Hobby Lobby

1. I can’t quite wrap my head around the fact that I, as a woman, have fewer rights than a corporation. Every time I try to look at it head-on, I keep finding reasons why it’s not actually that bad. But it is that bad. I am not a full citizen of the United States. Me and Puerto Rico, we’re supposed to feel like we’re Americans but be okay with all the ways we’re constantly reminded that we’re not. I bring up Puerto Rico because my body is property, but not property I can fully own and control.

2. The things the Founders tried to rally against, their fear of overpowering governments. If only they could have imagined that corporations would become just as powerful and just as able to reach into our lives.

3. Mark Twain, in Life on the Mississippi, flat out explains how much freedom in the United States is about being able to force other people to do what you want without being in a position where other people can force you to do anything. We just don’t believe him most days because it feels so antithetical to what we’re taught freedom is.

4. The other thing is that this is bad for Christianity. It’s bad for denominations and Christians that don’t want any part of this but are now lumped in with “Christian” corporations. And it’s bad for Christians that are happy about this. If a person has no choice but to follow your religious edicts, you’re not actually convincing people of the rightness of Christianity. You’re not changing hearts. And, as our culture grows more secularized, if Christianity becomes so thoroughly linked with bizarre and oppressive beliefs about women and gay people and the rights of corporations to decide what kind of healthcare you get, Christianity is going to seem like a weird, scary cult, not like a rich, theological tradition.


17 thoughts on “Hobby Lobby

  1. A spot-on assessment. Today’s SCOTUS decision was not a good one. Ginsburg’s dissent sums it up nicely. The only thing left to do is convince women to stop working for these corporations and convince the public to stop patronizing them. Free enterprise can still shut them down … regardless of their deeply-held convictions.

  2. I just don’t see how they can flat-out say, in the majority decision, that this doesn’t apply to religious objections to transfusions, vaccinations, etc. and not be explicitly endorsing the establishment of one religion over all others.

  3. Me, neither. I talk about this at Pith tomorrow, how stunned I am to see conservative Protestants cheering this decision. They appear not to realize that the Supreme Court has just ruled some religious objections are legitimate and some aren’t. And the Court is heavily Catholic. That they don’t have a problem with this is weird.

  4. Yeah, I run into this with family, who only see the short term WOO Our Guys Won! Suck it Liberals! and not the long-term, where they could end up on the wrong end of their boss’s religion and suffer for it. I blame Fox News and a general ignorance of history, plus a hefty does of power-lust.

  5. I’m pretty torn on the whole thing – I don’t believe the gov’t should mandate that I buy a healthcare plan that does the same thing it did before but costs more money (I pay for my own healthcare out of pocket, FYI). I also don’t believe that the company a person works for should be able to tell that person how to live life or what can be done to their own body. So, I guess that makes me a libertarian.

    Moreover, however, is this whole “religious freedom” thing. I know quite a few people back in my hometown that are constantly going on and on about how “this country was founded on Christian principles” – um, no it wasn’t. Our country was founded on the concept of religious freedom, that we can worship who we choose without persecution. There’s a huge difference. And I guess it’s convenient to have that outlook when everyone around you is Christian – but here in the metropolitan city I live, I am surrounded daily by people of many religions and/or no religious outlook at all. Do I want any of those people telling me how to worship or which God to pray? No. And they don’t want me telling them those things either. And I imagine if the people who are so “wooo religious freedom” were working for a Muslim or Buddhist or some other spiritual follower, they might not jump so fast onto the “freedom of religion” bandwagon because freedom of religion covers everybody – even those people who don’t believe in medical professionals giving their kids blood transfusions, for example.

    Bottom line, this is such a horrifying slippery slope. There’s going to be some unfortunate fallout.

  6. Allowing a company to say how employees can use their benefits of work on legal personal healthcare choices because our country fails to understand science is frustratingly misogynistic.

    The consequences of the battle to undue anything and everything that Republicans and Conservatives want to blame on the evil tyrant in the White House would be comical if it wasn’t so tragic. Pastafarians are talking to their lawyers, but so are the Christian Scientists and the Jehovah’s Witnesses.

    If you have a personal right to stomp around Target with a rocket launcher, women should have the right to make their own private and personal medical choices.

