Thoughts on Hobby Lobby: “Rights” Don’t Really Exist, So Let’s Stop Pretending They Do

Artist's representation of everyone on the Internet following the Hobby Lobby ruling

Artist’s representation of everyone on the Internet following the Hobby Lobby ruling

Hey, remember when everyone’s head exploded on the Internet over the Hobby Lobby ruling? That was fun, right?

I’m not here to take sides in the debate, but I will go ahead and say that every argument I’ve seen and heard about it has been really, really stupid. I don’t feel like I have much to add to the debate, so I’m not going to harp on it any more. (My original thoughts can be found here; the TLDR version is that I think the debate is a terrible question that gives birth to many terrible answers, but if I had to pick a side in the idiocy, I’d probably agree with the Court, since I don’t think the mandate clearly satisfies the standard set by the RFRA.)

O RLY?

O RLY?

What I do want to talk about is this concept of “rights” we’re all throwing around. It occurs to me that when America’s “conservatives” (who are actually not conservatives at all, but in fact classical liberals, but whatever, fine, words mean nothing, call yourselves conservatives if you want) talk about “rights,” they mean something very different than “liberals” (who are actually…y’know, I’m not really sure, but “progressives” is probably a better word) do. This may not be news to anyone, necessarily, but it certainly explains the head-slapping stupidity that results from arguments over whether corporations have the “right” to freedom of religion and whether women have the “right” to free birth control [of any sort]. Continue reading

Advertisements

Prebylutheranism 2nd Anniversary Spectacular! (My Top 10 Posts Ever)

Just because.

Just because.

The other day was the second anniversary of my foray into blogging, and what a long, strange trip it’s been. I haven’t proven to be the most consistent blogger on the Web, or the one with the biggest following, or the smartest, or the funniest, or the most talented, or the best-loved, but I’m certainly…one of them?

I guess?

But one thing I am sure of is that starting this blog was a good call. Some of the things that have happened since I began it:

  • I’ve been published by Cracked a couple of times;
  • My work has appeared in Reader’s Digest;
  • I’ve scored a book deal;
  • I’ve been made a weekly columnist at Christ and Pop Culture;
  • I’ve almost finished a novel (which is more of a distraction from blogging than anything, but whatever).

I thought that for this august occasion (which, ironically, is a June occasion), it might be fun to run down my blog’s top 10 posts, along with some of my commentary on them. Unless it’s not fun, in which case, I’m sorry. Continue reading

A Brief and Somewhat Unfocused Rant About the Hobby Lobby Case

this-is-not-a-church-hobby-lobby-scotus-638x428-520x400

Reportedly, Hobby Lobby CEO Dave Green saw this sign outside the courthouse and said, “Oh wait, Hobby Lobby ISN’T a church? My mistake.” Then he retracted his lawsuit and went home.

Okay, so.

Several people have asked me to blog my thoughts about the high-profile case that’s before the Supreme Court right now. I’m honestly not sure why, since my political views tend to be pretty bland and wishy-washy, but maybe that’s what the blogosphere needs. Maybe I can be the anti-Matt Walsh: angry with no one, and reasonable towards everyone.

I can at least give it my best shot.

So, here are my primary thoughts. Continue reading

Matt Walsh, pt. 2: Your Political Views Were Genetically Determined, So Get Over Them

I actually learned cursive just to write the letter.

I actually learned cursive just to write the letter.

My cheesy “Dear John” letter to Matt Walsh became a surprise hit on this blog, I guess because I managed to say what was on a lot of people’s minds. It’s not uncommon for halfway-decent writers like Walsh (I’ll stand by what I said: the guy makes me laugh) to achieve fame based entirely on their ability to stir up the rabble and tell them what they want to hear, and it’s hard not to regard that fame as essentially undeserved. After all, it’s easy to become popular by telling people they’re right and that the people who disagree with them are evil and stupid.

That’s not to say I think Walsh is being disingenuous in his writing; I think he genuinely believes that all progressives are evil. It’s a comforting thought, after all, to think you’re right and everyone else is stupid. Unfortunately, though, it’s not a thought that holds up against the evidence. Continue reading

Toward a Progressive Pro-Life Ethic

I’ve posted the occasional pro-life rant on this blog, but I’ve never seen this blog as a particularly political one, in part because I don’t consider my political views to be all that interesting (they’re sort of a generic, post-evangelical “I-don’t-want-to-call-myself-progressive-but-I-guess-that’s-what-I-am”-ness, in case you’re wondering). However, this blog seems to get a lot of hits when I write about abortion, so let me see if I can use that (sort-of) platform to try to do some  good in the world. Continue reading

Equality is Medicine, Not Food.

“I thought love meant equality,” she said, “and free companionship.”

“Ah, equality!” said the Director. “We must talk of that some other time. Yes, we must be guarded by equal rights and must all wear clothes for the same reason. But the naked body should be there underneath the clothes, ripening for the day when we shall need them no longer. Equality is not the deepest thing, you know.”

“I always thought that was just what it was. I thought it was in their souls that people were equal.”

“You were mistaken,” he said gravely. “That is the last place where they are equal. Equality before the law, equality of incomes — that is very well. Equality guards life, it doesn’t make it. It is medicine, not food.” Continue reading