Friday, July 4, 2014

3 Supremes vs. Wheaton

I'm an evangelical.  That is, I believe that Jesus of Nazareth brought good news to the world.  I can cite Bible verses to that effect (such as Luke 3:18 and 4:18).

But today I'm ashamed to be in the same camp with the evangelicals at Wheaton College in Illinois who won a Supreme Court injunction exempting the college from providing contraceptive coverage to its employees under the Affordable Care Act.

It wasn't good enough for them that they be allowed to sign a form for health insurers stating that they won't pay for coverage.  Because that signed form permits the insurers to provide coverage on their own--no funding involved--Wheaton told the Supreme Court that just signing the form was against the college's religious beliefs.

The men on the Court bought that argument.  The three women didn't and filed a stinging dissent.

Many of my friends are Wheaton grads.  One of them, who attended her 50-year class reunion, sent me this link today and called to express her disgust and determination never to identify herself with Wheaton ever again.

Now Wheaton and its co-appealers only have to "notify the government in writing" that they have religious objections to contraception.  That note is an unsigned statement, presumably, and sent to the government, not to insurers.  

But the government will in turn notify the insurers--same difference.  Or maybe it won't tell anyone, and female employees of Wheaton will not have contraceptive coverage.

Not to mention the students.  I don't know whether the ruling affects them.

Apparently Wheaton College as an employer can't trust its employees to do the right thing.  It has to make sure they don't use the Pill, or IUDs, or the morning-after pill, or anything except maybe condoms, diaphragms, and the calender method.

Yet if a female employee gets pregnant and needs maternity leave, I wonder what Wheaton's policies are.  Will her job still be there 3-6 months later?

This refusal to trust its employees' own decisions made in prayer and reflection reveals Wheaton College as essentially a controlling father, perhaps standing in for God the Father.  Wheaton is your God; you don't need to pray and seek Jesus's guidance on your own.

Never mind God the Mother--Wheaton is probably committed to viewing the Creator as male despite much biblical evidence that "God is a Spirit, and those who worship God must worship in spirit and in truth" (John 4:24).

I can only hope and pray that Wheaton's brazen determination to bring bad news to women causes both women and men students to find other schools and redirects financial donors to other fine Christian colleges such as Gordon College in Massachusetts and George Fox University in Oregon.

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