Christian for-profit business owners must obey the same laws as everybody else. Will the discrimination ever stop?

In the wake of new legislation insisting that employers must provide healthcare to full-time employees, many business owners sought an exemption.  It wasn’t just that they believed they shouldn’t be bound by the same laws as everybody else.  No, they thought they shouldn’t be bound by the same laws as everybody else because their objections were religious.  Strange, no employer has ever tried to use this as a way to get out of the obligation to pay employees overtime.  Think of all the money a Christian business owner could save!

Anyway, a ruling just got handed down stating the obvious (which, sadly, must be fought for): it doesn’t matter if you’re a Christian, you still have to obey the law.

A U.S. appeals court ruled Tuesday that a for-profit manufacturing corporation must cover birth control in its employee health plan despite the religious beliefs of the company’s owners.

The decision from the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals represents a victory for the Obama administration in a series of ongoing fights over the contraception policy, which critics see as a violation of religious freedom.

Queue cries of discrimination.  Business owners shouldn’t have to spend money on things that are opposed to their religious beliefs.  Yes, they should.  If a Jehovah’s Witness business owner doesn’t want to provide health coverage that has to do with blood transfusions, too fucking bad.  If a Christian Scientist (*shudders at the dishonesty of that title*) business owner doesn’t want to provide any healthcare because their faith doesn’t believe in going to doctors, too fucking bad.  If your beliefs run contra to established reality, you don’t get exemptions from laws based upon reality.

  • Zinc Avenger

    I hear Christians all about peace, but they have no problem with their taxes being spent on bombs.

    • B-Lar

      Praise the lord and pass the ammunition…

    • Stev84

      “Do not think that I came to bring peace on Earth; I did not come to bring peace, but a sword.” — Jesus

      • busterggi

        Jesus wasn’t a member of the NRA? Shocking!

    • Christine

      I would point out that most of the people who are withholding taxes as their form of protest are also the ones petitioning about how taxes are allocated.

  • iknklast

    I have heard that argument about pharmacists; they shouldn’t have to violate their principles. No, they shouldn’t. They should have the right to go into some other business, and not be forced to be pharmacists. Oh, wait, they have that right.

    You make a contractual agreement with the community when you open up a business. It’s often an understood contract, but you agree to follow the laws of that community. If you don’t like them, you have the same rights as everyone else – vote for people that will change them. But if more people vote for those who make the laws you don’t like, then you might still be stuck with them, as long as the laws do not violate the Constitution. And the Supreme Court already rang in on that one with Obamacare – it does not violate the Constitution.

    • 23cal

      I’m stealing your first paragraph to use without attribution.
      Thank you. I owe you one.

  • Jeff

    Thank you for using correct terminology on this subject.

    Corporations are not “christian” because they are abstract legal constructs that are incapable of holding religious beliefs. The owners of a corporation (or company or whatever) may all be christians, but the business itself isn’t because it can’t be. It’s the same reason why we don’t refer to a business as being blue-eyed, even if every single owner has blue eyes.

    • randomfactor

      Or a nation as “Christian” because a majority of its residents identify that way.

  • vincent findley

    Now that business owner stops offering healthcare bennys to the employees, which is his or hers right. They will now take the penalty which is cheaper than offering the benny to employees. Now because fo our fucking moron of a president ( I didn’t think anybody could be worse than Jimmy Carter ) employees are now getting cut to less than 30 hrs a week so these companies don’t have to offer it. If the national news has been followed 80% of new hires are part time. Makes a lot of fucking sense don’t you think?

    • phantomreader42

      So, vincent, your solution to this is to allow christianist morons to ignore any laws they find inconvenient? Would you allow ANYONE to ignore the law on religious grounds, or only members of YOUR sick death cult?

    • baal

      benny (and the jets)

      • vincent findley

        Now Smrnda!! This person is being very immature!! You Godless Heathens are fucking hilarious.

