Hobby Lobby: Deny religious freedom

The SCOTUS Hobby Lobby decision is better than two weeks old.  I withheld commenting on it until now, because 1.  “The Daily Show with Jon Stewart” would eventually make fun of it.  And 2. Robert Herold of “The Inlander” would eventually weigh in on it.  Of course of the latter, Mr. Herold gives us a number of SCOTUS decisions about what the “establishment” clause could be interpreted to mean by the various Supreme Court cases.  With the Hobby Lobby (corporation against covering birth control through insurance) case:  the original James Madison argument about individual religious freedom has been set aside.  Now, corporations should have this “religious freedom” and all the greed and abuse that can come with it as a consequence.  Thus, the Jason Jones riff on the Hobby Lobby SCOTUS decision, by appearing pantless on the stage.  The Jason Jones “corporation”… can have that sincerely held belief of going without suit pants.  As outrageous as it might seem to some or however offensive it might be regarded by others, when you look at what is possible through the current “religious freedom” argument, then Mr. Jones had actually nailed it.  What could you not do through the claim of “religious freedom,” to engage in all of the acts that would otherwise be deemed as immoral?  BP not cleaning up that oil spill that damaged the coastlines of Louisiana and etc. because it would have been against their “religious principles?”  Why not?  Capital One and other banks seeking redress from being heavily fined by the Federal Board of Consumer Protection, by arguing that their “religious freedom” is at the basis for obtaining some highly unethical and immoral profits.  “Religious freedom” as the basis for failing to comply with federal banking laws.  The SCOTUS allocated “freedom” to basically screw with your employees or customers, was made a done deal with the Alito majority opinion.

In today’s highly politicized religion, the first principle seems to be all about ignorance.  Yes, you can say of the Apostle Paul that he wanted Christian women to bear children for their own salvation.  However, had he known more about the medical factors behind women bearing too many children; would the Apostle Paul have truly argued that a woman was “saved” through dying in child birth?  Or would it have been possible, that his Christian argument really would have been about, “doing no harm?”  If men and women, bond and free are equal before Jesus; then the SCOTUS decision doesn’t uphold  an already existing biblical moral principle.  No more than Hobby Lobby would have intended to.  So, found in Robert Herold’s opinion column was this specific eye opening quote:  “Contraception is health care.  OCOS, cancer, endrometriosis,excessive bleeding (from which I suffer and for which the only treatment other than a hysterectomy for me was an IUD), irregular periods… all are treated with hormones delivered via contraception and/or the devices that [Hobby Lobby] objected to…”  From a letter to the editor by a reader of “The Economist.”  Of course there is more concerning this quoted letter, with regard to men getting their Viagra covered through insurance.  But the point is really about corporations or societies being allowed to create an inequality, that quite frankly the Apostle Paul was supposed to have objected to.  We aren’t all equal before God it seems, if men can have their personal vanities covered by insurance.  But women’s essential health care needs, ought not be covered at all. 

So let us continue the ignorance argument one step further, by the fact that letter writers to the Coeur d’Alene Press objected to various birth control measures (because the words birth control is something they have a religious objection to).  Apparently, doing the research and getting yourself educated isn’t an option for some people.  Just claim “religious freedom” as a reason to neither accept facts or evidence, such as was published in the letter to a magazine, partially quoted above.  That would also mean, not accepting the facts and evidence found in one’s own bible.

 I recall Solomon telling his readers, that you can’t take your wealth with you when you die.  It is a property that would ultimately be distributed to others.  Hobby Lobby is not a “person” who can die, it is a commercial enterprise that simply could go out of business at some point.  It is the individuals who are its CEOs, CFOs, board of directors down to managers and employees of a franchise business who could die, because we are all mortal here.  But the corporation would go on, as long as there is a compelling interest to maintain it.  But then, corporations were not known in Solomon’s time.  They are in fact a fairly new idea in the vast panoply of history.  But I am sure that if the modern era corporation did exist in the time of King Solomon, his comments about wealth being a property that you could not take with you upon death; he would regard as still relevant when it came to the people founding for profit commercial enterprises.  Especially if that profit came at the expense of customers or employees, it would still be a wealth you could not take with you when you died.  Even further, Jesus the Anointed One had no use for rich men.  So, what does that bode as news for Hobby Lobby where the CEO, CFO, board of directors use “religion” as a means to become more profitable, and at the expense of a select group of employees?  I am sure that the Jesus “they suddenly believe in” would disagree with their point of view.

Entitlements as defined more than forty years ago:  giving someone a title, a right, or furnishing the grounds to lay claim; is the SCOTUS decision re Hobby Lobby in a nutshell.  But to provide such an entitlement to Hobby Lobby is to deny a right to someone else.  Interesting that the GOP once called something like that “liberalism.”  Steal from Peter in order to pay Paul.  Until of course, it became the liberalism that Hobby Lobby could take advantage of.  Steal from Janice in order to achieve, even greater profits up the chain of command.

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