Not So Polite Dinner Conversation – hypocrisy on parade again in the US Supreme Court, the Hobby Lobby decision

hobby-lobby

Again, we have wannabee theocrats making decisions based on their religion that affects many people in this country. The usual suspects on the US Supreme Court have decided that some people’s religion trumps other people’s religion (or lack thereof) in the US. They have also decided that corporations can have religion.

The case was if companies, Hobby Lobby is the cited one, can deny any medical procedure it wants, in this case birth control, to its employees because of religious beliefs. The decision now declares that the assenting justices are “only* supporting the RFRA, and it’s okay for some people can force their religions on others when it comes to birth control on people who work for them for fair compensation. This makes one set of religious beliefs more important than others. It also declares that a corporation can have religion beliefs, which can be pretty amusing to contemplate.   This is q quote from Hobby Lobby’s website “We believe that it is by God’s grace and provision that Hobby Lobby has endured.”  How great this god is for allowing a craft store to flourish and not getting around to, oh I don’t know, help people who need safety and food around the world.

Now, how can one determine if a corporation has beliefs and, perhaps more importantly, that it is following these beliefs as defined by some officially recognized religion? If we have a Christian corporation, is it going to heaven? Is it “saved”? Evidently the lawyers and owners of Hobby Lobby think so. Does it have to follow the commandments listed by its god?  It certainly seems like they should considering this quoe from their website: “Honoring the Lord in all we do by operating the company in a manner consistent with biblical principles.”

Does Hobby Lobby advocate murdering everyone working on a Sunday? We do know that they aren’t open on Sundays but I’m sure that they rely on suppliers who have distribution centers that are open on Sundays, factories open on Sundays (oh say in Asia where most of their stock comes from, like Gildan tshirts ), container ships and their crews who bring these supplies to our shores, truckers who must work on Sundays to get their product on the shelves and I’m sure they will complain if those supplies aren’t on time where they want them.  Golly, do they pick and choose just like human believers do?

And that second commandment, no graven images. Seems like HL stocks at least one image that breaks this gem and damns them to hell. “You shall not make for yourself an image in the form of anything in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the waters below.” (the commandment goes onto add that you shouldn’t worship this image either, two distinct commands.) Of course if we keep going, we can see that Hobby Lobby the corporation has to approve of slavery since that is part of their god’s commandments too.   The bible also has that any believer should accept whatever its government says as law, without question since its god put those people in power.  Putting up a defense against the gov’t is saying that their god is wrong for allowing Obamacare to be enacted into law.  It did, didn’t it since this god controls everything in the world?  Oh but not all Christians believe in this.  Hmmm.

Insert "birth control" and still watch the tumbleweeds blow when it comes to inconvenient things that theists don't like to mention.

Insert “birth control” and still watch the tumbleweeds blow when it comes to inconvenient things that theists don’t like to mention.

So, is Hobby Lobby the corporation really Christian? Many Christians would claim otherwise, even if the family who created Hobby Lobby claimed to have created the company with religious concepts in mind.  The court now has put its toe in the water of deciding who has the “right” beliefs.

Ah, hypocrisy, isn’t great? It against shows that religion is nothing more than the claims that some imaginary powerful being agrees with human. It’ll be great to watch any company that tries to invoke this decision will be shown to be just as hypocritical and dishonest as any individual believer.

The decision is limited to a not publicly traded company, e.g. “closely held” e.g. family owned like the Westboro Baptist Church, eh?  (which should be fun if the family doesn’t agree amongst itself). It also says that the government can still step in and say that anything else that these corporations wants to do regarding their religions, e.g. you can’t claim that taxes are against your religion or that public health issues are against your religion, can’t be done. Essentially, this law only applies to certain kinds of contraception, and women can still get birth control thanks to Obamacare. I’m sure that theists will whine about this, because it says that they can’t force their other nonsense on people.  Of course, other corporations will try to push other ideas in front of the court.

