Hobby Lobby, the Supreme Court Ruling, “Religious Freedom,” and a Few Thought Experiments


Well, the dust has yet to clear on the SCOTUS ruling in favor of Hobby Lobby. Via a 5 to 4 ruling, Hobby Lobby and corporate privilege under the guise of “religious freedom” in America win again. The main details of the entire situation are easy to find, so I will not beat that dead horse at the moment. Rather, I will hit the situation from a couple different angles. I know that at the moment many Christian Americans are drooling over the ruling and thanking god for the victory. I personally do not believe that this ruling will be to the benefit of individual religious liberty and will likely work against it in the long run. If anything, it solidifies a corporation’s right to prevent employees from asserting their own choices for medical care according to their own religious beliefs. This is a victory for a hypocritical corporation, not individual Christians. Yet, it does enforce the fact that in America, theocratic political interests (Christian in particular) still reign in practicality.

I will not get into the scientific data that suggests Hobby Lobby’s fight against providing several “day after” type birth control options are based on scientific ignorance. The fact that Hobby Lobby does not understand that a fertilized embryo doesn’t magically produce the moment a man and woman have sexual congress isn’t in the scope of this polemic. I will merely provide these related links and suggest you check them out:

Morning After Pills Don’t Cause Abortion Studies Say http://www.npr.org/blogs/health/2013/02/22/172595689/morning-after-pills-dont-cause-abortion-studies-say

The Science of “Plan B” -Emergency Contraception http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7Vozr9vHeMo

An important item of note is this… Though Hobby Lobby projects a strong conviction against certain forms of birth control, it appears that those convictions are only important within National boundaries. If you have ever visited a Hobby Lobby store, you have noticed that most of the crap they sell is made in China. Yes, the same China that has a “One Child Policy,” forced abortions, and all the “morning after” contraception options that Hobby Lobby objects to in the USA. Why would Hobby Lobby only object to contraception options that they would have to pay for their US employees to have, but be silent about those of their “proxy” employees and manufacturing base in China? Could Hobby Lobby not manufacture in the USA as well? Would the “faithful” not love to pay higher prices for USA made products for the sake of conscience? Why would Hobby Lobby not mind sending money to another nation’s employees and companies which provide such evil means of contraception (or even force them)? Can Hobby Lobby control what China does? Of course not. But, can Hobby Lobby move its product purchasing and manufacturing to our own country to ensure that it does not facilitate the use of any of the contraceptives they despise? Sure they could. Of course, Hobby Lobby doesn’t mind utilizing a manufacturing base to increase profits when convenient, though it conflicts with their strongly held convictions. Hobby Lobby also doesn’t mind reaping investment income from OTHER companies who deal in the contraceptives Hobby Lobby personally abominates either. See the story link below:

Hobby Lobby’s Hypocrisy: The Company’s Retirement Plan Invests in Contraception Manufacturers


Those items of note aside, I will pose a few simple thought experiments for those of you who glory in the decision today to test whether you truly support “religious freedom” for private corporations. These are particularly directed toward fundamentally inclined Christian believers who support Hobby Lobby in this current case.

1. Lets say that you (if you are a female) or a woman close to you work at a particular corporation. At some point, the CEO, board members, or related authorities in the company convert to fundamental Islam. They send out a memo that all women in the company will start wearing a Burqa to work to avoid immodesty and being a temptation to male co-workers. Do you say, “OF COURSE! I support my company’s religious freedom!” and put on your head-to-toe cloth sack with the same zest that you support Hobby Lobby today?

2. Say that you or a loved one are preparing to have a major, invasive surgery. Your doctor walks in and starts prepping for the surgery. You notice that his hands are filthy and say, “Hey! Aren’t you going to wash your hands before cutting me open?!” The doctor replies, “Um… No. Hand washing was not important to my Savior Jesus Christ. Didn’t you ever read the Gospels? To be obedient to Jesus, I only am concerned with my inner man being clean, not the outside. Now, let’s get you anesthetized so I can get down to business!” Would you just say, “You know what Doc? You’re right! I’m with you and Jesus and have faith that MY insides will also be clean when the surgery is over! I support your religious freedom!”

