The stated mission of the Hobby Lobby case was to protect religious liberty, and different folks apparently have their own way of exercising their religious freedom.
Customers walk to a Hobby Lobby store in Oklahoma City, Monday, June 30, 2014. The Supreme Court ruled Monday that employers can hold religious objections that allow them to opt out of the new health law requirement that they cover contraceptives for women. The Hobby Lobby chain of arts-and-crafts stores is by far the largest employer of any company that has gone to court to fight the birth control provision. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki)
Clergy from the United Church of Christ and Unitarian Universalists – both very liberal denominations – led a protest outside a Hobby Lobby in Aurora, Illinois, handing out condoms, the Daily Herald reported.
“I’m just hoping that [people who see the demonstration] realize that this opinion [of Hobby Lobby’s owners] is not the opinion of religious people as a broad spectrum, but that religious people have many different opinions,” Rev. Emmy Lou Belcher, a Unitarian Universalist pastor told the Daily Herald.
The U.S. Supreme Court ruled this week that Hobby Lobby could not be required under the Obamacare law to pay for contraception and abortion-inducing drugs for their employees if they have a religious objection.
Hobby Lobby itself had no problem with paying for 16 of the 20 contraceptives that the health care law requires employers to cover. However, the high court's ruling protects the religious liberties in accordance with the Religious Freedom Restoration Act of closely held private companies to opt out of this portion of the Affordable Care Act.
“You can make the religious freedom argument, you can make the argument about contraception, but ultimately, for me, this is about power,” said Rev. Mark Winters, a United Church of Christ minister. “Jesus had a lot of issue with powerful people using power over the powerless.”
The religious left mobilized after the decision came down.
Think Progress reported that the progressive Christian group Faithful America organized a protest outside Hobby Lobby’s flagship store in Edmond, Oklahoma, immediately after the ruling Monday.
“There are many of us Baptists, as well as other Christians, who believe that religious liberty rights are something inviolable for individuals and not for corporations,” Dr. Bruce Powell, the leader of the protest, told News Channel 4 in Oklahoma City. “The right of religious liberty is a fundamental human right. Corporations are legal constructs. They are not human beings.”
(H/T: Think Progress)