23 January, 2013

On the Necessity of Theological Courage in the Public Square | First Things

On the subject of religious controversy, 2013 started off with a bang, not a whimper. Hobby Lobby, the craft chain owned by a Christian couple, chose to defy the odious HHS mandate pioneered by the administration of President Barack Obama. This edict seeks to bring religious groups to heel by requiring all employers to cover contraception and abortifacients in their health-care plans. For its defiance, Hobby Lobby faces atmospheric fines of $1.3 million dollars per day.

What could motivate such response from this company, traditionally associated less with political battles than knick-knacks and sewing kits? David and Barbara Green, the owners of Hobby Lobby, remain committed to upholding their evangelical beliefs—including pro-life convictions—no matter the cost or threat inflicted upon them. This is a remarkable example, and a heroic one. The Greens are demonstrating the theological courage necessary to participate in a public square that continues to show increased hostility toward orthodox expressions of faith.

Though this challenge is new, this virtue is not. In the grand Christian ethical tradition, prudence, temperance, justice, and fortitude or ‘courage’ have formed what are called the cardinal virtues, from the Latin meaning ‘the hinge of the door.’ According to our guides, all other virtues “hinge” upon practicing these virtues as necessary for experiencing the moral life.

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On the Necessity of Theological Courage in the Public Square | First Things

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