The US Supreme Court’s ruling in Burwell v. Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc. (2014) has uncovered a somewhat disturbing reality. Consider the following.
In 1993 Congress passed and President Clinton signed into law the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA). The law stipulates that government may not burden a person’s free exercise of religion unless the burden furthered a compelling governmental interest and that any such burden must use the least restrictive means.
Although the First Amendment declares that the “Congress shall make no law . . . prohibiting the free exercise” of religion, the Court approves of the burdening of religion if (a) there is a compelling governmental interest and (b) the burden is the least restrictive available. So much for the original Constitution.
Nevertheless, the Court did strike down the regulatory mandate of Health and Human Services, operating under the cover of the ACA, that would have required the plaintiffs to provide four contraceptive options resulting in the destruction of embryos, i.e., human life. The Court did not determine that such destruction of human life was outside the test of a compelling governmental interest, but rather that regulations were not the least restrictive means available to the government.
The Court’s suggested remedy was for HHS to make embryonic destruction available through the government. Justice Alito wrote that the “most straightforward way for doing this would be for the Government to assume the cost of providing the four contraceptives at issue to any women who are unable to obtain them under their health-insurance policies due to their employers’ [religious] objections.”
This raises a very serious question, or more specifically a moral dilemma, for taxpayers convinced that life begins at conception. In other words, by being compelled to pay taxes and thereby provide funds for government programs facilitating the destruction of embryos, our First Amendment right of free exercise is being violated.
Ultimately, of course, the First Amendment and the Supreme Court’s monopoly over its interpretation are not the hooks upon which to hang one’s objections to the government’s infanticide policies. This dilemma transcends constitutional debate. There is no circumventing the fact that paying taxes makes me complicit in the government’s infanticide. I am reminded of Mark 12:17 and concluded that halting the rendering of my tax dollars to fund government infanticide is controlled by a higher law. The question remains do I and like-minded people have the resolve and courage of our convictions to act accordingly.