"[W]e are asking that an extension of protection for one group not come at the expense of faith communities."
What Hath Hobby Lobby Wrought?
WASHINGTON -- The pastor who caused an uproar from LGBT advocates when President Obama asked him to speak at his inauguration is now asking the president to exempt those with religious beliefs from an executive order banning federal contractors from discriminating against LGBT people.
The slippery slope of Hobby Lobby has begun, with Pastor Rick
Warren leading the charge down the hill. What Ruth Bader Ginsberg has
prophesied in her blistering dissent of the Hobby Lobby decision may come to
pass much sooner than anyone thought.
According to Ginsburg, this "minefield" could allow companies to "opt out of any law " they judge incompatible with their sincerely held religious beliefs."
It seemed the second after Obama signed an executive order banning federal contractors from discriminating against LGBT people, Warren and others sent a letter to the President pleading for an exemption on the grounds of religious beliefs.
Rick Warren, of course, is no stranger to controversy when it comes to the LGBT community: using Melissa Etheridge as a kind of "beard" against bigotry, he has fatuously claimed to have gay friends while promoting Proposition 8 and strengthening anti-gay ties to Uganda. On a larger scale, many call his P.E.A.C.E. movement the most disingenuous farce of the 21st century. The signing of the letter to Obama may demonstrate his entrenchment in the Christian Right. He is, after all, a good ole boy Southern Baptist at heart.
The Larger Picture
On June 30th, Erick Erickson tweeted: "My religion trumps your "right" to employer subsidized consequence free sex." One disturbing comment: "So maybe they will be coming after AIDS meds next..."
The Christian Right crowed doubly loud at the Hobby Lobby ruling simply because it not only gave them an anti-abortion platform, but because it opened the floodgates to all sorts of discrimination. It is indeed a sobering thought that companies could withhold coverage of life-sustaining drugs, but let us not forget that there are still pockets of "gay plague" congregations in the U.S.
Beyond the aspect of LGBT discrimination, many people are concerned that "closely held" companies will be able to force their religious beliefs on their employees. Hobby Lobby now has the chance to fire every Muslim, Hindu, Atheist and Jew in their employ. Ironically, they could "opt out of any law" protecting freedom of religion simply because such a concept is not part of their religion. Some politicos have sought to bar Islam from having any religious freedoms simply because they don't count Islam as a religion in the first place - their religion chooses not recognize Islam. Pastor Robert Jeffress considers Mormonism a "cult" and fake historian David Barton hopes that soon America will be a "Christian Only Nation."
Religion Trumps Everything