Hobby Lobby Fights Obamacare

July 1, 2013

Back in 2008 when President Obama was elected, I asked my sister how she felt about it.  She said she didn’t vote for him, but it wasn’t the end of the world as some predicted.  She lives in Colorado, a “purple” state as she calls it.  It is one of the few states that seems to be pretty evenly divided among Republicans and Democrats, and so presidential contenders often pay attention to this swing state.

Since that election, I’ve been amazed to see a transformation in her.  She has definitely become much more politically active, and has served as a volunteer to get out the vote.  She has become much more critical of President Obama’s policies, and worked actively to defeat him in the recent election.  She has become much more of a critic of his social policies, especially the contraception mandate.  In case you are not aware, part of Obamacare mandates that employers pay for contraception.  Logically it seems like it will save money in the long run.  I’ve previously discussed that the Freakonomics experts believe that abortion helped lower the crime rate because unwanted children don’t grow up to become career criminals.  In addition, a St. Louis University study showed that when free contraception was given to high schoolers, it cut the teen birth rate by 72%, and cuts the abortion rate by 68%.  Frankly, these are goals that should be lauded by all who want to lower crime, abortion, and teen pregnancy.  Obama’s plan seems very sound in tackling these important issues.

Hobby-Lobby-for-Culture-FailBut certain Catholic and Evangelical groups feel that providing contraception gives teens a license to sin, and are morally opposed to it.  Hobby Lobby, a national chain store that sells hobby supplies is owned by devout Evangelicals;  they are fighting Obamacare because they don’t want to be forced to pay for contraception; as a result, the government was imposing $1 million dollar a day fines against the chain.  My sister is excited that a court ruled in favor of the retail store, saying they don’t have to pay the fines while the court case is pending.

In my mind, the contraception mandate just makes good economic sense.  My sister and I have discussed birth control, and she certainly has used it, but she feels that this is a government intrusion and supports Evangelicals and Catholics who oppose having to pay for contraception on the basis of moral grounds.  My reaction has been to say that if these 2 groups don’t want to pay for contraception, then they should have to pay for the jails to house the unwanted children, which is much more expensive.  But alas, she (and I suppose Catholics and Evangelicals) probably wouldn’t think that was fair.  Of course they would argue that teens should put these unwanted children up for adoption, but that doesn’t happen.  As a result, these unwanted children turn to a life of crime because they have no other way to support themselves.

If Obama can cut a deal allowing for Catholic organizations to avoid paying directly for contraception (and Obama has worked out some sort of indirect method to allow employees of Catholic employers to get free contraception), then I suppose that Hobby Lobby has some sort of a case and should be allowed a similar exception.  But in my mind, the Evangelicals are tripping over dollars to pick of pennies on the basis of some self-righteous moral crusade.  It just makes no sense to me why they would oppose contraception when it will make society a better place.  I mean who thinks that cutting teen pregnancy and abortions is a bad idea?  Apparently the Catholics and Evangelicals believe the ends to not justify the means.

What say you?

 

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38 Responses to Hobby Lobby Fights Obamacare

  1. Jeff Spector on July 1, 2013 at 8:51 AM

    Such an interesting situation because it crosses political, religious. moral, and social aspects.

    Actions by Hobby Lobby and others opposed to paying for contraception does not stop women from needing it, wanting it or using it. It is more of a political position than anything else.

    The “societal” benefits are well documented. So, what is the real motivation here? A religious view? It is also well known that the Catholic Church has a position against birth control. But Evangelicals? I am not so sure.

    So, is this just an Anti-Obamacare situation? Yeah, I think so. Companies like Hobby Lobby like to hire people, pay them next to nothing and wish to offer no benefits. So, it is both a conservative position and a business strategy disguised as a religious position.

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  2. hawkgrrrl on July 1, 2013 at 9:20 AM

    I agree with Jeff. It is interesting to see how people can rally behind a religious cause when it benefits their pocketbook.

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  3. BethSmash on July 1, 2013 at 10:18 AM

    I also agree with Jeff.

    Also, I think it’s upsetting that your employer can determine what your insurance should or should not pay for regarding YOUR health.

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  4. Lorian on July 1, 2013 at 11:05 AM

    Jumping on the bandwagon, here. For the Catholics, I can (sort of) see their viewpoint, at least because of the fact that it is consistent — their church forbids the *use* of contraceptives (though it’s my understanding that the majority of USA Catholics disregard this restriction). But Evangelicals don’t forbid the use of contraceptives. They don’t believe in abortion, but they don’t consider any form of birth control to be abortion (Roman Catholics teach that the Pill is an abortifacient because one of its actions *may* be to prevent implantation, rather than preventing ovulation or fertilization).

