It's Sunday afternoon and I'm dreading work again...so what better way to pass the time between loads of laundry than to read a zillion blog posts on tumblr about the Hobby Lobby decision. To add another layer of emotion on an already fragile psyche, I suppose, I must write something about this ruling before I burst.
There are countless people citing religious freedom as the reason that Hobby Lobby is a purveyor of unmitigated righteousness. There are, also, countless photos of "morally upstanding" people picketing for the craft store's freedom to run their business with as much Bible-thumping as they want. In fact, I'm sure that Hobby Lobby will go down in history with the likes of Chick-fil-a and Curves as businesses that, to some, are on the "right" side of freedom for the American people and Capitalism.
I was probably a little more than shocked by the SCOTUS decision to allow Hobby Lobby to cease coverage of certain types of birth control in favor of their Religious proclivities. Not because I'm Pro-Choice, not because I'm a Feminist and not because I'm not a Christian. ONLY because I have a basic understanding of the law of precedence.
This ruling opens the door for every zealot citing religious freedom and business to pick and choose what medical procedures they choose to cover based upon their own teachings and belief systems. Is are the Justices not cognizant of this fact? Are they not aware of the legal door that they've opened?
The New York Daily News says it best in this article, stating, "Hobby Lobby is the most sweeping religious exemption case in modern constitutional history."
Without sounding like a disrespectful non-believer, I'm having a hard time wondering where the courts will draw the line. Serpent-handling? Prayer in opposition to all modern medicinal treatment? These are viable options to some religious groups and frightening prospect to potential employees of religiously convicted employers.
As I read through the tumblr posts, a lot of those (conservatives) that sided with HL stated that if an employee wanted to use the types of birth control that were not to be covered, they could either buy the contraceptives out of pocket, or they could find a job with an employer that would cover said contraceptives.
The first point is something that flies in the face of the basic principle of "One Nation, Under God." I suppose it's really only one nation if you believe the same things and have the same moral ideals as those that have been self-appointed to the path of total and unequivocal religious truth. There's no room for differences here, folks, either you believe what I do, or you're some kind of flag-burning faggot, right?
The second point is probably my favorite. As a nation that hovers just a few points away from ten percent of it's population being unemployed, I love that just finding another job is even on the radar as a viable option for those that just want their own reproductive decisions to be respected and valued. Conservatives often whip out this philosophy to try to imply that those that want tolerance and justice for their own moral beliefs are just too lazy and willing to take hand-outs from the government. You know, like medications being covered by their insurance policies that they help to pay for with their own income.
One question that burns in my mind is, what if Hobby Lobby was owned by a Muslim that wanted to impose the basic beliefs of the Quran on those employees that may not share the same religious belief system? I can venture to bet that the same zealots would come to the aid of those employees that wanted freedom from their "oppressor," citing the same rhetoric that now bars women from having the right to choose the method of birth control that is right for them.
As the Fourth of July weekend comes to a close, I'm left to wonder what will happen next. What retrograde policies will ensnare this country in the name of freedom?