Did This Make You Want to “Knit a Brick?”
Why Did So Many People Want to “Knit a Brick?”
Maybe it was freedom of religion. Or the importance of healthcare access. Women’s rights. Societal benefits of preventive medicine. The feeling that it’s “not my bosses’ business.”
Whatever their reasons, people from every state and five other countries, regardless of faith, participated in “Knit a Brick,” a symbolic rebuilding of the wall between church and state.
Photos and details for Knit a Brick follow below. Because individual freedom of religion has been sacrosanct since the founding of the United States and that has now changed, I wanted to learn more and share that research with you.
Why the Activism? What’s the Big Deal?
Hobby Lobby’s owners are Evangelical Christians, and particular kinds of preventive health care are counter to their religious beliefs.
If Hobby Lobby’s owners don’t want women’s contraceptives included in their employees’ health insurance, why shouldn’t Hobby Lobby be exempt from the law?
The Hobby Lobby decision can be applied to other situations.
The Hobby Lobby decision has already been cited by or as relevant to the actions of various people and groups including;
- 9/17/2014: Satanic Coloring Books Distributed at Florida Public Schools
- A polygamist sectarian (child labor)
- Native Americans (bald and golden eagles)
- Satanists (Satanic Mass)
- A Satanic Temple (an “interactive display” for kids)
- Presbyterians (refugee children)
- Unknown Religion (Eden Foods re healthcare)
- Various Christian (employment discrimination)
Links relevant to each of the above are included at the end of this article.
United States Religious Freedom
A brief history
People came to America seeking freedom from religious rule:
- The Puritans, the early English inhabitants of what is now the United States, fled England due to religious oppression and persecution.
People became free from religious rule at state levels:
- As states developed their constitutions, nearly all established that constitutional recognition of the free marketplace of religion was the best guarantee of freedom of conscience.
People became free from religious rule at federal levels:
- The Founding Fathers established that United States citizens would be free from any and all religions, including Christianity.
- The Constitution was a secular document that gave no power of religious control to the federal government and established that federal employee were free from being required to accept any religious belief(s) or follow the rules of any religion. Because the language was specific to federal employees, it was still possible for non-federal employees to be subjected to religious rule.
United States citizens became free from religious rule and separation between church and state was established:
- The Founding Fathers then clarified that “Individuals, not the government, would define religious faith and practice in the United States.” This left United States citizens free to choose and practice their individual religions.
BILL OF RIGHTS (1791)
The First Amendment states, “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.”
Two things were guaranteed: that Congress will not favor, promote, or endow religion; and that Congress shall not impede, obstruct or penalize religion. Government would simply leave religion alone.5
- Founding father and third President of the United States Thomas Jefferson was the first to specify that the United States had a “wall of separation between church and state.”
New Jersey, 1947
Taxpayers were forced to support a different faith:
- The parents of children attending Catholic schools were being reimbursed for public transportation fares. Parents of children not attending Catholic schools had to pay taxes that benefited only those schools dedicated to the Catholic Faith.
Taxpayers were freed from paying to support someone else’s religion:
- The Supreme Court unanimously ruled this was unconstitutional, and in its opinion included the phrase: “The First Amendment has erected a wall between church and state. That wall must be kept high and impregnable. We could not approve the slightest breach.”6
The Hobby Lobby Decision, 2014
Women’s healthcare is subject to their employers’ religious beliefs.
Under the Affordable Care Act (ACA), many forms of preventive medicine and services are covered under employees’ monthly insurance premiums. This includes annual well-woman visits, mammograms, female contraceptives, etc.12
Hobby Lobby is a corporation owned by evangelical Christians who do not want certain forms of female contraceptives in their insurance plans due to religious objections.
The Supreme Court, in a strongly dissented 5/4 decision (Burwell v. Hobby Lobby) decided in June, 2014 that corporations controlled by religious families do not have to include female contraceptives in their employees’ insurance coverage.
Everyone’s healthcare is potentially subject to their employers’ religious beliefs.
Corporations now have the potential to deny coverage based on other religious beliefs. Blood transfusions (Jehovah’s Witnesses), psychiatric medications like antidepressants (Scientologists)10, anesthesias, intravenous fluids, and gelcaps (certain Muslims, Jews, and Hindus), vaccinations (Christian Scientists)… the list of possibilities is exhaustive.
Ironically, many people are not even aware that it was due to the Catholic Church’s legal efforts to prevent women from accessing contraception that laid the groundwork for Hobby Lobby to be legally allowed to refuse such basic coverage.7
The Hobby Lobby Decision Made These People Want to “Knit a Brick”
The following is based on research by Ana Carrilho, Crocheters Anonymous© Senior Editor
On September 9th, the Secular Coalition for America staged a protest against the Hobby Lobby decision by carrying a “wall” of knitted bricks from the Supreme Court to the Capitol.
The wall, created from over 1,600 bricks sent from every state and five other countries, was the result of the #KnitABrick campaign launched on July 2nd.
The wall symbolized the rebuilding of the crumbling wall separating church and state.
“Religious freedom is an individual right. It’s not the right of a for-profit business.”1
How the Hobby Lobby Decision is Being Applied
- Satanic Coloring Books Distributed at Florida Public Schools
- Judge: Hobby Lobby Decision Means Polygamous Sect Member Can Refuse To Testify In Child Labor Case
- Thanks Hobby Lobby: Exploiting Children Now Covered By Blanket Of ‘Sincerely Held Religious Beliefs’
- Fifth Circuit grants Native Americans religious freedom to obtain permits for eagle feathers
- Satanists to Hold Controversial Black Mass in Oklahoma
- Satanists Use Hobby Lobby Decision to Play Devil’s Advocate
- Satanic Temple Monument in Okla. May Include ‘Interactive Display’ for Kids
- The new (religious) face of civil disobedience
- Willy Street Co-op drops nine Eden Foods products over birth control coverage policy
- Why Conservative Christians Fear the Affirmation of Transgender Identity
- Gordon College leader joins request for exemption to hiring rule
#JointheDissent by sharing your craftivism and speaking out against Hobby Lobby on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest2
#GetAnotherHobby by shopping at craft stores other than Hobby Lobby.
Additional photos: http://bit.ly/1AxPcbQ
About Knit a Brick and its objective: http://on.fb.me/1pLSl8a
Alternative shopping sites for Hobby Lobby: http://bit.ly/1nKVyPp