Yesterday, the Supreme Court decided on the case of the Little Sisters of the Poor, a group of Catholic nuns dedicated to caring for the indigent sick and elderly. The court ruled—seven to two—in favor of the nuns, who have for years sought exemptions from requirements to provide employees with medical coverage for abortions and contraception. Lamenting the decision, a Washington Post columnist ascribed it to “a conservative majority on the Supreme Court, one that is determined to create a class of special rights that in practice are enjoyed only by conservative Christians.” Alexandra DeSanctis takes issue with this evaluation:
This “class of special rights” . . . is, of course, the religion clauses of the First Amendment, and conservative Christians continue showing up in court to claim its protections only because their fellow citizens and antagonistic government officials continue forcing them to do so.
Later on, after advocating the abolition of employer-based healthcare coverage—something many conservatives would welcome—[the columnist] further reveals his ignorance. One benefit of removing employer-based coverage, he avers, would be that it “would deprive religious conservatives of the ability to keep suing over contraception, which gives them a focus for their endless cries of oppression and aggrievement.”
It is difficult to imagine how one could honestly believe that the Christian owners of Hobby Lobby, the University of Notre Dame, and the Little Sisters of the Poor were overjoyed to have spent nearly a decade in court fighting merely to preserve their right to practice their faith in the public square.