Tuesdevo: Devotion … to What? (Whom?)

One of the more famous lines in one of America’s briefest and most powerful speeches – “…we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion…”

What does it mean to be “devoted”? What does “devotion” expect of us, extract from us?

Yesterday’s ruling by the Supreme Court is being criticized for offering corporations a status greater than women. Where does devotion to religious convictions give way to the demands of living in community? We lament the taking of young girls in Nigeria, but we seem quite willing as a society to look the other way when it comes to equal pay, protection on our streets and college campuses and the daily onslaught of abuse the women in the US are subjected to. Isn’t what happened to the girls in Nigeria cut from the same cloth as what we do to women in America, just ratcheted up to a higher frequency?

One of the great ethical challenges for people of any religious persuasion is is to balance the devotion to our God over against the rights of our neighbor.  And, seeing as how we are heading into a series on Science and Religion at First UMC, what exactly is the science behind the use of the kinds of birth control the Supreme Court said corporations don’t have to pay for? One physician laments the decision as putting the justices square in the examination room with a doctor and a woman.

The major opposition of Hobby Lobby  to paying for IUD’s for women is the concern that the device has the potential to cause a fetus to abort. Is that a legitimate concern? Who will you trust when it comes to getting the facts about IUDs – Patient Facts, or Christian Family Planning? Why would you be more trusting of one group than of the other?

This case has been closely watched throughout the winter. Hobby Lobby was willing to risk being fined millions of dollars as they waited for the case to come to the SC. How devoted are you? Would you be willing to put up that kind of money – or the equivalent given your income – as a result of devotion to some cause?

Maybe we all need to ponder carefully (and prayerfully) on this Tuesday: To whom and what am I truly devoted, and how does that devotion express itself?

A blessed Tuesday to you.

Mark Demers

Want to talk about sex, politics, spirituality? So do I. I grew up in a religious home in the 1950’s and 1960’s. Our country was reeling from assassinations and the devastation of the Viet Nam War. Looking for something beautiful, I got a degree in music, married the love of my life and had children. Looking for God, I then went to seminary. Looking for something that might transform the world, I became a local church pastor. Now, I’m always looking for people who want to talk about important things. I cherish conversations with emerging leaders, people who are antsy to try an idea they believe would change the world for the better. I’d would love to hear from you.