A few weeks ago, there was that controversial bill in Arizona that shouldn’t have been controversial concerning religious freedom in discriminating against gays. I wrote about it here.
I wasn’t really concerned about the Arizona bill. It was doomed. But this (check the link out if you don’t know about the case) is serious. This will break the country if the wrong decision is made. Literally.
One thing a lot of people ignore in this case is that this isn’t some decision that will revolutionize religion across the world. All it will do, at the most basic level, is verify whether or not America is deserving of the first-world position that it pioneered after World War 2.
Let me repeat that: America pioneered the first world. But now we must see if we deserve that position.
Here are two graphs. One which displays religiousity, light green representing more religiousity, and one which displays access to universal health care. You see where I’m going with this.
America has fallen behind in what other first world countries provide. And it’s due to religion (more specifically, Ronald Reagan and his “religious right is gud!!1!”). If you don’t believe me, ask yourself against just why there’s a controversial Supreme Court case on whether religion overrides women’s rights.
The Obama administration has already provided exemptions for the contraceptives part of Obamacare to nonprofit religious groups. That’s enough of a problem. But when your boss’ religion matters more than your rights, what does that mean for the future of America?
By declaring that people have the right to exercise their religion on other people, what kind of message does that send to Europe and East Asia (and Canada and Australia) about us?
America has taken most of the steps necessary to doom itself. It has forsaken all but the 1%. It has repudiated the concept of social welfare. It has flouted the notion that students may be more important to our future than tax cuts for billionaires. It has left people to wallow in their stupidity (Don’t you absolutely love No Child Left Behind?).
But we yet hang on with the hope of reform. That maybe people will stop being such idiots. That maybe America too can provide universal health care and help students out. That’s a Marxist pipe dream in Utah, but taken for granted in Europe.
There is only one thing that can prevent the failure of America to keep up with Europe at this moment, the crash of the last standing hyperpower from World War 2. And that is the Supreme Court. There is only one road that will return us to the highway within the next generation. And that is to reject the supremacy of religion. It is to reject the concept that an archaic book is more important than the rights of those standing next to you. It is to reject the transcendence of religious beliefs, the idea that attaching a name to stupidity makes it important. We need change to this policy that religion is relevant— but to say that religion is foolish is political and social suicide in this country.
I worry about this case. Anything but an incisive and sharp ruling against Hobby Lobby may only prolong our suffering in the religious hell we doom ourselves to, but I do not foresee such luck. Corporations are entitled to 1st Amendment rights, by Citizens United, and the supposed swing vote in this decision, fairly radical Justice Kennedy, compares ruling for the government to forcing companies to pay for abortion.
For June, I wait…