In today's Fiery Tuesday post, we highlight stories of religion and activism: a *very* Christian Congress; Pagan view on Charlie Hebdoe?; rhetorical violence in Paganism; civil rights victories in 2014; understanding Roma culture.
The 2015 U.S. Congress was just sworn in -- and it's not exactly representative in gender, race, or economic status. Overlooked by many is also just how very Christian it is, in spite of growing religious diversity in the country.
In today's Fiery Tuesday, we have a set of stories that touch on minority religious beliefs in North America: a Muslim prisoner's beard sparks a Supreme Court case; Canada to ban polygamy?; when is fortune-telling fraud?; welcoming Pele's lava; a Sikh sues to join US military -- with his beard intact.
Why should Pagans give a care about the Holt vs. Hayes Supreme Court case? This post lays out the important religious rights issues in the case.
You can read my post about being a Southern Witch on the 50th anniversary of President Johnson's signing of the Civil Rights Act here: http://hecatedemeter.wordpress.com/2014/07/02/we-have-lost-the-south-for-a-generation-lyndon-johnson-fifty-years-ago-today-upon-signing-the-civil-rights-act/
The #HobbyLobby Supreme Court case today is complex, and its import for Pagans not clear. Court tried to rule narrowly, but left open many important issues for further decisions.
Clear winners: family-owned businesses (even corporations that are not publicly-traded) that have religious objections to various mandated public policies, organizations and people opposed to certain kinds of contraception and to abortion. Pro-life groups rejoice, as well as employers of all sizes and types. (Can "religious exemptions" apply outside of contraception? Unclear.)
Clear losers: female employees of said family-owned businesses who want contraceptive services covered under their employer-paid health care. (Though this will be somewhat dealt with by the Obama administration plans to cover such care itself, similar to exemption given to religious non-profits such as the Catholic church.) Opponents of "corporate personhood" gnash their teeth.
Up in the air: how far will the "religious exemption" go for family businesses?
As you probably know there has been a powerful and effective move on the part of the Republican party to restrict access to abortion and other reproductive health services at the state level since the 2010 elections. What drives this is a theological notion that amounts to the establishment a religion in violation of the 1st Amendment of the US constitution. Those who object to the imposition of restrictions on access to abortion should recognize that it is a theological battle. Come see why. . .