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Small protest held outside Naperville Hobby Lobby over Supreme Court decision

Christian clergy and activists from different faiths protested outside the Naperville Hobby Lobby Wednesday in protest of the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision that says some companies can opt out of new health provisions for no-cost prescription contraception for women.

The gathering was organized by retired minister Rev. Emmy Lou Belcher of the DuPage Unitarian Universalist Church and the Rev. Mark Winters of First Congregational United Church of Christ in Naperville.

The group distributed packets of condoms and contraception information to shoppers going into the Route 59 and 75 Street store on the city’s east side.

“This is an issue about power, where employers control the most intimate details of their employees’ lives,” Belcher said.

The Oklahoma City-based Hobby Lobby and another business challenged Obama’s Affordable Care Act that says employers should cover contraception for women as part of their health plans.

Belcher said the decision does not reflect mainstream Christians.

“The majority of Christians use birth control,” Belcher said.

Belcher said she was surprised by Monday’s Supreme Court decision. She said the decision was not a matter of religious freedom, but rather corporate control.

“This may be the religious beliefs of the owners, but employees are not required to pass a religious litmus test and that is essentially what the Supreme Court has dipped its foot into,” she said.

“It’s hard enough to find a job without having to vett the religious beliefs of your boss first,” said Cheryl Newman, of Naperville.

Some people accepted the free condoms, while others turned away and said no thank you. One woman handed the packet back and when several feet away screamed back in defense of Hobby Lobby.

“I know them and they are Godly people!” the woman exclaimed.

Winters said not all Christians are opposed to contraception. He said people talk about religious freedom, but what has been ignored is the religious freedom of employees of Hobby Lobby to disagree with the convictions of their employer.

“This is an issue about power and an issue where the rights of the powerful were protected at the rights of the powerless and as a Christian that bothers me,” Winters said.

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