Can Corporations Have Religious Beliefs? The Supreme Court Will Soon Answer That Question

A new challenge to the Affordable Care Act is the latest sign that some religious people, with all the power and privilege they already have, just want more.

When the ACA went into effect, it exempted religious organizations from having to fulfill the contraceptive requirement. In other words, if you were a pastor of a large church, you didn’t have to provide your employees with birth control if it went against your religious “conscience.”

The ACA did not offer the same exemption to public, for-profit companies owned by religious people — as well it shouldn’t have. Just because the owner of a huge company like, say, Hobby Lobby, is an evangelical Christian, should he be able to withhold contraception from those who work for him?

Just give me my paycheck, please.

Right now, the answer is no. But yesterday, the Supreme Court announced it would hear challenges to that rule. (While similar challenges were initially filed by Catholic business owners, these two cases in particular concern evangelical Christian and Mennonite owners.)

The justices agreed on Tuesday to review provisions in the Affordable Care Act requiring employers of a certain size to offer insurance coverage for birth control and other reproductive health services without a co-pay.

At issue is whether private companies can refuse to do so on the claim it violates their religious beliefs.

The Supreme Court agreed to hear two cases involving for-profit corporations. Among the plaintiffs is Hobby Lobby, Inc. a nationwide chain of about 500 arts and crafts stores.

David Green and his family are the owners and say their Christian beliefs clash with parts of the law’s mandates for comprehensive coverage.

They say some of the drugs that would be provided prevent human embryos from being implanted in a woman’s womb, which the Greens equate to abortion.

The privately held company does not object to funding other forms of contraception — such as condoms and diaphragms — for their roughly 13,000 employees, which Hobby Lobby says represent a variety of faiths.

First of all, Green and his family are just plain wrong when they say birth control is equivalent to abortion. (When it comes to evangelicals, it’s hardly stereotyping at this point to suggest that they don’t want to grasp basic science because Jesus.) He also neglects to understand that some women take the Pill for reasons that have nothing to do with sex.

On that matter, this isn’t just a war on Green’s “religious conscience.” This is a war on science and sex. Green doesn’t care that the FDA has said birth control pills don’t cause abortions — rather, they prevent abortions from happening, which you would think he’d totally support — but he believes they cause abortions. So there. And it’s hardly a surprise that an evangelical would be opposed to women having sex that doesn’t lead to a child, though Green has no problem paying for his employees’ Viagra pills…

David Green thinks his religious beliefs ought to trump those of his employees. He doesn’t want them making their own health care decisions; he thinks he knows better than they do.

There’s another issue here, too: If the Supreme Court rules in Green’s favor, where is the line drawn? What if a business owner is a Jehovah’s Witness who doesn’t believe in blood transfusions? Or a Christian Scientist who believe in the power of prayer over medicine?

That the Supreme Court thinks this is a case worth hearing is frightening. That they could rule in the religious owners’ favor is a disaster in the making.

In a public statement, Green said:

“This legal challenge has always remained about one thing and one thing only: the right of our family businesses to live out our sincere and deeply held religious convictions as guaranteed by the law and the Constitution. Business owners should not have to choose between violating their faith and violating the law.

But no one is asking him to violate his faith. No one is forcing him to do anything that violates his beliefs. I’m sure my own employers have their precious religious beliefs, too, but when they hand me a paycheck, they don’t get to control what I do with that money. If they don’t like how I spend it, too damn bad. But Green believes he should have that control; he wants to dictate what health care options his employees have.

As Cathy Lynn Grossman summed up so well, “If you are a boss, how much say do you want in the family life of employees?”

If you’re a boss, the relationship needs to be kept professional. Your concern should be limited only to what your employees do while on the clock.

What sort of awful boss asks the Supreme Court to change the law in order to make life more miserable for his employees?

About Hemant Mehta

Hemant Mehta is the editor of Friendly Atheist, appears on the Atheist Voice channel on YouTube, and co-hosts the uniquely-named Friendly Atheist Podcast. You can read much more about him here.

  • Sven2547

    This corporate-personhood garbage is the worst thing to happen to American politics since Reaganomics. The right wing is so slavish in their devotion to their corporate masters that they’re even fighting to give them RIGHTS that really only belong to INDIVIDUALS.

    • GubbaBumpkin

      As former justice John Paul Stevens has pointed out, even if you consider corporations to be “persons,” not all persons have the same rights in all situations. People under 18 are certainly persons, yet they do not have the right to vote. People under 21 are persons, yet in most places in this country they do not have the right to drink. People under 16 are persons, yet they do not have the right to drive. And so on.

      • the moother

        Corporations have always been said to be legal persons in order that they may function as a person with respect to being able to communicate with other persons (legal or not) for the purposes of doing business. This, for example, so that a corporation can sue or be sued or commit to binding contracts etc.

        It was never the case that it should be considered a person further than this until the idiot SCOTUS got paid off by Big Money. Whereas someone could never be charged for assaulting a corporation by hitting it with a baseball bat (the charge would be vandalism to property I would assume), corporations now have a chance to “speak” with (their customers’) money but utterances against this speech can only come from similarly large entities.

        This is corruption sanctioned by the corrupt United States Supreme Court.

        And it’s sad.

        • Jeff

          Our current situation is one in which corporations are people when it benefits them to be people, and non-people when it benefits them to be non-people. So: free speech and free religion for corporations, but those same entities are immune from being sent to prison.

        • UWIR

          “It was never the case that it should be considered a person further than this until the idiot SCOTUS got paid off by Big Money.”

          That’s a lie.

          “corporations now have a chance to “speak” with (their customers’) money”

          Another lie.

          “utterances against this speech can only come from similarly large entities.”

          And another lie.

          Your position is nonsensical. Corporations should be allowed to engage in commercial speech, but that’s the only right they should have? The government should be allowed to censor corporations, because they aren’t “really” people? I guess all those cities that refused atheist bus ads weren’t doing anything wrong. Buses aren’t people, so there’s no constitutional problem with censoring them.

          • 3lemenope

            Not lies, just inaccuracies. Unless you have reason to believe that the moother is actively attempting to deceive, instead of (far more likely) simply misinformed.

        • Opinionated Catholic

          That is not really the Case. Even before Citizens United there Court saw that Corporations had some speech rights. We also know that just because something is a Corporation that the 4th amendment does not go out the window completely for such things a probable cause and having to obtain Warrants.

          I get we have two issues that get people all upset the issue of Standing in this case as corporate rights no doubts has people of all opinions on the religious liberty matter here on all sides of it.

          Still its incorrect I think to say that for exception of being sued or to sue that Corporation enjoyed no Const Rights that were very similar or identical to real life breathing persons

        • S. James Schaffer

          Corporations have a right to free speech. They don’t have a right to anonyminity. If they are paying to say something, then they have to put their names on it.

      • katiehippie

        Hobby Lobby needs to be this tall to restrict rights.

      • Pithecanthropus

        I agree with you, except that there is no “right to drive.” Driving is a privilege.

        • baal

          I don’t get this view. Were you never able to drive (say they ‘revoked’ the privledge (and who knows, the (R) of WI might do that to every registered (D) in that State), you could hardly call this a ‘free’ country. There isn’t any reason why a right can’t (or shouldn’t be) regulated.

          • http://gamesgirlsgods.blogspot.com/ Feminerd

            The state cannot restrict your ability to travel without a reason. However, driving itself is a privilege. You have to earn a license to legally drive in the first place, and should you do any number of things, that license is revoked and you’re not allowed to drive anymore. Now, the granting or revoking of that license may not be based on anything discriminatory either.

            Note this doesn’t mean someone else can’t drive you, you can’t take public transportation, and you can’t fly or take a train. It just means you, personally, are not allowed to drive a car.

            • baal

              I understand the legalities but on the list of things you want free society, a right to vote, basic needs being met and a highly unfettered right to travel. I get somewhat annoyed by the conservative style arguements that there is a binary where a right must and has to be totally unfetterd (ex guns) but priviledges may (and even should) be encumbered by any lousy ‘control the mobs’ measure that the conservative wants. Given this bias of mine, I don’t like seeing “driving is a privledge’ being the end of the argument. It’s arguing via category instead of facts and context.

              • http://gamesgirlsgods.blogspot.com/ Feminerd

                Fair. I’m just very careful with what I call a “right”. It’s a term of art with meaning. Driving does not fall under that meaning.

                • baal

                  More’s the pity.

              • http://www.flickr.com/photos/chidy/ chicago dyke, TOWAN

                i was raised with this understanding, ymmv:

                anyone is free to drive, on their own property. my grandpa had a really big ranch, and i drove “illegally” on it at 12, because i never left the borders of it when i was operating heavy machinery.

                but i never drove on public roads. those roads are funded and constructed with taxpayer dollars by the government. so it gets the ‘right’ to regulate those roads. hypothetically, i might secure the rights to drive across the private property of adjoining properties by their individual owners from my home to Kansas City. i would probably agree with you that that is a freedom we all enjoy.

                but a public road, for everyone can and should be subject to rules and laws that govern the whole public.

                • 3lemenope

                  I’m actually pretty sure the law sees it differently, but I like your approach better.

                • http://www.flickr.com/photos/chidy/ chicago dyke, TOWAN

                  i researched this once, and the law is surprising. maybe you’ve heard of those laws which allow children to leave school during harvest season? in some places, those are still on the books.

                  i have no idea what the law actually said, where grandpa’s ranch was, when i was 12. i just know that the local sheriff was not wasting time arresting me, or grandpa, while i took the truck up and down the ranch, to bring feed for the animals and shit like that. but i did drive tractors, cars, trucks, etc, at that age. on private property.

                • 3lemenope

                  i researched this once, and the law is surprising. maybe you’ve heard of those laws which allow children to leave school during harvest season? in some places, those are still on the books.

                  Ain’t that the truth. Fifty states makes at least fifty highly idiosyncratic approaches to a whole host of things. Still, can’t say I’ve ever heard of an age exception to the licensing requirement for operating motor vehicles, private property or not. If you don’t mind my asking, whereabouts was this?

                  i just know that the local sheriff was not wasting time arresting me

                  In the end, that’s what matters most.

                • Pamela B. Zohar

                  Age limits can be lowered for rural farm and ranch kids, but they have to request it – it is ‘needs based’. Rural kids can be legal (licensed) drivers at 14 around here. I’ve heard of 12 elsewhere, but I don’t know how good that information is.

                • 3lemenope

                  Thanks! Interesting. If you don’t mind my asking, ‘around here’ is approximately where?

    • UWIR

      “This corporate-personhood garbage is the worst thing to happen to American politics since Reaganomics.”

      Corporate personhood predates not only Reagonmics, but Reagan himself. So thanks for doing your part to show how little you anti-free speechers care about reality.

      “their corporate masters ”

      Who are their “corporate masters”?

      “they’re even fighting to give them RIGHTS that really only belong to INDIVIDUALS.”

      You’re begging the question. Personally, I don’t recall the constitution saying “Congress shall pass no law … infringing the freedom of speech OF INDIVIDUALS”. People don’t magically lose their rights just because they’re acting in concert with others.

      • http://www.flickr.com/photos/chidy/ chicago dyke, TOWAN

        Hi there, Paid Troll! enjoy some turkee with that check some corporate media outfit paid you to leave that comment.

      • DavidMHart

        “People don’t magically lose their rights just because they’re acting in concert with others.”

        No. But they shouldn’t magically gain rights either, or else people who are shareholders in a corporation would have a higher status in law than people who aren’t. Corporate personhood is a convenient legal fiction to facilitate commerce, but it should not be taken to mean that the corporation as a legal entity has any rights over others, apart from the right to operate as a corporation. In particular, it should no more have the right to dictate what its employees may or may not spend their healthcare money on than any given shareholder would.

      • tracy two crows

        Well sunshine,if Corporations truly are people,then it’s time they were ABORTED.We LOVE Freedom,and that includes you fascist theocratic bastards NOT owning us a fuc*ing slaves and losing OUR rights we are BORN with,NOT effn bestowed by some crackpot Bible thumper with an Armageddon hard on getting unfettered access to kill ,starve and maim those they disagree with on “Religious grounds”.That IS where this is leading and you dam* well know it.I was raised in a Dominionist Agenda Family active in politics since the 1960′s,and my father was one of the architects,so no trying to squirm out of it there bub.The Christian Taliban’s so called exercise of rights is at OUR detriment ,is Un-constitutional,all so we can simply exist and not starve to death.Nope,not on our watch.

        Its the Company Store bullshit all over again,and the Ghost of Tom Joad is HOWLING right now.Go read”Grapes of Wrath” and ask folks who lived through this crap last time how it REALLY works,it DOESN’T. And before you spout a word,may I remind you of The Battle of Bald Mountain.The last time The Robber Barons did this crap,it sure as HELL didn’t work out well for them.Crony Capitalism in Theocratic Bonds is NOT a free market whatsoever ,it’s an illegal,Treasonous Theocratic Fascist Coup,so stuff it.

