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Spirituality

On Religious Freedom

I write this to see my brothers and sisters rest in the hope that is the one true savior of humanity. This savior is not in our government, it’s not in our political persuasions, it’s not in our “good deeds” or moral compass, and it’s not in our freedom.

The Supreme Court of the US made a decision recently to allow employers, on the grounds of religious beliefs, to gain exemptions from the universal standard of health insurance. One of the standards of health insurance is that contraceptives must be considered preventative services with no co-pay. Hopefully, by preventing unplanned pregnancy, unplanned medical expenses would be reduced.

However, some employers believe that their religious beliefs should exempt them from following this particular law.

If you worked for an employer who received an exemption on the grounds of religious belief from paying for health insurance that covered blood transfusions, would you be happy with your health insurance? Or your employer?

What if your employer had a religious exemption to life insurance because of their beliefs about death? Or car insurance because of their beliefs about technology?

The natural objection to these scenarios is that we aren’t going to accept or tolerate someone’s behavior just because it is a deeply held belief of theirs. When behavior is accepted for no other reason than the fact that it is religious, that is not religious freedom; it is religious oppression.

We. as a society, have to make decisions about the aggregate good. The very foundation of society is that the belief of the individual is not considered reason enough to subvert the greater good. While, at some point in time, our society may have decided contraceptives are against the aggregate good, that has changed.

 

The words ‘religious freedom’ have been thrown around a lot in this conversation. Let me be perfectly clear: this has nothing to do with religious freedom.

Just to refresh your memory (with memories fresh in the founding father’s eyes), the US Constitution was created following a time where you would be tortured, executed, exiled, converted, or blacklisted based on what religion you identified with. Religious freedom meant that the society couldn’t differentiate someone for their religion. Everyone must be equal under the law. 

In the early church, there was a Roman emperor who required all citizens to wear his mark (as religious symbol of his godhood) in order to even buy and sell in the market, so Christians either took the mark or starved. There was another emperor who fed Christian women and children to animals as entertainment.

Christians in the USA today cry ‘persecution’ and ‘religious discrimination’ when their business has to shell out a 7% health insurance premium increase for something that doesn’t line up with their beliefs. Are you going to be like Paul, who continued preaching the gospel to the city in which he was just stoned and left for dead? Or are you going to pansy out and complain to the government until you get your way?

Everyone else’s religious freedom and freedom of belief was just infringed upon so Christians could appease their religious beliefs.

There is no power on earth that was not placed there by God. God provides.

EDIT: I should make my position clearer on the case itself. As more information about the case regarding Hobby Lobby comes to light, it is clear that the SCOTUS decision in this case only applied an exemption to four of the twenty contraceptives on the grounds that those 4 are considered abortifacients. So they basically aren’t making them pay for abortions. I can respect this position of the court, but I cannot respect the position that one’s religion exempts them from law.

I think it’s important to remember, for both sides, that this isn’t the end of religious freedom or of women’s rights. This is a decision made on a legal precedent to not force people to pay for abortions.

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About Josh Poland

Worship Leader, Economist, Musician, Martial Artist

Discussion

One thought on “On Religious Freedom

  1. “Universal standard of health insurance”? Whose universe? 🙂 All kidding aside, I agree that the court erred in giving Hobby Lobby an out with this compromise unless they plan on entertaining all sorts of other exceptions.

    Posted by Jim | July 4, 2014, 10:15 am

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