Pro-life pharmacies

This article, ‘Pro-Life’ Drugstores Market Beliefs, tells about new pharmacies that are opening that refuse to stock morning after pills. Mostly a Catholic phenomenon, these shops also refuse to carry contraceptives, as well as tobacco and racy magazines. Some observers are outraged, but I salute them.

Notice that this is not a “two kingdoms” issue. The moral law DOES apply in God’s secular kingdom. God’s spiritual kingdom, though, contrary to popular assumption, is NOT the realm of law but rather the Gospel.

About Gene Veith

Professor of Literature at Patrick Henry College, the Director of the Cranach Institute at Concordia Theological Seminary, a columnist for World Magazine and TableTalk, and the author of 18 books on different facets of Christianity & Culture.

  • Bruce

    Then…doesn’t that make it a two kingdoms issue? Sorry if I’m a bit daft early on a Monday morning…

  • Bruce

    Then…doesn’t that make it a two kingdoms issue? Sorry if I’m a bit daft early on a Monday morning…

  • http://simdan.com SimDan

    Bruce-

    I think you mean to say that it is a two kingdoms issue that is correctly handled?

  • http://simdan.com SimDan

    Bruce-

    I think you mean to say that it is a two kingdoms issue that is correctly handled?

  • Joe

    Good for them!

  • Joe

    Good for them!

  • Mark

    Gene:

    Can you give us three excellent resources for delving further into Luther’s Two Kingdom’s doctrine (other than your own excellent writings, of course)?

  • Mark

    Gene:

    Can you give us three excellent resources for delving further into Luther’s Two Kingdom’s doctrine (other than your own excellent writings, of course)?

  • kerner

    The people who complain about this give me a real pain. The argument that anyone participating in a certain kind of business has to do everything that anyone else in that business is doing is specious. Because the Supreme Court says that pharmacists CAN sell contraceptives, why should that mean they HAVE TO? Freedom to do something is not a requirement.

    Nobody forces professional actors to do nude scenes, simply because the Supreme court says they can.

    And what about sporting goods stores? Guns are sporting goods. The 2nd Amendment gives us the right to bare arms. There is a Wal-Mart in my neighborhood with a sporting goods department that does not sell firearms! I am outraged!!! How dare they interfere with my access to guns!!! If they are in that business, they should have no freeedom to run it as they see fit!!! Wal-mart must do what I say!!! Maybe I can sue them. ;)

  • kerner

    The people who complain about this give me a real pain. The argument that anyone participating in a certain kind of business has to do everything that anyone else in that business is doing is specious. Because the Supreme Court says that pharmacists CAN sell contraceptives, why should that mean they HAVE TO? Freedom to do something is not a requirement.

    Nobody forces professional actors to do nude scenes, simply because the Supreme court says they can.

    And what about sporting goods stores? Guns are sporting goods. The 2nd Amendment gives us the right to bare arms. There is a Wal-Mart in my neighborhood with a sporting goods department that does not sell firearms! I am outraged!!! How dare they interfere with my access to guns!!! If they are in that business, they should have no freeedom to run it as they see fit!!! Wal-mart must do what I say!!! Maybe I can sue them. ;)

  • http://www.bikebubba.blogspot.com Bike Bubba

    Um, Kerner, the 2nd acknowledges the right (does not give it) to “bear” arms, not “bare” arms. (or “bear arms”, for those with lots of hair and muscles?)

    Sorry, couldn ‘t resist.

    Hope that such a drugstore opens near where I live….I’d at least give it a look!

  • http://www.bikebubba.blogspot.com Bike Bubba

    Um, Kerner, the 2nd acknowledges the right (does not give it) to “bear” arms, not “bare” arms. (or “bear arms”, for those with lots of hair and muscles?)

    Sorry, couldn ‘t resist.

    Hope that such a drugstore opens near where I live….I’d at least give it a look!

  • kerner

    Ack!! brought down by another typo! And Wal-mart has no “Freeedom” either. On the other hand I once had a t-shirt supporting the right to arm bears (militant yogi, etc.)

  • kerner

    Ack!! brought down by another typo! And Wal-mart has no “Freeedom” either. On the other hand I once had a t-shirt supporting the right to arm bears (militant yogi, etc.)

  • Don S

    And yet, in a number of states and federally, serious legal efforts are being made to force pharmacies to offer the morning after pill and other birth control aids, as Kerner discussed above at #5. Similarly, in many states landlords must rent to same sex or unmarried couples, even if doing so is in direct opposition to their sincere religious beliefs. So much for the 1st Amendment right to free exercise of religion.