        Don’t expect us to go bowing quietly this time either…I assure you,you reichwing Nazi bastards aren’t the only ones with CCWS and Military experience,who love this Country and are willing to defend it to the end.We also don’t engage in revisionist history and actually KNOW what The Constitution says,instead of pretending it’s a jesus hand- signed document meant only for white,straight,wealthy Dominionist Christian males.. Take your ilk and all your Treasonous Theocratic Fascism and GTFO ,go to Somalia,it runs EXACTLY how you all are pushing for,complete with the “Christian Nation” BS,no atheists,Gays outlawed,women subservient,Abortion outlawed and no regulations. where corporations and religious nutters control everything. See how well it works out for you and do send a postcard,IF you live longer than a day there that is,because I assure you, you WILL NOT TURN US INTO THAT HERE IN AMERICA.Have we made ourselves clear????

        • 3lemenope

          Not for nothing but this here approach is probably not the best for persuasion. Bonus protip: Godwinning never, ever helps.

          • tracy two crows

            Well 3,I have a lifetime of experience with these idiots,including being behind the closed doors where what REALLY goes on that most folks don’t get to see or hear ever.And Godwiinng?Nope,sorry,but you need to REALLY do your research into who exactly made the current Political party that is pushing this(hint,they WERE Nazis,brought over to avoid prosecution,and not merely scientists),as well as the corporate oligarchs who were self -declared fascists even after WWII who supported Hitler and got busted for it in 1942(The Bush family,The Kochs just for starters).The Kochs were run out of here on a long pole because of it and went to get rich with Stalin’s Oil fields,all the while pretending hate Communism by forming the John Birch Society as a cover for their dirty deeds when they got let back in. Rushdoony,their savior and Blueprint maker for The Dominionist Agenda was a well known supporter of Fascism (hence my reference to his Tome’).I’ve been immersed in all this for over 40 years now,and there is MORE than ample evidence,including Congressional Record to support what I’m saying here.

            It’s this exact attitude you&so many others have that has allowed this crap to get as far as it has.Denial by their opposition is deadly,and it’s EXACTLY what Dominionist have counted on,have bet on,and so far have won on.They didn’t just merely get this far by sheer might,those who refuse to believe what’s right in front of their eyes and excoriate those who tell the truth about it are just as complicit.You may not like it,or want to believe it,but those are the facts.The fact you have more problem with the so called”Approach” than the message is the most damning piece of all.Showing you to be just as big of a problem as these traitors,because the prospect of such Evil alive and well in our midst is just too much for some folks to handle.But it DOESN’T make them any less dangerous,or what I’ve said any less true.This is part of The Dominionist Agenda,part of conquering the “7 Mountains” and has been on the playbook for years now.

            Don’t think for one SECOND they will hesitate to wipe you and everyone else who disagrees with them off the map. I’ve already almost lost my life and my familys’ life to these idiots,have had 42 Death threats this year alone,countless rape threats,my home and car vandalized,all for speaking out against them,even though they’ve been exposed to be EXACTLY what I’ve put forth(see Pastor Worley and his Concentration Camp for gays, atheists and feminists for info on THAT,and he is FAR from alone.Watch Jesus Camp while you’re at it,they aren’t “fringe” they’re the damn MAINSTREAM).And that’s with them still constrained by law.Imagine how it will be once this passes and they no longer are.Wake up Dorothy,we ain’t in Kansas anymore.

  • GubbaBumpkin

    I cringe when the current court takes up a case like this. I do not trust them.

    • http://www.holytape.etsy.com Holytape

      At best I think we can hope for a 5-4 decision against cooperate religion, but I really think it will be 5-4 for it.

      Thomas, Scalia, Roberts and Alito will all be for it. I don’t even want to think about the twisted logic they will use. The only two question will be is “Will Kennedy go for it? or “Will Ginsburg still be healthy?”

      Does anyone know what happens if it ends in a 4-4 tie (Ginsburg not deciding, because of health.)? Does the chief justice decide, sudden death overtime, rock-paper-scissors?

      • Heather

        ‘I don’t even want to think about the twisted logic they will use.’

        Probably the same twisted logic Clarence Thomas uses to justify his thinking that child labor laws are unconstitutional.

        • baal

          I’m still waiting for Clarence Thomas to suggest a legal basis for ending slavery. He seems hostile to the usual arguments and readings of the 13-15th amendments and related laws.

      • Guest

        From: http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/explainer/2004/11/what_happens_in_ascotus_tie.html

        “A split decision effectively upholds the ruling of the lower court (presumably a state supreme court). In the event of such a tie, the court typically issues what’s known as a per curiam decision…

        …When a 4-4 deadlock does occur, the case is not deemed to have set any sort of precedent. Tradition holds that the court’s per curiam opinion in such ties is usually very, very terse, often consisting of no more than a single sentence: ‘The judgment is affirmed by an equally divided court.’”

      • http://gamesgirlsgods.blogspot.com/ Feminerd

        I’m having a hard time reading Roberts. I don’t actually know which way he’ll go on it.

        • 3lemenope

          In this particular case, I think Roberts, Scalia, Breyer, and Kennedy are all hard to call. Oral argument may give a clue.

          • http://gamesgirlsgods.blogspot.com/ Feminerd

            Yeah. Though I’m not very hopeful about Scalia. He’s been getting a lot less flexible and a lot more predictably conservative as he’s gotten older.

            • 3lemenope

              Yeah, his devolution has been quite disappointing. I still hold out hope in this case primarily because I think his ego (not wanting to admit he was wrong about Smith and progeny, and the RFRA intersections) might come out over his desired policy outcomes.

              • http://gamesgirlsgods.blogspot.com/ Feminerd

                I do agree with that assessment. I hadn’t considered that he authored Smith. Some hope restored.

      • John Milligan

        Actually it would be rock-paper-scissors-lizard-spock!

  • GubbaBumpkin

    The privately held company does not object to funding other forms of
    contraception — such as condoms and diaphragms — for their roughly
    13,000 employees, which Hobby Lobby says represent a variety of faiths.

    They have to throw that in to make themselves sound reasonable. “Hey, we may be crazy, but we’re not that crazy.”

    But suppose they did oppose all forms of birth control. By their line of reasoning, such an employer would be entitled to force that belief on his employees. That is the principle they are fighting for.

    • http://www.flickr.com/photos/chidy/ chicago dyke, TOWAN

      oh, i find it even moar crazee.

      let’s think about this, shall we?

      a magic holy sperm enters the vagina. several things can happen. it can been a good time of the month for said sperm, and it can be accepted by an egg, and whopee! pregnancy. or, it can hit several different kinds of obstacles. a rubberish barrier at ejection. a strange confounding device in the uterus. dangerous chemicals that destroy it while it swims in bodily fluids. etc. hell, it can have a free for all with no barriers or challenges, but if the egg isn’t havin’ it, well. fuggedaboutdit.

      where, exactly, in the bible does jeebus tell us which of these are Holy?

      • 3lemenope

        Numbers 22.

        Strange confounding device in the uterus or an Angel of the LORD?!

        Same dif. :)

  • badgerchild

    Corporate personhood is a disaster. Corporations can presumably have missions, values, and goals; after granting that, it’s not a huge stretch to say that they can also be spiritual and have a religion.

    Whether a religion such as Christianity believes a corporate “person” has a company “soul” to collectively “save” is, presumably, not a question the Supreme Court will reach.

    • UWIR

      Why is it even relevant? Would you be okay with Hobby Lobby refusing to comply with Obamacare if it were a sole proprietorship?

  • Rain

    This guy is all zippy-ding-dong over birth control? Seriously? Where do they get billionaire CEOs these days? From the Cracker Jacks box?

  • Mike De Fleuriot

    When a corporation is allowed to take holy communion, then they might have a legal case.

  • Guillaume Bérubé

    Muslims can have corporations… then ehat would be stopping them from implementing shariah law in these workplaces. I think they aren’t thinking this one through. Like the coyote chasing the roadrunner over the canyon

    • http://www.dogmabytes.com/ C Peterson

      That would be great. I’d convert to Islam and make my company Islamic to get those benefits. Nobody could quit. That would be apostasy, and I could kill them. Everybody would have to work precisely as hard as I required. Anything else would be theft, and I could cut of body parts.

      The productivity boost I could experience!

      • Guillaume Bérubé

        The corporate women uniform would be the burqa and we won’t be allowing them to leave their cubicle without their guardians.

        • http://www.dogmabytes.com/ C Peterson

          Except as boss, I get to pick four of them (at a time) for my special… needs.

        • http://www.flickr.com/photos/chidy/ chicago dyke, TOWAN

          no, no, no. the corporate wimmin uniform would be a bathing suit, two piece for those in good shape. and mandatory high heels. and there would be a… “resting couch” in each of their cubicles. where bosses could, um, “review” them.

      • James Stevenson

        Interesting idea might have to give your company a miss though. Think I’d rather kill myself than never shave :(

      • http://againstjebelallawz.wordpress.com/ Enopoletus Harding

        Nobody would ever work so this company, so this company would have no productivity.

  • the moother

    The Citizens United decision was flawed thus: If corporations have a voice then they speak not with the voice of their employees and board members but rather with the voices (read: money) of their customers. For without customers there would be no corporation.

    Much the same here. If the corporation’s customers all had the same religious beliefs then then it could have a religion. But then it would be a just another church.

    • Spuddie

      Except for the fact that corporate speech has been recognized by SCOTUS long before Citizens United. Advertising is considered corporate speech and has some 1st Amendment protection. Corporations produce press releases on their behalf.

      There has never been a recognized corporate religious practice. There is no way one can exist. Religious beliefs are individual and personal in nature. Corporate religion would mean it could engage in sectarian discrimination in hiring, force religious practice as a requirement for compensation and discriminate against which customers they serve.

      This whole thing is just a concerted effort to attack ACA in the most inane way possible. Obama derangement syndrome writ large.

      • the moother

        Although nothing you write is incorrect, corporate speech in the form of advertising to its customers is an obvious and necessary aspect of any successful business. Whereas corporate speech to gain political alliances is corruption.

        • Spuddie

          I agree. But the point was that Citizen United wasn’t completely from out of the blue. There was some glimmer of a legal basis based on historical precedent in the notion of protected corporate speech.

          There is nothing like that for alleged “corporate religious beliefs”. The closest equivalent I could think of for this POV is the “Company Town” where people are paid in script which could only be spent on company owned stores or facilities. The ultimate example of an employer controlling an employee’s compensation.

        • 3lemenope

          Advocacy orgs are corporations. Unions are corporations. Newspapers are corporations. Towns are corporations. Churches (for the most part) are corporations. Social clubs are corporations. Charities are corporations.

          When the ACLU campaigns against an infringing law, would you call that corruption? How about a union fighting pro-management regulations? Or the press lobbying for a reporter shield law for sources? Or how about a town fighting unjust state zoning regulations? Should a church not be allowed to describe its stance to its parishioners or the public about its views on the issues of the day?

          People focus like a laser on for-profit corporations as the be-all-and-end-all of corporate law. Most of the above either would have no reason for existing or would find it very difficult to serve their function if they could not use their funds to engage the political process through free speech and press. It seems to me much more that people’s real complaint with Citizens United is they don’t particularly like the speech that is generated by those protected by it; they don’t agree with their side of the argument.

          I say to them what I say to anyone who seeks to curtail speech because they don’t like it: Too bad.

      • UWIR

        “Corporate religion would mean it could engage in sectarian discrimination in hiring, force religious practice as a requirement for compensation and discriminate against which customers they serve.”

        Can individuals do that?

        • Spuddie

          Actually, yes…sort of.

          Individuals can chose who to associate with and can freely discriminate in such matters based on sectarian concerns. You can coerce your family into attending church with few legal consequences.

          You can chose patronize/not patronize businesses based on sectarian bias. You can even send your children to private schools based on pure sectarian reasoning.

          • UWIR

            I asked whether individuals can “engage in sectarian discrimination in hiring, force religious practice as a requirement for compensation and discriminate against which customers they serve.”

            You responded by saying that individuals can “chose[sic] who to associate with and can freely discriminate in such matters based on sectarian concerns. You can coerce your family into attending church with few legal consequences.

            You can chose[sic] patronize/not patronize businesses based on sectarian bias. You can even send your children to private schools based on pure sectarian reasoning.”

            Your streak of dishonesty continues.

            • Spuddie

              Your question was inherently askew. Running a company is not an inherently individual activity. A business is not an individual. A business is by nature more than an individual. It might have employees, it definitely has customers and outside suppliers. It is a collective activity.

