For most of this year, in post after post, we (along with about a million other folks, so we can’t take ALL the credit…) warned that the Obama Administration via Obamacare was coming after Religious Freedom, and was going to try to make it virtually impossible to both practice your faith AND operate your business.
Heck, that’s what that whole “contraception” battle really was. It wasn’t about access to condoms or the ‘pill’; it was about your faith being ruled out-of-bounds when it came to owning and operating your company.
And, yes, I of course heard that I was being “ridiculous”, …numerous times.
Yeah. Sure I was.
Fast forward to the “Hobby Lobby” lawsuit that is STILL going on right now.
Hobby Lobby is an Oklahoma-based arts and crafts chain founded by David Green and operated by Mr. Green, his wife Barbara, and their children, Steve, Mart, and Darsee.
Over 40 years ago, Mr. Green took out a $600 bank loan to start the business in his garage, and has built it into a multi-billion dollar success story, with over 500 stores in 41 states and more than 13,000 full-time employees. If this were not extraordinary enough, the Green family considers Hobby Lobby a ministry, and insists on running it in accordance with their evangelical Christian faith.
So, for instance, they provide chaplains and spiritual counseling for any employee who wants it; they offer a Christian conciliation program for workplace disputes; they take out hundreds of full-page newspaper ads every Christmas and Easter celebrating the religious meaning of the holidays; they do not carry products inconsistent with their beliefs, like shot glasses and risqué greeting cards and gory Halloween costumes; and, most famously, they close every one of their stores on Sunday, even though they lose millions by doing so.
So, as an article of their free practice of religion, the Greens operate their business according to their faith: no one is beaten or stoned, etc.,.. But they simply don’t wish to be told they have to provide a benefit which in their eyes is murder.
The Greens do not have a religious objection to contraceptives in general. But they do object to “emergency contraceptives” like the “morning after pill” (Plan B) and the “week after pill” (ella) because those drugs — as the FDA’s own birth control guide explains — can prevent the implantation of a fertilized egg in the womb.
For the Greens, like many Christians, that amounts to a chemical abortion. They cannot in good conscience offer those drugs in their health plan because they believe it implicates them in abortion.
For about the eight billionth time, no one is saying anything about denying someone contraception. We’re talking about the difference between facilitating and paying for something, vs. denying it to someone.
By way of an illustration, try this:
Let’s say you and I live in the same house, and I have a car and you don’t. We live about a mile out-of-town. You want to go into town & get drunk, so you ask me for $$$, AND to drive you into town and back home again. I don’t believe in drinking alcohol and say, “No. You want to go drink? No problem: walk, and use your own money”.
I’m not denying anything to you; I’m simply not paying for it, nor am I trying to make it easier for you to obtain it.
The extra point in that scenario is that we’re talking about the employer/employee relationship and the responsibilities that go along with that. That relationship is supposed to be a mutually benefiting one, however, not either side being a slave to the other’s demands.
All of which brings us back to the legality of Obamacare’s contraception mandate. The Obama Administration has an interesting argument against all this, and when I say “interesting”, what I really mean is: Scarier-than-Helen-Thomas-without-makeup.
From Timothy P. Carney at the Washington Examiner:
The administration responded with an unsettling argument: The Greens aren’t protected by the First Amendment’s “free exercise” clause in this case because they operate a secular business. “Hobby Lobby is a for-profit, secular employer,” the Obama administration wrote in a brief, “and a secular entity by definition does not exercise religion.”
Part of the administration’s argument is that the mandate controls the corporation’s actions but it does not apply to individual owners.
So, people have First Amendment protections …as long as they don’t start businesses. If they do, and if they operate their businesses according with their own consciences, they “become laws unto themselves,” as the Obama administration puts it.
So this is who the Left has in mind when it says conservatives are trying to legislate morality: people who dare to follow their moral and religious beliefs, as opposed to a code devised by bureaucrats regulating a secular state.
If people want to adhere to their faith, they best stay quiet about it.
You elected him, America. Great job with that.
The battle of ideas we’ve been waging this year isn’t over by a long shot, the carping and crowing from the Left to the contrary. Actually, that just makes me chuckle. Get real: do YOU remember how Progressives/Liberals immediately abandoned all of their most deeply held beliefs and embraced Conservative ideology after Bush was re-elected in 2004, or Reagan in 1984?
Yeah, neither do I….
Which means, it’s time for us to go back to work. Our options ain’t all that great, after all: it’s fight the monstrosity of Obamacare, everywhere, or start packing for the Road To Serfdom right now.