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Wed Jul 30, 2014, 12:19 PM

 

Which View of Christianity Does Supreme Court's Hobby Lobby Ruling Defend? What About Sharia Law?

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/h-a-goodman/which-view-of-christianit_b_5625917.html?utm_hp_ref=religion&ir=Religion&utm_content=buffer6ed8e&utm_medium=social&utm_source=facebook.com&utm_campaign=buffer

Injecting the Bible into politics inevitably turns lawmakers into theologians. For example, Tea Party Congressman Stephen Fincher declared last year that, "The role of citizens, of Christians, of humanity is to take care of each other, but not for Washington to steal from those in the country and give to others in the country." Needless to say, not all Christians share Rep. Fincher's opinion of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program. Also, as with any topic that merges politics and religion, there's the muddled issue of interpretation. Do Christians throughout the United States view birth control or abortion as a "substantial burden" to their faith? What about Muslims American citizens who adhere to certain principles of Sharia law? With so many versions of Christianity, Judaism, Islam, and other faiths within the U.S., it might prove impossible to balance everyone's various "religious liberties" alongside laws meant to protect the rights of all Americans.

Religious freedom, if applied to future legislation by the Supreme Court's Hobby Lobby verdict, must also now be correlated to religious interpretation. Contrary to GOP pundit Erick Erickson's tweet ("My religion trumps your 'right' to employer subsidized consequence free sex.", Hobby Lobby apparently already "subsidized free sex." According to the Christian Science Monitor, the corporation agreed to pay for all but "four of 18 methods required to be provided to female employees under the Affordable Care Act's contraception mandate." The Supreme Court decided that there were certain methods that "substantially burdened" Hobby Lobby's religious beliefs, thus its owner's were not compelled to provide four methods of birth control. The day after the ruling, other cases involving all methods of birth control sought to expand the Hobby Lobby decision. As with all religiously inspired verdicts, the blurry demarcation from four methods to all methods is now subject to whether one's expression of faith is "substantially burdened."

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If the Court had ruled 5-4 in favor of a Muslim family's corporation, the paranoid uproar from conservatives would be heard around the world. Republicans in more than a dozen states have already introduced legislation banning state judges from considering Sharia law. According to the Hobby Lobby decision, however, a Muslim-American owned corporation's expression of Sharia law should be treated just like the Christian principles protected from ACA mandates.

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Until God comes down from heaven to advise the Supreme Court on which religious interpretations are truly expressed correctly, it's best to keep "religious expression" away from laws affecting the lives of all Americans; especially if you invest in birth control while denying it to your employees. Also, if you applaud Hobby Lobby, remember to jump for joy when other Americans of faiths different from yours have their religious expression protected at the expense of your health care. As stated by Justice Ginsberg's dissent, "The court, I fear, has ventured into a minefield."

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Reply Which View of Christianity Does Supreme Court's Hobby Lobby Ruling Defend? What About Sharia Law? (Original post)
Scuba Jul 2014 OP
Swede Atlanta Jul 2014 #1
jwirr Jul 2014 #2

Response to Scuba (Original post)

Wed Jul 30, 2014, 12:41 PM

1. This is the grand-daddy of slippery slopes.....

 

There is nothing preventing a company with Muslim ownership to only hire Muslims and among those even only men. According to at least some Muslims, anyone who is not a Muslim is a heretic and must either convert or be put to death. Since these are "modern" Muslims living in America surely the least we can do to accommodate their deeply held belief that anyone who isn't a Muslim must die, is to allow them to discriminate in hiring (or doing business with or renting to, etc.) any non-Muslim.

And further since their sincere religious beliefs are that women are subservient to men and must stay at home, no women can work there either.

Not all Muslims have this strict interpretation of Islam but there are some or there are some that would say so in a court of law.

This is a slippery slope that the 5 Catholic men on the Court failed to appreciate. They thought their words this only applies to closely held corporations (about 80% of Americans work for a closely-held corporation/business) and only to the contraceptive mandate are irrelevant.

The legal precedent is now if you are a closely held business/corporation can convince the court you have a deeply held religious conviction that conflicts with any law, you are exempt from compliance with that law. The only thing that will hold back some of this will be the stipulation in the Restoration of Religious Freedom Act (I think I got that right) that the government must use the least restrictive means possible to achieve its objectives.

In the ACA case they held the government could just force the insurance companies to provide the coverage rather than have the closely-held corporation pay for it. That is a spurious argument because the employee is paying some portion of the premiums and as well the insurance company will factor in that "freebie" into their premiums so the company will be paying for at least some of the cost of providing the contraceptives anyway.

In the case of employment it might be difficult to show a less restrictive means to prevent discrimination on the basis of religion, ethnic origin, etc. than strict prohibition. I'm scratching my head here but think that one might be a difficult one.

The bottom line is there is now precedent that religious beliefs give you the right to refuse to comply with valid law.

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Response to Scuba (Original post)

Wed Jul 30, 2014, 12:54 PM

2. The Hobby Lobby decision does not even represent many Christian churches let alone other religions

or those who are atheist. My church does not tell me I cannot use birth control. So isn't HL infringing on my freedom of religion?

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