According to the National Organization for Women, the “war on women” has become “gender bigotry.”
A bigot, according to the Merriam-Webster Collegiate Dictionary, 11th Edition, is “a person obstinately or intolerantly devoted to his or her own opinions and prejudices especially : one who regards or treats the members of a group (as a racial or ethnic group) with hatred and intolerance.” Bigotry is the state of mind of a bigot. To apply such a label to the people who own Hobby Lobby, the Supreme Court, and all the other people who agree with the Court’s recent decision is preposterous.
The language of the decision includes nothing that expresses hatred or intolerance of anyone. Rather, the court untangled a snarled web of concerns, and discovered that the law already provides the right solution to the differences between the mandates of the Affordable Care Act and the consciences of employers who want to provide health insurance for their employees. The decisions says that there is a simple way for government to avoid trampling the religious liberty of American citizens. The government simply finds a way to provide the services at issue without involving the employers who have objections based on deeply held religious convictions.
The employers who were included in this case, and all employers who face the same problem, are all happy to provide health insurance for their employees. They were offering this benefit to their employees before the Affordable Care Act came into being. They have always been willing to cover contraceptive services that actually prevent conception. They only object to the misnamed so-called contraceptives that actually murder a living human being rather than prevent the conception of a human being. A drug or device which does nothing to prevent conception cannot logically be called a contraceptive, because conception can and does occur; the drugs at issue in the Hobby Lobby case do not prevent conception. They only interfere with implantation of the embryo in the uterus. The objective of the four drugs in the case is to murder an embryonic human being who has been conceived as a result of sexual intercourse. These drugs are as effective at preventing unwanted pregnancy as vomiting is effective at weight control.
A close examination of the definition of the word bigotry makes it clear that attitudes of hatred and intolerance are essential for someone to be a bigot. The people who are accusing the companies of not wanting women to be able to make their own choices have no logical basis for such accusations. The companies never expressed any desire to impede their female employees from choosing any method of contraception whatsoever, and they also never expressed any desire to impede their female employees from choosing drugs that end a pregnancy that already exists. What these companies expressed was a desire not to participate when their employees choose behaviors the employer rejects as immoral. The employers have never made any effort to interfere in the private lives of their employees.
All the language of hatred and intolerance in this dispute has been expressed by the people who compare the religious convictions of the employers with the attitudes that perpetuated segregation for decades after the end of the Civil War. The issue of what is and what isn’t contraception hangs on a commitment to truth in words and a commitment to live by God’s mandates instead of the state’s mandates.
In the first century after Christ’s resurrection, his followers were continually assaulted by the Roman government. Sometimes they were charged with being unpatriotic, because they refused to worship the emperor. Sometimes they were charged with disturbing the peace, because the things they said made other people angry. Now in the twenty-first century, the charges are not so different. These employers are being accused of lawlessness, just like their first century counterparts. How dare they reject a law? How dare they consider God’s teachings to be superior to the demands of the government?
In the first century, there were people who thought that Christianity and the troublesome believers would quickly be rooted out and society would be free of this nuisance belief system. 2100 years later, yet another government in a long line of governments that have tried to stamp out Christianity is making a stab at it. This government is using harsh words like hatred, intolerance, and gender bigotry. Those words are the verbal bullets being fired by activists in society and politics. Here are some words to be fired in return:
This is how much God loved the world: He gave his Son, his one and only Son. John 3:16
I am the way and the truth and the life. John 14:6
If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first. John 15:18
Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you. Matthew 5:11-12
I am with you always, to the very end of the age. Matthew 28:20