    • UWIR

      “If corporations have a voice then they speak not with the voice of their employees and board members but rather with the voices (read: money) of their customers.”

      That’s inane. When you speak, are you speaking with the voice of your employer?

      “For without customers there would be no corporation.”

      In this context, “for” is supposed to indicate that what comes after logically follows from what comes before, but here you’re just posting a complete non sequitur that has no logical connection with what comes before.

  • baal

    The question in the post title makes me want to head/desk until both are gone. In a reasonable, semi-rational, decently run country, you never see such shitty questions taken seriously. The SCOTUS needs a serious lesson in history to see the extreme and radical views (by current standards) they had about corps back then. Hint: they hated corps about as much as they hated the king!

  • babel_fish

    What about an atheist corporation that thinks Christmas shouldn’t be a Time-and-a-half holiday and makes ALL employees work?

    That should get the ignorant Palinites going…

  • axelbeingcivil

    While I agree that their objections are claptrap, this is some pretty serious mischaracterization of these views. You might want to do some research and express some empathy for these people before you dismiss them.

    • GubbaBumpkin

      Your comment is remarkably free of actual content. What is being mischaracterized? Give one clear example. Or provide a link.

      • axelbeingcivil

        Forgive me, that comment was written while on my phone. While I’m also only browsing this during a brief break from work, I can offer at least this much as an answer: Statements like declaring that these business owners want to decide their employee’s healthcare decisions for them is erroneous; they simply don’t want to spend their own money on it. Ultimately, this is a requirement that company owners finance decisions they don’t agree with in a direct manner; one required by law.

        And, to be truthful, I’m fine with that; we all do it all the time, it’s a necessary part of societal function. Just don’t make this into a declaration of control when it is much more easily explained as a matter of conscience; don’t explain by malice what can be explained by stupidity.

        Furthermore, for people who believe that personhood (saying “life” is erroneous) begins at conception – i.e. at the moment when a sperm/egg fuse to form a stem cell – rather than at some later point, declaring that preventing implantation of fertilized cells is not an abortion is fundamentally an error of characterization of their objection. You might argue semantically that it doesn’t actually induce an abortion by the technical definition of ending a pregnancy induced by implantation – and you’d be right – but that argument means nothing in regards to their actual position.

        Similarly, Viagra isn’t going to upset these people because… Well, why would it? To my knowledge, there’s nothing in Evangelical Christianity that condemns taking medicine for the purpose of marital relations, and these people don’t oppose condoms for much the same reason.

        These people aren’t rejecting this stuff purely on ignorance. Certainly some, the closing argument sums that up nicely, but not completely. Again, some empathy must be extended to try and understand their points of view.

        • 3lemenope

          Does a person get to stop paying taxes because some of those dollars will be spent on bullets or bombs that will end lives (unavoidably including non-combatants and children)?

          • axelbeingcivil

            Of course not. As noted, I don’t agree with these people and I stated that the point made at the end of the article – the one you reiterated just now – was a correct view. Please actually read what I have to say before responding.

            • 3lemenope

              I did read what you wrote.

              Empathy only goes so far, and when it collides headlong with consequences on the ground it must give way to reality. Some notions do not deserve respect because they are divorced completely from all known facts, and people expressing them are not always entitled to the most charitable evaluation of their limitations or motives, especially if there is good reason to believe they ought to know better.

              For example, you bring up the personhood-begins-at-conception adjunct to many folks’ anti-abortion stance. There are many fine ways to support an anti-abortion position, but the idea that personhood begins at conception is a flatly idiotic one; it’s a screaming signpost that the person knows very little about the mechanics of pregnancy, much less the lateral consequences of endorsing their expressed view, which in turn suggests they haven’t actually thought about it at all. I don’t tend to visit intellectually honest differences of opinion with disdain, but the same is not true for opinions which rest on self-serving bullshit, easily remediable ignorance, or empty, parroted shibboleths.

              I agree that in most interactions, most cups do not runneth over with empathy. There is no empathy glut in the world. This does not mean we should rush out to fill that gap by “understanding” positions and acts which are harmful or stupid or nonsensical beyond what is necessary to effectively oppose and neutralize them; that most people’s limits of empathy are too low, that is in no way a good argument for making one’s own too high.

              In this here example, the idea that employers suddenly don’t wish to spend money on something they’ve happily spent it on in some places for decades because they suddenly and conveniently found a conscience is laughable. If you would like to constrain the debate to exclude the actual motivations of the actors at the table by automatically and contrary to evidence assuming the best, okay, but that makes the arguments no longer pertain to reality; at best, an academic exercise.

              I brought up the taxes-and-bombs argument because it is an argument I have a great deal of sympathy for, and empathy for those who hold it (Thoreau’s Civil Disobedience is heady stuff), but it is still at the end of the day a very bad argument, and one I consequently cannot endorse. All the charitable assumption in the world cannot change that, but more to the point the argument is bad enough that it deserves to be laughed at (especially because it has a great deal of rhetorical power, and such power invested in such a bad argument is dangerous).

              • axelbeingcivil

                Once again, while you say you’ve read my post, I find it hard to believe so; you sort of skipped responding to it in favour of launching into a rant about how wrong these people are. That’s not really necessary; you’re preaching to the choir.

                Saying that these people’s assumptions about when life begins are wrong isn’t really the point; it’s the statement that their objection is based on an erroneous understanding of how birth control works that is the point of umbrage in that particular example. They understand it just fine, it’s their definition of what a person is that’s problematic and in need of focus.

                Similarly, accusing them of merely trying to use this as a tactic now, to cover their butts on insurance costs doesn’t fly either. We don’t know what, if any, insurance plan this company had before, or if it covered contraceptive costs. We do have, at the very least, their agreement to comply with the law otherwise, including non-pill-based contraceptives, for whatever that’s worth. That’s casting aspersion from ignorance.

                (As a side-note, I have no doubt that many insurance companies that will likely contribute money to this case will definitely be doing so for reasons other than conscience, but that doesn’t mean the Green family are doing so because of it)

                Once more, as I’ve had to say several times to several different people now, I do not agree with these people. I disagree with them vehemently. What I objected to is presenting falsities on these people’s beliefs. You’ll never get people to see your point of view – or at least be able to rationally engage them and predict where they’ll go next – if you don’t have at least a basic understanding of what they believe and why.

                Again, I AGREE THAT THESE PEOPLE ARE WRONG, I simply object to errors in describing them.

                • 3lemenope

                  Once again, while you say you’ve read my post, I find it hard to believe so; you sort of skipped responding to it in favour of launching into a rant about how wrong these people are.

                  Seriously?

                  Once more, as I’ve had to say several times to several different people now, I do not agree with these people. I disagree with them vehemently.

                  Seeing as how exactly zero of us here interlocutors of yours in this here thread have accused or otherwise implied in any way that you agree with “these people”, I’m starting to have a hard time believing you are engaging in good faith. The first objection to your argument was that it wasn’t an argument that had any actual content. Then you provided content, which shifted the objection to the more pointed you-being-wrong thing, for reasons entirely unrelated to why “these people”‘s position is wrong, which is in turn a judgment everyone in the conversation including you already agrees with.

                  What perplexes me is why you feel the need to strenuously object to a characterization nobody has provided. Three times in one post, one of those times IN ALL CAPS. It really doesn’t help your be-sure-to-characterize-your-opponents-accurately routine at all.

                • axelbeingcivil

                  The reason I keep reiterating that I do not agree with them is because you insist on pointing out just why they are wrong; you dedicated a paragraph alone explaining how idiotic the notion that personhood begins at conception is. If I’d succeeded in getting my point across, it’d have been noted that whether their belief of when life begins is wrong or not is irrelevant to the fact that the original post here falsely characterizes their views on when it does.

                  Evidently, though, I failed in that regard, repeatedly, so I’m content to accept my losses and move on.

                • 3lemenope

                  you dedicated a paragraph alone explaining how idiotic the notion that personhood begins at conception is.

                  If that’s what you thought the paragraph was about, you should read it again. Clue: The conception thing was an example of what it was about.
                  .
                  .
                  .
                  .
                  (SPOILERS) The point of that paragraph was, in contrast to your belief that understanding an opponents’ point of view is critical to engaging the belief, that sometimes there is nothing there worth understanding because they have not invested any thought or structure in their actual position. Your described approach has the (I assume unintended) effect of giving cover to idiocy and fetishizing false equivalency. Sometimes, positions are just stupid.

                  But you’re right about one thing. Banging one’s head against the wall of other folks’ stubborn inability to read is frustrating and perhaps not worth it after a certain point.

        • baal

          I don’t find their point of view compelling and given the outcome they can forsee and must take credit for (more pregnant women) I don’t feel the need to feel what they are feeling (empathy).

          No matter the circumstance, this ‘corp right to religious expression’ is ahistorical and being created out of whole cloth. It litterally was on noones radar until the (R) came out with a talking point to bash obama. State laws requiring birth control coverage as part of a basic set of health care insurance have been around for decades with little to no complaint.

          • axelbeingcivil

            Empathy is not feeling what they are feeling; it’s an understanding of their point of view. As noted, I took umbrage with stating these people believed something that they patently don’t, NOT with calling a particular belief wrong. If I did, I’d be agreeing with them, which, as I’ve stated several times, I do not.

    • islandbrewer

      I have to echo Gubba, here. Green is being characterized mostly through his own quotes. How is he mischaracterizing his own views (or how are we reading those quotes wrong)?

      • axelbeingcivil

        Explained above, if you wish to have a read.

    • Sven2547

      The anatomy of a drive-by troll comment.

      First, make a claim without offering any justification whatsoever:

      this is some pretty serious mischaracterization of these views

      Next, attack the blogger. In this case, we have:

      You might want to do some research

      A general accusation of ignorance of the subject, followed by:

      express some empathy for these people before you dismiss them

      An accusation of a lack of character and integrity.

      • axelbeingcivil

        See above. I was on my phone at the time and did not have time for a more complete answer. Also, check someone’s comment history before you accuse them of trolling.

    • Spuddie

      Nope. Total bullshit. You are going to have to elaborate.Btw your mother dresses you funny.

      • axelbeingcivil

        Elaboration offered above.

        • Spuddie

          I am surprised that you bothered to come back to comment. I guess the best way to get a drive by troll to come back is to insult their mother. =)

          • 3lemenope

            The reply (s)he’s referring to is the one offered to GubbaBumpkin above.

            • Spuddie

              edited accordingly.

          • axelbeingcivil

            As I explained to someone else, you might want to check someone’s post history before you call them a troll.

  • Frank Mitchell

    Sure, corporations can have religions. Next, give them a right to vote; hell, give them one vote for every employee. Since people can’t vote twice, employees of a corporation lose the right to vote. Then limit the requirements for voter ID to articles of incorporation. Why not? Let’s make it official.

  • keddaw

    If the Supreme Court vote in his favor it will be the push required to implement either a single payer option of a full public payer. Could be the best thing in years.

    • The Starship Maxima

      I kinda dig that outcome myself. Even if the overall beef with contraception is pretty goddamn stupid.

      • KMR

        “single payer option of a full public payer”

        Do you (or anyone) recommend an article on line that would provide more information on exactly what this entails?

    • islandbrewer

      I was kind of thinking the same thing. I’ve been wondering why it doesn’t get mentioned as a solution to the evil liberal Obamacare requirements, but I’m sure that conservatives are equally scared of the “socialized communist medicine.”

  • Gringa123

    Another reason not to shop at hobby lobby – because I don’t want my money going to pay for these ridiculous court cases.

  • KMR

    I think I understand the basic crux of the argument and although sympathetic still believe that Hobby Lobby and all other privately held companies should have to provide the healthcare. It is certainly a slippery slope and perhaps forcing the owners of a privately held company to violate their sincerely held beliefs isn’t ideal but sometimes for the sake of the majority it needs to happen especially if those sincerely held beliefs have no basis in science. The way we’ve always run things in this country is no longer working well for a wide variety of people. Change is scary and difficult and perhaps we’ll make some mistakes along the way. But it’s no excuse not to try and do the right thing and I honestly think the right thing is to make sure that all of the employees of these companies have access to safe and affordable birth control regardless of whether the owners want to provide it.

    • Ewan

      “perhaps forcing the owners of a privately held company to violate their sincerely held beliefs isn’t ideal”

      But this isn’t even an argument – that happens _all the time_. Sincerely believe that you don’t have to keep to a contract because reasons? Actually, you do. Sincerely believe that your products shouldn’t have to meet basic safety standard? Actually, they do. Sincerely believe that you don’t have to pay tax? Actually, you do.

