Saturday, April 12, 2014

Autism, Down Syndrome, Disabilities, and Hobby Lobby

Follow me please.

Most of you already know that Hobby Lobby is trying to assert itself as having religious beliefs and is opposed to birth control or contraceptives now. They were not opposed before the Affordable Care Act and now they are. Oh, and how can a for profit company be allowed to violate any part of any law it dislikes? And for that matter, although the CEO and founder can have religious beliefs because they are people, how can a corporation hold religious beliefs? It is not a person. Only people can hold beliefs. 

Well, their approach is a slippery slope that is too dangerous to go down. Why? Because if Wal-mart decides they don't want to cover women's care, they might suddenly cry it goes against their religion? Where in the Bible is birth control wrong? It is not in there. It is a grey area and it is legalism. 

Hobby Lobby would have a better chance if it clarified what it means by contraception as being just those forms that they think cause abortion instead of the broad term of contraception they are using. 


Birth control pills taken on a daily basis for a variety of reasons - don't want babies, have iron anemia, acne, hormone imbalance, heavy bleeding, irregularities 
Plan B - a three day dose of birth control to be taken within 72 hours after failed contraceptives or rape - prevents implantation - does not cause abortion

These are contraceptions used to prevent pregnancy.

I gave a scenario though:

Hobby Lobby historically has been one of the few places known to hire people with autism and other special needs. Now here is the deal. The girl with cognitive dysfunction gets a job at Hobby Lobby. Hobby Lobby gives her insurance. The doctor says she needs birth control because she does not understand sex yet. It is for her safety and protection. Also because she cannot handle having menstrual cycles. They can be very stressful. Suddenly Hobby Lobby says no because it violates our religious beliefs. Now they have done something illegal. They have denied a disabled person something she needs in order to have that job. They have now discriminated against her. It is a violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act and subject to lawsuit. 

If they are going to cover Viagra, they have to cover birth control. And because no single birth control is necessarily right for all women, they have to cover all of it. Otherwise, it is gender discrimination. 

If Hobby Lobby gets out of this portion of law, what will be next? No hiring special needs? No hiring women? No hiring someone of a different faith? No hiring a red head? No hiring a person who is not white? No paying what they are supposed to? Where does it end? Give an inch and they will take a mile.

Supposedly they are threatening a tantrum if they lose--close the stores. Fine. They chose to commit business suicide over the fact they are legalistic anyway.

Now I want to say something.

I called out someone who inappropriately commented about someone's size by saying she looked like she had swallowed her last two children. It was rude and inappropriate. And I also pointed out that it was a milestone that I recognized it as a person with autism. Well, he then turned around and in response to the scenario said people with autism and special needs are pathetic.

Let me say this now:

It is autism awareness month and what we need now is autism acceptance. But when people hold that attitude, it is clear that people like me will never be accepted at church, school, work, or in the community. It is hateful. And this is the attitude of someone who probably calls himself a Christian. The Paul Ryan budget was just passed by the republicans. Yeah, the party of Christianity. Well, guess what? It is not reflective of Christian values. It is a violation of Matthew 25:31-46 and it makes the republicans goats. Those are the words Jesus used. 

Paul Ryan hit veterans by cutting healthcare and SNAP. Paul Ryan hit the elderly by cutting SNAP. Paul Ryan killed the disabled by cutting SNAP, SSI, SSDI, the Affordable Care Act, and Medicaid. Paul Ryan hit women by cutting WIC. He wants to force a woman to carry a baby she didn't plan on or want for a variety of reason and in the meantime he takes food and medicine away from her and the baby. So now we have a bunch of unwanted babies because they don't want us to be on birth control and refuse to give us healthcare and the babies are all starving because they don't want us to eat either. It is the Mitt Romney rhetoric of hate toward everyone less fortunate than them all over again, the rhetoric that caused them to lose and caused even the most evangelical pastors to cringe and say that if Christians held that attitude they needed to repent! The Paul Ryan budget is unethical, illegal, and is definitely against what Jesus stood for, the republicans just crucified Jesus all over again. And here's the thing, we are approaching Easter. A time to remember Jesus' life and ministry on earth and what he did for us on the cross. 

Autism awareness should lead to autism acceptance. And in some ways, although we have come a long way with regard to race, we have not moved forward with regard to disabilities. Dear church, what are you doing to effect a POSITIVE change? 

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