    But any way you look at it, in order for healthcare in this country to be fair and to do the job it needs to do, the benefits offered need to be consistent. And contraceptives are not only one of the most basic means for women to protect their health and be in control of their reproductive processes, but also are used for a variety of other NON-contraceptive medical purposes, in the treatment of conditions like endometriosis, extreme dysmenorrhea, severe menorrhagia, and other common gynecological issues. They are also used commonly in fertility treatments as a means of stabilizing the menstrual cycle prior to attempting an ART procedure.

    Allowing employers to decide for their employees what constitutes reasonable and appropriate medical care, and forcing employees to pay out-of-pocket for medical care which other employees receive gratis, is placing far too much power in the hands of those employers. They aren’t buying the pills and handing them out. They are just purchasing employer-paid group insurance for their employees. How those employees use that insurance and what sorts of medications they utilize should be a decision made strictly between the employee and her/his doctor.

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  5. mh on July 1, 2013 at 3:14 PM

    I should have asked, should Catholic employers be forced to pay for contraception?

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  6. Douglas on July 1, 2013 at 3:57 PM

    Some fundamentals are being overlooked folks.
    1) MH’s justification of elective abortion as a crimefighting tool is disturbing. In effec, convict potential criminals in a “pre-Crime”, ala “Minority Repor”, and sentence them to death in utero. I can’t imaginea more egregious violation of our rule of law and Christian ethics.
    2) The cost of providing contraceptives in Hobby Lobby’s medical plan is probably minimal, especially compared to slugging it out in Federal court versus the Obama administration.
    3) Ignored altogether is HL’s freedom of association, e.g., the issue of compensation is between HL and its employees. It’s up to HL’s owners to administer their business affairs as they see fit, and they see fit. If you don’t like the lack of contraceptive coverage, don’t work there or otherwise do business with them. The Obama administration is violating the Constitutional rights of HL’s owners and ought to be slapped down. This is the very manner of tyranny that our forefathers resisted.

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  7. Douglas on July 1, 2013 at 4:03 PM

    #3 – Beth, YOU accept the health benefits that your employer offers. If they don’t meet your needs, either purchase a private plan or seek employment where the health coverage meets your expectations.

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  8. Douglas on July 1, 2013 at 4:22 PM

    #4 – Life isn’t fair (Jimmy Carter, 1979). Demanding what YOU deem as “fair” with regards to contraception or other so-called “Women’s Health” via Federal fiat will only result in tyranny and maladministration. How were these issues handled in the former Soviet Union, where most physicians are women? From what most that fled it indicate, very poorly.

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  9. Jeff Spector on July 1, 2013 at 4:33 PM

    If Catholic employers are running a business that hires non-Catholics or Catholics that are non-observant like in a hospital, they should provide healthcare to those persons that is likely to be offered by a like employer.

    Should they require their employees to attend Mass or say the rosary before work each morning….. Or offer a group prayer to the Virgin Mary?

    OTOH, a person might chose not to work for an employer that restricts what healthcare they receive.

    But should a JW employer restrict an employee’s right to a blood transfusion? A Hindu restrict beef eating?

    Where does it end?

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  10. will on July 1, 2013 at 4:40 PM

    MH,

    To me you are looking at a spiritual problem with secular eyes. It’s like saying you will be better off if you don’t pay your tithing because you will have 10 percent more each month. The secular critic will say: “yea dummy, I’m saving 10 percent by not paying tithing”. One that pays tithing understands the spiritual and secular benefits that come from a full tithe.

    With your secular argument, you count what you think are the cost savings from ‘free’ conception or the long term benefits of stopping a baby from being born. What is not being considered is the spiritual deficit stemming from free sex; and, the spiritual entropy to society as a whole that comes from abortion. In both situations the light of Christ dims, which has a deleterious impact on all things spiritual and secular. Keep in mind; all things are governed by the light of Christ (see D&C 88). Like a dimmer switch, when the light of Christ is dimmed due to evil acts our crops, financial institutions, social institutions, and the like deteriorate; and when the light of Christ is fully lit the lamb lays down with the lion.

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  11. Lorian on July 1, 2013 at 5:45 PM

    Jeff Spector – Exactly.

    Douglas – So if you were working for an employer who was providing you with good health insurance, and your employer decided to become a Christian Scientist and no longer believed in using standard medical care and no longer wanted to pay for your health insurance, you’d be just fine no longer having insurance, or you’d be copacetic with just quitting your job (in this tenuous market) and trying to find another that would provide you with medical benefits for your family?

    And keep in mind, too, that, even if your employer was willing to just pay the money directly to you that s/he had been paying for your medical benefits, you could not possibly go out and purchase a private insurance plan for the same rates your employer was paying for you on the group plan. I know. I’ve paid for group insurance for my family plus our employees of our business in the past, and I now pay for our private insurance for our family. Rates have dropped somewhat since Obamacare provisions started to kick in, but for several years we paid nearly $1700 per month for our family of 4.

