“I would not worship a God who is homophobic and that is how deeply I feel about this. I would refuse to go to a homophobic heaven. No, I would say sorry, I mean I would much rather go to the other place.” ― Bishop Desmond Tutu
The Affordable Care Act (aka ACA, aka Obamacare) mandates that insurance companies cannot pick and choose which drugs they will cover. Famously, it required that insurance cover contraception. But less well-known, it required coverage of the HIV prevention drug PrEP sold under the brand names Descovy and Truvada. The drug reduces the chances of acquiring HIV by up to 99%. Preventing a potentially fatal infection would seem like a slam dunk to all compassionate people. But there is a group of Christians who think that is an abomination. Why? Religious freedom.
As reported by the Boseman Daily Chronicle,
“... in a federal lawsuit filed in North Texas, a group who say they oppose homosexuality on religious grounds are suing to change these rules.
Their lawsuit says the federal system for determining which preventive care insurance companies must cover is unconstitutional and argues the plaintiffs, as people of faith, should be able to opt-out of coverage for specific medicines like PrEP and contraception.”
If your faith requires you to eschew taking anti-HIV drugs, don’t take them. And if you are against contraception, don’t use it.
Religious freedom is a two-way street. As much as one sect can claim it, so can every other. I suspect that most religious gays follow a faith that sees (quite correctly) that homosexuality is both natural and moral. It is hypocritical for one group to put their “religious freedom” over another.
HIV as the “gay disease” — its initial name was GRID, ‘gay-related immune deficiency” — is a mischaracterization. In Africa, 61% of HIV cases are in women. In the US, 28% of new infections are in the heterosexual population.
And it is not just homophobia that motivates these nasty little people - 74% of new infections occur in non-whites. So there is racism in the mix.
Anti-medicine folks argue that their tax dollars spent on HIV prevention imperils their religious beliefs. But I do not see how a mandate involves taxes. Besides, it is a specious argument. Quakers, whose religion demands pacifism, cannot sue to ax the Pentagon because they believe the government should not spend money on the military.
People who live in non-tornado/hurricane states have their tax dollars used by FEMA to rebuild areas devastated by weather. Non-drivers pay for roads. Drivers pay for public transit. And atheists in the North East see their tax dollars flowing to the welfare states of the Bible Belt — while we all have to pay higher property taxes because the religious refuse to.
Raised as a mainstream Protestant (Anglican), my religious education stressed the compassion of the Christ. We were told to judge not, lest we be judged. And that he, without sin, should cast the first stone.
Jesus gave life to the dead, sight to the blind, and cured leprosy without checking sexuality. And let’s note that we only know for sure that one disciple was married, Peter. While it is unknown if any of the others were, it does not tell us anything. But it opens the doors to speculation. And besides, who cares?
Jesus also said that men must not divorce their wives except in the case of infidelity (hers, not his — Jesus lived in a very different time). Nor should men marry divorced women.
Matthew 5:32 “But I tell you that anyone who divorces his wife, except for sexual immorality, makes her the victim of adultery, and anyone who marries a divorced woman commits adultery.”
The Bible also says that adultery is a crime punishable by death.
Leviticus 20:10 “If a man commits adultery with another man’s wife—with the wife of his neighbor—both the adulterer and the adulteress are to be put to death.”
Where is the conservative evangelical rage over that?
The are several reasons why these horrible people are vocal against “the other”. It is good for fundraising. It cements their power. It enables their sadism. But it has nothing to do with religious freedom — unless ‘religious freedom’ is a synonym for ‘right to be a bigot’.