The Burwell v. Holly Lobby Supreme Court decision was never about contraception, be it pre-implantation killing-chemicals or otherwise. The court did write about concerns voiced by Hobby Lobby on this matter, but it did not base its ruling on those concerns.
What the decision did address—and the reason it should be studied—was the question of religious freedom. For now, we know this is protected by the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA.)
The pro-aborts screamed bloody murder that, in fact, that was the crux of the decision, but such fanaticism is expected from those quarters.
The New York Times reported, “The Supreme Court ruled on Monday that requiring family-owned corporations to pay for insurance coverage for contraception under the Affordable Care Act violated a federal law protecting religious freedom. . . . Lori Windham, a lawyer for Hobby Lobby, said, ‘The Supreme Court recognized that Americans do not lose their religious freedom when they run a family business.’”
Catholic News reported,
“On the same day as the Hobby Lobby decision, the Eleventh Circuit protected religious ministries challenging the same government mandate,” said Lori Windham, senior counsel at the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, the nonprofit, public-interest law firm that is defending EWTN in court.
“It’s time for the government to stop fighting ministries like EWTN and the Little Sisters of the Poor, and start respecting religious freedom.”
“EWTN joins the 80 percent of HHS legal challenges that have resulted in favorable rulings supporting religious freedom,” the Becket Fund noted, calling the injunction “a resounding victory for religious freedom.”
The question of religious freedom, then, is the basis for the Supreme Court decision in the Burwell v. Hobby Lobby case. Yet on this weekend when we celebrate America’s Independence Day, the real meaning of freedom remains fragile at best.
Independence Day celebrates the United States’ freedom from tyranny. And the Declaration of Independence acknowledges the laws of nature and of God as being the foundation for a just nation’s survival. The document declares, “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”
But freedom from tyranny should not include the right to kill innocent persons because of their age, health, or condition of dependency. Such a circumstance is a contradiction, pure and simple. In fact, freedom of religion itself cannot truly be taken seriously when such a situation exists.
Today, Americans live in a nation that defines heinous acts like abortion by chemical, medical, or surgical means as an honest interpretation of justice for all.
Thus my caution is simply this: While some celebrate the Hobby Lobby decision, we must realize that far more than the religious freedom of Christian companies is at stake if true freedom is to be celebrated.
St. John Paul II said it best, “In the moral life the Christian’s royal service is also made evident and effective: With the help of grace, the more one obeys the new law of the Holy Spirit, the more one grows in the freedom to which he or she is called by the service of truth, charity and justice.”
Freedom begins in the service of Christ, not the state.