In my opinion, the worst problem with the SCOTUS saying that its only supporting the RFRA, is that it directly says that some people’s religion trumps others. The RFRA says “ (a) IN GENERAL. — Government shall not substantially burden a person’s exercise of religion even if the burden results from a rule of general applicability, except as provided in subsection (b). (b) EXCEPTION. — Government may burden a person’s exercise of religion only if it demonstrates that application of the burden to the person — (1) furthers a compelling governmental interest; and (2) is the least restrictive means of furthering that compelling governmental interest. (c) JUDICIAL RELIEF. — A person whose religious exercise has been substantially burdened in violation of this section may assert that violation as a claim or defense in a judicial proceeding and obtain appropriate relief against a government. Standing to assert a claim or defense under this section shall be governed by the general rules of standing under article III of the Constitution.”

So whose religion gets primacy? If I believe that my god supports birth control, then why does another person get to say my religion is wrong and theirs is what is to be followed? If I believe that my religion supports multiple partner marriages, how can my boss, or the government, say that my religion is wrong and only certain ones is right? Can I say that my religion says that people of a different ancestry are demonic and I don’t have to hire them? Can the government, or anyone else say that my religion is wrong if it doesn’t bother government at all?

There is another possible twist to this. Seems like the conservative justices on the SCOTUS, by citing the RFRA, have now reinforced the idea that they can’t forbid much of anything as long as religion believe is invoked. So, now we come to the problem, who has the “real” religions, and who has the most “sincere” claim a la Linus in the pumpkin patch? Are theists willing to have each of their sects and religions judged as “real” by others? Shucks, Scalia, Roberts, Kennedy, Alito, Thomas, all Catholics and on the SCOTUS are sure that any other Christian sect are false at worst and badly misguided at best. You want them to decide that your big ol’ mega church isn’t a true religion? You want the Jewish justices to decide that Christianity isn’t a real religion since there’s no reason to believe that Jesus Christ was the “messiah”? I’m guessing that my theist readers would be horrified if religions were judged on whose qualify, but now that’s what we can have so we can know for sure that the RFRA is being applied correctly. How can we know if someone has a “real” religion, and hasn’t just made one up to get its nonsense accepted as legal?

Now, what I would like to see is that since the SCOTUS says that they can step in to protect people from other stupid religious claims, i.e. refusing blood transfusions, no vaccines, no medical care, this would mean that parents who kill their children, or attempt to kill them, because of their religious beliefs would be punished to the fullest extent of the law. This decision does give support to the idea that religion isn’t quite the legal cover that many wannabe theocrats would wish it is. I’m guessing that there’s not a chance of this, because, as much as the conservative justices want to claim that they can refuse some religious claims, they won’t go that far to save lives, no matter how much they claim to be “pro-life”.

Again, hypocrisy always rules religion.

Postscript: Found this whilst looking at commandments “26 And do not go up to my altar on steps, or your private parts may be exposed.” – Exodus 20. So this god can’t tell its believers about underwear? The Israelites have nothing like underwear? God is offended by seeing body parts it supposedly created? Or is there some magic that suddenly exposes your penis if you use steps near an altar?

Postscript 2 – Congratulations to the usual teabaggers.  You were so afraid of Obama introducing Sharia law.  And now, we have your fellow conservatives enabling it!   Yep, you now have precedent to allow anyone to claim the right to do anything, as long as they sincerely believe it.

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15 responses to “Not So Polite Dinner Conversation – hypocrisy on parade again in the US Supreme Court, the Hobby Lobby decision

    • hmmm, you’re right. Can the church demand a chunk of a companies gross earnings? Many churches demand that people be members. Can a company become a church member and sit as a elder? Can companies lay upon hands and supposedly heal people?

      • There are just so many questions to ask. Can a company change religion or become atheist? I don’t know but I think there is some big problem here

      • indeed. The idiots on the court seem to think that they can solve the problem they’ve created by just denying to hear any cases that might force them to confront the Pandora’s box they’ve opened.