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  12. Mormon Heretic on July 1, 2013 at 7:04 PM

    Douglas, please read what I wrote and don’t respond emotionally to what you interpreted. I never was trying to justify abortion–in fact I said “these are goals that should be lauded by all who want to lower crime, abortion, and teen pregnancy.”

    Some people try to use abortion as a form of birth control, whether we like it or not. The 1972 Roe v Wade decision gave the Freakonomics authors a chance to compare crime statistics with Romania, a country that banned abortion around 1969–roughly about the same time. Crime went down in the U.S 20 years later while it skyrocketed in Romania. No matter your personal opinion on abortion, these numbers are hard to deny. To be clear, I’m advocating lower abortion rates, and that is certainly accomplished by providing birth control. How anyone be against lower abortion rates, crime, and teen pregnancy is beyond me. We need to get the Catholics and Evangelicals out of a woman’s ovaries and into the scientific world to see that birth control is a net good, not a moral evil. It just makes too much sense. But if you want high crime, teen birth rates, and abortion rates, then you have every right to protest this government “intrusion”. But you make no rational sense when you do this.

    Will, please tell me why you disagree with my secular reasoning. Because if we argue this from a purely theological position, then we will have high crime, teen birth rates, and abortion rates. Is this theological tenable?

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  13. Lorian on July 1, 2013 at 7:06 PM

    MH #12 – Pithy and exactly on point. Thank you.

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  14. Jeff D. on July 1, 2013 at 7:38 PM

    I am a public health official, so naturally, I love condoms and contraception and the like. Preventing unwanted pregnancies and infections is great. However, this part of Obamacare crosses the line. It’s a discussion of freedom vs. “I’m forcing you to do this because it’s good for you.” This is where health promotion, counseling, health messaging come in. Guide people to what’s right, instead of forcing it upon them. It boils down to the fact it is a private company, so they should run their business they way the want to. If people don’t like that Hobby Lobby does not provide contraception, then let the company implode due to lack of people who want to work there.

    I’ve always said that public health officials make the worst politicians (see: Michael Bloomberg) simply because they want to force “the good” on to people because it’s “right.”

    This is also why it’s so important to preach the gospel: to help people do the right things for the right reasons.

    But that’s just my $0.02.

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  15. Douglas on July 1, 2013 at 7:39 PM

    #11 – I’d be “fine” with my employer’s decision to change the terms of employment (assuming it’s at-will and no contract is breached). He’d best be “fine” when I take my services elsewhere. That’s the nature of a free market. If your work situation is that tenuous you need to hit the bricks anyway.

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  16. Lorian on July 1, 2013 at 8:11 PM

    Jeff #14 – I don’t see where you’re coming up with the idea that anyone is being “forced” to use contraception by Obamacare. Nobody is forcing anyone to use contraception. Just making it *available* and covered by insurance, as it should be.

    Insurance has been covering Viagra and other ED drugs for decades, now. That doesn’t mean that men are “forced” to use them. It’s a decision between them and their doctor. Making contraceptive measures available and covered by insurance for women hardly seems a radical move by comparison.

    If every employer is allowed to opt out of carrying any portion of health insurance it doesn’t want to carry, then no employers will carry health insurance for their employees, or at least not anything close to the kind of comprehensive coverage we *need* in order for people to be able to afford medical care in this country. You can’t piecemeal it and just say, “Hey, employer, you don’t wanna care medical care to pay for cancer treatment? No problem. You don’t want to cover contraceptive medications? No problem. You don’t want to cover vaccinations for kids? No problem. It’s totally up to you! Your employees have no say, except to go find a new job! Good luck to them, since we’re not making anyone comply with the healthcare laws anyhow! But hey, they can just buy their own out of pocket for 5 times the cost of group coverage!”

    Kind of defeats the whole point, doesn’t it?

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  17. Lorian on July 1, 2013 at 8:31 PM

    Douglas #15 – You’re apparently very fortunate to be in a job where you have your pick of positions and employers. Not everyone is so lucky. And of course, those who can’t pick and choose between jobs are often the same folks who have the fewest resources to spend on benefits. Many jobs don’t even provide benefits at all, but people have to take them because otherwise they and their children would starve.

    Those people need adequate (or preferably better-than-adequate) medical care, too, Douglas. Being lucky doesn’t excuse being unconcerned for the well-being of those around you. Just because you can apparently afford to change jobs at will or purchase your own healthcare coverage out-of-pocket if you don’t like what your employer is willing to provide doesn’t mean that everyone can. And if you’re going to suggest that healthcare is a luxury item and that only those who can afford it deserve to have it, then I think we probably have very little to talk about because we’re living in two completely different universes.

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  18. Mormon Heretic on July 1, 2013 at 8:31 PM

    A person named John wrote this on my blog, and it is very relevant to the discussion we are having here.