      All law is about making people do things they otherwise wouldn’t (or not do things they otherwise would), that’s the whole point of it.

      • KMR

        Religious beliefs have historically been given precedence though. Lately there seems to be a move away from that (which I support) and I understand the angst surrounding it. To lose one’s privilege status is disconcerting.

        • Spuddie

          People have religious beliefs. Individuals. Not companies.

    • baal

      Those same owners enjoy a liability shield against their personal assets. If they have a religious freedom right to have their views enforced at law at the corporate level, i don’t see why they should get to keep the liability shield (having already ‘peirced the veil’).

      • KMR

        Hmm. Haven’t thought of that. It would be fun to offer that to the business owners as a compromise and see what reaction we’d get :)

    • Spuddie

      There is no such thing as corporate “sincerely held beliefs”. They are not individuals per se but a gestalt legal entity. It would assume its management, employees and market are all thinking the same thoughts.

  • Seth Williamson

    Whether a corporation can have religious beliefs is a silly question. It is the actions that may be taken on those beliefs that matter.

    You have the right to believe that women are worse drivers than men, or Asians are good at math. We’re all free to believe whatever we want. What you can’t do is refuse to hire women drivers or hire only Asian engineers based on your bigotry.

    Hobby Lobby withholding adequate health insurance as outlined by law is NOT speech and by no stretch of the imagination is that action protected by the First Amendment.

    A sole proprietor with sufficient employees to require providing the insurance IS a person and IS entitled to every right this case claims to be about, yet they too have to comply with the law and provide the insurance, whether they like it or not.

    • http://www.flickr.com/photos/chidy/ chicago dyke, TOWAN

      pretty much this. believe what you want. i have a cousin who believes that all of you who lack the mark of the beast should be slaughtered in an orgy of human sacrifice. everyone who makes less than 10$/hr is a viable candidate. each month, at work, an employee name is drawn from a hat containing all the names of employees of the company. and that person is sacrificed.

      they chose to work there, right? so this is “fair.” or, we can all keep our beliefs private, and what we do in public according to rules that are fair and equal for everyone, regardless of creed, race, gender, etc.

  • James Stevenson

    If you say that the owner of a business basically gets to decide what their employees do with their earnings… you can’t ALSO accommodate for individual employee beliefs. Ie the courts can only defend the employees, or the employers, not both. Because if you support the employer, you can’t then say the employees religious beliefs, which may run counter to the employers, also matter.

    So those who support employers rights, but also support employees religious rights, can’t have it both ways because what do you do when those come in conflict? That seriously can lead only to religious privilege where you presume one set of beliefs is more important than others.

    Hell we’ve all seen examples where both sets of religious claims of pre-eminence have led to some really daft things being done. But at least on the individual level you can occasionally make some individual liberties arguments. Saying an employees religious beliefs shape the company can only lead to everyone in that company being ridden rough shot over.

  • The Captain

    Leaving aside the terrible idea of corporate personhood (yea, it’s really the worst legal precedent in our system) and the view that this is really just hobby lobby forcing it’s religion onto it employees, the real problem here is the exemption itself violates the 1st amendment.

    By exempting religious business, or by allowing a “corporate person” (or any person really) to exempt themselves from the birth control mandate, congress is specifically passing a law establishing a religion. The exemption gives legal preference to the religions that belive that contraception is wrong over other religious beliefs. As Hemant noted, what about jehovah witness’s or christian scientist, or racist southern Baptist? Do they now get to deny their employees blood transfusions? Can they now deny their employees anything but prayer? Can the biblically racist fire all the black and jewish employees? Well actually not yet but frankly to be legally fair, they would have to, but since the law specifically only grants the exemption to birth control it is congress favoring one religion over another.

    As was said, a line needs to be drawn, but that is the fundamental constitutional problem anytime the government draws a line of what religious beliefs are acceptable to make an exemption for, it is thus sanctioning those beliefs over others. This exemption establishes that the evangelical and catholic religions and their beliefs are government approved, while the religious beliefs of jehovah witness or anyone else for that matter are not. It thus establishes sanctioned state religions!

    • James Stevenson

      Exactly. In practice ‘conscience’ exemptions are basically protections for ‘whatever religious belief I want to privilege’. True conscience exemptions would offer protection for everyone, including piddly little atheists like myself to not be forced to undertake actions I consider unethical. That kind of conscience exemptions, where people are free to actual undertake their own ethical actions, and not just commands from whatever big book of religious teachings you happen to like, would scare the pants of the backers of conscience exemptions.

  • Sue Blue

    This is just so wrong on so many levels, but I keep coming back to the basic point that this is discriminatory against women. Notice that nothing else in the healthcare law bothers them…just the provisions that apply to women; specifically, women having sex on their own terms. Nary a peep about providing coverage for things that allow men to have sex, like Viagra, Cialis, and Levitra. No – because a man’s right to control sex is beyond question to these patriarchal assholes, while a woman is supposed to have it only when she’s married and ready to punch out some kids. Anything else, and she’s an abortion-loving whore.
    Furthermore, these same people would never dream of telling a man how to spend his paycheck, or what he did with his dick at any time or place. Yet it’s somehow a huge frigging issue when women demand that same right.
    I’ve made a list of companies that are raising religious objections to the ACA, and I make sure I never do business with them, and I encourage my friends and family to avoid them as well. I also discourage any woman from working for them.

    • Fallulah

      I would love to get a copy of that list!

    • UWIR

      That’s a stretch. If a woman is using birth control, then presumably the sex she’s having is with a man. The Viagra/birth control distinction is not based on gender, and it’s a bit disingenuous to pretend that it is.

      • Sue Blue

        Viagra and all the other drugs for ED have no other purpose than to enable men to have sex. They do not prevent disease or save lives or anything else. They exist only to provide men with the means to have sex. Yet none of these religiously-owned corporations are raising objections to providing insurance that covers sex-enabling drugs for men.
        On the other hand, hormonal “birth control” drugs for women not only prevent pregnancy (which can be a life-threatening condition), they also have many other medical indications, such as treating PCOS, endometriosis, dysmenorrhea, acne, and menopausal symptoms. Yet to listen to these religious CEOs scream, you’d think they were being asked to fork over their last dimes to finance brothels.

        So please, enlighten me on how the Viagra/birth control distinction is NOT based on gender discrimination.

        • UWIR

          Apart from gay sex, if men are engaging in sexual activity, that’s not sex, but masturbation. Viagra allows men and women to have sex with each other. Pretending that the benefits of Viagra accrue entirely to men is dishonest. Birth control allows men and women to avoid having children; women have no need for birth control unless they are having sex with men. Also, if we’re being precise, rather than preventing pregnancy, birth control allows men and women to have sex without pregnancy. So, when Viagra allows men and women to have sex, you dismiss that as trivial, because who cares if people can have sex, but then you make a big deal about how birth control allows men and women to have sex without having children. If sex is so unimportant, why do we need birth control? Why can’t we just be celibate? So that’s more dishonesty.

          I don’t know about the Hobby Lobby people, but the Catholic Church has a problem with progestin used as for contraceptive purposes, but does not have a problem with it used for the other purposes you list (unless, of course, those are used as pretexts).

          And after all of this, you have the gall to pretend that I am the one with the burden of proof, and insist that I prove a negative.

          • http://gamesgirlsgods.blogspot.com/ Feminerd

            Yet the Catholic Church, which you claim has no problem with hormones for medical problems aside from fertility control, won’t cover birth control pills for anyone for any reason. If I worked for, say, Georgetown University (I don’t), the RCC would rather lose me 2-3 days every 2-3 months to extremely painful migraines, cramps, and nausea rather than pay for the medication to fix that. Or, I suppose, have me on potentially addictive narcotics (yes, in high school I had a prescription for Vicoprofen. Those scrips are not handed out lightly. Without BC, I’d have to go back to that. With BC, I can use OTC painkillers).

            So I’d say the RCC has a serious problem with progestin, period, because they won’t cover it for anything.

            The BC I’m currently on, which works better for me than any oral BC I’ve taken, has a $40/month copay. I don’t even want to know how much I’d have to pay out of pocket, but it would probably be too much to afford. So the RCC would effectively be charging me additional money for the privilege of working for them. Fuck that. There is no reason to allow them to treat employees that badly.

            • UWIR

              Given your history of dishonesty, I’m hardly going to accept a claim just because you say so. And some employers paying less than others is part of the marketplace.

              • http://gamesgirlsgods.blogspot.com/ Feminerd

                But some employers paying some employees less based on immutable characteristics such as race or gender is illegal.

                And unlike you, I have neither a history of dishonesty nor prejudice. Your attempt to ad hom and poison the well is not appreciated.

          • Sue Blue

            You again missed my point. The religious objection is to birth control FOR WOMEN. They do not object to drugs that enable men to have an erection, no matter what the may use that erection for (and insurance companies have been covering ED drugs since they came on the market without a peep from anyone). Are any of these companies objecting to the fact that men may use their drug boners not only for sex with their wives, but for fornicating with girlfriends, mistresses, 10-year-old Thai prostitutes, or their neighbor’s teenage daughter? Nope. Not a peep. They are only objecting to methods used by women, because in their religious belief, any woman that dares to have sex must have a baby, or sex is sinful. They continue to push the idea that hormonal birth control is only used to prevent pregnancy (and the wholly erroneous idea that it causes abortion). The difference is that ED drugs really are used only for sex, while hormonal pills for women are used to treat many other conditions besides preventing pregnancy. By making it difficult for women to obtain these medications, these companies are in effect condemning women not only to unwanted pregnancies (which can be life-threatening in itself) but to painful and disabling conditions such as PCOS, endometriosis, and dysmenhorrhea.
            Furthermore, no church, corporation, or any other entity besides a woman and her doctor has any business determining or dictating the reason why a woman wants or needs hormonal therapy. As a further support for my point that this is gender discrimination against women is the fact that these same people are the ones who want to take away programs that actually help women and children. They want to outlaw abortion, but they’re against the birth control and sex education that would prevent it. That makes absolutely no sense except when viewed in the light of an indoctrinated patriarchal misogyny.
            Your statement about the Catholic church having no problem with progestin used to treat other problems but not wanting it to be used to prevent pregnancy is a case in point of the lack of intellectual follow-through typical of religious objections. What do they think is happening while the woman takes estrogens and progesterones for menstrual or ovarian problems? As a side effect, it’s going to prevent her becoming pregnant, which is what they claim they’re against.
            Religious misogyny underlies all of these ACA objections – that much is patently obvious to anyone who thinks it through. All of the corporate personhood bullshit is just a smokescreen for sexism and bigotry, and all the sophistry and hair-splitting spouted on their behalf is just that.

  • koseighty

    The Court has already ruled ACA constitutional because it boils down to being a tax and the government has the power to tax.

    The question then is can I get out of certain taxes because of my religious beliefs? Can I refuse to pay the portion of my taxes that goes to the military because of my humanist views?

  • http://friendlyatheist.com Richard Wade

    This idea is lunacy. I’m beginning to wonder if an actual microbe has infected the brains of half of the population of the U.S., and it’s slowly driving them insane.

    • UWIR

      I’m a bit unclear as to why you put the word “slowly” in that sentence. Or “half”, really.

      • Spuddie

        So you are insane at this moment?

      • http://friendlyatheist.com Richard Wade

        “Slowly” because I’ve watched the craziness grow over the last 40 years or so, and if it was sudden, more people would have noticed. “Half” because that’s about the percentage of Americans who 1) believe in creationism, and 2) consistently vote for the craziest political candidates. It also gives me the slightly reassuring thought that I might have a 50-50 chance of not being or getting infected.

    • 3lemenope

      It’s the cats, I tell you. It’s part of their secret plan to dethrone human civilization and take over the world.

      • http://friendlyatheist.com Richard Wade

        But… but I love my Snookums. Oooh you’re such a cutie kitty. Yes, Mistress, I will feed you now.

        • 3lemenope

          Hey, we’ve got four. (Or four share me and my partner…)

          Well, at least the plan isn’t so secret anymore. Not that that matters.

          • Spuddie

            “(Or four share me and my partner…)”

            That sounds about right. Its bad enough they have enslaved us with their adorable aloofness, but they have completely taken over youtube.

          • baal

            I hear much concern over BT corn or peanuts for alergins but will noone ban the cats for teh sake of my lungs? They are walking alergy/asthma machines and not in a small way.

            • 3lemenope

              I’m allergic to cats, too.

  • newenglandbob

    If the Supreme Court allows corporations to discriminate against contraception the next step is to discriminate about anything on religious grounds.

    The following step will be Nazi Germany all over again.

    • DesertLady48

      That’s my fear too. What other laws will be against a business’ “beliefs”? Any law they don’t want to follow.