        • baal

          Any time you’d like to stop laughing at your own awesomeness and get some perspective would be good. Be warned, if you knew just how clueless and unable to self reflect you are, you’d be ashamed.

          Your point is a barely intelligible regurgitation of talking points that has a tiny amount of truth and huge amount of spin / bias. Given that arglebargle, the best reply is to be similarly inane. Hence the poking at “benny”.

          For example, our president is not a moron. The ACA (obamacare) is warmed over romneycare and is originally from a right wing think tank (heritigefoundation). The design was also strongly influenced by congress. You can’t place all of the responsibility for its flaws at Obama’s feet.

          • vincent findley

            Huge amount of truth. you all will find that out soon enough when your hours get cut back at work so the employer doesn’t have to pay the bennies, bennys and beignets. Also part time hiring will be the new norm. The days of company contributed health care bennys are over. Don’t start whining when you can’t take your family to a Dr. because of the slightly discounted health care offered to you by O’bummercare. The percentage of full time empoyees in the work force will be at an all time low 3mos after O’bummercare is fully implemented. If another liberal gets in in 2016, we mine as well walk around with a jar of vasoline taped to our ass cracks.

          • baal

            You: “Obamacare sucks”
            Me : “It’s details are set by congress – lots of republicans there and democrates – and the president.
            You: “You will be anally raped by Obamacare”*
            Me: (in this very comment) “please see my prior response as well as the prior thread in the sidebar. You know the one that’s listed as the #1 most popular blog post on wwtjd.”

            Just a day or two ago I heard Boehner or maybe Cantor or some right wing blow hard was say we should blame the president for the low popularity numbers on Obamacare (even though almost every part of it has huge support from the same polees). The same individual would also lie about that Act. So his argument boils down to, “nevermind my lying, the other side failed to make me look like a liar so it’s all his fault.”

            Roight! I’ve played Knifey-Spooney before. It’s the liar’s fault for lying. Thanks for playing.

            * oh look, a fear based argument. You could have put up a rational argument to the same end but you didn’t. Instead, you chose to push the emotional fear button. It’s usually an effective tactic but it just annoys me and flags you as a person with out morals.

          • islandbrewer

            If you want to remove the ACA, you’re basically saying that you don’t want the otherwise uninsured to have any health coverage. You’d rather they have no health insurance at all. “Fuck the sick and injured! I want asshole employers to have no excuse to cut teh jobs,” says vincent finley. Fine, we know where you stand on caring for others. You’re right up there with people who want to keep condoms out of Africa.

            Jobs where people are already offered health coverage, still get it, and it’s the same, but typically cheaper (due to ACA provisions that force providers to limit the percentage of non care costs in their premiums). My wife and I both got checks from our healthcare provider recently (not a lot, but hey). Neither of us were laid off, or had hours reduced, nor were either of our employers engaged in switching over to part time employment. The only employers who threatened to do things like this were right wing assholes (much like yourself, in fact).

            Funny how you’re not blaming them.

          • vincent findley

            Just give it time, it’s already starting. Do you follow national news or just stick with this atheist orgy stuff on these sites?

          • islandbrewer

            Ah yes, the “HAHA, just you wait! You’ll see! Then I’ll have the last laugh!” response.

            Do you cackle insanely while you type, too.

            I won’t hold my breathe waiting for you to back up your assertions.

            By the way, how’s breaking car windows and stealing change working out for you?

          • islandbrewer

            You know, the thing that kills me is this. You get a moderate republican with a (D) after his name elected, and he wants to do something about healthcare. He fears obstructionist congressional republicans (with (R)s after their name), so he ameliorates them.

            He gets a pro-corporate, pro-industry healthcare plan created by a right wing think tank (the Heritage Foundation), and one that’s been passed by a moderately popular Republican governor, with moderate success. On top of that, he circulates the plan to the congressional republicans. He takes out things they don’t like, and puts in things they want. He redefines bipartisan compromise to mean “totally rolling over and giving them what they whine for.”