    I would call your atention to the 1982 U.S supreme court decision of U.S. V. LEE (452 U.S. 252) The court held that an Amish employer could not refuse to pay social security taxes for his Amish and non Amish employees alike on the grounds that it went against his religous beliefs. (The Amish believe in taking care of their own)

    Maybe greater legal minds than mind can distinguish between Hobby Lobby and the Amish employer ( a number of judges already have) but I can’t

    FYI– the case was argued for the United States by that radical left wing lawyer and Solicitor General Rex Lee who later became president of BYU

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  19. Mormon Heretic on July 1, 2013 at 8:39 PM

    It’s a discussion of freedom vs. “I’m forcing you to do this because it’s good for you.”

    Well Jeff, where do you stand on seat belt laws, helmet laws, mandatory vaccinations, speed limits, etc? Should we eliminate those in favor of freedom so we can have more motor vehicle deaths, whooping cough, etc?

    Helmet and seat belt laws are mandatory in most states, and hardly an affront to freedom, though surely there are whack jobs that want the freedom to bash their own heads in on a motorcycle. I don’t see this as an needless erosion of freedom, but good public policy. Should we stop chlorinating our water so that we can freely experience cholera as happens in those free African states?

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  20. hawkgrrrl on July 1, 2013 at 8:45 PM

    Douglas: “MH’s justification of elective abortion as a crimefighting tool is disturbing. In effec, convict potential criminals in a “pre-Crime”, ala “Minority Repor”, and sentence them to death in utero. I can’t imaginea more egregious violation of our rule of law and Christian ethics.” This viewpoint assumes that these babies are being punished for crimes they didn’t commit. But when you look at it from an LDS viewpoint, we don’t know when the spirit enters the body (there is some scriptural evidence for the night before birth). If you consider it from that vantage point, these spirits can instead inhabit bodies that will be born in circumstances where they are wanted and cared for where the pressures to commit crimes to rise above their circumstances will not be so strong. That also begs the question of how culpable people are for their crimes because statistics do show that when abortion is illegal, crime rates are higher. So if people commit crimes due to nurture (environment) and not nature (free will), are they responsible or is society (which is punishing them for it) responsible. That’s a bigger discussion.

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  21. Lorian on July 1, 2013 at 9:05 PM

    MH #19 – True. When I was a kid, seatbelts were an optional “accessory.” Those who wanted them and could afford them could be protected in a crash. Those who couldn’t afford them just had to take their chances. I guess we get what we deserve in the world of “wealth has its privileges.” Kind of reminds me of how many people portray healthcare. It was really a radical idea when Ralph Nader introduced the idea that auto manufacturers should be *required* to include seatbelts with every car. Went against the whole “free market economy” ideals which are so beloved of modern-day libertarians.

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  22. brjones on July 1, 2013 at 9:41 PM

    Douglas, first of all, calling abortion the “killing” of human beings is a massive assumption that has no factual or legal basis outside your personal/religious opinions. As hawk pointed out, even the lds church doesn’t definitively try to say when life begins. Second, it is unquestionably NOT a violation of the rule of law, as, like it or not, legal elective abortion is the law of the land in this country. Finally, it is a dubious proposition that HL’s constitutional rights are being violated by being required to comply with an equally applied federal insurance mandate. Your view of the freedom of association seems to be that a corporation can simply pick and choose what laws with which it will and won’t comply based on its beliefs. This has never been an accurate statement of the law. Hobby Lobby is attempting to claim a first amendment violation based on the fact that its owners personally have very religious thoughts as they peddle their almost entirely secular craft products. The administration’s position is that a company engaged in a secular business shouldn’t be able to avoid compliance with an equally applied secular law by hiding behind a freedom of religion argument. The courts are in the process of deciding who is right. Your comments assume things that have yet to be legally determined.

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  23. SilverRain on July 2, 2013 at 5:24 AM

    Medical benefits are benefits, not rights. It is obviously incorrect to say that employers won’t provide them if they aren’t forced to, evidenced by the raw fact that many employers do, in fact, provide them. The free market in that regard somehow managed.

    It is far different for a company to force prayer on non participating employees (forcing an action on their part) and to refuse to provide a benefit. No one is stopping anyone from using contraception. They are still free to purchase it, but the company isn’t encouraging it Or subsidizing it. Many people who work at Hobby Lobby do so because they are closed on Sunday. Give people the benefit of the doubt that they are bright enough to choose for themselves what is more important to them and their employment. I’m impressed that they are fighting this on principle, and not simply reducing their hours the way other companies must.

    I’m so weary of the American attitude that if they aren’t being given something free, they are being discriminated against or forced to do something. There are many better ways to handle this problem of healthcare than to hand out inefficient benefits the government can ill afford, or to penalize businesses that are already struggling in the economy.

