Musings of an Ist
Wheaton, however, along with many other religious not-for-profits, have long objected to this very workaround. They filed lawsuits claiming that the mere fact of signing a form noting their religious objection to contraception coverage triggered third parties to provide the contraception, which triggered women to have access to morning-after pills and IUDs, which in their view were akin to abortions, and thus violated their religious consciences. Signing the form, they said, was the same as actually providing the contraceptives themselves. It’s the butterfly effect of contraception. Any time Wheaton flaps its religious-conscience wings, a woman somewhere ends up with an IUD, and Wheaton’s religious liberties are violated.

And Thursday night a majority of the court agreed. The order is a preliminary injunction. The court will need to decide this and dozens of similar cases in the future. The justices caution that this in no way reflects their views of the future cases. But for our purposes, let it be known that the very workaround the court gave to religious objectors only four days earlier now likely violates their religious liberty as well.

For the court to issue an emergency temporary injunction is a truly extraordinary act. Even more extraordinary was that justices filed a 16-page barnstorming dissent. And those dissenters share a highly relevant personal characteristic: a uterus. That’s correct, the three dissenting justices last night were the court’s three women: Justices Sonia Sotomayor, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, and Elena Kagan. In the event that the religious and gender rift at the court was not already painful to behold, the dissent, penned by Sotomayor, is a forceful and unwavering rejection of both the majority’s reasoning and tactics. “I disagree strongly with what the court has done,” Sotomayor wrote. “Those who are bound by our decisions usually believe they can take us at our word. Not so today. After expressly relying on the availability of the religious-nonprofit accommodation to hold that the contraceptive coverage requirement violates [the Religious Freedom Restoration Act] as applied to closely held for-profit corporations, the Court now, as the dissent in Hobby Lobby feared it might, retreats from that position.”

Signing a form to accommodate your religious objections is not a violation of your conscience.

I would say I don’t know why more Christians aren’t offended by the implications of the Hobby Lobby ruling, but actually I know quite well: because this isn’t in any way about religious freedom, it’s about controlling women. There’s no way to conclude otherwise. But a corporation cannot have deeply held religious beliefs, and to compare a corporation’s health insurance policies to the actual faith of living people is an insult.

Fellow Christians: you may be happy about this now, but you do realize this ruling has cheapened our faith in the eyes of the law?

I don’t agree that this is a religious civil war, but this article raises some particularly salient points and I recommend reading the whole thing.

I excerpted a good chunk of this (and the bolding is mine) but I encourage you to go read the whole thing at Wine & Marble.

I believe corporations are wildly different from people. I believe this has implications for campaign finance and contraceptive coverage.

I believe that if you’re going to make money by manufacturing your products in a country with an absolutely abysmal human rights record, you can’t call your company “Christian.” (You can’t call a company “Christian” in the first place, but if you’re going to do so, you better make absolutely sure your company only does good for everyone involved, from manufacturer to shipper to consumer.)

I believe that calling a corporation “Christian” is like putting a Jesus fish on the back of a car. It invites scrutiny.

This is really good and I recommend reading the whole thing. It’s short.

The Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) voted Thursday to allow pastors to marry same-sex couples in states where it is legal.

The church also voted, by an overwhelming majority, to change the language about marriage in the church constitution to “two persons” from a “man and a woman,” according to More Light Presbyterians, a group that supports gay rights.

Good.

Dear fellow Christians,

Let’s pull our heads out of places where they are not particularly useful, and stop tacitly condoning things like this with our silence, shall we? This is wrong; this is a wrong being perpetuated in our name, with our silence giving weight and aid to the oppressors.

TW on this post for a racial slur

When I was a high school student, I walked into a local pastor’s home and was immediately assaulted by the sight of a large confederate flag hanging on the wall. I gasped and asked them why they had a confederate flag. With disarming matter-of-factness, they told me that they liked the colors, the aesthetic and the “rebel” image that it projected. I tried to explain (as best I could as a frazzled teen) that the flag invokes painful images of black oppression but they remained committed to their blissful ignorance. Ultimately, they shoo-ed me away, telling me that I was making a big deal out of nothing and that I focused too much on negative events that were resolved long ago. The flag remained mounted on the wall for years.

The church taught me that my perspective is invalid and that the pain of my people is unimportant.

Dear White Christians of Florida:

  Far be it that I, a white clergyman who is not a lawyer, instruct you as to the illogical nature of your “stand your ground” license to kill but let us note something that is apparent now after two cases where your predominantly white juries could not agree to convict a man who admitted he killed an unarmed teen-ager:  if you convict a person for attempting to murder ten teens but fail to convict the killer for actually killing a teen, then you have incentivized killing since, not only on the face of it but in actuality, you have told the person we will not convict you for killing a black, unarmed teen-ager but we will imprison you for attempting it.
  The stench from your houses of worship is wafting its way across this country, polluting citizenship, demoralizing parents and families, mocking accountability and blaspheming the Holy God whom you say you love and worship.  If that offends you, try reading Amos.

Does anyone know of Christian blogs or comment sections talking about materialism (attachment to physical possessions, not the philosophy) or excess or having too much stuff or a minimalist life?

I know there are some books, but I’m wondering if anyone’s talking about it in real-time. (And if not, it’s kind of a sad commentary on the church.) Google’s not turning up much; has anyone seen something like that?