Tuesday, December 23, 2014

season's seethings

Earlier this year I was annoyed to hear that the US Supreme Court with its majority conservative justices had ruled that companies could exclude birth control coverage from mandatory health insurance if the companies claimed sincerely held religious beliefs against contraception. The Supreme Court also declared that a company claiming religious reasons to exclude parts of health insurance coverage didn't have to prove its sincerity but that they were to be held at their word. I read some outrageous comments from gleeful conservative groups basically announcing their intent to thwart 'Obamacare' by claiming religious exemptions to everything since their would be no burden of proof.

Another supposed win for a certain type of Christianity, which can only be described using the term Christian in the broadest terms, ruled that a Christian student could use school provided publication fees to print offensive pamphlets because when the state school opened a forum for freedom of expression it had to include even the most odious types of expression. More rejoicing sounded from the special Christians.

This is why last night I laughed out loud to read that the Satanic Temple was erecting displays in various state capitals. They and other groups decided to use the court rulings to their own advantage since two things were very clear: state funded forums had to allow even the most odious religious display if they allowed any at all, and the 'religious' organizations didn't have to prove that they even believed in the expressions of their odious display because they were to be taken at their word. So every state capital that allowed a religious scene to be displayed had to allow anything else also. In a state building in Tallahassee, displays ranged from the Satanic Temple's angel falling into a pit of fire ("Happy Holidays from the Satanic Temple") to a plate of spaghetti (from the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster) to a six foot tall, beer can adorned Festivus pole.

Various religious groups are protesting these displays as attacks on Christianity, having failed to appreciate the irony of the situation.

Happy Holidays to all of my readers, and I wish you all a season of good cheer and laughter!

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