      • Sue Blue

        That’s already happening here in Washington state, a blue state where contraception, abortion, and death with dignity are all legal. Unfortunately, more that 50% of Washington’s hospitals are now run by religious affiliates – the Catholics and Lutherans – and they refuse to provide these healthcare services because it goes against their religious creed. Women, LGBT patients, and terminally ill patients who want to end their lives are already suffering the effects of corporations who think their religion trumps state and Federal law. There have been several instances of women with non-viable pregnancies, such as ectopic pregnancies or extreme pre-term labor due to eclampsia, who have been shuffled from hospital to hospital before finally finding one that will abort the non-viable fetus that is killing the woman.
        Hobby Lobby and the rest of those idiots are just more vocal about their idiotic stance, but religious disregard for law has been quietly taking over our healthcare for years.

    • CommonSenseFanatic

      If the Supreme Court rules in favor of the Corporations, they will in fact be ruling in favor of upholding the Constitution which allows people to believe and behave as they choose – - not as the government dictates. You would have the Court take the same position as the Nazis took regarding religious liberty. Churches and other religious groups do not have the power that comes with the force of government to impose their will on any non-willing person.

      • baal

        I as a person choose to have my health care be affordable and cover birth control…tell me again how I can use my essentially non-existant personal power to get employer companies and insurance companies to do my bidding? This is the fundamental failing of liberatarianism. The single person has jack shit in barganing power.

        • CommonSenseFanatic

          “This is the fundamental failing of liberatarianism. The single person has jack shit in barganing power.”

          Do you have any idea what a pitiful thing it is when you buy into the “I am a victim” mantra of the left and can’t do anything without someone else’s help?? I understand birth control pills can be purchased for roughly $9.00/month. Condoms go for somewhat less. I suggest you prove to your boss that you are worth an extra .25 cents an hour and pay for your own birth control rather than have someone else coerce me into paying it for you since you’ve done jack shit for me.

          • allein

            There are a number of different birth control formulations and different women respond differently to different pills; there are only a few that are that cheap and a significant number of women won’t be able to take them. Aside from that, the price is irrelevant. It’s a common prescription medication; why shouldn’t it be covered like any other prescription medication?

          • baal

            ” you’ve done jack shit for me.”

            Other than all employees do work and that makes the business run. A portion of the business funds then fund the health care plan. You might need antibiotics or care for a car accident when I need birth control and antimalaria drugs. Right, needs vary from person to person but it’s flatly wrong to say that you’re not benefiting from me paying (via direct $$ and indirectly via my work) into the insurance pool.

      • 3lemenope

        Holy shit, a Godwin? Here?

        • tracy two crows

          Not a Godwin when it’s spot on 3…

          • 3lemenope

            If you can see no daylight between the average Nazi and the average CEO, it is fair to assume you can’t see. At all.

            • tracy two crows

              See my reply to you above dear. It’s explained in detail…

        • CommonSenseFanatic

          Not only do we have one here, but apparently it’s a stupid one. LOL

          • 3lemenope

            You’re calling your own comment stupid?

            • CommonSenseFanatic

              Nope. Just commenting on his perception, which I am calling stupid.

      • Spuddie

        Stupid Godwin. The Nazis were corporatists. They believed corporations could own human beings or use people for involuntary product testing. Something you do not seem to have a problem with.

        Government has an interest in protecting the public from hazards which are best handled beyond an individual’s capacity to deal with. You are under the mistaken impression that the Constitution supports oligarchy.

        • 3lemenope

          I would say, in counterpoint, that the Constitution does not (and probably was never intended) to prevent oligarchy, either.

          • baal

            I disagree. The founders were dramatically anti-corporation and aristocracy (hence the rule against perpetuities). As such I feel safe in saying the balance of powers idea was specifically designed to stop oligarchy.

            • 3lemenope

              They did mostly believe in meritocracy, though, which all other things being equal naturally leads to oligarchy because it necessitates an unequal distribution of goods, which are unavoidably self-reinforcing. I tend to think that we read their antipathy to aristocracy the way we would read modern notions of wealth and privilege, but they were reacting to a very specific social system (the English class system) that has no modern analogue.

              I think it better to characterize the balance of powers idea as a replacement for and guard against monarchy, which was a bit more on their minds. Bernard Bailyn makes a creditable case in The Ideological Origins of the American Revolution that the very idea of separation of powers as a tripartite division was directly inspired by the tripartite division of civil power in the Commonwealth (Monarch/Aristocracy/Commons).

              • baal

                I usually avoid books of that nature but will strongly consider reading it. Thanks for a reference.

  • http://religiouscomics.net/ Jeff P

    It comes down to whether the USA should be a collection of individuals with rights or a collection of corporations with rights. I’ll vote for individuals every time.

  • Anthony

    Hobby lobby is a privately owned company all of the profits belong to the owners and any insurance they cover is reducing their profits. They should have the right to spend their money however they choose just like the employees. No one is saying that the employees have to work at hobby lobby or that they can’t get birth control. The employees will be able to pay for the birth control out of their paycheck instead of from the company provided insurance.
    If there was a requirement to provide coverage for faith healing practices I would oppose an atheist having to pay for that coverage.

    • KMR

      There’s a lot wrong with your argument but this little tidbit stood out to me the most: “The employees will be able to pay for the birth control out of their paycheck instead of from the company provided insurance.” You think Hobby Lobby would be willing to increase their employees paychecks so that they could indeed do this without seeing a net decrease in what they bring home? I haven’t seen that compromise offered up anywhere.

      • UWIR

        How is that a problem for his argument? His thesis is “No one is saying that the employees have to work at hobby lobby or that they can’t get birth control.” Your post does nothing to establish that employees won’t be able to get birth control. You’re faulting his argument for failing to support a position that he didn’t assert. That’s dishonest and arrogant.

        • Spuddie

          It shows how dishonest the argument of those companies is.

          Its bad enough they are arguing from the bald faced lie that employers actually make tangible decisions as to what constitutes their health insurance plans. Now they are claiming that intentionally fighting a legal mandate for healthcare providers for contraception doesn’t constitute a significant stumbling block to obtaining it.

          The companies are creating an undue financial burden in fighting the mandate in order to exert a right that does not exist.

          • KMR

            Thank you. You were much more elegant than I.

          • UWIR

            “Its bad enough they are arguing from the bald faced lie that employers actually make tangible decisions as to what constitutes their health insurance plans.”

            Employers do not, in fact, make such decisions? Does every employer have the same exact health plan? If not, then who decides what health plan(s) they get?

            • Spuddie

              The marketplace for employee health plans is remarkably limited, heavily regulated and by nature does not involve significant input from the employers as to what constitutes basic care. Government always gets to decide what goes into an insurance policy.

              ALL insurance policies have mandatory provisions of one type or another which are not subject to negotiation. It makes no difference health insurance or homeowners insurance. Government sees fit that policies must cover certain things as part of a bare minimum policy. It sets the floor. A person choosing the policy can set the ceiling. In the case of health insurance, government has set the floor of providing for contraception.

        • KMR

          “That’s dishonest and arrogant.”

          You’re a little too comfortable with slinging the insults. Even if you disagreed with how I stated my response there are plenty of other reasons I could have failed to make my point besides my being dishonest and arrogant. Some of us are not familiar with how to formally debate people on-line. Some of us simply occasionally may misread a comment and nice reminder is all we need to retract our comment or clarify our comment. Slinging insults does nothing but piss most people off that you are attempting to communicate with which normally means any meaningful conversation is ended.

          However after reading my comment and then your’s a few times I have concluded that although I wasn’t dishonest or arrogant I was indeed snarky. And for that I extend my sincerest apologies to Anthony.

    • John_in_Vegas

      At issue is whether insurance should cover accepted medical practices. Birth control is a safe and proven therapy, and a critical provision for the healthcare of millions of women. Faith, dogma and religious doctrine should not be legislated into our healthcare laws.

    • http://gamesgirlsgods.blogspot.com/ Feminerd

      Right. It’s so damned easy to get a job, especially right now.

      Do you think that a privately owned Christian Scientist corporation can choose to not give any health care coverage at all, because they believe that only prayer is legitimate? Can a Jehovah’s Witness offer plans that refuse to cover blood transfusions? Can a Jewish- or Muslim-owned store require coverage of only those vaccines without porcine adjuvants, necessitating excessive research on the part of their employees on what those vaccines are and what adjuvants are? Can a Catholic offer plans that don’t cover birth control, abortion, sterilization, and libidinous drugs? Can a publicly owned corporation decide on its “religious objections” to certain medical coverage through a board vote, changing it when the board changes?

      These are all the same question. If you answered yes to all of them, then you think that corporations have no responsibilities to their employees whatsoever, which is a very libertarian stance of yours (this is not a compliment). If you answered no to any of them, then the answer is no to all of them. Women are people, dammit, and should be treated as such. Our health needs are not a fucking toy to be batted around as a minor side issue. If you want your prostate exams and Viagra automatically covered as the important health needs that they are, no matter what your boss or CEO feels about them and why, then we need our birth control and abortions covered, no matter what our boss or CEO feels about them and why.

      Also note that corporations are not people. They are separate legal entities. If you own an LLC, for example, you incorporate as such specifically to give yourself an artificial legal identity to protect your personal assets. You are literally two legal entities with two very different sets of legal responsibilities and privileges. A corporation has no religion, and thus cannot enforce its (nonexistent) religion on employees working at that corporation.

      • baal

        Or, as I argue in another comment, if you want to pierce the corp shield, then make the owners personally liable for the debts and torts of the corp. Fair’s fair.

        • http://gamesgirlsgods.blogspot.com/ Feminerd

          Yeah, that would work. If you aren’t actually two legal entities, then you’re not two legal entities. Fair is, indeed, fair.

        • Glasofruix

          Around here when a company goes kaboom, if it’s determined that the people in charge (mostly owners and founders, because managers are employees) are liable, the judge can decide to make them pay the company’s debts out of their pocket. It doesn’t happen very often, but it happens.

          • Spuddie

            Actually it only happens when those people are named individually as part of the lawsuit or if the corporation was intentionally under-capitalized (was never considered a real corporation)

            • Glasofruix

              I’m not talking about the US laws ;)

              • Spuddie

                The laws don’t vary too wildly between developed nations. =)

      • Anthony

        Yes I do take a libertarian view on this matter. Companies only owe their employees a safe place to work and an agreed upon wage (whether a dollar amount a a dollar amount and benefits).
        Hobby lobby as also publicly announced that if they are required to pay for birth control they will close, so about 19000 people will be looking for work. I’m sure most of them prefer that to having to pay for birth control.

        • Rationalist1

          Good job Woolworths didn’t do that about their lunch counters.

        • Spuddie

          Libertarian view = “I’ve got mine, go fuck yourself”. Of course none of that really pays attention to the big picture. Out of control healthcare costs/lack of adequate healthcare sap individual wealth, hurt buying power of consumers and create public health risks. None of which are in any company’s best interests.

          Since healthcare has become almost the sole province of companies, they have a duty to provide it. If they didn’t spend so much money lobbying against single payer healthcare, they would have been able to separate their interests from public health.

        • The Captain

          “Yes I do take a libertarian view on this matter. Companies only owe their employees a safe place to work” Nothing in libertarian philosophy says companies owe their employees a “safe” place to work. You are just picking and choosing what regulations you find acceptable by your own personal preference, not some grand philosophy you are sticking too.

          Also, do you believe everything a company says? That’s pretty damn naive, or convenient.

          • Spuddie

            Its amazing how conservatives have run the term “libertarian” into the ground by changing it to mean corporate oligarchy.

            • The Captain

              Well frankly “libertarian” has always been an oligarchical political philosophy. Rooted entirely in the concept of negative liberty and property ownership, libertarianism’s only outcomes are always an oligarchy. Since ones ability to affect others and society is based on ones own wealth and not democratic means.

              • 3lemenope

                Its primary value is as a critical theory, employed to rebut and reduce recourse to the Politician’s Syllogism, which should not be undersold; it’s perhaps the single most dangerous part of modern political culture, and it is so seductive just simply due to how the populace measures the performance of its government officers that it is unwise to rely on endogenous mechanisms to keep it in check. There always has to be some asshole throwing rocks at the machine from the outside; that asshole is performing a very important structural service.

                It shouldn’t be a governing philosophy; it’s very obviously a stupid one for the very fact that, as you describe, it can never create stable societies that value things people generally agree are valuable because it eschews mechanisms that might stabilize them and elevates other values without restraint or prudential safeguards. It’s perfect on paper, just like every political theory; it just disintegrates upon contact with reality, just like every political theory. Problem is, it has a built-in mechanism to prevent its compromise for the sake of that reality, leading to the perfect being the enemy of the good, and there goes the baby sailing out with the bathwater.

