by Max Brantley
The craft giant’s lawyer claimed during oral arguments that contraception is uniquely "fraught with religious controversy." But polling shows that nearly all Christians in America have used birth control — and that the majority of them support requiring employers to include contraceptives in their health insurance plans.
So how did the court — and the media — come to be so credulous towards such fringe and insincere claims of Christian piety?
Shameless efforts to dress up bigotry in religious garb go back to the very beginnings of the religious right, which is younger than a lot of people think. The modern politicized religious right movement was born in the 1970s in a battle over whether all-white "Christian schools" could exclude black students while maintaining tax-exempt status as religious organizations.
In the subsequent years, the religious right’s strategists grew savvier, recasting their agenda as a defense of “family values” and of “unborn babies.” And backed by deep-pocketed conservative donors, they set about building a powerful political, legal, and communications empire — largely bypassing existing church and denominational structures and relying instead on creative use of then-new communications technologies like direct mail, cable television, and talk radio.