Thursday, July 3, 2014

A Win For Religious Freedom and Women’s Rights

It has taken me a few days to muster up the courage to actually put my thoughts on the internet concerning the recent victory for Hobby Lobby in their Supreme Court Case against Obamacare. Such a controversial subject, and based on the varying facebook posts and tweet’s I’ve read, it is a breeding ground for unwanted comments and a general feeling of nausea when I think of the remarks I may have to respond to after this is posted. However, I feel led to be a part of this discussion. It is an important issue and worth me spending time talking about and  using my online space to do that. Since we still have freedom of speech, that is what I am going to do.

Everyone has an opinion and is entitled to it, but in an effort to build a small amount of credibility on the subject, let me share a little about myself. I am a born again, spirit filled, married, Christian woman. I also am a woman who has taken oral contraceptives for a majority of the last ten years.

The media headlines have been incredibly misleading concerning the case with Hobby Lobby. Hobby Lobby’s concern was not related to birth control in general. They did not file a suit regarding paying for birth control. Their concern was paying for specific types of birth control which are not preventative in nature, but abortive in nature. They are not denying all birth control, only those that essentially cause an abortion. So, from their perspective and mine, this was a case about them being forced to fund something that they are fundamentally against. And in all reality, the ruling takes nothing away from the women who work for them. Those women will still have 16 of the 20 available contraceptives covered in their health plan.

As a matter of religious rights, I absolutely agree with the Supreme Court decision and am thrilled that the results turned out the way they did. No one should be forced to pay for something that goes against their religious beliefs.

Some who disagree with the ruling do so based on women’s rights. This is an issue that I have always found vastly confusing as related to a woman's right to choose. I am a woman, and I believe in women’s rights, but not at the expense of another human life. Just because you are a grown woman and a newly fertilized egg is only a few days or even hours into development, it doesn’t take away the sanctity of that life. Claiming women’s rights (or a woman's right to choose) on the abortion issue is just making an excuse for murder.

To me, it is no different than a grown woman killing a 5 year old child. Their reasoning could easily be the same: raising them is too hard, they cost too much money, I just wasn’t ready to be a mom, kids are too much responsibility, I’m young, I just want to have fun for a while. If any of those excuses were given by a woman who killed a 5 year old child, they would be found guilty of murder.

But let's get real for a few minutes... My opinions don't matter. What matters is what God says. Jeremiah 1:5 tells us that we are valuable and created for a purpose and that God knew us and loved us even before we are conceived in our mother’s womb. Yes, even if you were called “a mistake” by your parents, you were NO mistake to God!

Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations. – Jeremiah 1:5

I know what some of the responses to that will be. I can hear it now. “God was talking about Jeremiah, not me, and not the "mass of cells" that is inside of me. He didn’t appoint me as a prophet”. Well, let me share a few more verses.

Then Peter began to speak: “I now realize how true it is that God does not show favoritism”. – Acts 10:34

Jesus Christ is the same yesterday today and forever. – Hebrews 13:8

If Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today and forever, and if He doesn’t show favoritism, than it stands to reason that if He knew Jeremiah before he was formed in his mothers womb and set him apart for a purpose, then the same is true of you and me.

God knew you before you were formed in your mother’s womb. Yes, even if you were the result of a less than ideal relationship, God still knew you and set you apart. Maybe you are carrying a baby that is the result of a horrific injustice to you, such as rape. If that is the case, I am truly sorry that you are dealing with that and I pray God's peace on your life. As hard as that situation will be to walk through, God knew your baby before that horrific act happened to you and He has a plan and a purpose for both your baby and you. That plan may include adoption, but it absolutely does not include murder.

The bottom line is that our own selfish wishes and desires do not justify taking the life of a baby, no matter how small or insignificant you may think they are. They are far from insignificant to God!

As a Christian company, these scriptures are only a small part of the justification for Hobby Lobby’s court case against Obamacare. As followers of Christ, asking them to pay for something that could cause an abortion, is asking them to completely disregard their core beliefs and to fund what they consider to be murder.

As a women who believes deeply in religious rights and lives a life based on my faith, a win for religious rights, is a win for women’s rights. If my religious freedoms are revoked and the government is able to force me to participate in something that I don’t agree with, then my rights as a women have been diminished. So, kudos to Hobby Lobby and to the five Supreme Court Justices who ruled in their favor.