March 29, 2014

WWAJD About Religious Corporations?

David Green Has Religious
Beliefs, So Laws Should Not
Apply to His Company

Several for-profit corporations owned by people with strong religious views, including chain store Hobby Lobby, are suing the federal government to avoid complying with the contraception provisions of the Affordable Care Act.  According to a recent blog post by Fox News contributor Cal Thomas, one very bad consequence of the ACA is that "the federal government seems intent on . . .  defining what constitutes a church or religious institution." In Thomas's view, "the core issue  . . . is whether the government has the right to define a church [and] whether a private company headed by a religious person qualifies for conscience exemptions."

But other Christian commentators are not so sure. For example, Faithful America gathered 80,000 signatures on a petition opposing Hobby Lobby's efforts, claiming that its owners are using their Christian faith as an excuse to obstruct health care reform and deny women access to birth control.

So What Would American Jesus Do About Hobby Lobby's Lawsuit?

At first blush it might seem a little inconsistent with historical Jesus' injunction that "whoever resists the authorities resists what God has appointed, and those who resist will incur judgment."  Romans 13:2.  And I'm sure Hobby Lobby's owners have made peace with Titus 3:1 -- "be submissive to rulers and authorities."

Nuwaubians In Court to Enjoin
Disco Music,
Which Was Created By the Devil 

But on thoughtful reflection, there can be little doubt that American Jesus would get behind Hobby Lobby's lawsuit. Indeed, since we were formed as, and remain still, a Christian nation, we essentially are all "the church." So by definition every American should be exempt from following the Affordable Care Act.

Moreover, commentator Thomas is right that the government should not be able to define what is a "church" within the meaning of the law. If we allow the government to define what is a valid church or religion, there is a risk it will refuse to recognize Nuwaubianism, Jediism, and Woodism -- clearly an outrageous affront to our freedom of religion.

Corporate Owners Should
Follow American Jesus, Not
Finally and most importantly, the companies owned by those of us with strong Christian values should also qualify for Mr. Thomas' "conscience objections." If I am a Christian religious person (by my own definition, not the government's), then my company should be free to oppose all forms of sin, not just contraception.  My company should thus be able to ignore divorce decrees (divorce is a sin according to Jesus, Matt. 19:9, Mark 10:12), not pay taxes used for war (Hebrews 12:14), and fire anyone who eats meat with blood still in it (Lev. 19:26).  These, too, are sins our government permits, but I am done following them, and expect Hobby Lobby's lawyers to contact me soon to file suit.

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