Wyrd Words: What Could Go Wrong?

Greetings, and welcome back to Wyrd Words. Keeping the Thor in Thursdays, every other week here on Agora!

So… Just in case this is your first day back from a month long stint of living under rocks, THIS TOTALLY HAPPENED… And for those of us who have always been suspicious of pretty blue hyperlinks,* basically the U.S. Supreme Court decided that for profit corporations are now allowed to claim religious exemptions from FEDERAL LAW.

Because, you know, what could POSSIBLY go wrong with THAT?

 photo ThursdayComic3_zpsadfdc942.png

Apparently, I’m in the wrong business…

Why are we Pagans not talking about this more?


*  (Maybe they were bitten as a child. Blue Hyperlinks can be VICIOUS…)

Wyrd Words is published on alternate Thursdays. Subscribe via RSS or e-mail!

About Alyxander Folmer

Alyxander Folmer is a student of Anthropology at ASU, focused on analyzing and building religious communities. He is a devoted Heathen, and married to a Rabbi in training. Interest in Pagan interfaith relations lead him to join the committee for the formation of the Pagan Chapter at the Foundation for Religious Diplomacy, where he hopes to utilize his training in community building and cultural exchange. The majority of his work can be located at http://www.heathenhof.com/

  • Mikal

    You hiring by chance? :-P

  • Usacotts

    Hey, in my defense, that hyperlink isn’t a pretty blue at all; it
    shows up as a sort of rusty reddish color thanks to your blog’s
    stylesheet…very suspicious! :P
    Meanwhile, I think it needs more
    attention that this supposedly applies ONLY to birth control, and not to
    any other issue. Why? Well, because they said so, pretty much. (I
    wasn’t aware that you could even do that, but then, I’m not on the
    Supreme Court.)
    The ruling explicitly lists other medical practices
    that religious employers could conceivably take issue with, before
    affirming that those don’t really count and only birth control is
    important. It essentially says that only Catholicism and Catholic
    beliefs about medicine are valid and gives special federal-law-violating
    status to specifically to Catholicism, and that’s…kind of a big deal,
    I think.

    • Alyxander M Folmer


    • AnantaAndroscoggin

      Yet the Hobby Lobby ruling has already been cited by the political prisoners in GTMO in a renewed bid to have their religious rights respected by the prison.

    • An Elder Apprentice

      This case is a big deal. The issue with any appellate court decision, especially one that broaches new ground is that it becomes the basis for more decision based on analogy. The statement ‘this is limited’ means nothing. The decision can be extended and clever lawyers will try to do so and judges may do so. It is clear the five conservative justices intend to by the very fact that the next day they obviated their ‘limited’ ruling by issuing an injunction that extended the scope of the ruling. The Supreme Court gang of five looks like it is trying to create a series of decisions that extend their view of ‘religious rights’ to increase the power of the majority over minority views, to place religious beliefs as an important determinate of public policy, and to create a broad religious exemption from regulatory law. Of course their view of religion is majoritarian, that is Christian (ok a Jew is an honorary Christian now-a-days).
      That this decision ‘applies only to birth control’ does show the Catholic mindset of these five justices, but it will be extended.
      The only positive aspect of this decision and the disturbing in very different ways, “Town of Greece’ decision, on prayer at public meetings, is the they are bad law, that is based on shoddy legal reasoning without a clear understanding of the effects of decisions intended or unintended, and so full of internal contradictions that once even one of these clowns is of the Court it will be relatively easy for a new majority to reign them in and ultimately reverse them. Both Hobby Lobby and Town of Greece do as Justice Ginsburg indicated in her dissent on Hobby Lobby ‘create a minefield’ for the Court.
      How can I volunteer to be an oarsman on the Viking raiding ship for its next Hobby Lobby attack?

  • http://prophetmadman.blogspot.com/ brainwise

    Sometimes, all you can do is applaud: http://brainwise.tumblr.com/post/85055953888/slow-clap

  • Rob Henderson

    “Why are we Pagans not talking about this more?”

    You clearly don’t have the same FB or G+ friends that I do. I think that’s been roughly half of the conversations I’ve seen in the last two weeks.

    • Alyxander M Folmer

      I was mostly concerned with the fact that I haven’t seen any real discussion of the event here on the Pagan channel. It seems like a topic the deserves exploration…

      • xJane

        On the one hand, it could be a great thing for Pagans, however, it was—supposedly—”narrowly” applied to just this situation. Of course, that’s already proven untrue, but this is yet another time when some religions become more equal than others.

        • Alyxander M Folmer

          I wasn’t trying to imply we should be jumping on this bandwagon. More that we should be trying to knock it’s wheels off before it gets too far out of the stable.

          • xJane

            I agree—this is a dangerous precedent for the major religions and minor religions alike.

  • xJane

    What is more worrying about this ruling than “for-profit corporations [being…] now allowed to claim religious exemptions from federal law” is that religious exemptions are granted without regard for the scientific truth of the “belief”. It’s one thing to say “I believe X is against my religion” but if X is, in fact, not-X, then surely the government need make no accommodations.