I'm sure that I'm a small minority on my opinion of the HHS Mandate as a conservative Christian. If you don't know, the HHS Mandate will be effective beginning in January 2013 and will require companies with a certain number of full time employees to provide comprehensive health care to all full time employees. Sounds good, right? The Christian outrage part comes in because the comprehensive health care must include birth control and abortion inducing drugs. Many companies have filed to have these requirements waived on religious grounds and some have succeeded while others have not. I feel compelled to address this because there are some very untrue ideas floating around...the one I am most concerned with is the idea that Muslims are all exempt while Christians are required to comply with the law. This has already come up dozens of times, and it is discussed here. The gist of the article is that no one religious group is specifically exempt and the only ones likely to be exempt are the Anabaptists (Mennonites, Hutterites, Amish, etc.) because they have a history of declining social security and other benefits the government provides to its citizens.
This specific article and its comments encouraged me to write this post. Hobby Lobby had requested an exemption from the Mandate under the grounds of religious beliefs and his request was denied. I understand that the man who runs Hobby Lobby is pro-life and is willing to provide comprehensive coverage, including birth control, but not aborticants. I see where he's coming from, really I do. I don't agree with abortion outside of very limited (read: maternal death or a fetus that is already deceased) but, in my opinion, it is not the right of one man, acting on behalf of a nationwide company, to refuse health care benefits that its employees may or may not utilize. He will be faced with fines of approximately $1.3 million PER DAY until Hobby Lobby either offers the coverage or closes its doors. While I applaud his stand, I believe that holding out on this law until the doors close and thousands are out of work is not the best solution.
I think the best solution would be for him to offer the comprehensive coverage, but also offer education on the dangers and reality of aborticants, alternatives to termination, and offer assistance to pregnant women who wish to carry their babies to term. After all, he could probably do that for all of his stores for a year for a day or two of the prospective fines. Personally, I feel like this would benefit more people than protesting the mandate until he is bankrupted. He would have more impact by educating employees than by going bankrupt and sending his employees into a) welfare orb) a less moral employer.
God gives us, as his people, free will. Who are we as a government, or a business, or an individual to try to deny others the same option. People are in situations that no one else could understand and we don't know their relationship with the Lord. Its entirely possible that after long prayer and thought, an abortion was the best option and was accepted by God. We don't know either way and we can't go making decisions for others or for God. You don't put words in God's mouth.
I personally would never get an abortion unless the fetus was already deceased, but everyone is different. I HAVE been in a situation where I was nowhere near ready to have a child. I was terrified. I had just started college when I found out I was expecting my first child. My heart sank and, at the same time, it sang. I deliberated, considered adoption, considered keeping the baby...and (even though I find it hard to admit now, I even considered abortion. And even though I decided to have and keep my son, the Lord and Father I love filled me with peace and the knowledge that He would love me regardless of my decision.
All I can do is pray for those in need, spread the message of the Lord, and do my best to educate others about my experiences and the alternatives to abortion. I am with God that more people will come to truly believe through truth, love, and free will. We as a people shouldn't brovide one, but ALL of those.
Anyway, its late and I broke my toe today, so please excuse my frazzled rambling.
Blessings and best wishes for a happy Thanksgiving!
P.S. I would love to hear your thoughts, good or bad, so leave me a note if you'd like!