Yesterday, the United States Supreme Court ruled in favor of Hobby Lobby, giving them the ability to opt out of providing contraceptives for all of their employees.
Bethany Christian Services–a pro-life, non-profit Christian organization–views the ruling as a great victory for religious freedom.
Bill Blacquiere of Bethany says, “We were very pleased, and I’ll say we found much joy in the ruling by the Supreme Court, I think for two reasons.”
The first reason, Blacquiere says, “As a family-based organization [Bethany] that is very pro-life, we believe that life begins at conception; so we are very pleased that the Supreme Court gave the religious freedom to family-owned Christian organizations that can make that ruling.”
Blacquiere’s second reason: it reinforces religious freedom for Christian organizations.
For those who may not remember, Hobby Lobby balked against the contraceptive mandate as outlined in the health care reform. In Hobby Lobby’s view, some methods of birth control abort a life that’s already started.
This was their religious conviction, yet they were being asked to provide for an act they see as murder. The opposition said it wasn’t even a matter of religious freedom.
Blacquiere explains that there is a common view in legislation–and across America–that an individual should keep his religious beliefs inside the house of worship and shouldn’t base his decisions on religious beliefs.
Simply put, “There’s a lot of non-Christians who don’t understand religious freedom,” nor do they understand that a religious belief goes beyond the place of worship.
Blacquiere says that when the Supreme Court ruled in favor of Hobby Lobby, they were essentially saying, “It is more than just at your place of worship; you can carry out and live out your strongly-held beliefs as you’re doing your work and as you’re living your life.”
In short, it was a matter of religious freedom.
Meanwhile, Christians in America may be asking, “So what? Why should I care?” Many have even ignored the case completely. But at the same time, others have been fervently praying the whole time.
Blacquiere says, “It’s a very big deal in that a lot of our religious freedoms were being eroded. And I think sometimes with this kind of situation, Christians think: ‘Well, no matter what I do, it’s not going to change.’ And there again, I think it shows–through prayer and faith and standing up–what victories could be won.”
Bethany is a non-profit Christian organization. They were not made to provide contraceptive health care in the first place. However, Blacquiere says this ruling does effect Bethany Christian Services.
Basically, it is another stronghold against the decrease of religious freedoms.
“I think in terms of establishing the rights of faith-based organizations, whether they’re for profit or non-profit, this ruling does a whole lot to help us retain our religious freedom.
“Had the court ruled the other way, I think a lot of people opposed to faith-based organizations would have seen it as a victory and would have tried to take more steps to eliminate our religious freedom.”
This case serves as an example to Christians that we need to be united in our purpose and active in our beliefs.
“It’s very important for Christians to be aware of public policy and what’s going on in our Congress, what’s going on in the Executive Branch, and to be willing to stand up to those issues that challenge our religious freedom.
“We need to be active; we need to be aware of what our government’s doing and make a stand for it. It’s not judging others or being against others, but it is standing up for religious freedom.”