            And you’d think that would pass muster with the Republicans, don’t you. No, it barely passes, and the republicans are so outraged that someone with a (D) after their name has passed anything like this that they try to repeal it and “defund” it multiple times, and the president gets called a communist and socialist.

            Fuck the obstructionist Teapublicans. Their only joy is to bring misery to everyone else.

    • smrnda

      You seem to be suggesting that employers are out to screw workers. No joke, that’s been true from day one.

      Instead of faulting the law, why not fault these greedy employers who will find any loophole to get out of having to pay anything but poverty wages with no benefits? It isn’t like workers weren’t kept at below full time before the ACA – employers used that in order to *pretend* they offered health care while most f their workers were ineligible.

      “healthcare bennys” health care access is a life and death matter. Try using language that’s a little less immature sounding.

    • islandbrewer

      Hurray! From our mutual disappointment, we must have reached the same conclusion!

      We’re both in favor of government sponsored single-payer healthcare for everyone!

      Glad you finally see the light of actual socialized medicine, and not the conservative pro-corporate (ACA) version of healthcare from the Heritage Foundation!

    • Kubricks_Rube

      Now that business owner stops offering healthcare bennys to the employees…

      An option that belies the claim of being “forced” to provide contraception coverage, but moving on.

      80% of new hires are part time

      This number (or at least the way you’re using it) comes from Christopher Conover. However,

      His data comes from a monthly survey of 60,000 households. That may sound like a lot, but it’s small enough that no change in employment less than 436,000 people is statistically significant. Combined with his method, the volatility produces extreme yet insignificant results.

      When we zoom out and look at a graph of the number of full-time and part-time jobs, we don’t see Conover’s claimed surge.

      It’s indistinguishable from noise. Another way to see why his method is misleading: Consider how his ratio has popped and dropped over the last decade. It’s so volatile that there have been 20 six-month periods since 1968 with a similar part-time surge. There’s something pretty clearly wrong with his method.

    • Baby_Raptor

      It’s “benefits.” Or if you insist on sounding stupid, “bennies.” Grammar sure is hard!

      • smrnda

        I thought ‘bennies’ was beatnik slang or benzedrine…

      • vincent findley

        Sorry oh grammarian one, our slang in RI is a tad different than your perfected part of the world.

        • Baby_Raptor

          Slang is different words. Not different forms of words. Knocking it out of the park, aren’t we?

          • vincent findley

            slang- very informal usage in vocabulary and idiom that is characteristically more metaphorical, playful, elliptical, vivid, and ephemeral than ordinary language. Survey says!! “wrong answer”.

      • b33bl3br0x

        aren’t “bennies” those fried pastry things?

        Oh wait no those are beignets

  • smrnda

    The *fucking BIBLE* says you can choose to serve God or $$$ (Mammon.) These “Christians” by operating for profit businesses, are deciding to serve $$$, so they can follow the rules that all other money-grubbing businesses have to follow.

    A business is an abstract legal entity (as said before me) which cannot have religious beliefs anyway, so it’s just an attempt by Xtians to bring back the Company Town. What’s next, paying workers in “Jesus Money” that you an only redeem at Xtian merchants who don’t sell naughty things like porn or books by Richard Dawkins, since otherwise workers might spend their compensation on something the owner doesn’t approve of?

    The other thing is, it is the labor of employees that creates the revenue in the first place; work isn’t a hand-out, it’s mostly exploitation.

    • Gehennah

      But the Republicans say businesses are people too.

      Or at least that’s what I’m waiting to hear.

    • storm

      Your mistake in the first line is that it assumes Christians read the Bible or at the very least, know what it actually says.

  • f_galton

    Get employers out of health care by ending the tax exclusion for employer-provided health insurance.

    • randomfactor

      And expanding medicare to all.

      • f_galton

        I don’t think that’s a good idea. Let individuals purchase their own insurance and medical care.

