Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Religion as a hobby

By Donald Sensing

Who's the Real Hobby Lobby Bully?

In the Hobby Lobby decision dispute:

Here’s the most interesting thing to me about the long, loud debate over the recent Hobby Lobby decision: Both sides believe that they are having someone else’s views forcibly imposed upon them. ...

The interesting question is why people on the other side view ceasing the coercion as itself coercive while arguing that the original law did not, in fact, force anyone to violate their religious beliefs.

I think a few things are going on here. The first is that while the religious right views religion as a fundamental, and indeed essential, part of the human experience, the secular left views it as something more like a hobby, so for them it’s as if a major administrative rule was struck down because it unduly burdened model-train enthusiasts. That emotional disconnect makes it hard for the two sides to even debate; the emotional tenor quickly spirals into hysteria as one side says “Sacred!” and the other side says, essentially, “Seriously? Model trains?” That shows in Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s dissent, where it seems to me that she takes a very narrow view of what role religious groups play in the lives of believers and society as a whole.
Seems a very good point to me.

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