        • http://gamesgirlsgods.blogspot.com/ Feminerd

          Oh, so you’re not libertarian then. Companies don’t owe their workers a safe to work under truly libertarian principles. You’re just only in favor of the regulations you personally like.

          Fuck you. My health care is not fucking negotiable. I am a person and I demand to be treated with the same respect and dignity as you. Why is men’s health care never on the chopping block? Would you be in favor of an employer refusing to cover prostate exams or colonoscopies, because that’s sodomy?

          You never did answer my questions. Do you believe a Christian Scientist business owner may refuse to offer any health plans at all because ze believes all modern medicine is against hir religion? Do you believe a Jehovah’s Witness can refuse to offer any health plans that cover blood transfusions?

          • 3lemenope

            Honestly, I think it’s worse than that. Any libertarian would look at Hobby Lobby’s threat and smirk, because if the market worked the way they usually assume it does, some other firm that didn’t have idiotic social hang-ups would fill the same market niche and happily snap up the trained employees and customers in a second. They could even rent the facilities that Hobby Lobby so thoughtfully relinquished that are perfectly fitted for the purpose.

            Which, incidentally, is why Hobby Lobby is almost certainly lying; their threat is empty and everyone knows it. It’s a tantrum calculated to manipulate a well-ingrained (almost Pavlovian) response Americans are trained to have regarding the importance of private enterprise. Anyone who actually stops and thinks knows it’s ridiculous from any angle, but it is designed to stop people from thinking by waving the specter of thousands of jobs lost AND HOW COULD YOU POSSIBLY BE SO HEARTLESSLY CRUEL BY PUTTING THOSE POOR PEOPLE OUT OF WORK, and so forth. It offends me personally because I think the American commitment to valuing innovation and enterprise is an extremely important one; to have something that has been a key piece of the engine of our success perverted into a malignancy that poisons the very value it trades upon, ugh. There are no appropriate words.

    • Rationalist1

      Since you seem to think that insurance is bad because it reduced their profits, then allowing contraceptive insurance is actually preferred by the insurance company as it reduces their overall costs and can pass on those savings to the private company.

      • Anthony

        I don’t think insurance is bad. I think that requiring someone (person or business) is wrong.

        • Rationalist1

          Do you drive? Do you have car insurance?

          • Anthony

            Yes, but i can choose to find other ways to travel that don’t require me to drive. Also as others have mentioned driving is considered a privilege. I can’t choose to be alive.

            • Rationalist1

              And you can choose not to own a company, That too is a privilege, not a right.

              • baal

                I still think the rights/privilege dichotomy is not a good one.

              • Anthony

                So I don’t have a right to earn a living if I don’t want to work for someone else?

                • The Captain

                  Not anymore than the person who has to work for someone else has a “right” to make a living, a right that you seem to deny by saying they can just turn down the job. So the company owner can just turn down his “job” too.

                • Anthony

                  A person can choose to work for whoever they want. If they can’t come to a mutually acceptable agreement then they don’t have to work for that company. They can’t have the government force the company to provide a benefit.

                • Glasofruix

                  The employer pays the insurance, he’s not the one who decides what’s in it, as much as he pays wages, he can’t decide how his employees spend their money.

                • The Captain

                  And if you can’t come to a mutually beneficial agreement with the government (I.E. Society) on regulations… you don’t have to own the company!

                  Your argument is now turning into “the government can not force any one to do anything”. If the government can’t force a business to provide a benefit, then it also can’t force parents to feed their kids.

                • Anthony

                  There is a big difference between providing insurance and starving someone.

                • James Stevenson

                  Then your dealing with consequences as opposed to arguing ‘they shouldn’t fund it full stop’, which I don’t think anyone here thinks is going to end however legal matters go. If you can argue that they shouldn’t pay for female health care then the argument can apply elsewhere as follows:

                  Is it right that a company deny health insurance if the owner thinks that medicine is a big scam and only prayer can help? Because its the same thing, I don’t see why that religious preference is different from the one hobby lobby makes. If there really is something I’m missing on that front beyond ‘well that’s just silly that will never happen’ I don’t really think that qualifies.

                  EDIT: Apologies added in some clarifications if people caught that within the first minute of it being posted.

                • baal

                  Tell that to a single mother with a kid with a fever of 103 and a lung infection.

                • The Captain

                  Not really, they can die either way.

                • Artor

                  No, nut you don’t have a right to tell your employees how they can spend their money either.

    • Glasofruix

      So, the employers have a say about what treatements their employees should receive? Are you fucking serious?

      • Anthony

        No. If they don’t like the insurance provided by their employer they can get their own policy or pay for their medical treatment from their own pocket.

        • Glasofruix

          Nope, if an employer provides insurance he has no say which treatements that insurrance covers. Otherwise you’d have a lot of insurances that don’t cover blood transfusions or antibiotics because the employer believes in neither.

          • Anthony

            So you believe that insurance should be required to cover ever procedure? liposuction, lasic, fertility treatments

            • Rationalist1

              No, but it’s not up to the owner to dictate it. If an owner abhorred smoking, would she be right to no allow treatment for lung cancer?

            • Glasofruix

              And the pill has more uses than just preventing babies during sex, it’s an actual treatement with lots of benefits. And we’re talking about medecine here ffs, not beliefs, just because an employer has a belief in warms and fuzzies it does not allow him to bar his employees from (legal) benefits that go agains his wishful thinking.

              • Anthony

                I understand that it has other benefits, but just because there are other benefits doesn’t change the fact that a company should have to pay for it.

                • Glasofruix

                  The company pays the insurance, it does not decide what it covers, laws and regulations do that. Just because you don’t believe in something it does not give you the right to deprive others of it.

                • 3lemenope

                  The key here is that the insurance is offered as compensation. Does your employer have any say over how you spend your wages/salary? No, because wages are compensation for the labor you furnished them; you have a property interest in your wages, and your employer does not.

                  Likewise with any other form of compensation. If the vested interest is not conferred, it isn’t compensation.

                • Anthony

                  They can still get insurance that will cover the treatments the company won’t. They are no more denying the employees the ability to get birth control than I am denying you lunch by refusing to buy it for you.

                • 3lemenope

                  It’s more if you are required as an employer by law to furnish your employees with lunch money, you don’t get to dictate where they get lunch or what they eat.

                • Glasofruix

                  In Belgium and other civilized countries, employers sometimes offer “lunch tickets” as part of the salarial package it’s written in the contract and all, basically coupons to buy food. They can’t tell you how to spend them.

                  Same for insurance, the employers (every employer, by law, is required to pay a certain percentage depending on the employees salary) pay taxes for each employee, the employees get state funded insurance (of their choice), what procedures and medecine they get is not their bosses’ business.

                • UWIR

                  You are completely ignoring his point. The two of you are simply talking past each other.

                • 3lemenope

                  His analogy was inapt because it did not accurately reflect the actual relationships that obtain between the entities at issue. I re-purposed it to better fit the circumstances.

                  In specific, his “point” requires that one ignore that employers which are larger than an objective size-floor are required by law to provide health insurance that mandates coverage of certain items. They aren’t allowed to “not provide lunch”; in fact, they are required to provide it. The actual point is that since “lunch” is required by law to contain certain items, and the employer is required to provide “lunch”, the employer can have no legitimate beef with employees receiving the “lunch” even though it contains elements they find objectionable on a moral level. Much as how an employer can have no legitimate assertable interest in any other compensation furnished to an employee in exchange for labor, such as wages, stock options, etc..

                  The error is framing the issue in terms of rights when there are no cognizable rights at issue. The law requires people to do things we don’t like to do or even think are morally unsavory all the time.

                • UWIR

                  “In specific, his “point” requires that one ignore that employers which are larger than an objective size-floor are required by law to provide health insurance that mandates coverage of certain items.”

                  That is completely irrelevant to his point. Whether there is a law against not paying for birth control is completely irrelevant to whether not paying for birth control constitutes denying employees birth control.

                  “the employer can have no legitimate beef with employees receiving the “lunch” even though it contains elements they find objectionable on a moral level”

                  And here we’re getting closer to the nub of your confusion. The overarching issue is that you believe that employers should be forced to provide insurance that includes birth control (Proposition1). In support of Proposition1, you are asserting that employees would otherwise be denied birth control (Proposition2). Anthony is disputing Proposition2, but you are responding to his posts by arguing for Proposition1.

                • 3lemenope

                  That is completely irrelevant to his point. Whether there is a law against not paying for birth control is completely irrelevant to whether not paying for birth control constitutes denying employees birth control.

                  Yeah, problem is, “whether not paying for birth control constitutes denying employees birth control” is entirely tangential to the conversation. They are required to pay for birth control; how does the answer to [paraphrase] “if I could choose to not provide birth control, would it count as withholding birth control” possibly matter at all?

                  The overarching issue is that you believe that employers should be forced to provide insurance that includes birth control (Proposition1).

                  Actually, I don’t. I think it’s beyond stupid to attach medical insurance to employment, and it has all sorts of negative consequences, like removing labor mobility and causing other avoidable market inefficiencies. I was describing reality as it exists; why does everyone always make the leap to some sort of normative agenda?

                  In support of Proposition1, you are asserting that employees would otherwise be denied birth control (Proposition2).

                  Nowhere did I assert this. What the hell comment were you reading?

                • UWIR

                  “Yeah, problem is, “whether not paying for birth control constitutes denying employees birth control” is entirely tangential to the conversation.”

                  Then why no criticize the people that brought it up, rather than the person who is arguing against it?

                  “I wasdescribing reality as it exists; why does everyone always make the leap to some sort of normative agenda?”

                  That’s the whole point. You responded to a normative argument with a descriptive claim. And you tried to claim that Anthony’s analogy was invalid because it was directed at a normative issue, instead of a descriptive one. You said that his “should” statement “ignores” that things “are” otherwise. That’s silly.

                  “Nowhere did I assert this. What the hell comment were you reading?”

                  It did seem to be the basis for your comments. But I do think that it is important to respect when others feel that their position has been misrepresented, so if you feel I overstepped in my analytical shorthand, I apologize.

                • Glasofruix

                  It’s the same as saying “they can still get another job, just because their boss controls how they spend their money, doesn’t mean he denies them food and stuff”. The employer pays his employees be it in cash or benefits, it’s the same package, he has no right to tell them what to do with it, no more than i have the right to tell to the guy who’s selling me a hot dog that he can’t spend the money i paid him on beer because i don’t drink alcohol.

                • Artor

                  No, they want to deny their employees the ability to get birth control in the same way you’d deny me lunch by telling me I can’t spend my own money on hamburgers, but instead only pizza.

                • Glasofruix

                  He’ll just respond that you can use your other money to buy burgers or “change your employer” if you don’t like the current one…

                • http://gamesgirlsgods.blogspot.com/ Feminerd

                  Yeah, companies should not have to cover cancer treatments either. I mean, it’s just a medical treatment for a major medical issue. No one should ever have to pay for it. Fuck the workers with cancer.

                  Never mind that the whole point of insurance. is to cover medical treatment.

            • Spuddie

              Fertility treatments are covered by some employers. Show me an employment based health insurer which covers elective surgery or even a demand for it and you would have a point. Otherwise its just a shitty analogy.

              • Anthony

                I was responding to Glasofuix saying that the employer has no say in treatments. Elective surgery is still a treatment and employers can still chose to not cover it. Last time I checked there isn’t a life or death use for birth control that can’t be achieved by another means.

                • Spuddie

                  They don’t.

                  It is a personal decision of the insured. An employer funds the plan and their input stops there. It is not an employer’s role to make individual healthcare decisions for their employees beyond funding the plan.

                  A better analogy is an employer telling their employees how to spend their paycheck. Health insurance is a form of compensation. It is the equivalent of their pay, Once the money leaves the hands of the employer, it is no longer theirs.

              • UWIR

                So, fertility treatments are covered by some employers. Are they covered by all employers? If not, what determines which ones? Is it random chance? Or do employers choose?

                Anthony’s question wasn’t an analogy, it was a QUESTION. Sheesh. And if it were an analogy, the fact that it deals with a hypothetical would not make it “shitty”. I respect your position as being a reasonable one, but the way you are arguing it is just plain awful.

                • Spuddie

                  The insurance company picks what goes into their policies and healthcare plans. It is not the employer choosing to cover such things as much as their willingness to give employees expensive coverage as compensation.

                  It was a lousy off-topic hypothetical.

                • UWIR

                  So, first an insurance company decides what is in their policies, and then they force a company to take a particular policy?

                  Employers decide what company to use, and which policy. If it makes sense to talk about a company deciding whether to allow birth control, then it makes sense to imagine a universe in which a company decides whether to allow plastic surgery, and you’re just using empty criticism of the hypothetical to avoid responding to it.

