newsok.com:

A federal appeals court in Denver sided with Hobby Lobby Stores Inc. on Thursday in its legal battle against part of the Affordable Care Act. …

In a statement, Hobby Lobby founder and CEO David Green said he and his family believe that life begins with conception and paying for their employees to have insurance coverage for emergency contraceptives such as the morning-after pill would force them to violate their religious beliefs.

“We believe that business owners should not have to be forced to choose between following their faith and following the law,” he said in the statement. “We will continue to fight for our religious freedom, and we appreciate the prayers of support we have received.”

In a 168-page ruling issued Thursday, the federal appeals court sent the case back to a lower court for further review.

The panel of eight appellate court judges who heard arguments in May ruled unanimously that Hobby Lobby and its affiliated Christian bookstore chain Mardel have the right to sue over the Affordable Care Act.

“A religious individual may enter the for-profit realm intending to demonstrate to the marketplace that a corporation can succeed financially while adhering to religious values,” the judges said in the ruling.

Read the full text of the article by clicking here.
Learn more from the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty.

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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