Another monumental decision

Published 12:00 am Saturday, July 5, 2014

The news media gathered in front of the U.S. Supreme Court on the last day of their current session to hear how the Justices would decide on the Health and Human Services (HHS) vs. Hobby Lobby case concerning the HHS’s contraceptive mandate.

Several years ago, I had the opportunity to take a tour of the U.S. Supreme Court’s majestic, judicial building. Outside, above the tall columns on the east side of the building, there’s a triangular stone carving. At its center, Moses and the Ten Commandments are portrayed.

Walking into the Supreme Court’s chambers where the cases are heard, the Ten Commandment tablets with Roman numerals are engraved on the double wooden doors.

As I sat in the ornate chambers listening to our guide’s lecture, I learned some interesting facts.

She pointed out that the nine justices are seated according to the length of time they’ve served on the bench.

The Chief Justice sits in the center with four chairs to his left and four to his right.

Just below the 44-foot ceiling, encircling the walls, famous lawgivers are depicted.

These historical figures affected the development of our law today, among them Moses holding the Ten Commandments.

Our guide asked us a question that surprised me, “Did you know there’s a court higher than the Supreme Court?”

My first thought was, “Is she about to publicly acknowledge God and His supreme authority?”

She went on to describe an unused storage area above the beautiful, ornate ceiling where a regulation basketball court was constructed for court employees to exercise.

“Maybe you’d like to know if the Justices play?” our guide continued. “No, they just sit on the bench.”

Everyone chuckled. But her question about the Court above the court reminded me of their ruling in 1973 permitting abortion on demand during the entire nine months of pregnancy, though human life is created in the image of God.

During a term that usually runs through the end of June, the Court will hear oral arguments typically on just 100 cases and issue opinions on 80 – 90. In their 5 – 4 ruling announced on June 30, 2014, the U.S. Supreme Court decided that “closely held” private corporations (with five or fewer owners) such as Hobby Lobby were exempt from the HHS contraceptive mandate because it violated the Religious Freedom Restoration Act.

Of the 20 contraceptive methods approved by the FDA and required to be covered by the HHS mandate, four of them can cause abortion. Hobby Lobby provided the other 16 for employees, but took a stand against the other four based on their religious belief that life begins at conception.

David and Barbara Green, who began Hobby Lobby in their home, now own 600 stores.

Their corporate policies are based on Christian principles.

For instance, their employees are paid twice the minimum wage. According to a Time Magazine article, they practice “radical generosity.”

Their foundation supports a homeless shelter in Oklahoma City and other charities such as schools and churches.

Author Ravi Zacharias has said, “The faithful Christian cannot separate his life into sacred and secular, worship and work.” The Apostle Paul wrote, “Whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus” (Colossians 3:17).