30 June 2014

Hobby Lobby Lobbies to Make Sex a Hobby

Today the Supreme Court ruled that a privately held company can refuse to finance contraceptives they object to on religious grounds. The Hobby Lobby lobbied that sex is just a hobby and no more deserves employer subsidies than, say, bowling. They got their decision.

 Ruth Bader Ginsburg's dissent suggests that it would be lucrative for a Christian Scientists to start a corporation. (A summary of her dissent is here.)

She writes,
"Would the exemption…extend to employers with religiously grounded objections to blood transfusions (Jehovah's Witnesses); antidepressants (Scientologists); medications derived from pigs, including anesthesia, intravenous fluids, and pills coated with gelatin (certain Muslims, Jews, and Hindus); and vaccinations[?]…Not much help there for the lower courts bound by today's decision."

Of course why stop with such half measures? Why not a religion that rejects the entire edifice of modern medicine? One could argue, in light of this decision, that Christian Scientists' who believe in prayer rather than medicine shouldn't be forced to finance a medical profession they don't believe in. Of course the fact that this would dramatically lower costs would be merely incidental to the fact that these owners religious convictions would be more important than their employees right to modern medicine.

One can't help but wonder whether there will be a rush to shift ownership to Christian Scientists, similar to the movement of corporate headquarters to states and nations that offer tax breaks.

But, you holler, this is nonsense. That would never happen.

And of course you are right. The exercise of religious rights is not more important than every other right. Only a women's right to be sexual.

And to prove that they are opposed to these contraceptives on purely ethical grounds and this has nothing to do with saving money, Hobby Lobby has invested in pharmaceutical companies that manufacture emergency contraceptives and drugs used to induce abortions. I'm sure it is just a coincidence that if they can make money on it, they are for it and if it costs them money they are against it.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

It's weird, because they're ruling the corporation (already a person) holds religious beliefs.

If that's the case, then it would be possible to have "Hobby Lobby," the corporate entity, be a Christian Scientist without a single stockholder subscribing to that belief.

You could create a religion that believed in slave labor, and just tell people, "I'm appalled, of course, but what can I do? My business is kind of jerk."