On Thursday (July 3, 2014), three days after the Supreme Court ruling in the Hobby Lobby case, the atheist organization, Freedom from Religion Foundation, ran a full-page, anti-Catholic advertisement in The New York Times. The headline of the ad screamed, “Dogma Should Not Trump Our Civil Liberties.” The sub-headline declared: “All-Male, All-Roman Catholic Majority on Supreme Court Puts Religious Wrongs Over Women’s Rights.”
The ad included the following quote from Margaret Sanger, the anti-Catholic founder of Planned Parenthood: “No woman can call herself free who does not own and control her body.” Missing from the ad was another quote from Sanger that revealed her prejudice toward minorities: “Birth control will lead ultimately to a cleaner race.”
In 2012, because of concern that an ad was offensive to Muslims, The New York Times refused to print an advertisement that was critical of Islam. There was no such concern about offending Catholics last week when The New York Times agreed to run the anti-Catholic Ad.
Contrary to what the ad implied, the ruling in the Hobby Lobby case was not based on scripture, the Ten Commandments, Catholic tradition, or any rule of the Catholic Church. The ruling was based on the Supreme Court’s interpretation of the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, a law that was passed by both houses of congress and signed by President Clinton in 1993.
The New York Times ad claimed that the Hobby Lobby decision “allow[s] employers to decide what kind of birth control an employee can use.” That statement is an outright lie. The ruling of the court provided that certain employers cannot be legally forced to pay for contraceptive devices or drugs for employees. The court’s ruling had nothing to do with a woman’s right to purchase or otherwise secure her own contraceptive devices or drugs.
What most media outlets failed to report is that Hobby Lobby did not object to providing health care coverage for 16 forms of contraception: male condoms, female condoms, diaphragms with spermicide, sponges with spermicide, cervical caps with spermicide, spermicide alone, birth-control pills with estrogen and progestin (“Combined Pill”), birth-control pills with progestin alone (“The Mini Pill”), birth control pills (extended/continuous use), contraceptive patches, contraceptive rings, progestin injections, implantable rods, vasectomies, female sterilization surgeries, and female sterilization implants.
The Hobby Lobby case was based on the company’s objection to the legal requirement that it pay for abortifacient drugs or devices that prevent a fertilized egg from implanting in a woman’s uterus: Plan B (“The Morning After Pill”), Ella (a similar type of “emergency contraception”), Copper Intra-Uterine Device, and the IUD with progestin.
Hobby Lobby does not forbid its female employees from using any of the above-mentioned abortifacients. However, the owners of Hobby Lobby have adopted the position that if an employee wants to use an abortifacient, Hobby Lobby is not going to pay for it. The employee has to use her own money to purchase the drug or device.
After the Hobby Lobby decision, Josh Earnest, the White House press secretary, claimed that the Supreme Court decision “jeopardizes the health of women.” Harry Reid, the majority leader of the U.S. Senate, said, “Today’s Supreme Court decision unfortunately jeopardizes basic healthcare coverage and access to contraception for a countless number of women.” He then went on to say that his party must now “fight to preserve women’s access to contraceptive coverage.”
By lying about denying women the right to use contraceptives and abortifacients, the media and politicians hope that we will ignore what the Hobby Lobby case was really about — our federal government forcing U.S. citizens and businesses to set aside their own religious beliefs and surrender to the laws of their all-knowing, all-powerful government.
Is it a coincidence that the Hobby Lobby ruling was released during the same week that we celebrated our independence from the repressive government of King George? Every July 4th we celebrate “Independence Day,” the anniversary of when our founding fathers signed the Declaration of Independence (July 4, 1776).
The United States of America is the only nation in the history of mankind that formally declared at the time of its founding that its citizens would always be allowed to exercise their God-given rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. The U.S. Constitution provides that American citizens have the right to maintain their own religious beliefs and engage in their own religious practices, without interference from government.
If you take the time to read the Declaration of Independence, you will see the litany of complaints that our founding fathers leveled against the government of King George. While most of the complaints are as relevant today as they were in 1776, the one that is the most relevant is, “He has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harass our people, and eat out of their substance.”
The last sentence of the Declaration of Independence states: “And for the support of this declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our lives, our fortunes, and our sacred honor.”
The signing of the Declaration of Independence was an act of rebellion by men who were willing to put their lives, money, and reputations on the line for what they believed in. We can assume that their wives and family members supported their decision to risk everything they had for what they believed in.
The Hobby Lobby case started with one person who resisted and rose up against the rulers in Washington D.C. His name is David Green, a 72-year-old Pentecostal Christian, and the founder of Hobby Lobby. Like our founding fathers, Green wasn’t afraid to pledge his life, fortune, and sacred honor for what he believed in.
It is my hope that the modern-day rebellion that David Green started will embolden all Christians to rise up and do everything in their power to recapture the religious freedoms that our founding fathers fought for.
Happy Independence Day!