        • CanuckAmuck

          And if they can’t afford it – fuck ‘em! Just like in crappy countries everywhere!

          Seriously – wank to Rand, much?

          • f_galton

            Removing the tax subsidy for employer sponsored insurance would change nothing for poor people. Try thinking instead of emoting.

          • phantomreader42

            So, since things are already shitty for poor people, and you’re proposing a “solution” that by your own assertion would not change anything for them, you WANT things to be shitty for poor people, because you are a shitty person.

          • f_galton

            I want to end a tax subsidy so employers are not involved in health insurance. Employers and health insurance is the topic being discussed. Solutions for the poor are are a separate thing.

        • smrnda

          How about we rule out solutions that have never been tried anywhere and instead implement solutions that have actually worked in other countries. I’m not interested in health care solutions that *might work* in the *theoretical frictionless libertarian market*. If I don’t get health care, I die pretty quickly (within a short time) and my life isn’t worth an ideological aversion to government intrusion in the (market == rich people dictating conditions to everyone else.)

          • f_galton

            It’s tried right here. Lots of people purchase their own health insurance.

          • Rob

            In the country that has the highest medical cost for the worst outcomes, that here?

          • f_galton

            Individuals purchasing their own health care will lower costs, and US outcomes are not a result of health care or our health care system.

          • baal

            you must be a libertarian
            Merely having everyone trying to buy health care might work if the healthcare services could be sold in strip malls. We don’t have that. Most care comes from 1-3 large profit (or non-profit in some states) insurers (yes insurers since they limit the care you get). Things like CT scanners are also so expensive that the strip mall won’t have them. Structure aside, market forces can only act if you have effective choice and the prices (and outcomes) are known to you. They aren’t. For these and other reasons, your market forces idea is rejected as not feasible.

          • f_galton

            I’m not a libertarian. You don’t know what you are talking about and you seem to have a strip mall fixation.

          • baal

            Best thing about strip malls is that they are all clothing optional.

          • Rob

            Really? That’s why one payer systems have lower costs everywhere, there’s no effect by the system. uh huh. pull the other one, it’s got bells on.

          • f_galton

            They also have long waits and lower quality health care.

          • smrnda

            The evidence that I’ve seen abroad suggests this is false, as well as actual statistical evidence.

            If the US has lower health care outcomes, we must be doing something wrong. If other countries have better health care outcomes, then they either do not really have longer waits and lower quality care, or else the metrics for assessing such things is not really tied to any meaningful measure of health outcomes.

            When it comes to anything, copy the current winners is a pretty solid strategy. Back when Japan realized it was behind, that’s what they did. Our problem in the US is our belief that ‘uniquely American’ solutions work, despite not working here and never being tried elsewhere.

          • f_galton

            US outcomes are worse for reasons having nothing to do with health care.

          • smrnda

            Well, I kind of do agree since health outcomes correlate pretty strongly with income, and it’s perhaps less health care per se as it is lifestyle factors that influence health.

          • f_galton

            Forced labor could be used to reduce obesity. That’s a joke. Maybe.

          • baal

            A few hours in my dungeon and I could teach you to be less of a jerk galton.
            Know what actually prevents obesity in the first place? Adequate income and cheap & easy access to healthy foods (and the education to understand why to eat it). I think the government should give out healthy food and teach cooking it in school.

          • f_galton

            I think you should go teach some poor fat people not to eat at McDonald’s four times a day.

          • baal

            You say that like they have the means to do better.

          • smrnda

            Evidence please. I can say something *will* have some effect (in the future) or I can claim that current failures are *in no way connected* to something, but that’s just argument by assertion without evidence.

          • f_galton

            There have been large scale studies. Even if you desire socialized medical care it’s a good idea to end the tax subsidy for employer provided insurance until that happens.

  • Stev84

    The whole POINT of creating certain corporations like limited liability companies is to create a distinct legal entity from the owner. So a business simply isn’t identical to the owner and can’t share his religious beliefs.