    This is bullshit.

  7. Yeah, but since blocking doorways, screaming at strangers, and harassing clients now = gentle counseling, we can all go prevent entrance to prevent any potential customers from entering any Hobby Lobby stores. So there’s that.

  8. I’m thinking of incorporating so I can have more rights. I figure if a corporation can be a person then a person can be a corporation.

  9. Plus if I can pick and choose when to follow my religion. If it impacts my bottom line and gives me favorable publicity every knee shall bow (as long as a court says my belief is legit) but if it would cost me money like…oh, I don’t know, not investing my employee’s retirement funds in entities that research and profit from the medications I won’t fund for the same employees I can just say it is beyond my

    As long as I can avoid any copyright issues I’m thinking I might call myself SuperGenius
    d/b/a Hand Maid’s Corporation. Which has a nice ring to it but will totally suck for signing credit card receipts and the like.

  10. SuperGenius, it’s OK. You can get yourself set up as an authorized signatory with a shorter name.

  11. So, a family that owns a corporation, that believe they should live the faith they profess, that agrees to supply 16 types of contraception to its employees, is a family of bad Christians because, on moral grounds they refuse to pay for drugs that abort babies? Okay then, that is the type of bad Christian I hope to be.

  12. You hope to be the kind of Christian who gets lied to and acts on those lies in ways that hurt people in your community? Well, congratulations! You made it.

  13. I’m with Cathy here. “This is bullshit.” It isn’t a decision about ‘religion,’ not in an intellectual or legal sense, because there is no religious principle involved here. Ask any Christian to provide scriptural, doctrinal basis for opposition to birth control or abortion, and the best you’ll get is some equivocating bullshit that wouldn’t survive a junior high debate challenge. (It ain’t in there.) This decision has nothing to do with any principle that can be followed to a logical, unbiased foundation.

    B., I just read your post about human sacrifice, and I’ll be damned if this Hobby Lobby case isn’t a prime example. In fact, if you look at it this way, it makes perfect sense. You mention ‘the Founders’ above, and as a citizen who couldn’t escape his brown skin if he wanted, that just makes me chuckle. Why anyone would still give the founders of this nation the moral and ethical benefit of the doubt on any issue is beyond me. They were good at slinging lofty turns of phrase to justify their bullshit, but there’s no escaping that the product of their rebellion and subsequent internecine haggling was a republic of, by, and for white male property owners, full stop. This country was put on the map by a gaggle of patriarchal, racist, bloodthirsty colonial upstarts who just happened to be mostly highly literate. Their republic was founded and expanded on the blood and suffering of aboriginals, stolen Africans, women, and poor white immigrants. (The true genius of the nation was getting large numbers from among those groups to turn violence on each other rather than against the innately unjust hierarchy.) Every bit of privilege since won by those oppressed groups has come at someone else’s expense, directly or indirectly. Perhaps we’ve reached a point where Peter is too broke to subsidize Paul, and where the buck has become too heavy from the accumulation of blood and gore to be passed again.

    All that said, the Hobby Lobby decision– like Bush v. Gore, U.S. v. al Arian, Sandford v. Scott, etc. ad nauseam– makes perfect sense when one asks and answers ‘cui bono?’ If one expects consistent justice and impartiality from our innately corrupt judicial system, then one is awake on the wrong side of consciousness.

  14. The issue was not about whether birth control should be allowed but who will pay for it. Hobby Lobby provides 16 other forms of BC in their health plans. The four in question were considered akin to abortion by the owners whose religious views are strongly against this. Forcing them to provide these methods would be a horrible blow to freedom in my opinion, man or woman. Bigger picture here to consider and I know you don’t see this, but it’s much more empowering for women to not be played as helpless souls incapable of making responsible decisions about contraception and budgeting the $20 or so dollars a month it costs per month if their employer won’t provide it.

  15. Ha ha ha. You write this even after the Supreme Court comes out and says “Oh, yeah, our decision applies to all forms of birth control?” Why do you carry water for people who think you’re not worthy of full citizenship? If I have to choose between being “empowered” and being fully compensated for my work at the same rate as my male colleagues, I’m not that excited about being empowered. It’s a bullshit sop to make up for the fact that I’m not equal.

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