IT REALLY doesn’t matter the brand of conservative fundamentalism, traditional religiosity makes sweeping assumptions about what God deems the laws of faith approve. In the hands of men “doing Gods work,” with women supporting and propping up the notion that father knows best, science is snuffed out. Now the traditionalists like Rick Warren, who believe man indeed is at the top of the human food chain, are attempting to utilize Hobby Lobby to re-invigorate President George W. Bush’s religious exemption to federal anti-discrimination laws.
The slippery slope didn’t take long to become a super slick slide.
Steve Coll is someone I’ve heard speak many times at the New America Foundation. In the New Yorker he draws a straight line from Hobby Lobby and the Taliban to Justice Samuel Alito‘s opinion, which his conservative ideological pals on the court aided. From his New Yorker piece:
Tehrik-e-Taliban, the Pakistani Taliban, is a closely held, profit-making enterprise organized on religious principles. One of its principles, announced as public policy in July, 2012, is that children should not be inoculated against polio, because the vaccines violate God’s law. So sincere are the Taliban’s religious beliefs that its followers have assassinated scores of public-health workers who have attempted to administer polio vaccines in areas under Taliban control or influence.
This year, three out of five of the world’s new polio cases have been found in Pakistan’s Federally Administered Tribal Areas, particularly in North Waziristan, where the Pakistani Taliban and groups like it have run a de-facto state since about 2008. The great majority of the polio victims are children under two years old.
If the Pakistani Taliban, aided by clever lawyers, organized a closely held American corporation, and professed to run it on religious principles, might its employees be deprived of insurance coverage to inoculate their children against polio? And would the Supreme Court, by the five-to-four decision issued on Monday in Burwell v. Hobby Lobby Stores and in Conestoga Wood Specialties v. Burwell, endorse such a move?
Constitutionality on the Supreme Court today is in the eye of the traditionalist ideologue who happen to be men that put religion above everything else.
Rick Warren has now joined a growing number of religious leaders asking President Obama for a religious exemption similar to George W. Bush on the executive order banning federal contractors from discriminating against LGBT people, which was first reported by Molly Ball in The Atlantic.
This week, in the Hobby Lobby case, the Supreme Court ruled that a religious employer could not be required to provide employees with certain types of contraception. That decision is beginning to reverberate: A group of faith leaders is urging the Obama administration to include a religious exemption in a forthcoming LGBT anti-discrimination action. Their call, in a letter sent to the White House Tuesday, attempts to capitalize on the Supreme Court case by arguing that it shows the administration must show more deference to the prerogatives of religion.
“We are asking that an extension of protection for one group not come at the expense of faith communities whose religious identity and beliefs motivate them to serve those in need,” the letter states.
An exemption to discriminate through the cloak of religion that start with the Hobby Lobby decision, starting with women who are employees and use birth control for cramps and other medical needs beyond contraception has now become a gateway to discriminate against LGBT individuals.
Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg was right (as usual).
It won’t stop there.