3. You are standing in line at a sub shop and telling the line worker how to make your sandwich. As he is tossing meat and veggies on your bun, he scratches his ass and goes back to sandwich production like nothing happened. You scream, “WHAT ARE YOU DOING!? I didn’t ask for butt-cheese on my sandwich! DON’T YOU KNOW THE STATE CODE ON HAND WASHING!?” The employee says, “Well, this rich, Christian doctor in town (the same guy from scenario 2) actually also owns this restaurant as a side business. His personal views are that you don’t need to wash your hands before eating. Jesus said it wasn’t important and that you should just focus on the inside and stuff. So, the boss doesn’t provide us with plastic gloves, we get a write up if we wash our hands, AND we don’t have sinks in the bathrooms for customers. He is so faithful, he doesn’t want ANYONE to disobey Jesus… his employees or his customers, even IF they aren’t Christians too! Cool huh?” -Do you just eat your sandwich, butt scratchings and all, while yelling, “GO RELIGIOUS FREEDOM FOR COMPANIES!! Yummy!”?

4. Last, you or your loved one are in a bad car accident and loose a life-threatening amount of blood. After an expensive blood transfusion is done, you find out that your Jehovah’s Witness owned company has a clause that forbids their insurance to cover transfusions. As you stare at the monstrous blood transfusion bill that you will be paying for, do you exclaim, “Praise God for America and religious freedom for companies!!”? I assert that if your answer to my questions at the end of each scenario is not, “Yes,” then you aren’t really for corporations’ and private businesses’ religious liberty in America. You are for the government enforcing OR ignoring laws that only affirm YOUR particular religious convictions while denying the liberty of others.

I am not a pro-abortion person. Yet, I would not deny a woman’s ability to choose to legally terminate a pregnancy in many cases either. I do not desire for the government to enforce my personal convictions on the matter at the expense of the liberty of others. Because of that, I am all for providing the tools that help prevent women from needing to make the choice between birth and abortion: sex education, easy access to birth control, and condoms, etc. Pro-life Christians have a habit of fighting against their own ends. They say, “Abortion is bad, BUT sex out of marriage is bad too! So, we should not make it easy to get birth control as that only entices people to have sex out of marriage.” Unfortunately that shortsighted mindset only adds to the numbers of women who will ultimately have to choose between keeping or terminating an unplanned pregnancy. That in turn adds to the actual numbers of abortions. So, if you are anti-abortion, all forms of non-abortifacient birth control are your friends, traditional and “plan B.”

Last, I will leave you with a link to the dissent by Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg on the SCOTUS ruling.

Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg trolls Scalia in blistering dissent of Hobby Lobby ruling


Gay Marriage Ban Overturned in Indiana! (for now) And This Former Homophobe is Happy About it!

Gay Marriage Ban Overturned in Indiana! (for now) And This Former Homophobe is Happy About it!

(click the link above for the Channel 13 story and video)

Great news LGBT friends and supporters of gay marriage! For now, the Indiana ban on gay marriage has been overturned by U.S. District Judge Richard Young. Since this is still Indiana, Attorney General Greg Zoeller will likely appeal today’s ruling and attempt to stay the ruling pending appeal. In the mean time, marriage licenses will be issued to gay couples.

As one who used to be against gay marriage and eventually came out of the dark ages ideologically, I am extremely happy with the current ruling. Congratulations to all those in Indiana who may now legally marry! And to all those who have fought the good fight for marriage equality, cheers to your hearty and victorious efforts!

If you are reading this and are still against gay marriage and/or the LGBT community at large, I implore you to read my story of changing my mind on the issue a few years ago. I think some of my past experiences may resonate with you. Click the link below for that previous blog post, “Confessions of a Former Homophobe.”