                • Spuddie

                  First, yes. There is now a Congressional approved, Supreme Court upheld mandate that policies must include certain things when used as employer based health insurance.

                  Simply put, the choice to include birth control was never put in the hands of the employer to begin with. It is part of the law in which commercial entities (and not houses of worship) must comply with due to the government’s interest in regulating commerce.

                  What you are saying is that a company can ignore such a legal mandate based on the fictional notion of corporate religious beliefs.

                  So what other laws do you think they could ignore using such rationale? Avoidance of anti-discrimination laws? Child Labor laws? How about workplace safety or EPA regulations?

                • UWIR

                  “First, yes.”

                  Yes, what?

                  “There is now a Congressional approved, Supreme Court upheld mandate that policies must include certain things when used as employer based health insurance.”

                  That doesn’t address my question.

                  “What you are saying is that a company can ignore such a legal mandate based on the fictional notion of corporate religious beliefs.”

                  No, I’m not. It’s increasingly difficult to believe that you’re not being deliberately dishonest.

                • Spuddie

                  I answered your question directly, just not the answer you wanted to hear. I addressed the question in the most honest and staightforward way possible. I address the question but you don’t understand it or it doesn’t fall into the canned argument you were planning to make.

                  You work under false premises from the outset. You labor under the notion that an insured has a greater degree of control over the nature of a policy than reality permits.

                  An insurance company decides whats in their policies and gives the options to the customers. Their decisions are based on financial interests and government regulation. As you asked about, they force the customers to accept what is the bare minimum part of their policies. A customer can always opt for more than minimum coverage, but they can’t avoid what is the mandatory elements of a policy.

                  Congress has made it a law that contraception is a bare minimum element to all health insurance policies. Government has the power to do such things and always exerted such power over the insurance industry in a variety of different kinds of policies.

                  Since contraception is a bare minimum part of coverage now, as determined by law, companies have to cough up a reason why they can’t comply with it. Religious reasons or just unwillingness to fund it is not going to be good enough.

                • UWIR

                  “I addressed the question in the most honest and staightforward way possible.”

                  No, you posted a response that addressed another question. I did not ask whether there are particular things that are forced to be in a policy. I asked whether insurance companies decide for employers the entire policy. Your response is like if I ask “Can Ford show up at my house and just announce that I they’re selling me a Mustang, I don’t get a choice in the matter”, and you respond with “Yes. The government has mandated that every car have an air bag.”

                  Apparently, you are sticking with the answer to my question being “yes”. So, how does it get decided which insurance company gets the business of a particular employer?

                  “You work under false premises from the outset.”

                  You clearly don’t understand what my position, so it would be helpful if you were to more clearly elucidate what exactly you think my premises are.

                  “You labor under the notion that an insured has a greater degree of control over the nature of a policy than reality permits.”

                  How so?

        • Spuddie

          An employer has as no more say in what goes into the insurance plan than they have in telling employees how to spend their paycheck. It is the same thing.

    • Spuddie

      No.

      Hobby Lobby is not a mom and pop store. It is a corporation. A legally separate person with a separate existence from its owners. Such existence prevents its losses from becoming its management’s personal losses. Its management is not even a function of its current owners but of the majority stockholders whomever they should be. Since all financial rights and obligations are separate from its ownership, all other rights are as well. A corporation cannot have religious rights because those are strictly for individuals.

      As for birth control, it is deemed a necessary part of health insurance thanks to an act of congress. If a company doesn’t want to pay for it, they need to cough up some compelling reason for it besides being cheap and the religious peccadilloes of its current ownership.

      Of course what makes this especially infuriating is the people who are against companies allowing birth control in their health plans are also ones who are against any form of paid maternity.family leave and affordable day care. They don’t want their employees to use contraception but they don’t want to make it easy for employees to raise families either.

      • baal

        but other than that they are totally pro-family

        • Glasofruix

          Pro family values, totally different…

          • Spuddie

            Yes. Very much so.

      • 3lemenope

        Um, it’s a privately held corporation. The stockholders and the management team are quite literally the same people. That’s why this case is being treated differently than, say, a publicly traded company; you don’t have to deal with conflicts-of-interest between those of the CEO and those of stockholders, and so many of the more obvious legal objections do not apply.

        • Spuddie

          Its still a corporation. It is not a sole proprietorship. It has a separate financial and legal existence from its owners.

          • 3lemenope

            True. I was objecting to the implication (and reading back, it really isn’t even actually there; I skimmed a bit too quickly, sorry about that) that the division between ownership and management would be relevant in this case.

        • baal

          Even these private owners would use the liability shield and tax benefits of the corp. ALL of the legal objections apply (as with any other non-public corp (stock traded)).

    • Mario Strada

      Corporations should not be paying for their employees health insurance at all. I agree with you on that.
      It is a burden on American companies and puts them at a disadvantage with their competitors from other countries.

      It also creates the absurd situation where employees that lose their job, and therefore are suddenly lacking a steady income, also lose their health coverage or they are forced to pay 3 times as much as they did before, when they had an income.

      If that wasn’t absurd enough, our system also prevents many people that would love to start their own company, create jobs for others and free up their own former jobs from going ahead because of the impossibility, in many cases, of gaining their own health insurance. It is an absurd system only partially ameliorated by the new law.

      The only solution is a national health care system similar to the Canadian one where these choices are taken away from private companies.

      being married to a Canadian I know that even the arch conservatives in her family would not dream of trading their health care with ours. Not in a million years.

      • UWIR

        While I agree with your general point, I don’t think your claim that it puts American companies at a disadvantage. Other countries don’t have the money for their health care magically appear out of thin air. They pay for it through taxes. I don’t see any reason to think companies in other countries are at any less of a disadvantaged through those taxes as American companies are through having to pay for health insurance.

    • Glasofruix

      and any insurance they cover is reducing their profits. They should have the right to spend their money however they choose

      *

      Because slavery has been abolished? Because letting the employers do as they please wouldn’t benefit anyone but them?

      I don’t understand why you yanks think that if the financial burden of an employer is lowered he would suddenly start hiring people, he’d be drinking more champagne while trying to screw his already existing employees over to get even more profit.

      • baal

        We’ve seen this. Hiring isn’t related to profitability. It’s related to demand. The more widgets a corp sells, the more heads it needs to make the widgets (or services).

        • Glasofruix

          It depends, sometimes it’s less profitable to make more widgets than getting tax cuts, knowing you can play with the prices. In general, making broad financial exceptions for companies is a bad idea.

          What strikes me, is how many people in the US are against work regulations and unions, and are demanding that the government lets employers do as they please. What about people who work for them? Don’t they deserve a bit of security? An insurance that they don’t become disposable? That they don’t just get fired on a whim with no reason? That they don’t become slaves? Do they want to return in the 1800s, when child labor was the norm?

          • baal

            We’ve seen various State level republicans in the last 4 years or so try to roll back child labor protections.

        • UWIR

          A company will keep selling widgets until the price they can get for it decreases to the cost of making it. It’s silly to assert to decrease the cost won’t increase sales. If Lamborghinis cost $1,000 each, you really think there wouldn’t be more of them sold?

          • Spuddie

            A $1000 lamborghini probably represents such a major compromise in production as to be completely bereft of its name brand value. So the answer is no.

            • UWIR

              You’re rather unclear as to what you mean. If you’re saying the cars would be of lower quality, you are adding things to the hypothetical that are not in it. It is not valid to rebut a hypothetical by simply contradicting the premises of that hypothetical.

              • Spuddie

                To make it so it can be sold profitably for $1000 means you have made so many compromises in materials, labor and quality control compared to the $200G version that the brand name loses its meaning as compared to before.

                You should have used a better hypothetical. Or even better, directly addressed the issue.

                The big problem with your arguments are you are working under the premise that ACA does not already exist. You are arguing something which is already rendered moot. Health insurance now has to meet federally a mandated minimum level of coverage which includes things like contraception.

                Rather than argue why companies feel compelled to disobey the law, you are arguing why said law exists in the first place. It ultimately is pointless since it is moot.

                • UWIR

                  “To make it so it can be sold profitably for $1000 means you have made so many compromises in material [...]”

                  No. In my hypothetical, Lamborghini is selling their cars for $1000 each without any decrease in quality. You think that’s inconsistent with the current state of the world? That’s why it’s called a HYPOTHETICAL. A hypothetical is when a person presents a situation OTHER THAN THE ONE THAT CURRENTLY EXISTS for study. I mean, seriously, do you have some sort of brain disorder that prevents you understanding the concept of “if”? I’m trying to be patient here, but when someone says “If A were true, then B would be true”, and you respond with “But A isn’t true!”, the natural consequence is that people are going to start getting pissed off at you.

                  “The big problem with your arguments are you are working under the premise that ACA does not already exist. ”

                  No, I’m not. the problem your arguments is that you are working under the premise that your wild misrepresentations of my position are accurate.

                  “Rather than argue why companies feel compelled to disobey the law, you are arguing why said law exists in the first place. It ultimately is pointless since it is moot.”

                  It is pointless to have any discussion about the philosophical underpinning of any existing law? Then why are you doing to so? It’s rather pathetic to argue a position, and then when your arguments are rebutted, to declare that the issue is moot, so we shouldn’t be discussing it anyway.

          • baal

            I was making the other argument. Assume purchasing demand is met (say mature commidty with semi fixed market share like corn). If the profit per item doubles (like the gov gives that business a tax credit or per item incentive), there is -0- reason to hire more workers. The owner just pockets the cash in that case.

            • UWIR

              Your use of the word “demand” is not consistent with standard economics nomenclature. “Demand” is not a fixed quantity, but a relationship between price and amount demanded. There is no such thing as “meeting” demand. Also, in standard economics models, in a mature, competitive market in equilibrium, there is no profit. If farmers were selling corn for more than it costs to grow it, more people would enter the corn-farmer field and drive prices down. If the government were to give a corn subsidy, the subsidy would be competed away, and passed on to consumers. Even in a monopoly, a subsidy will increase the amount sold. You can go through the math, or you can trust people who have actually studied economics, rather than spouting off on things you don’t understand.

              • baal

                You’ve fallen into the trap of pure theory econ. and are missing real world issues like barriers to entry. I also categorically deny your gratitous insults.

                • UWIR

                  I was quite careful to acknowledge that this is the standard economic model. If you think that there are some special effects at play, then the burden of proof is on you to show how. Just tossing economic terms around isn’t an argument. Supply curves are generally upward sloping. That’s a fact of pure theory, and one that holds in the vast majority of empirical situations. Not only does the market as a whole have an upwards sloping supply curve, so do individual firms, so “barriers to entry” don’t change the general trend. In fact, as I asserted before, even in a complete monopoly, subsidies increase amount sold. Instead of presenting a reason for why you disagree with that, you simply denied it through a bare assertion. My statements are criticisms, not insults, are they are not gratuitous. You are using economic terms incorrectly and you are denying basic economic principles. You are speaking with an authoritative tone, but you give every impression that you don’t know what you’re talking about. It is entirely appropriate for me to call you out on that.

          • 3lemenope

            Oddly enough, probably not (at least, not after an initial spike). Lamborghinis are a classic example of Veblen goods; their desirability as a good (and hence demand) is driven primarily by the price, rather than vice-versa.

            • UWIR

              There’s certainly some Veblen effect going on, but there’s clearly some intrinsic value to a Lamborghinis. But if you’re really hung up with that, substitute some other good.

          • Glasofruix

            That’s completely true in the magical world of Narnia (or Adam Smiths’), but in reality the widgets are sold at the highest price possible using tricks such as production control or market segregation, a high demand does not require lower prices either, if anything they tend to go up. Theoretical models rarely show real world market behaviour.

            • UWIR

              The phrase “highest cost possible” cannot be assigned any coherent meaning, other than the price is raised so high that only one unit is sold. So either you are seriously claiming that no company sells more than one of any product, or you’re just posting meaningless comments. Products are not sold “at the highest price possible”, they are sold at the price that maximizes net revenue. That’s not how things work in “Narnia”, that’s how things work in any world in which people are even remotely rational. A decrease in the input cost for a product lowers the optimal price. I’m not sure what you mean by “production control or market segregation”. If that is your confused attempt to invoke the concept of price discrimination, that makes no sense. If a monopoly manages perfect price discrimination, then they will sell to everyone who is willing to pay more than the input costs. If the input costs go down, then the number of people willing to pay more than the input costs will go up, and the company will sell more units. That is basic common sense.

              I never said a high demand requires lower prices. In fact, I said that the phrasing “high demand” constitutes a misuse of the term “demand”. Your phrase “if anything they tend to go up” is quite ambiguous.

