web statisticsRealtime Web Statistics

Hobby Lobby is WAY Out Of Bounds

If you’re not familiar with this story, the Supreme Court is hearing arguments in Sebelius v. Hobby Lobby. Here’s the short version of the case; Hobby Lobby, a privately held retail chain, isn’t happy with part of the ACA. Specifically, they’re not happy with the part of the ACA that mandates that insurance companies provide free contraception as part of all basic coverage. There’s also a mandate to provide free preventive care, but that’s not the part Hobby Lobby has an issue with. They feel that, based on their religious beliefs,contraception is wrong, and they shouldn’t have to provide insurance that includes it to their employees.

Okay, let’s think about this for a moment. We all complain about how little we seemingly get from the government for our tax dollars, right? Well this is one of those increasingly rare occasions when the government is actually promoting for the general welfare of the the people. The government is providing something that 98% of women have used at one time in their lives, and that 62% of women of child bearing age are using right now.* So 62% of women benefit from access to contraception. Also, their male partners ostensibly benefit from, or want contraception. So the government has done something that benefits 2/3 of Americans. But Hobby Lobby’s religion is opposed to this benefit.

So what? Since when do we govern based on someone’s religious beliefs? I’m not going to go too deeply into debunking the "Christian nation" fantasy because it’s ludicrous. The Treaty Of Tripoli (see Article 11) is pretty clear on that subject. Thomas Jefferson had so little reverence for the bible, that he rewrote it. Actually, that’s not entirely true. He didn’t rewrite it, so much as tore it apart. He literally tore out the parts he thought were stupid. We now refer to this book as "The Jefferson Bible".

Let’s skip from what the founders clearly intended to how we run our society today. As a society, we have declared that asking someone about their religious affiliation during a job interview is a no-go. You can’t hire or not hire someone based on their religion. This is the same standard that the constitution lays out for the picking of our politicians; "no religious test shall ever be required as a qualification to any office or public trust under the United States." The Supreme Court upheld this in 1961 when they handed down the Torcaso v. Watkins decision. Most of us agree that a person’s religious beliefs should be kept to themselves in the work place.

All across the country, public opinion has moved in favor of marriage equality. Americans aren’t interested in anyone’s religious beliefs on the subject anymore. We just saw a "religious freedom" bill that allows discrimination on the basis of "sincere religious beliefs" get shot down because corporate America agreed with the majority of Americans. This is not who we are. The tide has turned remarkably quickly, and the majority of us agree that your religious beliefs have no place in anyone else’s home. The jurisdiction for your beliefs doesn’t expand beyond your home.

Actually, we’re not entirely down with the religious freedom in the home either. Every time we hear a story about a set of parents whose child has died because they opted for faith healing in lieu of first world medical treatment, we’re collectively outraged. In fact, we’re prosecuting those parents for manslaughter. So we’re okay with the practice of religious freedom in the home, unless that religious freedom kills your kids. We draw the line at harming anyone with your religious beliefs, even if they’re your children.

So where the hell does Hobby Lobby get off with this assertion that their religious beliefs should deny women anything? We’re not good with your religious freedom harming your own kids. What makes Hobby Lobby think that they have should have dominion over their employees? This assertion of theirs is just plain unAmerican. Really. They are literally moving in the opposite direction of the rest of the country. Over and over again, throughout our history, we’ve moved away from the notion that your religion should be anyone else’s problem. These fundamentalist freaks want to take us back to a place that Americans are running away from, and I’m concerned that the Supreme Court may help them.

I promise you that if they rule the wrong way on this case, the next suit filed will be from a religious group that opposes medical treatment of any kind. If Hobby Lobby can deny their employees access to free contraception, why should a Christian Scientist employer be forced to provide health insurance to their employees at all, when their religion rejects medical treatment in favor of prayer? And why should a Jehovah’s witness be forced to provide insurance that includes coverage for a blood transfusion? No, we simply can’t have this lunacy in America.




*This is complicated, but I want to make sure that the information I post is 100% accurate. The figures I cite refer to the use of all contraceptives methods. The use of the pill specifically is the #1 most used form of contraception, making up 27.5% of all contraception use. 



Leave a Comment