Justice Ginsberg warned that the Supreme Court majority had entered a “minefield” with its ruling favoring Hobby Lobby. The company’s decidedly Christian leaders believed that their religious freedoms were being compromised by the Affordable Care Act’s inclusion of contraceptives. Good Christians, we are to presume, hold that even potential life is sacred.
But why should it stop there, with matters of reproduction? The minefield metaphor suggests that the court’s ruling could extend far beyond. I’m sure, for example, that there are religious sects that oppose the federal income tax. Or, if none now exists, several will arise to assert their members’ god-given right to refuse to pay the government. We know that zealotry knows no theological bounds. If extremism is your relish, you can thank your lucky stars that you live in the U.S. of A. The Supreme’s decision invites all sorts of ecclesiastical mischief far beyond the current wackiness.
All in the name of freedom, we’re told. Yet freedom has at least two edges. Hobby Lobby’s religious freedom now trumps their female employees’ reproductive freedom. Let freedom reign. But whose?
Watch your step, citizens. The field is fraught with explosives.