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There are two things I just don’t get about the Hobby Lobby case.  

Number one, Hobby Lobby covers birth control under its existing health plan.  What it appears to object to is that it is required to cover certain forms of birth control, like Plan B, that it deems an abortifacient.  The problem is that, at least based upon science, Plan B does not act as an abortifacient.  I know that there are sometimes broader questions being argued by a case than the facts themselves, but, don’t the facts play a part?  Wouldn’t something that was found to be factually incorrect make the case moot in any other context?  Suppose I have a religious belief that limiting the caloric intake for children to just enough to keep them alive is beneficial for their health and helps their religious faith because they learn gratitude to God for what little they have.  If my actions, based upon my exercise of religion, don’t have to have any basis in fact, wouldn’t that be enough for me to claim an exemption from abuse and neglect laws because it was my “sincerely held religious belief” that I was helping my child, despite all medical evidence to the contrary?  Would the fact that what I was doing was harmful and not beneficial enter into the discussion?  Or if I claim a religious belief, can I just do whatever I want regardless of whether it has any basis in reality?  That seems to be the case here.

See my other quandary below the orange sideways question mark.

Number two, am I the only one who finds Hobby Lobby’s religious principles a little suspect?  They claim to be against abortion and for that reason, their corporation can’t provide for coverage for employees to use those birth control methods that they claim would violate those principles.  I have to wonder, though, where those principles are in evidence when it comes to stocking the merchandise they sell.  Most of it is made in state-run or state-sanctioned factories in China. This is the same Chinese state that has no problem whatsoever coercing its citizens into having abortions against their will to enforce its one-child policy.  Why would a company that finds abortion so morally abhorrent buy most of their inventory from a country that not only allows abortion, not only encourages it, but actually performs it against the will of their own citizens?

I recognize that the second issue will not be argued in Court, unfortunately, mainly because we have to dance around things deemed “sincere religious beliefs” and how people chose to live those beliefs.  It’s the same dance that occurs when someone claims “religious freedom” not to provide service for someone who is gay or lesbian.  No politician is going to point out that that same merchant has no problem providing service to the divorced, adulterers, fornicators, etc.  The fact that sincere religious beliefs can be subject to picking and choosing and not even consistent within the faith the person espouses seems to be perfectly okay.  And it seems to be perfectly okay that the person can claim a religious exemption, even as they violate their own beliefs in every other area of their religion when running their business.

So, how did this case not get thrown out of court, and how is justice served when material facts seem not to matter at all?  And how can someone claim their faith informs all their business activity, except when, you know, they decide it doesn’t?

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Comment Preferences

  •  It's OK If You're an Owner nt (7+ / 0-)

    We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

    by Gooserock on Tue Mar 25, 2014 at 02:39:40 PM PDT

  •  I hope the SC took this to settle a point of law. (5+ / 0-)

    Maybe they can apply logic to the illogical. Can Hobby Lobby refuse to pay me if they don't approve of the way I spend my money? I don't give enough to the charities of their choice? I buy porn, or liquor, or science books?

    Roberts is not always completely a tool of the right wing. Yes, he's a tool of the corporations, but HL may not be on the A list of favored entities, especially when put next to the insurance companies and the money they stand to gain or lose. now that's something this court cares about.

    We're screwed...

    •  My take - (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      lightarty, thanatokephaloides

      This SCOTUS is going back to the days before the New Deal, where the contract is sacred and government has no power to interfere.  Minimum wage laws, 40 hour work weeks, all the other restrictions prohibiting a willing employer and supposedly willing worker from cutting a deal are suspect.

      They view the Hobby Lobby case as the government refusing to let Hobby Lobby hire workers who are willing to put up with their second-rate health plan.

      So, no - Hobby Lobby couldn't refuse to pay you if they think you will spend the pay on sin.  They already have a contract with you.

      They can fire you  afterwards, but that's true today.

  •  I don't really think facts matter to this court. (5+ / 0-)

    The Voting Rights Act case turned on made up facts.

    And I guess hypocrisy is not a bar to getting your desires before this court.

