Uncommon Sense

politics and society are, unfortunately, much the same thing

The Last Article on the Hobby Lobby Case You’ll Ever Need to Read

July 10, 2014 by 

Are you sick to death of hearing about the recent Hobby Lobby contraceptive mandate kerfuffle? Me too. Yes, it’s one of the most important religious liberty cases in decades. But the constant debates about the case on blogs, newspapers, TV, radio, and social media, has left even those of us concerned about freedom beaten and exhausted. Besides, what is left to discuss? Is there really anything new that can be said?

Surprisingly, the answer seems to be “yes, there is.”

Earlier this week Megan McArdle wrote one of the most insightful articles I’ve read on the issue (and I’ve read enough about it to make my eyes bleed). McArdle outlines three points that frame the debate and lead us into bitter disagreements:

1. The Left considers religion to be both a private activity and a hobby, akin to an enthusiasm for model trains.

2. The focus on negative rights has been overtaken and superseded by positive rights.

3. There has been a shift between what constitutes the private and the public spheres, and a reductive tendency in modern political discourse to view public versus private as the state versus the individual.

Before I quote and comment on each point, I recommend reading McArdle’s article in full. If you never read anything else about the Hobby Lobby case, you should end the discussion with her column (and, of course, my comments on her article).

The key to understanding what the religious liberty debate has become so contentious is because almost all conservative believers (and many liberal religious folks) consider religious beliefs to be an integral part of our identity, if not our very existence. The secular left, on the other hand, views it quite differently. As McArdle says,

read full article: The Last Article on the Hobby Lobby Case You’ll Ever Need to Read

abortion, anti-religion, bias, bigotry, culture, entitlements, government, health care, ideology, judiciary, left wing, liberalism, nanny state, oppression, philosophy, political correctness, politics, public policy, regulation, religion, socialism, victimization

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Filed under: abortion, anti-religion, bias, bigotry, culture, entitlements, government, health care, ideology, judiciary, left wing, liberalism, nanny state, oppression, philosophy, political correctness, politics, public policy, regulation, religion, socialism, victimization

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