Monthly Archives: August 2014

Hobby Lobby case shows liberals can be as ideologically intolerant as conservatives

Hobby Lobby storeReactions to the recent Hobby Lobby Supreme Court decision that affirmed the right of closely held corporations to refuse to offer abortion and birth control services to their employees because of the religious convictions of the owners, were very revealing.

Unsurprisingly conservatives hailed the decision as a victory for religious freedom. On the left, however, the story was quite different. In fact, it’s been a long time since I’ve seen such a hysterically doctrinaire reaction to any issue.

Winnifred Fallers Sullivan, who herself dislikes the decision, characterized the reactions of many liberals this way in a article: “Liberals have gone nuts, wildly predicting the end of the world as we know it.”

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid called the Court’s ruling “outrageous.” To California Senator Barbara Boxer, it means that “the employer, the boss, has total power to deny critical medical care to their employees.”

Isn’t that overstating the case just a wee bit?

The Court ruled that individuals who happen to be business owners are not required to violate their sincerely held religious beliefs in order to meet a government mandate that by its nature is less than critical. Not having contraceptive services included in your company’s insurance benefit is not a life-threatening issue, especially since very adequate provisions for obtaining that coverage would be available elsewhere.

Any worker who decides to seek employment at Hobby Lobby will know up front that the firm’s insurance package won’t cover contraception or abortion services. They have the option to accept that fact and make other arrangements for covering their contraception needs, or to seek employment elsewhere.

On the other hand, had the Court decided the case differently, the owners of Hobby Lobby would have no other alternative than to either bend to a government dictate that required them to violate their consciences, or go out of business.

The hysterical responses on the left seem to give zero weight to the issue of religious freedom, and maximum weight to the emotional symbolism of “an employer trying to control women’s bodies.”

To my mind, that kind of rhetoric only demonstrates that liberal ideologues can be just as unreasonably strident and demanding as their conservative brethren.

But the liberal political class seems to be fully caught up in the wave of unthinking hysteria. After expressing their outrage and dismay that the national sky is falling, Senate Democrats moved promptly to introduce legislation to overturn the decision.

Ron Franklin

Photo credits:

DangApricot via WikiMedia

Do recent anti-immigration protests reflect God’s heart?

Deport illegalsThis post is not about the politics of immigration policy.

But it is about some of the protests that have taken place over the past several weeks against the huge influx of children who have crossed our borders seeking asylum.

The pictures we have seen on TV are, to my mind, absolutely appalling. Men and women with rage on their faces and hate in their shouted slogans, confronting buses filled with children.

Do any of these protesters ever think about what it must be like for a child, a stranger in a strange land, without parents or any other protector, to be confronted with what must appear to them as a screaming mob that hates them? What kind of terror and insecurity must that induce in the mind of a nine or ten year old child?

I find it impossible to believe that any of the protesters would want their own children, if forced for some reason to seek asylum in another country, to be greeted that way. Yet those who claim to be Christian surely know that Jesus commanded:

And just as you want men to do to you, you also do to them likewise.   Luke 6:31 (NKVJ)

And by greeting these refugees with no welcome, no love, but with only a harsh demand that they be expelled from the country immediately, with no consideration of what would then happen to them, do the protesters really see themselves as reflecting the heart of God?

You shall not afflict any widow or fatherless child. 23 If you afflict them in any way, and they cry at all to Me, I will surely hear their cry.

Exodus 22:22-23

The policy issues concerning what to do about the refugees who turn up unbidden on our doorstep are complex, and merit serious discussion and debate.

But, in my opinion, protests that communicate only hate, with no concern at all for children who have risked their lives to come here in order to escape worse dangers back home, are not something in which any true follower of Christ ought to be involved.

Ron Franklin

Photo credit: via flickr