I wasn’t planning on writing on this topic because so many have done so. If you have lived in a vacuum, then you don’t know about Sebelius v. Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc. Hobby Lobby is fighting for religious freedom that affects everyone, even the atheists. What is at the core of this case is the freedom to live, work and act in this country with the freedom of conscience. In other words, does the government have a right to bind our consciences for purposes of advancing their agendas?
This case affects everyone. You can read 6 Ridiculous Arguments during the hearing by reading Sean Davis’ blog. But what I want to share is what Russell D. Moore wrote concerning the issue. His words truly capture what is at stake and I highly recommend his article here. As far as I’m concerned, this is one of those pieces that should be read in every civics class in every high school in the nation. His views are monumental and truly capture the essence of what is at stake.
The government is telling the Hobby Lobby owners, the Green family, that their free exercise rights aren’t relevant because they run a corporation. They’re telling these Anabaptist woodworkers and the Catholic Little Sisters of the Poor and ministries of all sorts all over the country that what’s at stake is just the signing of some papers, the payment of some money.
Our government has treated free exercise of religion as though it were a tattered house standing in the way of a government construction of a railroad; there to be bought off or plowed out of the way, in the name of progress.
The government wants us to sing from their hymn book, “Onward, Sexual Revolutionaries,” but we can’t do that. We love and respect our leaders, but when they set themselves up as overlords of the conscience, we must respectfully dissent.
We cannot accept the theology lesson the government has sought to teach us, that religion is simply a matter of what happens during the scheduled times of our services, and is left there in the foyer during the rest of the week.
Our religious convictions aren’t reduced to simply the opinions we hide in our hearts, or sing in our hymns. Our religious convictions inform the way we live.
We support freedom of conscience not only for ourselves, but also for all. One of the reasons we oppose this sort of incursion into free exercise is that we want neither to be oppressed nor to oppress others. We do not ask the government to bless our doctrinal convictions, or to impose them on others. We simply ask the government not to set itself up as lord of our consciences.
Many Americans will disagree with us heartily about the things we believe. But even Americans of no religious faith at all have an interest in the protection of these liberties. Do we really want the sort of civil society in which the consciences of the people are so easily swept aside by government action?
If the federal government can force organizations and businesses to pave over their own consciences, to choose between being believers and being citizens, what will stop the government from imposing its will on anyone’s conscience next?
I pray, as do so many, that God will show us grace and mercy and have the court rule in favor of Hobby Lobby. If they don’t, I believe it will open the door for the government to persecute people of faith on a wider scale. I’m not saying that to scare anyone. As Jesus said that since the persecuted Him, we can expect the same. I say this due to the reality that if the government wins this case, it will only embolden them more to bind the conscience of men to conform to their own image.
As Christians, we will left with a choice: do we comply and become like the image of our leaders? Or do we stand against this tyranny, conforming more to the image of Christ and risk losing our lives for our Savior?