Once in a great while an event unfolds in which the opposing forcing forces are so strong that a huge explosion is inevitable, regardless of which one ultimately prevails. That event is the ultimate outcome of a a case the US Supreme Court recently agreed to hear: Sebelius, Sec. of H&HS, et al v. Hobby Lobby, Inc. and Conestoga Wood Specialties v. Sebelius, Sec. of H&HS, et al.
It’s difficult to believe that in a 21st century technologically advanced industrial nation like the USA, such a case would be worthy of the Supreme Court. But then again, this selfsame court ruled only three short years ago that corporations have the same rights as people when it comes to freedom of speech as guaranteed in the first amendment of the bill of rights to the US constitution. To wit, in the infamous Citizens United case, the Supreme court ruled that corporations were free to donate unlimited amounts of money to political action committees and had ALSO a right to privacy while doing so!
At issue in the Hobby Lobby case are the religious beliefs of the Green family, which owns and operates this corporation of 578 stores nationwide, employing many thousands of men and women. David Green, billionaire, founder and CEO of Hobby Lobby is an evangelist who believes his religion is omnipresent, including in his work life.
To that end, he opposes Obamacare on numerous levels, including its requirement that the health insurance companies provide contraceptive coverage for women. But he’s most virulent opposed to its contraceptive coverage of the “morning after” pill, which Green and others like him consider to really be an abortion pill, even though the scientific community has stated that it is not.
These folks are also against Intrauterine Devices (IUDs) because they believe human life begins at conception and IUDs prevent a fertilized egg (conceived human) from implanting in a woman’s womb.
The Green family’s religious beliefs are at odds with scientific data. But they have a constitution right to believe in them as part of their religious freedom and to practice these beliefs within their own lives.
Hobby Lobby, which the Greens own and operate, is a corporation governed by law, and thousands of women work for this corporation who do not share the Greens’ religious beliefs. However, they still have the same 1st amendment right to freedom of religion that the Greens are claiming for themselves.
Nonetheless, the Greens filed a lawsuit against Obamacare’s contraception mandate, claiming the new health care law violates their right to religious freedom by forcing them, as Hobby Lobby’s owner/operators, to provide and/or allow health insurance companies to provide abortion-inducing devices and medications (free of charge no less) to their employees when in fact they believe abortion (and even contraception) is heinously against the laws of God.
What’s wrong with this picture? Or actually, the more valid question might be to ask, “What’s RIGHT with this picture?”……EXTREME right?
The answer is clear.
Everything about this lawsuit screams extreme right. Everything about it screams that the powerful and the wealthy have the right to dictate religious dogma and rules to the powerless and those with less means.
That the Greens don’t want believe in contraceptive devices is their right, misguided though it might be. But to IMPOSE that belief on the lives of others is NOT their right, and using their corporation as a front does not change that fact.
The same principal applies to their belief that the “morning after pill” is an abortion pill. They can believe that if they wish, but they cannot IMPOSE that misguided belief upon others,nor can they impose a forced practice upon others. The first amendment does not allow that.
Nothing, but NOTHING, screams for the separation of church and state more that this very issue.
But if the Supreme Court rules in June of 2014 that the Hobby Lobby corporation does in fact have the right to deny employer-based Affordable Care Act access to its employees on the basis of its own religious beliefs, then imprinting of church into onto government is exactly what we’ll get. How, you may well ask….?
The religious right will claim that the Supreme Court has established that the religious rights of corporations exceed those of the individual citizen.
Coupled with Citizens United, these corporations with their new-found religious powers can dominate the political environment of the USA to the detriment of the individual citizen with massive amounts of money infused into the political system.
Companies run by those who don’t believe in transfusions will be able to deny that coverage to their employees based upon the “corporation’s” religious beliefs. The religious right will own the government and the laws will favor the religious right. Soon, all employer-based health insurance could be a distant memory.
Exactly what the evangelical witch doctor ordered, isn’t it?