Hobby Lobby and the Amusing Meltdown on the Left
The reaction on the Left to the Supreme Court’s Hobby Lobby decision has been colorful if nothing else. When not urging that Hobby Lobby stores be burnt to the ground, some have urged organized F#!@-ins at the stores “in the glitter aisle.” With commentary like this, they certainly do more harm to the cause of feminism than any Supreme Court decision could ever achieve. The fortunate thing is that people like Amanda Marcotte, Jessica Valenti and Sandra Fluke will eventually fade into obscurity after their 15 minutes of fame in 140 characters or less.
Moving by these attacks by what amounts to no-bodies, an article by Sally Kohn of the Daily Beast seems to sum up much of the misplaced reaction on the Left. Thus, it is best to parse some of her words and thinking that finds it way into other Leftist publications and commentary. She states:
…in a free and secular society, birth control is about medicine and science and personal health, not religion.
Whether this is a “secular” society can be debated. We certainly know that the Left wished it was so in their Utopian ideal. And if it is, then why the fear of religion? This goes to the heart of Leftist thought: people cannot have heartfelt religious beliefs. It is a foreign notion to them. Part of those beliefs may be when human life begins and for some it is when an egg is fertilized. Because that belief is foreign, it is dismissed as “anti-scientific.”
She spends some time talking about junk science and dismisses the notion of “abortificents.” A simple visit to Wikipedia reveals that they very much exist and have been around for quite some time. The active ingredients in the drugs in question here are pharmacologically identical to or very similar to those used in medical abortions. Her views illustrate the blurring of lines on the Left where abortificent equals contraception. One prevents; one kills. But then again to many on the Left abortion itself is contraception.
Then she states:
And yet the majority opinion held that corporations are “persons” under the Religious Freedom restoration Act (RFRA)! That’s huge!
Three points here. First, lose the use of the exclamation points. Second, under the RFRA according to Alito’s opinion, “closely held” corporations are covered by this decision, not all corporations. Third, if Ms. Kohn listened to or read the oral argument, it was the government that opened the corporate “personhood” can of worms. They argued and agreed that corporations could have a racial character, or a race, and thus be subjected to racial discrimination laws. If a corporation can have a “race,” why can it not have religious beliefs? The answer is the Left’s animus towards religion in general.
After going on a tangential tirade about Citizens United and income inequality (??), this self-professed expert in religious freedom asserts:
Moreover, this case is a perversion of religious freedom. our value of religious freedom and tolerance were meant to protect individuals from the tyranny of government and business.
Having read the Bill of Rights and historical documents related to them, I do not believe our Founders were particularly concerned about the “tyranny of business.” Now, the tyranny of the government is a different story. The government cannot impose a secular belief upon a religious belief to the point of subordination except in very rare cases. Even then, the least restrictive means must be employed. As the Kennedy concurrence makes clear, the government failed to clear this basic constitutional hurdle. Kohn’s anger and talk of tyranny is misplaced. It is not the tyranny of Hobby Lobby forcing their beliefs on employees; it is the tyranny of the government forcing their beliefs on Hobby Lobby. They are expected to lay aside their religious beliefs for the good of Obamacare.
The owners of Hobby Lobby or Conestoga Wood cannot be allowed to impose their religious beliefs on their employees.
How sad the debate has become that opposition to four drugs in a prescription plan is now an imposition of religious beliefs on employees. Enough said about this nonsense.
Then finally, she trots out the slippery slope argument which is based on ignorance of the opinion:
Under such a ruling its not far-fetched to imagine companies…claiming religious exemptions for refusing to serve gay customers or denying health insurance coverage to the multi-racial child of an employee. In fact, what would stop corporations from saying their religion makes them opposed to taxes, or obeying environmental regulations, or you name it?
“In fact,” the opinion says so. It stops at the so-called contraception mandate in the Affordable Care Act. Period! Secondly, there are a host of other laws that corporations- closely-held, publicly traded and everything in between- must obey involving discrimination regardless of religious belief, although one could argue that religious organizations themselves may have some leeway. So, Hobby Lobby is going to serve her hypothetical gay customer and cover her hypothetical multi-racial child with a health care plan. The mother of that child will also have access to over 16 contraceptive prescriptions under Hobby Lobby’s plan. And one can bet that Hobby Lobby properly disposes of their trash and recycles besides paying their taxes on a yearly basis. Regardless, in anticipation of these silly slippery slope arguments, the opinion makes great strides to address them.
Even the “reasoned” voices on the Left are full of ridiculous “the sky is falling” rhetoric and hyperbole. Maybe they should all just retire to the glitter aisle.