According to the Daily Beast’s Jay Michaelson, not only is the lawsuit by the Little Sisters of the Poor against the Obama administration over the contraceptive mandate based on “tortured logic,” it’s sinful. Writing in his March 23 piece, “Christian Right Says No Means Yes In Obamacare Fight At Supreme Court,” Michaelson explains (emphases mine):
This, incidentally, is the new normal for conservative activism: raise tens of millions of dollars from right-wing 1 percenters and then file so many lawsuits that one is bound to make it to the Supreme Court. In fact, Zubik is actually seven cases consolidated into one with hundreds of briefs from activist groups on all sides.
Meanwhile, the government—funded not by the 1 percent but by all of us—has to spend millions of our money to defend all these suits. The net result, other than a biblical waste of taxpayer money, is both to get to the Supreme Court and to intimidate the government into giving the Christian Right what it wants. What would Jesus do, indeed.
(Answer: “The very fact that you have lawsuits among you means you have already been defeated.” 1 Corinthians 6:7)
Nice try, but St. Paul in this portion of the first epistle to the Corinthians was condemning Christians taking each other to court over their disputes rather than resolving them by fair arbitration within the church itself. Paul was not categorically barring Christians from filing lawsuits nor for standing up for their rights against government abuse in the civil courts. Paul, after all, famously stood on his rights as a Roman citizen on a few occasions (Acts 16:37-40; 22:22-29; 25:11-12).
As to Michaelson’s charge of twisted logic, he also gets it wrong:
In the 2009 battle to pass the Affordable Care Act in Congress, religious organizations won the right to opt out of providing coverage for contraception to their employees. (In Hobby Lobby, some for-profit corporations won that right too). This week, a cluster of religious organizations (Zubik himself is the Catholic bishop of Pittsburgh) is trying to opt out of the opt out.