Yesterday's SCOTUS ruling -- allowing Hobby Lobby to essentially choose which health care laws it will obey -- is a terrible legal precedent -- even though the majority tried to make it seem like a one-off affair. Hobby Lobby is OK with 16 of the 20 forms of birth control mandated by the Obama Administration -- that is, the 20 forms of birth control that are FDA-approved. Those seeking to minimize the damage insist that we should all grow up and not make a big deal about losing 4 BC methods. But for that, we can only thank the fact that Hobby Lobby's owners are rather moderate evangelicals whose main issue is abortion, not contraception. Had the owners been traditionalist Catholics, they might have objected to ALL forms of birth control -- condoms, tubal ligations, vasectomies and the Pill.To my mind, there's nothing stopping such a suit from coming before the Court. You have to wonder how that case would come out -- would the 5 Catholic justices from the majority really OK a ban on methods of birth control that nearly all married couples (and likely themselves) use?
I can't get it through the heads of Obama haters that a defeat for Obamacare is not a victory for them. I can't get it through the heads of religious people that a victory for a few religious people is not a win for all religious people. We have lost sight of the big picture. We can't understand how a victory for "our side" could come back one day and bite us in the ass.
The cornerstone of our democracy and our pluralistic society is the separation of Church and State. Letting the Church handle the levers of the State is a hugely bad idea. Because, who agrees on anything? Catholics and Protestants don't agree on the words of the
. Protestants can't agree among themselves about who is saved and who is damned, and how you should be baptized. They may all pray to Jesus, but the similarities mostly end there. Secular governing is hard enough as it is. Why complicate it exponentially by having the government choose winners and losers in one of the most fundamental and emotional human activity: religion?
As I told a friend, the last time Church and State worked hand in hand, we ended up with the Salem witch trials and the Saint Bartholomew's Day massacre. Our Founders escaped Europe to get away from that kind of lethal nonsense. They wisely decided that government had no business favoring one sect over another. They learned from experience that it was unwise for the state-supported religion to tax everyone for its upkeep, including those who belonged to other sects.
We may have to learn this lesson again the hard way. I hope not. The blood and suffering that resulted would be an unconscionable sin against humanity. And against history.