  • Don S

    And yet, in a number of states and federally, serious legal efforts are being made to force pharmacies to offer the morning after pill and other birth control aids, as Kerner discussed above at #5. Similarly, in many states landlords must rent to same sex or unmarried couples, even if doing so is in direct opposition to their sincere religious beliefs. So much for the 1st Amendment right to free exercise of religion.

  • fw

    #8 Don S

    I am not sure i DISagree with you Don S.

    I am a little curious however. I would LOVE to rent to a mormon or hindu (even if they put idols and altars to false gods in their homes). Likewise I would be pretty pleased as well to rent to an unmarried couples or homosexuals or people who look alot like St. Mathew the tax collector and his motley group of close friends.

    I would do this for exactly the same reason Jesus went to dine and party at Mathew´s house with his friends who were openly living in unrepentant sin and sinful lifestyles.

    It does seem the Pharisees had the same “sincere religious beliefs” as the landlords you refer to. And I am guessing for exactly the same moral reasoning about condoning and abetting sinful lifestyles and behaviors. The Truth (as in “I am the Way and…) makes us all into interesting bedfellows doesn´t it?

    I think I agree that businesses and landlords should not be forced to provide a service if they choose not to. I think also logically that would mean that racial discrimination would need to be fully legal (would love to hear from Joe on the legal logic of this…).

    I don´t think people should be forced whether their beliefs are religious or merely simple bigotry and ignorance. You should be allowed to deny mixed race couples a room in your motel if you are offended by racial mixing for religious reasons or for whatever personal reason, and you should not be forced to allow them to use the “whites only” drinking fountain inside your drug store.

    I find these practices however, religious or not, to be an attack on the very character and nature of the holy gospel should they be practiced by someone who claims to be about Jesus.

    Following the logic of the landlord you mentioned, I would ultimately need to be against religious freedom and freedom of speech as well it would seem? What would you consider MORE sinful Don S: an unmarried couple living together or someone worshipping a false god? The “sincere religious ” standard should be the same should it not for the sexual sins you mention and for the sin of paganism?

    Involving the government adds another dimension yet to all this: If we deny two homos from marrying using the lethal force of the law , why should we also not deny two mormons from marrying or at least insisting that they first be sterilized so that they will not raise their kids in a religion that will send them straight to hell? Where do you see the greater real danger and innocents being harmed? Is this not really society condoning the very worst sin of all?

    Not everything that is sinful should be declared illegal. God himself demonstrated this principal by literally “condoning” sin (!) and legislating polygamy and divorce when He was in charge of the government.

    I am posting not to pick a fight with you, because I think we largely agree on what is moral and what is not.

    The point of my post is to tease out the fact that there is no small amount of complexity in the rather short and simple post you wrote about our responsibility regarding the moral behavior of others in our society.

    I am not staking out a position actually because I am not clear on where your point would leave us at logically at the end… Things are far, far from being clearcut here is all I am suggesting….

    Would you agree?

  • fw

    #8 Don S

    I am not sure i DISagree with you Don S.

    I am a little curious however. I would LOVE to rent to a mormon or hindu (even if they put idols and altars to false gods in their homes). Likewise I would be pretty pleased as well to rent to an unmarried couples or homosexuals or people who look alot like St. Mathew the tax collector and his motley group of close friends.

    I would do this for exactly the same reason Jesus went to dine and party at Mathew´s house with his friends who were openly living in unrepentant sin and sinful lifestyles.

    It does seem the Pharisees had the same “sincere religious beliefs” as the landlords you refer to. And I am guessing for exactly the same moral reasoning about condoning and abetting sinful lifestyles and behaviors. The Truth (as in “I am the Way and…) makes us all into interesting bedfellows doesn´t it?

    I think I agree that businesses and landlords should not be forced to provide a service if they choose not to. I think also logically that would mean that racial discrimination would need to be fully legal (would love to hear from Joe on the legal logic of this…).

    I don´t think people should be forced whether their beliefs are religious or merely simple bigotry and ignorance. You should be allowed to deny mixed race couples a room in your motel if you are offended by racial mixing for religious reasons or for whatever personal reason, and you should not be forced to allow them to use the “whites only” drinking fountain inside your drug store.

    I find these practices however, religious or not, to be an attack on the very character and nature of the holy gospel should they be practiced by someone who claims to be about Jesus.

    Following the logic of the landlord you mentioned, I would ultimately need to be against religious freedom and freedom of speech as well it would seem? What would you consider MORE sinful Don S: an unmarried couple living together or someone worshipping a false god? The “sincere religious ” standard should be the same should it not for the sexual sins you mention and for the sin of paganism?

