Hobby Lobby: The Left Is Weeping Hot, Bitter Tears, and It Should

Hobby Lobby: The Left Is Weeping Hot, Bitter Tears, and It Should June 30, 2014

Andrew’s and Molly’s post reflecting the hysterical reaction on the Left to the Hobby Lobby decision makes for both entertaining and instructive reading.

It’s entertaining because — regarding the issue they claim to care most about, access to contraceptives — the decision blocks exactly no one from obtaining the drugs they choose to purchase. There’s just slightly less free stuff on the market. This is hardlyHandmaid’s Tale territory.

It’s instructive because it demonstrates the extent to which the Left is emotionally and ideologically committed to the power of the regulatory state. For some time, the Left has been selling the public and the courts on the notion that somehow the act of forming a corporation and opening for business operates as an effective waiver of your most basic liberties, including free speech, free exercise of religion, and virtually the entire panoply of property rights. In effect, your business is not “your” business at all, but instead all aspects of its operations exist at the whim of the state, and if the state wants to draft you into its child-killing abortion crusade — or wants to muzzle you during political campaigns – then you best salute and fall in line.

By holding that RFRA protects closely-held businesses, the Supreme Court upheld not just the plain meaning of federal statutes but also common sense. In fact, the Obama administration admits that nonprofit corporations can exercise religious-liberty rights, so is the problem the corporate form, or the intent of the corporation? Justice Alito, writing for the Court, notes the irony:

We see nothing in RFRA that suggests a congressional intent to depart from the Dictionary Act definition, and HHS makes little effort to argue otherwise. We have entertained RFRA and free-exercise claims brought by nonprofit corporations, see Gonzales v. O Centro Espírita Beneficiente União do Vegetal, 546 U.S. 418 (2006) (RFRA); Hosanna-Tabor Evangelical Lutheran Church and School v. EEOC, 565 U. S. ___ (2012) (Free Exercise); Church of the Lukumi Babalu Aye, Inc. v. Hialeah, 508 U. S. 520 (1993) (Free Exercise), and HHS concedes that a nonprofit corporation can be a “person” within the meaning of RFRA. This concession effectively dispatches any argument that the term “person” as used in RFRA does not reach the closely held corporations involved in these cases. No known understanding of the term “person” includes some but not all corporations. The term “person” sometimes encompasses artificial persons (as the Dictionary Act instructs), and it sometimes is limited to natural persons. But no conceivable definition of the term includes natural persons and nonprofit corporations, but not for-profit corporations.

The desire to make money does not act as a waiver of constitutional or statutory rights, nor is it morally suspect, but it certainly is indispensable to a system of free enterprise that all too many on the Left view as the enemy of “social justice.” As one of my colleagues at the ACLJ stated (full disclosure: We filed seven lawsuits against the mandate, filed an amicus brief in the Hobby Lobby case, have two mandate cases before the Supreme Court now, and have filed more than a dozen amicus briefs against the mandate nationwide), “If anything rivals the Left’s passion on the abortion issue, it’s their commitment to the regulatory state.”

When a case combines elements of both issues, for the Left a loss is cataclysmic. And if much of your public “argument” depends on creating a sense of cultural inevitability, then a dramatic halt to the latest leap forward of the allegedly unstoppable sexual revolution and regulatory state is a cause for leftist weeping indeed.

Read more on the Patheos Faith and Family Channel and follow David on Twitter.

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  • praxagora

    These posts are so inspiring in their depiction of faith and family

  • Sagrav

    And so it was that David French shows his Christian “love” by thirstily lapping at the imagined tears of those he despises.

    Meanwhile, Jesus wept.

  • Dorfl

    I guess it’s a waste of time to point out that plan B still isn’t actually an abortifacient.

  • Hal Duston

    ACOG opposed personhood measures because plan B has the potential to cause the destruction of an embryo in certain circumstances and would thus illegal to dispense. This destruction of an embryo is what the owners of Hobby Lobby, et. al. find objectionable, regardless of implantation occurring.

  • lizardofahaz

    Actually many of us are laughing our azzes off at you people for committing political suicide. I am especially because while I knew you were idiots this was beyond my wildest dreams. You have now managed to alienate most of what is left of your voter base and once solid members of your lower echelon workers are defecting to join the Democrats as well as angering enough swing voters you can now count on them hitting the polls to vote your sociopathic representatives out and get some rational people in their place. The GOP is now officially dead and no amount of money from the Nazi Koch boys will revive it…

  • lizardofahaz

    So “objectionable” they have invested money in the companies that produce the very measures they claim are against their religion…

  • Snooterpoot

    Absolute bull scat. Those of us on the left are not upset about not getting “free stuff.” We are angry because the Supreme Court has just gutted our right to freedom of religion.

