Wednesday, January 09, 2013

Hobbled Lobbyists

This is what my train ride looks like. A cartoon.
Right now, on the train on the way to work, in the middle of flu season, a woman is hacking. Those near here have moved away for fear of contracting a sickness – on their way to work. I want to tell her she should just stay home. If it gets any worse, she should go to her doctor’s. But the truth is, she’s probably like me. She may not have sick days. She may not be able to afford to take a day off. And she probably doesn’t have an affordable way to contact her doctor.

Now, you would think that Christians would be the first to rise up and say, “That’s unjust. That is a travesty. That is not right. Someone allow this woman to go home and take care of herself. And, if not possible, for a highly-trained capable doctor to treat her without her losing her home.” But then you probably wouldn’t be the “fine Christians” responsible for writing or endorsing this piece by Liberty University’s Karen Fellow Swallows and published by Christianity Today, the flagship American Evangelical publication.

I don’t have enough energy or creativity to express my outrage at Christianity Today for publishing this blog post by Liberty U faculty on how the billionaire “good Christian” owners of Hobby Lobby are JUST LIKE St Stephen, the first Christian martyr. Or about how having them pay into and help provide insurance for their employees is JUST LIKE forcing Quakers to buy assault rifles from a gun dealer, or forcing an anti-porn professor to buy Hustler for her students. Of about how taking contraceptives is JUST LIKE getting an abortion.

No one should be forced to answer such stupid, anti-science, greedy-defending, ignorant bullshit. Jesus had nothing nice to say about the wealthy, about those who shore up their grains while their neighbors are starving, or those who refuse to pay their workers justly and abundantly*.

Rather, I’ll let you read a couple responses from Fred Clark, aka, Slacktivist – first on the martyr complex, and then on the company town that Hobby Lobby and its defenders are defending. And then there’s the abortion nonsense, which I think was perfectly covered by Love, Joy, Feminism a few months ago.

And there’s this wonderful succinct analogy, far more sensical (because it compares apples to apples, rather than to space craft, as Evangelical logic on this topic is wont to), by Rebecca Trotter that I found in the comments in the first Slacktivist blog:

[V]egans often hold very strong ideals regarding the immorality of using animals for food, products, research and the like. So does the vegan business owner have the right to decree that their employees not use their paychecks to purchase animal products? Can they offer health insurance which doesn't cover any medical treatment involving the use of animal products or animal research? I think any rational person would say no. The vegan can make their own choices and try to win others to their views. But they don't have the right to dictate that others conform to their practices by reason of their employment.
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*For a regular dose of what Jesus and the prophets had to say about wealth, see Commie Pinkos Wrote My Bible 

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