Friday, December 13, 2013

The other day, Rick Warren, fast becoming this culture’s go-to evangelical Protestant by people who don’t understand either word, observed that legally forcing Christian businesses or ministries to pay for abortioncontraception birth control is a lot like legally forcing Jewish delis to sell pork.

At The Christian CenturyCarol Merritt didn’t like that comparison at all.  And I have to warn you that it’s been a very long time since I’ve seen a piece open with this much stupid straight out of the gate:
Isn’t that metaphor inaccurate? The UN has declared that birth control is a basic human right. Birth control is often needed for women’s health. Contraception allows women to get an education, go to work, and get out of poverty. Selling pork does none of these things. To equate the two makes no sense.

My lapper’s old (hell, the damned thing should have blue-screened five years ago) and I guess it can handle another headbanging.  So if you’ll excuse me…

Thanks very much.  But can I beg a little more of your time?  Seems that my late, much-lamented, English teacher mother is currently angrily throwing things at the walls of the new Jerusalem and the Lord asked me if I could try to calm her down.

I’m back and thanks for your indulgence.  Mom should be okay.

Carol?  Having a little trouble with the whole “metaphor” concept, are we?  Let me put it this way; if Shakespeare had opened it with, “Shall I compare thee to a woman close to your age with similar physical beauty and emotional characteristics,” nobody would remember Sonnet 18 today and rightly so since it would suck.

What happens when we keep expanding corporate personhood? The Supreme Court cases that are coming up would expand corporate personhood beyond the practice of “free speech” (that “speech” is largely expressed by flooding our political system with cash) to corporate personhood’s ability to practice religion. Would that give corporations even more power and rights in our society?

Objection, Your Honor!  Relevance!

What happens if bosses are allowed to dictate other private matters of women based on corporate personhood’s right to practice religion? What happens when my CEO thinks that I should submit to my husband? What happens when my boss thinks that I should stay married to my abusive spouse? Could he or she deny me a promotion if my actions go against their practice of religion?

And we’re off.  What say we turn this around, Care-Bear?  If I’m the president-and-CEO of MCJ Enterprises and I believe abortion to be one of the gravest of sins, why should I be legally coerced into providing you with free or low-cost abortions?  Why should your “interpretation” of the Christian religion trump mine?

Who gets to decide what is a legitimate practice of religion? For-profit corporations fighting against providing insurance coverage that covers certain contraception is such a tiny, particular act. But what happens when corporate personhood gets to dictate more cases? What happens when my boss wants to discriminate against gays and lesbians because of religious beliefs? What happens when my boss wants to discriminate against a man because he’s not married to the woman he’s living with?

Okay, I’ll play.  What happens if those bringing suit against the ruling lose in this country’s highest court?  What happens if these employers respond by demanding that their employees, regardless of their religious affiliations, sign rather stringent code-of-conduct agreements, the breach of any point of which will constitute grounds for dismissal from employment?

What gives you the right to determine what “a legitimate practice of religion” is?

What happens when the rights of religion, as practiced by the CEO, clash with my beliefs? What if I think taking contraception is a religious practice because it empowers women? What if I’m a manager at Hobby Lobby, and I want to practice my religion by providing insurance coverage to cover contraception? Will the owner’s religious practice override my right to practice my religion?

See above.  You can also display a little integrity and quit.  Just tossing it out there.

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