        My husband says that the court has essentially created a environment that can allow Shar’ia law to be enacted piece by piece. Our damn fools have deluded themselves that only Christians have to be accommodated but there is nothing that says an employer has to be of a certain religion.

      • Maybe it only applies to Christianity and the right brand of Christianity whichever that is. I hope the Christians will agree on who the True Christian is

  1. Thank you for articulating this. And this all seems to fly in the face of comments I see every once in a while…that we should all just respect each other’s beliefs, and what a wonderful world this would create.

    • To respect *all* beliefs is lazy, ignorant nonsense.

      To make a wonderful world, we do need discernment and intelligence. Just imagine how “wonderful” the world would be if people respected Nazi beliefs.

  2. Thank God the Supreme Court is still able to make sense out of the Constitution and the Bill of Rights.

    The 1st Amendment guarantees the freedom of speech and the freedom of religion.

    ObamaCare, already a proven train wreck, sought to force Christians into violating their religious beliefs.

    Why is it that atheists hold as sacred, a woman’s right to murder her unborn child but somehow it is a travesty for Christians to protest when the government makes them pay for it?

    • Ah, SOM, the gift that keeps on giving. It’s great to see people like you insist that the SCOTUS can still make sense out of the Constitution and the Bill of Rights. Of course, only when you agree with them. Ain’t that awfully convenient? 🙂

      The first amendment does guarantee the freedom of speech. It also guarantees that the government will not hold one religion superior to another.

      “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”

      In the Hobby Lobby decision, the SCOTUS decided that the Hobby Lobby family’s religion trumped the religion of their employees. This is not freedom of religion at all, but the state saying that some people’s religion is more important than others.

      Oh and please show evidence that the Affordable Care Act is a “proven train wreck”. I’m quite happy with it, because it says my health care rights are equal to anyone’s. It did not seek to force Christians into violating their rights. No one says that you have to take birth control. It says that anyone who wants to can have it available because it is their right to have it available. If you restrict my access to birth control because of your religious beliefs then you are trying to force you religion on to me. You see, SOM, your religious freedom ends at the edge of someone else’s religious freedom. That’s why religious institutions were given an exception to the ACA, that they didn’t have to provide birth control services; they also don’t have to hire people who are not of their faith. Hobby Lobby is not a religious institution, it is a company that does business with the public and employes the public. It cannot say that it will not hire someone because of religious belief because that is against the law. So, to give it an exception for what health care it provides does show that the gov’t is supporting one religion over another. As fair compensation, employers are to pay fair wages to their employees and if the law requires to provide health insurance. That is the legal agreement. To say that the employer can force their religion on someone is not part of that agreement. If they don’t want to follow the law, then they should not want to have a business that gets money from the general public. At least the SCOTUS said that the law is *only* for contraception, so other religious believers can’t force anything else on their workers, they can’t refuse blood transfusion, they can’t refuse to provide health insurance at all if they only believe in faith healing, they can’t refuse to pay for mental health treatment.

      Now, I do wonder, SOM, what would you do if your employer said you couldn’t do something outside of work because of *their* religious beliefs. What if you employer was Muslim, and thought sharia law was just peachy? Would you say it’s okay for them to try to control you or any other employee? I do expect an answer to this, SOM. If you don’t answer, there will be little reason to not think that you really want a theocracy where people are forced to obey your religion.

      Now, what I do love about Hobby Lobby is that they claim to be oh-so Christian, piously closing on Sundays, etc. But they cherry pick your supposed god’s laws and profit from breaking them as long as it is convenient for their business. They are hypocrites, just like you have been shown to be on so many comments. The lovely folks at Hobby Lobby depend on other people breaking the Sabbath to make their products and to get their products to them. Now where are they complaining about that, SOM? Why aren’t they killing those people since that is what God commands? Is it too inconvenient? Darn. Isn’t it just fabulous on how TrueChristians pick and choose what to be so concerned about? It does make it seem that they are only concerned with controlling certain people, and not concerned with following your god’s commands at all.