    It’s the same tired story. We Americans forget there is a whole world out there willing to accept business if we make it impossible to make money in America. All we see is those wealthier than others, and get this Robin Hood complex.

    Think creatively! We could learn from some of our neighbors. Authorize pharmacists to prescribe certain basic medications like allergy medicine the way the do in Germany. Subsidize more free or adjusted-cost clinics, and allow emergency rooms triage, not to have to handle non-emergency cases. Open the borders of insurance providers, so they can be competitive across state borders. The problem with these kinds of measures is that they actually work, but don’t provide a convenient political dragon to slay. No one looks like they did a glorious job battling and defeating their opponents that way.

    We Americans would be benefited to realize that our politicians most often only have one real agenda, and that is their personal power base, not any ideological set of party lines. Everything they do should be considered on that basis, that their ideals are just accessories, not the core of what they are trying to accomplish.

    The healthcare farce has far better solutions out there. Not everything is a nail.

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  24. allquieton on July 2, 2013 at 8:56 AM

    “…the government was imposing $1 million dollar a day fines against the chain.”

    I think just this tidbit alone tells us who the bad guy is
    .

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  25. Lorian on July 2, 2013 at 10:51 AM

    Actually, while up until this point, employer group healthcare has not been a “right,” there have been legal obligations placed on employers regarding the healthcare benefits they provide. They couldn’t just provide those benefits willy-nilly on a whim. They were required to provide benefits equally to all full-time employees (not just provide bennies to upper management, or people they liked, or men only). If they provided benefits to one employee, or even only to their own family who worked in the business, they had to provide them to all. In fact, even a 401K contribution plan that an employer does for him or herself has to also be done for all employees, in some cases. I know, because we had to do it when we were employers. And we only ever had between 1 and 3 employees at a time.

    The point is that many people in this country and in other parts of the world believe that adequate access to medical care is a *human* right, not just a privilege due to the wealthy. We all have the right to get care when we are ill, and the right, as a society, to the prevention of the spread of disease. Such things benefit all of us, individually and as a group.

    But a “right” to adequate medical care is only as useful as one’s ability to procure that medical care. If only the wealthy can access it because it is prohibitively expensive, or if only those in some counties, states or countries can get it because there are no doctors or clinics in other places, then it is a right which is being denied to some and available to others based upon economic privilege, class, and, in many cases, race.

    The difference between human rights and civil rights is that human rights are things to which we believe all people everywhere are or should be entitled access — the right to breathe clean air, the right to clean, potable water, the right to adequate shelter, the right to not be slaughtered through genocide, the right to not be enslaved, the right to not be compelled into marriage or childbirth or abortion (control over one’s own bodily integrity),etc. — while civil rights are rights which are granted by the government and are specific to one society, in which citizen of that society has the reasonable expectation to share equally in access to those governmentally-administered rights.

    So, civil rights include things like the right to vote, the right to freely assemble, the right to equal access to public accommodations, the right to equal employment opportunities and fair housing, the right to marry the consenting adult of one’s own choosing.

    In this case, the government had already created certain civil rights surrounding equal access to employer-paid medical benefits which prevented employers from discriminating between one full-time employee and another full-time employee in the provision of healthcare benefits. If healthcare benefits were to be offered to one employee, they must be offered equally to all, not just offered as a “bonus” to a highly-desired employee. Gays and lesbians have recently begun to gain some equal access protections in this area. It used to be that employers did not have to offer spousal coverage to gay and lesbian employees, even if they made such coverage available to heterosexual employees. This is still the case in the majority of states states. But in the past decade or so, some states, like CA have passed legislation which compels not only employers, but also insurance companies, to make spousal coverage available on an even footing to same-sex spouses, domestic-partners (usually contingent upon participation in a state registry of domestic partnership), etc.

    Of course, gay and lesbian employees were still legally discriminated against in the provision of these spousal benefits by the fact that the federal government classified spousal benefits for gay and lesbian employees’ spouses as “taxable income,” unlike the healthcare benefits received by the spouses of their heterosexual fellow-employees.

    All of that to say, however, that the government *does* create, has always in the past created, and can continue to create civil rights to certain types of benefits to be provided by employers to employees, including things like the 40-hour work-week, federal and state minimum wage for various job categories, the right to employer-paid workers’ compensation insurance, standard minimum lunch breaks and work breaks, safe and humane working conditions, overtime pay for various job classifications, fair hiring and employment practices, and so forth. Placing requirements upon employers of a certain size to provide employer-paid healthcare plans to employees who meet minimum standards as full-time employees is not outside the scope of government-created *rights* to which employees are entitled. The government has a right to determine what constitutes adequate coverage (including contraceptive coverage, pre-existing condition coverage, etc.).

