Dietrich Bonhoeffer and Hobby Lobby: Taking a Stand for Religious Liberty

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by Julie Klose

“It is high time we broke with our theological based restraint towards the state’s actions- which, after all, is only fear. Speak out for those who cannot speak. Who in the church today realizes that this is the very least that the Bible requires of us?” – Dietrich Bonhoeffer

A book which has had a profound effect on my political thinking is Bonhoeffer by Eric Metaxas. This book seems to have awakened a political sleeping giant within me, perhaps because I have always believed that faith and politics should mix. Or maybe it is because Dietrich Bonhoeffer was incredibly insightful about how spirituality, or the lack thereof, affects world events. Whatever the reasoning, Bonhoeffer seems to be my “go to” resource for my own thoughts on politics and our own current events. The recent challenge by the craft store Hobby Lobby against Obamacare’s abortion coverage mandate is one such event that needs to be considered with a broad perspective of just what is at stake here.

If you are not familiar with Dietrich Bonhoeffer, he was a German minister during the time of Nazi Germany. He had his own spiritual awakening regarding politics and faith. His life transformed from standing behind a pulpit to standing out in public and defending the Jewish people and speaking out against Hitler’s evil regime. He eventually paid the ultimate price for his bravery and was murdered by the Nazis.

What inspires me about Bonhoeffer was his resolve for justice but more so his incredible insight in understanding that faith and the message of Christ cannot be contained inside the walls of the church. Many German ministers were scared to speak out against Hitler and his regime that was systematically changing their country. Bonhoeffer knew that he could not keep silent.

So where am I going with this thought? How does Bonhoeffer and Nazi, Germany relate to our own country? Let me try and give you the smaller brush strokes that paint the bigger picture.

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