Worth Chewing On

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Birth Control vs Religious Freedom?

Finally.  Someone who is speaking a language I understand.

Is Birth Control Fight Really About Religious Freedom?
~Tom Krattenmaker

If the objectors can be believed, that is. The problem here is that the Christian right has cried so loud and long about its religious liberties being violated — and in such self-serving ways — that it’s difficult to trust that the continued opposition to the ObamaCare contraception rules is more than ax-grinding and fight-picking.

But what evangelicals call an erosion of religious freedom begins to look like something else when you consider this: The Barna survey finds a majority of evangelicals agree that Judeo-Christian values should be given preference in this country, and only 37 percent agree that “no one set of values should dominate.” These Christians, Barna President David Kinnaman says, seem as interested in dominance as religious freedom. Says Kinnaman: “They cannot have it both ways.”

No, they can’t. The data give statistical heft to what has been increasingly obvious over years of culture war politics: Conservative Christian cries of “religious liberty” violations often are, in truth, complaints about the decline in conservative Christian power and prerogatives in an America that is growing ever more religiously diverse.

Evangelical theologian Paul Louis Metzger hits the nail on the head when he points out, as he did this past week in a Patheos.com article, that “if we evangelical Christians want religious freedom, we will need to champion the religious freedom of others, even if we disagree with them on their views, and even if it means that they will critique us with that freedom.”

Only when partisan evangelicals earn a reputation for sincere regard for religious freedom — for all people’s religious freedom — will complaints about non-evangelical presidents and their supposed assaults on liberty ring credible.


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