A TYRANNY OF THE MINORITY (Religion and politics)

Religion and politics don’t mix very well. We look at theocracies with concern and worry. Our own country has attempted to seriously avoid the problems associated with the potential problems with what can be a lethal mix of politics and religion.

Dogmatic and extreme views can dominate a culture with the unwholesome effect of poisoning the body politic with one set of religious dogma being forced on an unwilling public.

Religion has contributed to the traditions and laws that we now practice but so does English Common law with its traditions.The founders particularly looked to John Locke and his view that in nature man if left alone wanted to be free. And in Locke’s day, freedom meant to be free of the control of kings and the aristocracy.

We still hear the loud voices of those who claim that their religion is the only one that has the answers, the truths, to the moral issues of the day. They attempt to control the behavior of those who do not share their particular brand of faith.
The current Supreme Court, manned by five men who are Catholic, have recently made new law out of thin air, in the Hobby Lobby case. The court in its history has looked at the Constitution, English Common Law and precedent in framing the decisions of the court. The current Robert’s court is not only an activist court, it is a court that is political in nature. The opinions handed down from the Robert’s court fit in many cases, what the conservative talking points of the day are and have ignored precedent and common sense. /p>

One could argue that the current Supreme Court’s Hobby Lobby decision reflects the current conservative catholic view of contraception. A distinct minority of our fellow citizens want to control whether or not a woman’s contraception costs will be a covered expense by their health insurance. By allegedly freeing a company from having certain contraceptive methods covered. Arguing that they have a first amendment right to deny coverage on certain things, their use of religion as a justification amounts to a tyranny of the minority against those individuals who may work for that company who would desire to have such coverage paid for by their employer.
By carving out such an exception one leaves open the door for any religion to seek an exclusion, based upon the view that the payment for such coverage violates their beliefs.
What might be left of health insurance coverage if this is allowed to stand? Laws and decisions by courts should do no harm. Contraception and the right to use it should be left to the political arena. We are supposed to have a separation of church and state. The state nor the court should establish any religion nor force upon unsuspecting employees the exclusion of a form of contraception that affects a woman’s health.

In their view it is okay to pay for a man’s medication for dysfunction but somehow it is a violation of their religious beliefs to allow a woman to have her contraception paid for. This is a form of religious tyranny where a minority of the public through their representatives would block the will of the majority. People who believe that using contraception is wrong, well then don’t take the medication, don’t buy it. You can abstain from having sex, no one is forcing anyone to buy a form of contraception.

There are man’s laws and God’s laws. The problem is that there are a lot of religions with different views of what is right and wrong. Our founders were wise and warned us of the dangers of mixing religion and politics. Our society has been impacted by our religious traditions whether it was the Puritan ethic or many other religious tenets our country has experienced. How long would our country survive if we were all of a sudden mandated by our Supreme Court to follow one sect’s view of what God’s laws are?

When we look at the dispute among Shiites and Sunnis we see what can happen when differences in religion occur. Our Supreme Court needs to stay out of the Doctor’s office when it comes to a woman’s health. The day that male justices can experience the pain of childbirth is the day that they should have the right to determine the course of medical treatment for a woman. Medical advise should stay in the doctor’s office and it should stay out of the realm of religious doctrine. Women should have more power over their own body than five men in black. No company should have the power to deny a woman the right to have their contraception paid for. The practice of religion should be at home, in a church of a person’s choosing, and in a person’s heart.


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