Freedom

freedomFreedom to do just anything at all is not our goal. Freedom to act more humanly, more humanely, to act better, is. Freedom is only freedom when it doesn’t create more captivity somewhere else (like in another’s life). Freedom to do anything is mere anarchy, which takes too lightly our ties to one another and the allegiance we pledge to something larger than ourselves. Real freedom requires more.

Christian faith says we need Christ, even captivity to Christ, to really be freed. Until we can break the stranglehold of selfishness the ego has on us, until we can stop making our own Entitled Self the Lord of All, we are creating more captivity around us. Captive to money, power, good feeling… we are not free at all, merely childish and demanding. This is the empty amorality of Free Markets. They are important for business and freedom to make money, but irrelevant to how we are ethically tied to one another.

I am tired of freedom being considered only and merely from the standpoint of the powerful who might financially profit. There are many more important aspects to freedom.

The law of our land, the Affordable Care Act, is darn inconvenient and a somewhat risky endeavor if we are only thinking of freedom to make money. But I believe it is a moral and worthwhile effort to address injustices the Free Market has shown to be dis-interested in addressing. I find its commitment to a Deeper Freedom and justice far more compelling and important than its necessary forced buy in for the sake of economic feasibility and community.

I don’t see how corporations can be said to be free or not. Owners remain free as individuals to express their religion in any way they care to. Their disapproval for what somebody else (an employee for example) is doing regarding their private life can hardly be said to infringe on the owner’s religion. Because we benefit greatly from sharing in society we often have to allow others’ latitude for the sake of Broader Freedom Preserved. We don’t get to make all the rules.

I think Hobby Lobby is misguided in its sexual biology, theology and politics. I think its prioritizing of men’s reproductive convenience over women’s reveals a profound sexism. I am saddened by their narrow self-interest, especially since they purport to be Christian. While most of the Supreme Court justices disagreed with me, the other four thought there were issues at stake making yesterday’s ruling a mistake.

It seems we have lifted the freedom of a handful of business owners higher than the freedom of their employees, and because it’s the Supreme Court setting precedent for our country, higher than millions of women.

And, I also know freedom is costly. My personal faith may lead me away from Hobby Lobby’s door, but it also informs my allegiance to our country’s imperfect system. It ties me to a community of diverse religious views and politics where every time I get out voted I have a chance to learn humility and what it means to be captive to Christ, a little freer from my self-righteousness and self-certitude than I was two days ago.

3 thoughts on “Freedom

  1. Great insights and totally agree with the analysis. Ruth Bader Ginsburg has some great quotes in her dissent. The hard part is losing the self-righteousness and indignation to gain the humility and freedom you write about.

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  2. Interesting to note that the Affordable Care Act survived a Constitutional challenge by a 5-4 vote.

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