Womens Health

Illinois Church Hands Out Condoms At Hobby Lobby Protest

| by Sarah Fruchtnicht

It’s not just the secular crowd that's opposed to the Supreme Court ruling exempting Hobby Lobby from the federal requirement on contraceptive coverage.

The First Congregational United Church of Christ in Illinois set up camp outside a local Hobby Lobby this week and handed out condoms and other materials donated by Planned Parenthood to any adult who was not shopping with children.

Reverend Mark Winters said the demonstration shows that not all Christian are opposed to birth control. He hopes it leads people to question whether the ruling was fair to the religious freedom of Hobby Lobby employees.

“I don’t know what Jesus thought about contraception, he didn’t talk about it, but Jesus talked a lot about power, and he did not like the powerful people taking advantage of their power at the expense of the powerless,” Winters said.

"We believe in the freedom of individual conscience (and) support the rights of others to have their individual conscience respected," he told the Daily Herald.

Rev. Emmy Lou Belcher, a recently retired minister of the DuPage Unitarian Universalist Church in Naperville, also attended the demonstration.

"We are all in this together and the point is to work things out together [in a way] that allows people a way to exercise their own beliefs," Belcher said. "The health care law is meant to cover a diverse society ... so people aren't excluded. What this has done is exclude."

She noted that she was there representing herself and not the Unitarian Universalist Church.

"I'm just hoping that [people who see the demonstration] realize that this opinion [of Hobby Lobby's owners] is not the opinion of religious people as a broad spectrum, but that religious people have many different opinions," she said.

Sources: Jezebel, Daily Herald