    Such a plan only works if *all* employers are required to participate equally, however. When “benefits” become a competitive tool to attract high-level employees, yeah, high-level employees benefit. But then we are back in the situation where adequate healthcare is a luxury only available to the wealthy and privileged, those fortunate enough to have been able to afford a four-year degree, or graduate studies, those intelligent enough or lucky enough to have been able to escape the minimum-wage grind jobs.

    We often see our lives only from our privileged perspective and assume that everyone around us had the same advantages available to them which we enjoyed, and that, for some reason (laziness? stupidity? lack of forethought? lack of desire?) they simply chose to spurn all of those opportunities, and therefore, deserve whatever they get (or don’t get, as the case may be). I suggest that we, as a society, do better, and become more like the Deities we claim to follow, when we try to see *all* of our fellow human beings as sons and daughters of God, who deserve to have food, shelter, medical care, and a reasonable degree of safety in their lives.

    I realize there are those folks who consider *food* to be a “privilege, not a right,” and feel that if someone cannot afford food, they really don’t deserve to live. With such people, who hold such extreme libertarian viewpoints, I imagine that I will not be able to find any common ground, because that’s not the Gospel as I read it. But for those who believe that we all have a right as human beings to equal access to adequate medical care, the problem becomes one of how to make that care available to all, not “do other people actually deserve it?” That’s the jumping-off point I can work with.

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  26. Douglas on July 2, 2013 at 2:14 PM

    #22 (brjones) – yes, I’ll go on calling the deliberate termination of a pregnancy as a “killing” of a human being as long as I profess to believe in the Gospel and won’t apologize for it, no matter what it offends your feminist sensitivities. However, had you read rather than reacted to my post about my disquiet about justifying elective abortion on the basis that a significant number of the aborted would have grown up in troubled environments and gone on to wreak havoc as career criminals (a tremendously non sequitr argument itself), you’d have seen that it is the defacto practice of sentencing a thus-unwanted fetus to death on the “Pre-Crime” basis that egregiously violates long-held legal standards, not the odious practice of elective abortion itself. Oh, my pardons for having offended your feminist sensitivities for pointing out the questionable justification, legality notwithstanding, that pro-abortionists often resort to. OF COURSE, and this past 22 of January marked the 40th anniversary thereof, of a woman’s “right” to choose foeticide. And even if, somehow (though I won’t place any bets thereof), we actually get a President and eventually a Supreme Court that will do the right thing and overturn Roe v. Wade, there are so many states, my own (CA) included that will retain the status quo that de facto nothing will change. I’m resigned to that and content to leave it in the marketplace of ideas.

    As for the Hobby Lobby issue…they are not “picking and choosing” which law to obey, they are defying the tyranny of our anointed politically-correct Obergruppenfuhrer and his minions, even in the face of $1M per day fines, and holding to their principles. Frankly, I applaud them for their courage, it would have been far less costly and more convenient to simply roll on this matter. What’s next, sue Chick-Fil-A because Mr. Cathy and his family actually uphold the Sabbath and close shop on Sundays? How DARE they actually live IAW their religious principles instead of pay homage to political correctness! WHO decides what is “secular” and what is not? Pardon me if I misread the Constitution but does not the First Amendment say that Congress shall establish NO religion? Then by what authority does the President presume to decide wherein the owners of Hobby Lobby may practice their religion, to wit, compel them to provide contraceptive coverage as part of their Health Plan in violation of their religious beliefs? None, I say, and we should be thankful that Obama and his ilk have shown their true colours insofar as religious freedom is concerned. Let us be motivated to resist with all vigor.

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  27. Mormon Heretic on July 2, 2013 at 7:02 PM

    Douglas, it is obvious you’ve never seen the Freakonomics movie, because your “non sequitr argument” is a complete strawman. Before you rail on the Freakonomics authors, please watch it via Netflix so you don’t continue to misrepresent what the Freakonomics guys said. Your objections are so far off the mark that it shows once again that you have no idea what you are talking about. Just try to argue facts instead of what you interpret the other guys must have been saying. They are not saying what you are misrepresenting that they “must have” said.

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  28. Mormon Heretic on July 2, 2013 at 7:05 PM

    And before you complain about freedom of religion, once again, the Supreme Court has ruled on several occasions (notably on polygamy in 1890) that religion and the constitution do come into conflict. BYU president Rex Lee argued against the Amish’s free exercise of religion (as noted in comment 18 above) and we all know that OD 2 was given as a result of the Supreme Court ruling that Mormons can’t practice polygamy. So religion knows certain bounds in our society.

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  29. Lorian on July 2, 2013 at 8:32 PM

    Douglas, first, abortion rights has nothing to do with the OP. No one is requiring Hobby Lobby to pay for abortions.