    Hey, Republicans, the whole world is watching.

    by TAH from SLC on Tue Mar 25, 2014 at 03:02:43 PM PDT

  •  I'd respond in the following way (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    voicemail

    Number one, liberties such as freedom of speech, freedom of religion, and freedom of conscience should be understood as making it permissible for people to think and act even if they are completely wrong.  Freedom of religion, for example, means that government doesn't determine between good and bad religion.  People should have some freedom to exercise religion, even if it leads to bad outcomes.  Government should have power to make laws over certain parts of society, whether those laws are good ideas or not.  The question is where the boundaries of power lie.

    Number two, by your logic, shouldn't Hobby Lobby seek to move out of the United States, a country where abortion is legal?  Should they seek to only buy goods from countries where abortion is illegal?

    Sincerity is a standard that is also used in determining who qualifies for conscientious objector status, so I would look for a similar interpretation with regards to what constitutes "sincere religious belief".

    •  I remember that there were companies that (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      AJayne, freerad

      wanted to claim the moral mantle in the 1980s who refused to do business with South Africa because they didn't want to be seen as supporting Apartheid.

      I would think that a company that found abortion so abhorrent that it would refuse to cover some forms of birth control for its own employees would have more than a moral qualm about dealing with state-run businesses in a country that used forced abortion as birth control.  Unless, of course, it's not about morality or religious belief, it's really about money and sticking it to the current (black) President.

  •  "So how did this case not get thrown out of court" (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Sylv, koseighty, JeffW, lightarty, freerad

    Because David Green and his family are extremely wealthy. They are rich beyond anything that any of us here at Daily Kos can even imagine. At that level of wealth they travel in a circle that is not open to us mere mortals. They are best friends with the most powerful politicians, they can spend tens of millions of dollars hiring the best lawyers on the planet. In turn these lawyers will get listened to in court because of their power and connections no matter how ridiculous or unmerited their arguments may be. They play the religion card and we are all expected to stand back in reverence and awe at the wealth, power and piety that is the Green family.

    That is what extreme wealth buys you in this country.

  •  religious belief trumps all. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JeffW

    When it comes to religion, logic never applies or counts. Hobby Lobby knows nothing about the Chinese and their birth control.
    And when it comes to faith, I have yet to see much tolerance of other thought on anything. Beware all true believers- they will surely attempt to bend anything to their way of thinking always, and will never change.

    Right many are called, and damn few are chosen.

    by Idaho07 on Tue Mar 25, 2014 at 05:07:58 PM PDT

  •  The problem with the SC siding with these (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    anon004

    claimed religious exceptions in how a business treats either the public (its customers) or its employees, who are not hired on the basis of their faith, is that the logic that would allow HL to discriminate against women of child bearing years who use BC could too easily be turned to refusing to hire people of different faiths or WOCY, to serve customers of different faiths, based on appearance, and then to race, and gender and ethnicity.

    Once the discrimination door is opened based on legal logic of the SC it will swing wider and wider.

    That is, I personally believe, the intent of these cases; to re-legalize racial and ethnic and gender discrimination.

    It might be illegal to have an abortion, but be legal to beat your child, or spouse to death for being disobedient, based on an interpretation of one's faith.  Kind of a religious stand your ground, open carry defense.

  •  I don't get it either (0+ / 0-)

    Great article!  I was wondering about that, too, as mentioned in my diary.  I am new here so please forgive me if we're not allowed to link to our diaries in our comments.

  •  That would have been quite a moment in court (0+ / 0-)
    I have to wonder, though, where those principles are in evidence when it comes to stocking the merchandise they sell.  Most of it is made in state-run or state-sanctioned factories in China. This is the same Chinese state that has no problem whatsoever coercing its citizens into having abortions against their will to enforce its one-child policy.  Why would a company that finds abortion so morally abhorrent buy most of their inventory from a country that not only allows abortion, not only encourages it, but actually performs it against the will of their own citizens?
    That's a Brilliant line of argument and would have blown the HL case out of the water, IMHO. I'd be interested to know from those versed in the dark arts of courtroom wrangling why that very salient point was not made during today's SC hearing.

    "It may be true that the law cannot make a man love me, but it can keep him from lynching me, and I think that's pretty important." Martin Luther King Jr.

    by Arabiflora on Wed Mar 26, 2014 at 12:06:22 AM PDT

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