              Your last sentence is just plain silly, especially in this context. Sure, theory doesn’t always predict the real world perfectly, but to pretend, as you and baal are, that any argument can be dismissed with “that’s just theory”, is pathetic. I could just as well say that you guys’ claim that companies just pocket all additional profit is your theory, and doesn’t show real world behavior.

    • Artor

      Any payroll they pay out is also cutting into their profits. It’s religious discrimination that they aren’t allowed to use slave labor!

  • GeraardSpergen

    Wouldn’t there have to be some kind of a Lemon test to determine which beliefs are firmly held religious convictions and which are unsubstantiated cost saving measures? Wouldn’t Hobby Lobby’s lawyers have to present that test to the Supremes? I can’t imagine any test that would pass a Constitutional review. I’ll bet that the SCOTUS determines that health insurance is a benefit just like salary and employers can’t decide how employees use it any more than they can decide how they spend their personal money.

  • Scarlet Letter J

    I’d have more sympathy for Hobby Lobby and their supposed ‘moral objections’ if they weren’t importing the majority of their products from China. You remember China, who regularly violates its peoples civil rights and forces abortions as population control. F*ck HL and their imaginary friend.

  • Guest

    According to Justice Scalia, your religious views to not give you “a private right to ignore generally applicable laws”.

    Then again, that was when he was deciding on *someone else’s* religious views. It’ll be interesting to hear him ignore his own precedents in addition to the many others from the past in deciding on this manufactured controversy.

    • baal

      Lucky for Scalia that the “generally applicable laws” already are consistent with catholic practice.

  • Daniel Miller

    According to Justice Scalia, your religious views do not give you “a private right to ignore generally applicable laws”.

    Then again, that was when he was deciding on *someone else’s* religious views. It’ll be interesting to hear him ignore his own precedents in addition to the many others from the past in deciding on this manufactured controversy.

    • Artor

      Scalia has no problem with being a hypocrite on this and many other issues. I just hope he’s not in the majority on this case.

      • 3lemenope

        Scalia’s policy desires may conflict with Scalia’s ego in this case, since the decisions he’d be shredding are his own (and not obscure ones, either).

        • The Captain

          He’s had no problem doing that before though. If I remember he wrote an opinion in a death penalty case where we said that the opinions of other countries should never have any bearing on any US legal decision. Then in Bush V Gore he cited how other countries would view the US as a reason for ruling the way he did.

          • 3lemenope

            Yeah, but Bush v. Gore is a bad example to use for all things; it was such an outlier (starting with the court flagrantly violating the political question doctrine and going from there) in every way that it is utterly useless as an example for any sort of trend or prognostication. Didn’t the decision even say (in so many words) that it should not be treated as precedential (IIRC, something along the lines of the decision being expressly limited to the circumstances and fact pattern present in the case)?

            • The Captain

              Very true, I just used something off the top of my head. He has used double reasoning in other cases I just didn’t feel like looking them up.

              • 3lemenope

                A good example for this sort of thing (at least one that personally pisses me off) is his concurrence in Gonzalez v. Raich, in which he desperately tries to argue he isn’t reaffirming Wickard and flushing Lopez and Morrison down the proverbial toilet.

                Interestingly enough, Thomas was the one with integrity on that decision.

        • Daniel Miller

          Scalia’s already shown a willingness to shred his own precedent when it comes to LGBTQ civil rights issues, where he’s argued that personal religious views *do* give you a right to ignore non-discrimination laws.

          • 3lemenope

            That’s a good, if depressing, point.

  • ahermit

    i forget who said it first, but I agree with the sentiment; “I’ll
    believe that corporations are people when Texas executes one…”

  • Opinionated Catholic

    “That the Supreme Court thinks this is a case worth hearing is frightening ”

    There is a major Circuit Split and more are developing. They have in reality no choice but to hear the case

  • Frank H

    I work for a company with Jeahovah’s Witness managers, that is very scary if things like this are passed by the supreme court, could mean people would be in danger if they need a blood transfusion.

    • Opinionated Catholic

      Doubtful and again pre August 2012 there are few cases people can find that Witness’s brought such claims to Court in hardly in any numbers

      • James Stevenson

        Is it doubtful though? What’s the difference really? In both cases you could argue that they are ‘sincerely held religious beliefs’. What about sects that call medicine a load of bull and accept only prayer healing? If you basically say that the owners religious preferences take precedence over everything there’s really no distinction.

        ‘I believe birth control is morally wrong because its a denial of life and that is my sincerely held religious belief so I won’t subsidise it’

        ‘I believe that only the power of God can heal the sick, and it is through prayer that we ask for his intercession and so I won’t subsidise immoral medicine’.

        How is one a sincerely held religious belief and not the other? Why would one be applicable and not the other?

      • Frank H

        The issue is not if they will, but the issue is that they can if they would choose to.

  • Opinionated Catholic

    ” What if a business owner is a Jehovah’s Witness who doesn’t believe in blood transfusions? ”

    Where exactly are these tons of cases of Jehovah Witness Business owner going to court in the Dark ages ( pre August 2012 ) not wanting to pay for Blood Transfusions for employees on insurance. People are having a hard time finding them. By the way has anyone bothered to ask if this a rule of general morality that the Witness hold or just for members of their sect.

    That being said this is a pretty valid claim under the Religion Freedom Restoration Act at least to be heard. The Affordable Care Act could have been exempted from he Religion Freedom Restoration Act but was not. I have my own theories on why that was not done.

    Still ti seems most folks problems here ( outside the standing issue ) is that ACT. If people don’t like it repeal it. Congress can do that and by the way Congress can still exempt The Affordable Care Act from it provisions

    • Spuddie

      There is no valid claim under RFRA because there is no such thing as corporate religion.

      Where are the tons of cases illustrating a corporate religious right of free exercise? It does not exist. You are arguing for the right of a company to avoid compliance with laws the government has a legitimate interest in controlling by claiming “religious reasons”. That is not even available to individuals, even under the RFRA.

  • Opinionated Catholic

    “But no one is asking him to violate his faith. No one is forcing him to
    do anything that violates his beliefs. I’m sure my own employers have
    their precious religious beliefs, too, but when they hand me a paycheck,
    they don’t get to control what I do with that money. If they don’t like
    how I spend it, too damn bad. But Green believes he should have that
    control; he wants to dictate what health care options his employees have”

    The owners of Hobby Lobby are not telling people what to do with their paycheck. Nor are they denying access. People are free to buy all the OTC birth control they want or get it various other Subsidized Govt programs

    • baal

      They are demanding that their employees follow their religion. The fact that they do so via controlling the health care insurance package to an illegal degree only adds to the wrongfulness of exporting their religion onto other non-consenting people.

    • Derrik Pates

      Health insurance is a benefit of employment just like one’s paycheck is. Why do you think you should be able to say how an employee uses their health insurance, but not their paycheck? It’s the same thing. Health care decisions should be between the beneficiary and their doctor – the business owner should have no say, and no insight.

      Unless you’re going to at least be consistent, and insist that the employees of Catholic-owned businesses submit bank and credit card statements so the owners can verify they’re not using it in any way that contravenes Catholic teachings, you should perhaps reconsider your argument.

    • Spuddie

      Yet he is asking all of his employees to abide by his faith to their own detriment. Somehow an employer’s religious exercise being more important than anyone else or even the law. One does not practice their religious beliefs by attacking the rights of others.

      Hobby Lobby is willfully disobeying a law mandating that their health insurance carriers cover contraception. They have no legitimate excuse for doing so. Could Mr. Green’s religious convictions allow him to discriminate from hiring Muslims and Jews (and violate various anti-discrimination laws?) Of course not. But that is the argument you want to make.

  • Opinionated Catholic

    From the article “The privately held company does not object to funding other forms of
    contraception — such as condoms and diaphragms — for their roughly
    13,000 employees, which Hobby Lobby says represent a variety of faiths.”

    I would like some clarity on this. From my understanding the Hobby Lobby has no problems and indeed provides coverage for 16 of the 20 FDA Approved Preventive contraceptives required in the mandate .

    That seems to be covering a lot more than Condoms and diaphragms and thus the article is a tad misleading. A CYNIC would say that poll numbers start to drop in some cases if one is talking ” morning after ” etc instead of just generic birth control

    • Spuddie

      The real issue here is why does Hobby Lobby feel it can disobey the law concerning health coverage?

      The law states contraception is a mandatory bare minimum element to health coverage. They don’t have a choice. You don’t get to opt out of regulatory mandated minimal coverage when you get any kind of insurance policy. Its like using religious belief to opt out of the liability portion of your auto insurance. You can’t.

      There is certainly no such thing as corporate religious practice. Nor is free exercise a right used against others. Your religious belief cannot be used to attack the rights of others.

  • Seth Williamson

    The best finding that could come of this case is “Thanks for bringing up that whole exemption for religious organizations thing Hobby Lobby. We had a look and decided it is bogus. Exempting religious organizations from an expense that is mandated on all other employers is tantamount to subsidizing their bottom line, which violates the establishment clause.”

  • Derrik Pates

    I’ve said it before. An employer being able to decide how I use my health insurance is just as ridiculous as an employer being able to decide how I spend my paycheck. Hopefully the Supreme Court takes this and shuts them down once and for all. Of course, it’d be nice if there was more of a guarantee of that outcome.

  • Opinionated Catholic

    One final thing and SO not to troll I will just respond to any comments to me

    I just saw this at the end and missed it as to your post

    “What sort of awful boss asks the Supreme Court to change the law in order to make life more miserable for his employees?”

    Again that is not what is happening. We have two laws in conflict. Again Congress could have and well damn still could l exclude the Affordable Care act from the RFRA.

    It did not. ONLY CONGRESS CAN CAN EXCLUDE one of its laws from the Religious Freedom Restoration Act. A Rule making body of the Executive cannot .

    Thus the conflict.

    • Spuddie

      RFRA refers to an individual free exercise rights. A company has none.

      Congress doesn’t have to carve an exception for the ACA from the RFRA because there is no such thing as a recognized corporate religious practice. This is merely an attempt to attack the ACA by any means. The notion of corporate religion is inherently ridiculous.

    • baal

      “”What sort of awful boss asks the Supreme Court to change the law in order to make life more miserable for his employees?””
      &
      “We have two laws in conflict”

      Again, OC, you’re taking a legal defense to a moral issue. That makes you look like a monster.

  • tracy two crows

    Welcome to the return of de facto Slavery folks and the company store.If your employer says it’s against his beliefs to pay you in cash,you get stuck taking whatever they give you.Understand this whole mess has less to do with abortion and sex,and EVERYTHING to do with the “Gods bankers” cementing their Theocracy,taking everything from those they deem”un-godly”(us),and redistributing it to those they think are(them).complete with biblical slaves,US.The Dominionist agenda completed. Rushoony would be giddy about now to see his”Institutes of Biblical Law” being carried out to a “T”. Their incessant whines against Fascism only serve to remind us they DO indeed believe in it wholeheartedly,just on THEIR terms.Traitors.the lot of ‘em.STOP THE CHRISTIAN TALIBAN BEFORE IT’S TOO LATE!

  • Fiona Loper

    if you pay me for eight hours of my time, then I will give you eight hours of my time.. who the hell do you think YOU are that you have the right to control ANY aspect of my life outside of those 8 hours because of YOUR religious beliefs?

  • bananafaced

    If contraception (drugs) can be eliminated from an employees’ insurance benefits then drugs that enhance or augment a male ejaculation (Viagra,Cialis, etc) should also be eliminated as it seems that this lawsuit does not object to non-drug forms of contraception and the drugs that allow men to facilitate the process of conception should not be allowed either. …goose…gander?

  • J_Bob

    Not so ling ago, there was a phrase, in the 1930′s, something like “Volks Guden”, that is roughly, the people’s good.

    It was used by a political party to define what the people should do, in pretty much all facets of life, for the “people’s good”. And if you didn’t, there were special “camps” for you.

    So now we have a situation, where the basic rights to start a company, & run it with specified work rules, is being eroded to the whims of the government. Not that all companies are lily clean, but neither is the government, as recent news shows.

    Unfortunately history has shown that power corrupts, & controlling a person’s health, is a good way to control,

  • Carmen

    One of the (many) things that bugs me about this is that Hobby Lobby is factually and scientifically wrong when it calls birth control an abortifacient. Birth control pills are not abortion pills. Saying you “believe” it is doesn’t make it so. Imagine how far you could take this concept.

  • PhilinAZ

    Is it employer’s religious belief over employees, or liberal religious belief over employers. Who is forcing who to comply? Which scenario increases freedom?

  • Y. A. Warren

    Let all the religions sign pledges to pay lifetime expenses for all children born of parents who can’t afford their support and fund trusts to make sure this happens, based on real figures for childcare. Then let them drop the requirements to cover birth control.


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