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The Supreme Court is Wrong--Employers Should Not Make Birth Control Decisions

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I am a faith leader--the Senior Minister of a church, a writer, and a former Seminary professor--and like the vast majority of Americans I believe that women should be able to make decisions about reproductive health care without interference from their employers. The Court's ruling today jeopardizes the health care options that women working at "closely held" companies receive. It negatively affects women's health and the ability for women to make decisions free from employer control.

The notion that the rights--religious or otherwise--of the employer ought to outweigh the rights of the employees seems odd. Didn't we get away from that sort of thinking when we realized that slavery was unconstitutional? Why resurrect such thinking now?

Nobody questions--at least I hope they don't--the rights of the Hobby Lobby owners to hold whatever religious convictions they want to and to live by them. Forcing others to live by them is another matter. Of course, even on that score the Hobby Lobby family values are suspect as various reports, from Forbes magazine and other outlets, of their investment in contraceptive and abortion products come to light. But that's their business (literally), and perhaps their religion as well--though it seems an odd religion that would deny birth control access to some, while making money off investing in it for others.

As a religious leader and patriot, I very much respect the rights of all individuals and families to their faith convictions, indeed I struggle for it and hold it sacred. As a religious leader and patriot, I also very much respect the duty of the government to institute fair and just laws by which we all interact together, indeed I struggle for it and hold it sacred. No religious adherents, no matter how sincere, ought to be able to hold their beliefs over their employees.

This ruling oversteps. Jesus put it this way: Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. When it comes to healthcare, none of us wants our employers dictating access.



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