The Supreme Court’s decision to side with Hobby Lobby is a setback for all women, but particularly for many women of faith. Why? Well, let me count the ways.
Christians should always uphold human rights. Jesus taught us a great deal when he healed the women who had been bleeding. He taught us that women who demand healing ought to find that cure. Jesus restored her to health, even though the established religion deemed that she was unclean. Jesus ignored the men in charge, and he listened to the woman in suffering.
That medical condition would now be treated with contraception. Birth Control is considered a basic human right, according to the United Nations. It’s important for the health of women. It keeps women and children out of poverty. Contraception stems abortions.
The fact that a corporation would want to deny (yes, I said deny. If you’re making a Hobby Lobby clerk’s salary, it’s very difficult to pay for contraception without insurance coverage) a woman’s basic human right is disgraceful. People of faith should care about the dignity of all humans—particularly those who cannot afford to have children. We should always be willing to walk in the footsteps of Jesus, and see to the dignity, worth, and healing of women, even when the established religious power says that she should be denied.
Christians should encourage life-saving science and medicine. It has been frustrating to watch people say that contraception is an “abortifacient” when the medical and scientific community has said that it is not.
A religious person’s belief should not trump the facts and take away basic medical care for women. Plus, we really should have a faith that is strong enough to endure an eighth grade sex education class.
Christians should care about the environment. One of the very first commands in Genesis was when God told us to care for creation. We were to be stewards of the fish, birds, cattle, wild animals, and every creeping thing.
In the United States, we use more resources than people in other parts of the world, and we are causing our destruction. Wars are being fought over petroleum. We frack the ground God gave us because we’re hungry for more fuel. Tension is growing over water rights. Because of our overuse of resources, overpopulation can cause us to defy one of God’s first instructions to us. Allowing for birth control helps us care for creation.
Christians believe that men and women are made in the image of God. People are made in the image of God, not corporations. Because of that basic theological understanding, we know that corporations should not be considered over individuals. One of the guiding principles of the Supreme Court’s decision is one of “corporate personhood.” Corporations have corrupted our political process as they have given more power and because they have more money than individual people. We have watched as poor and working class people have lost their voice to the will of corporations. Our economy strains with the increased disparity between the rich and poor. Our country is watching that gap become deep and wide with the related disparities in our quality of education.
Now, we give corporations even more power, through allowing the greatest stakeholders the right to withhold medical care to women. Jesus said that we should always be looking after “the least of these.” Through giving corporations more power, we are taking away a woman’s human rights and we are ensuring more poverty among women and children.
As a Christian, I am profoundly upset by the Supreme Courts’ decision. And I hope that other men and women of faith might stand with individuals, who are made in the image of God, and who have the right to access the medical care they need.