    Secondly, Hobby Lobby has no real religious objections to birth control. They are Evangelicals and Evangelicals do not have a teaching against birth control. They just don’t want to have to pay for it. If they were Catholics, I’d, perhaps have a little more understanding — at least their objection would be consistent, though not, I think legally justifiable. But since Evangelical churches have, as a rule, no specific teaching against the use of birth control, I really, really question that this thing they’re doing is truly about religious beliefs, and not about just being plain old obstructionist to what they perceive as “Obama’s policies.”

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  30. Lorian on July 2, 2013 at 8:34 PM

    I will say that some Evangelical denominations have quite recently been revisiting their policies on BC, but it is quite recent, and really seems to have a great deal more to do with ObamaCare than with any real change in their theology regarding preventing conception.

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  31. brjones on July 2, 2013 at 8:36 PM

    Douglas, your arguments are nothing but emotional diatribes that have no basis in fact or legality. The “questionable justification” you so fiercely attack is not questionable for any reason other than because you say it is. And it’s certainly no more questionable than any of the positions that you’re espousing. You think abortion is bad. We get it. But at the end of the day, that’s just your opinion, and it’s of no more inherent value than that of a person that thinks abortion is perfectly acceptable. From a legal standpoint, it’s actually of considerably less value. Feel free to bellow about that unfortunate state of reality to your heart’s content; not only won’t it change facts, it also won’t make you right.

    Your legal arguments are as shaky as are your factual ones. The argument that Hobby Lobby doesn’t have to comply with the insurance mandates of Obamacare based on first amendment freedom of religion protections is as questionable now as it was when Hobby Lobby first made it. This situation actually has little to do with the freedom of religion. Regardless of how personally religious the owners of HL may be, the selling of crafts is not in any way an “exercise” of religion. It’s a secular, for profit business concern, and therefore, is not protected in its practice by the freedom of religion, as provided in the first amendment. If the protection was that broad, then any person of religious conviction could avoid compliance with any law they disagreed with in any context based on their personal religious beliefs. Their practice of religion is not being abridged by being forced to include contraception in their health care coverage, because the operation of their secular business is not the practice of their religion. Of course, that could just be my feminist sensitivities talking.

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  32. Douglas on July 2, 2013 at 8:55 PM

    Heretic, you’ve piqued my interest. I will take it as an assignment before I comment further substantively.
    A minor complaint…you’ve no reason to be insulting and petty just because you lack an effective response. I’ve seen better from you in both demeanor and articulation. You owe me an apology, sir.

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  33. Mormon Heretic on July 2, 2013 at 9:31 PM

    Douglas, where did I insult you? Was it because I said that you didn’t know what you were talking about? Well, in comment 32 you admitted that you hadn’t seen the movie, so that seems to be a tacit admission that you really don’t know what you’re talking about and can’t be an insult. It seems that the truth hurts.

    I freely admit to being hard on people who are full of hot air. If you don’t know what your talking about, don’t pretend that you do and you’ll find we will have a more pleasant conversation. You’ll notice that there are certain subjects here on which I am almost completely silent. I don’t comment, because I don’t know what I’m talking about. You should try it out.

    But I can’t tell where I insulted you. So where did I insult you for which I owe you an apology?

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  34. Douglas on July 3, 2013 at 12:52 AM

    #21 – It was NOT Ralph Nader that caused the mandating of seat belts in cars sold in America. They were used in some specialty sports cars (kinda hard to take those mountain roads at 80 mph when you’re getting slung about in your seat), but automakers resisted them due solely to marketing reasons (they believed it implied that cars weren’t safe), they understood physics as well as anyone. Preston Tucker caused the Big Three to freak with his car, which had seat belts included (as well as “safety” glass, a pop-out windshield, and a stiffened roof that would hold up in a rollover). Seat belts were offered as options by Nash (became part of AMC) in 1949, and Ford in 1955, well before Nader’s “Unsafe at any Speed” (which was little more than a hatchet job by a lawyer with no automotive engineering or race car driving experience) came out. All American cars had them by 1962. So what did Nader have to do with them? Not a thing. He made a name for himself like many do…he wrote a book which sold well, and the idiots at GM, by their harassment, provided him the publicity that no one could buy for free.

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  35. Douglas on July 3, 2013 at 1:50 AM

