Three problems with the Hobby Lobby decision

Hobby Lobby1. The unconstitutional application of religious liberty: The original purpose of religious liberty is defined as the separation of church and state, ensuring the protection of both through mutual autonomy. Health care coverage is an entity of the state. By permitting Hobby Lobby the refusal to cover certain forms of birth control on religious grounds in its female employees’ health care plans, the Supreme Court is essentially giving the same blessing of religious liberty to a corporate entity that the law permits for private faith. Based on such reasoning, a company run by Jehovah’s Witnesses could write blood transfusions out of their health care plans and companies run by fundamentalist Christians could write vaccines out of theirs.

2. Blatant hypocrisy: Hobby Lobby’s excuse to refuse coverage for certain forms of women’s birth control was framed as religious opposition to what they falsely named “abortion”–specific contraceptives and devices that prevent a zygote from being implanted in the uterine wall. However, as noted by Mother Jones in a recent investigation, Hobby Lobby has financial ties not only to the manufacturing of said forms of birth control but even to drugs used for inducing abortions. Hobby Lobby has stock holdings in companies that manufacture these products. This is blatant hypocrisy and reveals that the true motive wasn’t religious conviction at all but corporate greed.

3. It’s counterproductive: As noted by pro-life progressive and faith activist Brian McLaren in a recent article, the Hobby Lobby decision–while being hailed as a victory against abortion by many in conservative Christian faith communities–is actually counterproductive to such a cause in that it does nothing to reduce or prevent real abortions. In fact, by making it more financially difficult for female employees to acquire birth control that, scientifically, does not constitute abortion, Hobby Lobby is eliminating assistance that would actually reduce abortions. Hence, the decision is not in any way a victory against abortion. To the contrary, it deceives Hobby Lobby’s religious supporters into making abortion a more viable option through the withdrawal of financial support for significant forms of birth control such as emergency contraception.

7 Comments

  1. NitWitCharmer

    July 1, 2014 at 12:03 pm

    Point 1,

    …the Supreme Court is essentially giving the same blessing of religious liberty to a corporate entity that the law permits for private faith.

    I see no such distinction corporate entities and private faith in the Constitution:

    Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof;…

    ====

    Point 3

    In fact, by making it more financially difficult for female employees to acquire birth control that, scientifically, does not constitute abortion, Hobby Lobby is eliminating assistance that would actually reduce abortions.

    The Hobby Lobby case did not cover the topic of birth control, it covered the topic of abortifacients.

  2. Michael Dise

    July 1, 2014 at 3:44 pm

    In regards to your point about corporate entities, private faith, and the Constitution, I was stating that the corporate entity, as a public, non-sectarian mediator of health care to working citizens, must provide health care in a constitutional and democratic fashion. This means that special rights concerning private faith, which apply to individual conscience and the like, do not apply to corporate entities when providing health care to working citizens. That would bring the coercion of sectarian values into a non-sectarian context, i.e. the state, thus violating the separation of state and religion.

    In regards to your second point, emergency contraception does not fall into the category of abortifacients. While an abortifacient is defined as a drug that induces an abortion by interrupting an already established pregnancy, emergency contraception does no such thing. Rather it prevents pregnancy.

  3. NitWitCharmer

    July 1, 2014 at 4:21 pm

    What is the connection between those who create jobs and healthcare that allows you to argue that the following portion of the Constitution does not apply?

    “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof;… ”

    Where is the exception for job providers, corporate or otherwise? There is none. The Constitution says what it says. Embrace it or be unAmerican.

  4. NitWitCharmer

    July 1, 2014 at 4:26 pm

    Michael said:

    While an abortifacient is defined as a drug that induces an abortion by interrupting an already established pregnancy, emergency contraception does no such thing. Rather it prevents pregnancy.

    That is simply not true. Human life is defined by the genetics and that requisite genetic material for an organism to be defined as human is found from conception forward. It does not matter how one willfully denies that human its opportunity at life going forward, that willful denial constitutes abortion.

  5. Alan

    July 1, 2014 at 6:57 pm

    Seriously, we’re back to statements of “unAmerican”?

  6. NitWitCharmer

    July 1, 2014 at 8:27 pm

    Alan said:
    “Seriously, we’re back to statements of “unAmerican”?”

    ===

    The Constitution says one thing about religious liberty in America, progressives say another.

    How can one profess to be American while at the same time reject our Constitution?

  7. Alan

    July 2, 2014 at 8:49 am

    Correction:

    The Constitution says one thing about religious liberty in America, far-right extremists say another.