    When a corporation can go into a voting booth, serve on a jury or go to jail I will believe it’s a person. Until then I just have to think that this Supreme Court has sold our government to the highest bidder and our right to individual liberty into the trash.

  • Folks making a living on the right side of the political spectrum, are so busy celebrating an “Obama defeat” that they can’t or won’t consider the consequences of this decision. Five Roman Catholic judges just made a decision that just so happens to be the current position of their church. What is their position on other issues? We already know that blood transfusions are still allowed despite that some religious folk find objectionable. My friends on the right – most of whom are deathly afraid of the “slippery slope” of any gun legislation are celebrating without concern for this slipperiest of slopes. Obama hatred has made some very blind, unthinking, sheeple.

  • David French

    Your religion requires other people to pay for your abortion pills? I’ve not heard of this faith. Perhaps you’re a member of the PCUSA. That’s the current religious home of death and hate.

  • Snooterpoot

    That is not what I said. Nice try at a straw man argument, though.

  • David French

    If you aren’t asserting an individual religious right to have other people pay for child-killing pharmaceuticals, then what “freedom of religion” are you talking about?

  • David French

    The Kochs are Nazis? I can always count on Patheos commenters to offer a refreshing dose of reasoned perspective. So now libertarian philanthropists are the same as genocidal fascists. Interesting.

  • Would you say our hot, bitter tears look something like this? http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/dam/assets/121107043957-39-election-best-1106-horizontal-gallery.jpg

    I don’t believe that my boss should be able to determine my healthcare treatment based on his or her beliefs. Furthermore, IUDs and Plan B haven’t been proven to be abortifacients.

  • ahermit

    Contraceptive coverage is not “free”; employees earn it with their labour.

  • Dorfl

    Plan B has the ‘potential’ to cause destruction of an embryo in the very broad sense that we can’t actually prove that it doesn’t do that in some small fraction of cases.

    My point is that the main mechanism of action for levonorgestrel is simply to delay ovulation, preventing an egg from being fertilised in the first place. Hobby Lobby et al claims that the mechanism of action is instead to prevent implantation. This is a straight up lie. While it’s theoretically possible that it might sometimes do that, we do know it’s not how it generally works.

    This is why the ruling is phrased so much in terms of hobby lobby’s beliefs. The court knows that their beliefs are factually incorrect, but doesn’t want to take a stand on the correctness of what they consider religious beliefs.

  • praxagora

    I love that your dishonesty extends so far…what are “abortion pills” exactly?

  • Snooterpoot

    Again, that’s a nice try at a straw man argument.

    My entire opinion as stated here is that the Supreme Court has now gutted an individual’s right to freedom of religion (which must include freedom from religion, or there is no freedom at all) and has substituted a corporate right instead. I think that tramples all over the First Amendment.

    This Supreme Court has said that corporations are people. It has samefully disregarded the rights of individuals so that the corporate buddies of the conservative Justices will fear no responsibility to the common good. I will believe corporations are people when one can walk into a voting booth, serve on a jury or be sent to jail.

    Your “child killing pharmaceuticals” argument is nothing but hyperbole. No one supports killing children. Period. Stop telling that lie.

  • lizardofahaz

    Fred Koch moved to Nazi Germany just before the start of WW2 and helped Hitler industrialized Nazi Germany. He also helped to build the chemical plants that manufactured the gases used in Hitler’s death camps. He was always a huge supporter of Nazi ideals and raised his sons to have the same “family values” he did.
    As for their “philanthropy” it is always self serving in nature and most is involved in their fake “think tanks” and political superPACs that are being used to subvert the proper workings of government. Fred Koch after his return fr4om Russia where he had been hiding until the political fascist like Prescott Bush could end the talk of prosecuting him for treason. He was also one of the original members of the John Birch Society and the Libertarian party both founded on the same values and the Nazi party….
    That makes you as a libertarian nothing more than a Nazi supporter…

  • Maine_Skeptic

    “It’s instructive because it demonstrates the extent to which the Left is
    emotionally and ideologically committed to the power of the regulatory

    Is that just the usual conservative rhetoric or do you actually believe that? Because it’s a false statement in a couple of ways. It isn’t just liberal Democrats who are concerned about the impact of this decision, and it has nothing to do with being pro-regulation. It’s difficult to see how you could honestly believe that, so you might flesh that out the next time you make that kind of sweeping generalization.

  • Donalbain

    Facts?! We don’t want none of those around here! Take your facts, and your science and go back to Russia!

  • Donalbain

    They should be grateful to their corporate masters. The fact that the proles dare to expect compensation for their labour is what is wrong with the USA. Poor people should be paying for the right to work!