    #27,28,33 – Huh? I can watch Morgan Spurlock’s screed ten times over (don’t use Netflix and it’s not on Streampix, so I have to wait until tomorrow to get it from Blockbuster) but I’d be wary of anything that hack promotes after “SuperSizeMe”. However, though certainly legalized abortion is certainly a factor in curtailing unwanted pregnancies (it’s purpose by definition), other factors may be ALSO the greater acceptance and widespread use of contraceptives in the first place (which I’d actually be almost in lockstep with you in advocated use, “be careful if you’re not going to be good”) to reduce the supply of perps overall. As for Romania, though it’s heavily Orthodox (not “Catholic” like you probably think even though the Orthodox certain call themselves “Catholic”, believing themselves to be the “real” Catholics…), the driving force in the 60’s was the Ceausescu regime, very Communist, attempting to bolster a sagging birth rate (they also offered huge incentives to large families), NOT “religion” (save you consider Communism as some freaky atheistic ‘religion’, anti-religion is probably a better description), combined with its utter incompetence in managing the Romanian economy and disadvantaged position in COMECON (to wit, when oil prices rose sharply in the early 1970’s, the Soviets forbad the Romanians to sell their oil from the Ploesti oil fields on the spot market to earn badly needed hard currency, they wanted that privilege for themselves). The comparison of legal abortion versus crime is interesting but lacks in depth study to warrant any serious conclusions. Do you find it somewhat disturbing that the overall abortion participation rate for black women is about thrice that of whites in America? I do, but the late Margaret Sanger would have thought it just peachy.
    You go citing some questionable work, intended in part as social satire (though their propositions make interesting reading on what is otherwise a very dry subject) but seem to have little interest in history and/or other fields of humanities to examine someone’s hypotheses. Sir, I AM arguing the facts, and your willingness to hurl insults at those that don’t salute the blathering of some liberal troll like Spurlock is what’s insulting. Like the fictional Will Hunting reprimanding the grad student in the bar, “don’t do that”. Of course, I hope to do better that swab toilets, clean up construction sites, swill Sam Adams and watch the Pats as Will was content to do.
    And, after ALL this long-windedess, how, pray tell, does this justify using the heavy hand of the Federal government to compel a private business in what compensation it offers its employees? Because YOU, or I, or any other palooka has his bright ideas on what makes the world hunky-dory? I don’t particular share their specifics on religion, they aren’t LDS and likewise probably don’t have much regard for ol’ Joe Smith. But they feel that they have to make a stand on paying for contraceptive coverage, and even though I would have no issue with it myself, I support their right to transact business with their employees as both parties see fit. If you don’t have free enterprise, you don’t have freedom, regardless of your high-minded intentions. As a practical matter, though, I don’t understand why the Section 125 model for pre-tax compensation isn’t used far more. Since the era of the long career at one company or even Government agency is becoming largely passe, it seems that whatever “benefits”, if they stay in the pre-tax category, need to be under the control more and more of the individual employee so they aren’t dependent on their employer’s attitudes and/or abilities. Why can’t, for example, HL provide a set amount or percentage of pre-tax wages as part of a Section 125 plan, and leave the choice of health plan (if any) solely at employee discretion? Then they aren’t confronted with an ethical dilemma.

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  36. Lorian on July 3, 2013 at 10:49 AM

    I guess you’re entitled to your own personal versions of historical events, Douglas, if it makes you happy to believe thing like the idea that the Eastern Orthodox church “isn’t catholic,” or that seat belts were not optional accessories in cars within my lifetime, but that doesn’t make it so.

    In any case, if you believe that federal and state governments don’t have the right (or obligation) to mandate fair employment (as well as workplace safety) practices, think again.

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  37. Douglas on July 3, 2013 at 5:37 PM

    #35 – point of order; Individuals and corporations, both being “persons”, have rights. Governments, up to and including our Federal Government, have duties based on statutory and/or Constitutional law. An important distinction.
    Where did you get the notion that I don’t consider the various Orthodox as “Catholic?”. My point is that THEY do, and they resent the usurpation of the organization based in Rome, Italy, as THE “Catholic” Church. I was simply pointing this out. I highly resent critics of the Church telling me what I believe contrary to my own beliefs, well-developed in almost 35 years of membership, so far be it for me do the same. BTW, if you want to set a Greek Orthodox on edge (they do a fantastic Greek Festival on Labor Day weekends here in Sac Town), just refer to the “Byzantine” Empire…(considering many of the Emperors and Patriarchs of the “Βασιλεία Ῥωμαίων” are saints to them) to what they called the REAL Roman Empire which endured until 1453.
    This thread doesn’t permit an ample discussion of the duty of the several States and the Federal Government to mandate what you might consider as “fair” employment. The states certainly have a duty to uphold valid contracts and to combat discrimination. Dictating details of employment terms (like wages, mandating either health coverage itself of provisions thereof, like contraceptive coverage) is a matter left to the states, both under the Commerce Clause of the Constitution and the McCarran-Ferguson Act of 1945, and this egregious overreach of the Obama administration is proof enough that the Federal Government needs to be run out of the insurance business and most, if not all, labor relations issues (save how they pertain to vital National Security interests or in administration of Federal contracts). Leaving issues like this to the states keeps a simple fact of true “Federalism” in place: that of competition between the several states. They can have as much “socialism” as their respective economies will sustain, else employers and employees alike will vote with their feet.

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  38. Douglas on July 7, 2013 at 8:01 PM

    How did my posts look like the ending title card to the Bullwinkle show?

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