A former Lutheran pastor sharing thoughts on faith and life. Please join the conversation! I love your comments!

Thursday, July 3, 2014

The Supreme Court Decision and What My Faith Is Not

I am very disturbed by the Supreme Court decision regarding the Hobby Lobby case.  Others have spoken more knowledgeably and eloquently on this topic than I could.  Instead I would like to address what this case has to do with faith.  I feel compelled, more specifically, to state what this case does NOT have to do with my faith.

My faith is not about believing my religious freedom is infringed upon if I am prevented from forcing others to live according to my beliefs. 

Nor does my faith mean choosing when to believe science, relying on science for everything from transportation to health care but ignoring science whenever the results of scientific studies are politically or religiously inconvenient.

My faith has nothing to do with siding with the powerful.  Again.  And again.  And again.

Claiming I am a follower of Jesus does not mean believing a company, a politician, or any public figure is beyond criticism as long as they claim to be a born again Christian and are against abortion and homosexuality.

I am all for standing up for one’s beliefs….which does not look anything like judging others, demanding preferential treatment, or blindly praising anyone who claims his/her actions as Christian

There is an aspect of my faith which is not purely logical because faith speaks to things which are beyond words, much like poetry and art.  This does not give me license to ignore logic to the detriment of others.   If your faith calls you to try walking on water, go for it.  But using faith as an excuse to throw someone else into the stormy sea is not okay. 

Therefore, “I believe” is not an adequate rationale for public policy.

Yet again, this week, news events painted a picture of Christianity which I fine infuriating.  This picture is far from what my faith looks like to me.  I hope it is an inaccurate picture for many but when this type of thing keeps happening and I hear people celebrating such decisions my hope wanes.  Judgmental, pushy, seeking preferential treatment, ignorant of science…none of these seem like the descriptors for which people of faith should be striving.  Not a great image for evangelism (if I believed in evangelism) nor a great way to love our neighbors. 

To my fellow Jesus followers I issue a plea to consider this simple litmus test:  if a particular stance makes life easier for those with great power and great wealth and more difficult for those with little power and little money, it likely has nothing to do with following Jesus.


Grandma Carolee said...

Thank you for this post. I cannot understand why people who are so against abortion are also against making sure that people have easy access to free birth control. I include men, because I'd like to see every man who doesn't want any more children to support & care for, but still wants sex, to get a free vasectomy. No wife should have to fear getting pregnant every time her husband wants sex. I think that the only way to stop unwanted pregnancies & abortion is with freely available birth control.

Sheri Ellwood said...

Thanks, Grandma Carolee! I agree the anti-abortion movement does not seem very concerned about reducing the number of abortions, only outlawing them. Strange. Thanks for the comment.