In case you weren’t aware of this, Hobby Lobby has come under fire for not selling items relating to Jewish holidays. Here is an article from the Religion News Service. For those who don’t know, Hobby Lobby is privately owned by a Christian man, Steve Green. The reasoning given by Mr. Green and employees seems to be simple, in essence: we are Christian, not Jewish, so we only support Christian holidays.
Now I have little doubt that most conservative pundits who choose to defend Mr. Green and Hobby Lobby will make a bee line to the First Amendment. American citizens have freedom of religion, meaning that they can practice the religion of their choice. This right extends to private businesses. But this is only to a point. As with all rights protected under the Bill of Rights, they are limited. Freedom has never been absolute. We are not free to yell “fire” in a crowded theater or issue threats regarding the life of the President. Increasingly, we are not even free to reiterate the truth about sodomy in the public square. In many countries around the world we would not be free do deny the official history of Nazi Germany’s treatment of the Jews. I could go on and on through our criminal code to illustrate that freedom is never absolute. This has never been the case in any society and will never be the case in any society.
So how do lawmakers and courts distinguish between licit and illicit speech and activities? There needs to be a standard. In America the standard appears to be what a Supreme Court justice long ago called the “tyranny of the shifting majority.” Whatever most people say is right and wrong is what is right and wrong. But I’m not so sure about this. Since everywhere I look I observe what the apostle Paul observed in Athens about two thousand years ago: my American neighbors are very religious in all respects (see Acts 17:22). Of course, as a Christian, this does not surprise me, for I know that God has made every man, woman and child with a body and spirit, a spirit that needs communion with God but is inclined from birth to reject God and instead satisfy its spiritual need in the pursuit of idols, gods, demons and their master.
The truth is man is a religious being. Even the militant atheist can’t help but exhibit every sign that he hates God, which is odd for someone who does not believe in Him.
This is why the American experiment of having a religiously neutral public square was doomed to fail from its very inception. It only paved the way for a religion to flood the public square other than the only true religion, Christianity. (Someone might answer me here and say that if Christianity is true, it will win in the “marketplace of ideas.” But there is a problem, in this “game” or “fight” among religions, in which Christianity is hoped to win, Christianity tied one hand behind its back before the bell rang: to wit, the fundamental tenet of Christianity is there is one God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit. This is like the right arm of Christianity, and to make it illegal for the government to proclaim this and advance this in the public square is to tie the right arm behind the back. Winning becomes virtually impossible.)
The standard for freedom is ultimately not the opinion of the shifting majority, but the spirituality of the shifting majority.
America will not shake her religion. The only question is what religion will it be. When I see one of the last remaining explicitly Christian businesses in this country cowering to the hypocrisy and propaganda of certain Jewish pressure groups so quickly like this–when combined with, say, more standing ovations from our Congress for Benjamin Netanyahu than for our own President or, say, the massive disparity between the percentage of Jews among all American citizens and their percentage represented in our entertainment media, among many other daily evidences–I am strongly inclined to believe our religion is more and more Jewish. And please don’t get me wrong, this is not the religion of Moses. This is the religion of the Babylonian Jews who wrote the Babylonian Talmud and who invented “holidays” like Hanukkah, of which Moses and King David knew nothing. It is a religion that is in many ways pagan and steeped in superstition and occult principles, and therefore perfect for the current American milieu. The reader should know that there are whole organizations and websites and books, a veritable industry, that attempts to show that I’m just resurrecting age-old anti-Semitic canards. But very seldom will the reader find detailed rebuttals, and almost never will rebuttals of charges relating to the Talmud come to the light of day. For thinking folks, I would recommend a newly published book by Professor of Hebrew and Rabbinic Literature at Kings College, London, Alexander McCaul, D.D. entitled The Talmud Tested.
The Hobby Lobby controversy will be yet one more installment in the saga of America’s religion. The tide is shifting. Will it stop here? Will Mr. Green find the courage to put his business below his loyalty to Christ and his love of unbelievers, including all of the Jews who are lost in the religion of Judaism and separated from Christ and eternal life? Or will he cave to the standards of our day? I pray for his faith not to fail. I pray that he would exhibit the same concern for Christians and Jews shown by the apostle Paul long ago when he wrote to the Galatians. Certain men were tempting the Galatians to look favorably upon circumcision and all of the Jewish rites that came with it under the Old Covenant. At one point he exclaimed that he wished that such men would even mutilate themselves.
Paul also reminded the Galatian Christians of a timeless principle that those born according to the flesh persecute those born according to the Spirit, just like Ishmael persecuted Isaac. Shockingly, Paul was likening the Jews and Judaizers to Ishmael, and the Christians (including Jews like Paul) to Isaac.
Mr. Green, true son of Abraham and Isaac, you are being persecuted by the descendants of Ishmael, those still beholden to Sinai and the present, earthly Jerusalem. I pray you hold up and can say, even with your billion-dollar worth form the world and national enterprise of stores,
Galatians 6:14 But may it never be that I would boast, except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, through which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world. 15 For neither is circumcision anything, nor uncircumcision, but a new creation. 16 And those who will walk by this rule, peace and mercy be upon them, and upon the Israel of God.