    Involving the government adds another dimension yet to all this: If we deny two homos from marrying using the lethal force of the law , why should we also not deny two mormons from marrying or at least insisting that they first be sterilized so that they will not raise their kids in a religion that will send them straight to hell? Where do you see the greater real danger and innocents being harmed? Is this not really society condoning the very worst sin of all?

    Not everything that is sinful should be declared illegal. God himself demonstrated this principal by literally “condoning” sin (!) and legislating polygamy and divorce when He was in charge of the government.

    I am posting not to pick a fight with you, because I think we largely agree on what is moral and what is not.

    The point of my post is to tease out the fact that there is no small amount of complexity in the rather short and simple post you wrote about our responsibility regarding the moral behavior of others in our society.

    I am not staking out a position actually because I am not clear on where your point would leave us at logically at the end… Things are far, far from being clearcut here is all I am suggesting….

    Would you agree?

  • Don S

    Frank (FW), you missed the point of my post. I am not a landlord, and I wasn’t opining as to whether such a policy on the part of a landlord would be morally right or wrong. The point was, it should be no business of the government to force a business to conduct itself in a way that is opposed to the proprietor’s sincere religious faith. The marketplace is huge — there will always be plenty of landlords willing to rent to unmarried couples that want to “shack up”, etc. Why, if I have a 4 unit apartment building and want to make a little extra money by renting them out, do I have to rent to anyone, even those who I know will use that unit to further a sinful lifestyle?

    You turned things around by asking about making things illegal. I’m not saying that it should be illegal for an unmarried couple to shack up, or for a homosexual couple to live together. I would oppose any such laws as being well outside the scope of government in a free society. All I was saying is that, by the same token, business people should be free to make a living without being forced to undertake activities which, in their mind, are sinful. That’s all.

  • Don S

    Frank (FW), you missed the point of my post. I am not a landlord, and I wasn’t opining as to whether such a policy on the part of a landlord would be morally right or wrong. The point was, it should be no business of the government to force a business to conduct itself in a way that is opposed to the proprietor’s sincere religious faith. The marketplace is huge — there will always be plenty of landlords willing to rent to unmarried couples that want to “shack up”, etc. Why, if I have a 4 unit apartment building and want to make a little extra money by renting them out, do I have to rent to anyone, even those who I know will use that unit to further a sinful lifestyle?

    You turned things around by asking about making things illegal. I’m not saying that it should be illegal for an unmarried couple to shack up, or for a homosexual couple to live together. I would oppose any such laws as being well outside the scope of government in a free society. All I was saying is that, by the same token, business people should be free to make a living without being forced to undertake activities which, in their mind, are sinful. That’s all.

  • fw

    #10. don s

    was not intending to turn things around.if you reread my post I was actually responding in two parts.

    the first being that if what you say is true, racial segregation and descrimination (among other things) would then also need to be legal and fully allowed.

    and that people should be allowed to do whatever for whatever reason, even bigotry… they do not really need a “sincere religious belief”.

    my second part was about how much the government should be involved or not and was not really in direct response you your post.

    sorry for any confusion Don! I was not trying in any way to twist your words.

  • fw

    #10. don s

    was not intending to turn things around.if you reread my post I was actually responding in two parts.

    the first being that if what you say is true, racial segregation and descrimination (among other things) would then also need to be legal and fully allowed.

    and that people should be allowed to do whatever for whatever reason, even bigotry… they do not really need a “sincere religious belief”.

    my second part was about how much the government should be involved or not and was not really in direct response you your post.

    sorry for any confusion Don! I was not trying in any way to twist your words.

  • Joe

    Frank – it may be your terminology. Segregation is official gov’t racism. That is an entirely different animal from the personal views of some misguided racist who decides he does not want person X to eat at his lunch counter.

    Personally, I think it offends the constitution to have gov’t segregation/racism and that it offends the constitution for the gov’t to force a racist to serve person X at his privately owned restaurant. The grounds for doing so almost always is the commerce clause, which is very tenuous at best, but Supreme Court jurisprudence has greatly broadened the plain meaning of the commerce clause. Just about anything goes now. US v. Lopez is one modern check on this run away clause.

  • Joe

    Frank – it may be your terminology. Segregation is official gov’t racism. That is an entirely different animal from the personal views of some misguided racist who decides he does not want person X to eat at his lunch counter.

    Personally, I think it offends the constitution to have gov’t segregation/racism and that it offends the constitution for the gov’t to force a racist to serve person X at his privately owned restaurant. The grounds for doing so almost always is the commerce clause, which is very tenuous at best, but Supreme Court jurisprudence has greatly broadened the plain meaning of the commerce clause. Just about anything goes now. US v. Lopez is one modern check on this run away clause.


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