Hi and welcome back! A couple of days ago, the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) helped Christianity decline just a little bit faster. They made a pair of decisions that will hopefully jar quite a few Christians into wondering exactly why their imaginary friend doesn’t actually make their tribemates into better people. Today, let me show you what those decisions were, and then we’ll look at what the fallout could look like for the TRUE CHRISTIANS™ involved.
First: Weakening the Affordable Care Act (ACA).
From the very getgo of the ACA, fundagelicals and hardline Catholic zealots have frothed at the mouth about one particular aspect of it: its requirement that all employers offer contraceptive coverage at no cost. Since this protection grants people the ability to have sex without the risk of conceiving, thus cutting down dramatically on unwanted pregnancies and thus seriously lowering abortion rates, obviously these TRUE CHRISTIANS™ completely opposed that measure.
One of these Catholic groups, Little Sisters of the Poor, particularly grated at the requirement. No concessions mollified them. No, they just wanted absolutely no part of it. They brought the lawsuit that eventually ended up on the laps of the Supreme Court.
And on Wednesday, SCOTUS ruled in their favor.
Now, at least until federal laws strengthening women’s rights come into play, employers citing religious or “moral” concerns about contraception can refuse to offer it in their healthcare plans. They can literally crawl into their employees’ bodies and sex lives and refuse to offer them a perfectly standard healthcare option.
It’s almost as if they have no idea what morality is in the first place.
Second: Today’s Seg Academies Get Support from SCOTUS.
In the second decision from SCOTUS, religious employers can now claim exemptions from employment anti-discrimination laws. The court decided that these workers were basically ministers, so their jobs were like ministries, so obviously churches could hire and fire them for purely religious reasons and ignore all the discrimination laws that might get in their way.
We’re not talking about churches, however. We’re talking about religious schools for the most part here. These schools employ about 300,000 teachers nationwide.
They often hire teachers that either aren’t part of their religion or don’t follow all of their rules. When they find out, they fire those employees. They’ve always been mercurial, control-hungry, and retaliatory.
We can all probably remember cases where a religious school fired an employee for being LGBT — or even just disagreeing with their school’s bigotry. But religious differences do not represent the only reason they fire employees.
One of the plaintiffs in this particular case felt she’d been fired from her religious school due to her age. Another felt she’d been fired because she needed time off to treat breast cancer.
So this kind of discrimination transcends religious differences. We’re talking about basic age discrimination — and discrimination against employees with serious health concerns.
A “Big Win For Religious Freedom.”
Toxic Christians celebrate now because they’ve won what they consider a big huge victory for their cause of “religious freedom,” also called “religious liberty,” both of which are a dogwhistle term meaning “right-wing Christian dominance over literally everything.”
But SCOTUS hasn’t helped them at all. It’s actually set them back enormously.
Very clearly, right-wing religious fanatics have stopped caring about persuasion and have started trying to seize as much power as they possibly can before American secularization renders their dreams of ultimate and absolute power null and void.
See, everything they do requires money and butts-in-pews (BIPs). BIPs relate directly to money, sure. Their donations matter enormously. However, BIPs also confer credibility, votes, and all sorts of other tangible benefits to their groups. More than those benefits, even, BIPs function as a barometer of Christian dominance.
Currently, however, Christian groups hemorrhage BIPs — with no end in sight to that decline, or even a bottoming-out of it yet.
Actually A Loss.
A big part of Christianity’s decline involves toxic Christians’ own tireless fight against human rights and civil liberties. As they lose dominance, they clamp down harder on their culture wars and contrived moral panics. In essence, they seek to enshrine their dominance into law even if they lose the popular vote.
And that effort’s not only going to lose, but it’s going to backfire spectacularly.
How will the flocks react to all these Christian leaders gloating and celebrating because now, finally, they can fire women with breast cancer without fear of repercussions?
Probably not well.
Whenever Christian leaders wade into any political pissfight, it turns off a number of their followers. Even if those leaders win the fight itself, they ultimately lose flock members. And that means losing BIPs. It also means turning alienated members into engaged opponents of their overreach — as it did me.
In addition, these leaders risk alienating the youngest members of their flocks. Young evangelicals — what few are still around — just don’t seem as invested in the culture wars as their elders. (As for young Catholics, they probably deconverted or disengaged as soon as they hit adulthood anyway.) Younger Americans skew liberal anyway, even religious ones — which spells disaster for toxic Christian leaders.
Plus, I wonder what impact these decisions will have on the quality of employees that Christian businesses manage to attract? Most folks already have a low opinion of them, after all.
The Pyrrhic Victory.
Donald Trump and his ilk are pushing harder than ever on culture wars as a way to gain compliance and votes from their enraged, fear-addled, rapidly graying in place flocks, yes. But this successful tactic has cost him almost all other demographics.
There’s still much work to do as we repair the damage that Trump and his forces are wreaking on our government and world. But I’m offering this post today as hope:
Dogs don’t bark at what don’t move, as my first pastor used to say.
If toxic Christians felt perfectly safe in their dominance, they wouldn’t be crowing about these SCOTUS decisions as victories. They’re frantic to gain the Republic of Gilead of their dreams — before the demographic time-bomb they themselves created and set relegates them to small mountain enclaves to screech at the moon all they like.
Thanks to their own antics, Christians are rapidly becoming known as that religion full of bigoted, control-hungry weirdos who try to dictate every aspect of the lives of anybody unfortunate enough to fall into their power. This week, SCOTUS only confirmed that truth.
I predict this so-called victory they cherish so much today will have an ultimately-negative impact on their BIPs in the months to come.
NEXT UP: As full of fail as the alt-right can be, it’s rare that we see a comeuppance this grand with them. See you tomorrow!
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A last note: A government that’ll allow TRUE CHRISTIANS™ to discriminate against others will one day use the same rules to allow others to discriminate against them too. That reindeer game never ends exactly where its players think it will.