It’s been a few days since the big SCOTUS decision to allow Hobby Lobby to not offer all 20 kinds of birth control methods to their employees.
It was certainly interesting to read on facebook and all over the internet the various reactions to this decision. People were calling this a win for religious freedom, a violation of women’s reproductive rights, an intrusion by business into the doctor’s office, and on and on.
As I sorted through my thoughts and feelings, I couldn’t help but be a little amused by the extreme reactions. The thing I found the most interesting is that certain people who believe in the Affordable Care Act found SCOTUS’ decision to be a violation of personal freedom. I guess I can see where this reaction would be coming from, but I think it’s asinine. To believe that it’s okay for the federal government to force healthcare on the entirety of the population but believe it’s NOT okay for a closely-held corporation to determine which benefits they will provide to their honestly very few voluntary employees actually blows my mind a little bit. I am really not sure how to react to that kind of thinking.
The term “slippery slope” is being thrown as the newest fad in cliche terms and I don’t know that people really understand what it means. It’s not a slippery slope to continue to allow government into every detail of our lives (federal farm and produce subsidies, federal student loans, the NSA, welfare and handouts that create a dependent society, Obamacare) but it’s a slippery slope for a closely-held corporation to decide that federal mandates violate their religious freedom? If this was a corporation run by Muslims, would we even be having this conversation? Or is it only really a big deal because we’re talking about Christians?
I really don’t think that this is going to culminate in major corporations declaring religious rights violations. The reason is that most for-profit corporations believe in one thing – the bottom line. Most for-profit corporations don’t care about anything unless it affects their profit margin. If publicly-held corporations were to declare religious rights violations to increase the bottom line, they would lose. Well, probably. Congress has declared corporations to be akin to people. Really, really RICH people. Who benefit the government. Hm, interesting.
The thing I really respect about Hobby Lobby is that this organization has demonstrated by its actions that it stands behind what it believes. The people who own it stand behind their beliefs. They are closed on Sundays which certainly affects their bottom line. They pay their employees more than they need to, which affects the bottom line.
If someone is not willing to be inconvenienced or to sacrifice for their beliefs, THEY DON’T ACTUALLY BELIEVE what they claim. If I claim to be a Christian but don’t tithe or serve or do anything outside warming a seat on Sunday, am I actually a Christian? If I’m not willing to sacrifice myself, talents, and money for sake of furthering the gospel, do I really believe its message? If I’m not willing to become more like Christ who gave up everything he had to hang out with us scumbags, then I don’t believe what I claim to believe. That’s the thing about values, beliefs, faith – whatever you want to call it – you only really know what they are when it’s crunch time.
I respect Hobby Lobby. When it came to crunch time, they were willing to go out of business for their beliefs. They were going to exercise their RIGHT to religious freedom. If government mandates were going to force them to go against their beliefs, they were prepared to do what was necessary to avoid that. I applaud that.
The downside, if you can call it that, is that this has caused me to really examine myself. Am I prepared to do that? Am I willing to do what it takes to make sure that my words and my actions line up or am I happy living a hypocritical life?