If you like the idea of living in the “Theocratic States of America,” you may be pleased with today’s Supreme Court decision.
Today, the Supreme Court ruled 5-4 that the Christian-owned Hobby Lobby chain store is exempt from certain provisions of the Affordable Care Act. Specifically, it is exempt from providing insurance coverage for contraceptives, on the grounds that it violates the store owners’ religious convictions. Almost immediately, my social media world came alive with objections to this decision: it puts employers in control of what should really be a doctor-patient decision; or it burdens entrepreneurs with additional responsibilities to negotiate and renegotiate health care contracts.
Of course, objections to today’s ruling are justified, but not only for these reasons. An even more fundamental issue we must face is the relative roles of religions and democratic government. I find it appalling that a group can circumvent laws–laws put in place as a result of the working of our democratic processes–on the basis of religious objection.
Let’s remember that religious convictions, by definition, are faith- (not evidence-) based. Are we really okay with granting a privileged status to faith-based objectors to our democratically enacted laws? Is that a good thing? And who gets to decide which faith-based convictions are worthy and which are not?
I am very uncomfortable when SCOTUS grants any standing at all to faith-based–rather than evidence-based–arguments. Do we really want to live in a theocracy?
Today’s decision takes us one step closer to becoming the Theocratic States of America.
Image courtesy of dbking.