      I consider it important that a woman is not treated as a slave and told her body is not her own as people like you want to do. Your bible is all about that lovely idea, that women are property, that women are to only be in the home, that women can be raped and then forced to marry their rapist, that women can be killed if she’s not a “virgin”, that women are “only” saved if they have children. I also find it important that a woman can prevent a pregnancy if she doesn’t want one, because unwanted children do not have an easy go of it. Most of the birth control methods are not abortion, they are not killing a child. They are stopping implantation of an egg, something that happens all of the time.

      It is you and your ignorant friends that cause more abortions than they stop, insisting that any means of birth control is abortion when that is only a lie on your part. You act all horrified when there are abortions but you forget that your bible says that killing children is fine and that your god, if it is in control as you claim, causes abortions constantly along with preventing the implantation of eggs. You have no problem in ignoring the problem that children die thanks to their parents denying them medical treatment because they are sure that your god will heal them, and your god does nothing. You have no problem in ignoring that your god allows children to starve when they pray to this god and it does nothing. You just make excuses for this god of yours.

      Abortion is a poor answer to a problem but it is not your place to say someone can’t do it, not because you believe some magical being says it’s wrong. It’s also a travesty to watch people like you insist that they don’t have to help those children born who are unwanted. Ah, the whining about how dare teen mothers need help, that there are things like welfare and food assistance and education assistance. People like you claim to be “pro-life” but you don’t want to support life which needs all of those things. You want to pretend your religion is true and to do that you feel you must force everyone to obey it. You are only pro-control, needing external validation to prop up your self-worth.

      When a Christian protests that the government makes them so something, it is only because they don’t like to do whatever is legal and of course they pick and choose from that as much as they pick and choose what they believe from the bible. They ignore their magic book because it says that *every* law and *every* person in power is there because of your supposed god. It says not to rebel against these things, because this god supposedly put all of it into place. Romans 13. There is no exception to give you an excuse not to obey.

      The government makes businesses pay for insurance. I’m sure you have some of that insurance. Should your employer be able to tell you what medical treatment you can have? Birth control isn’t only for birth control, it is for many other hormone adjusting treatments.

  3. Christians cherry picking? Say it ain’t so. 😯

    Perhaps the best summation against pandering to religious discrimination was uttered by a petitioner at a convocation held recently by the Law Society of Upper Canada regarding the accreditation of graduates coming from a proposed new law school in British Columbia that’s affiliated with (Christian) Trinity Western University that openly refuses to allow gay students who act on their sexual orientation through the doors—a clear charter violation. (For any readers who are unaware, Canada’s Civil Marriage Act was amended to include SSM in 2005.)

    Here is the content of that speech:

    If we allow religious freedom to trump other rights, then no other rights can be protected. There are no protected rights that cannot be sidestepped or sidelined under the guise of religious freedom.

    I think Mr. Mercer made a telling point when he pointed out that we should not allow discrimination to occur at one removed from us when we, as the Law Society, would not allow that discrimination ourselves. If we allow the discrimination to occur at one removed from us, there’s no end to it. There is no end to it. What religious freedom means is freedom of your own conscience. That’s not the same thing as imposing it on others.

    It is incongruous that law students, who will become members of a law society in Canada where they are required to respect and uphold laws, to sign a covenant wherein they thumb their noses at some of the most hard-won and important laws in the land.

    Now, for thousands of years, religions held that it was perfectly justifiable and proper to engage in human sacrifice. It was, for hundreds of years, it was perfectly proper to ignore the commandment “Thou Shalt Not Kill”, and burn heretics at the stake. For hundreds of years, religions held, in the face of scientific evidence to the contrary, that the sun revolved around the earth.

    No problem in believing that the sun does revolve around the earth. There’s no problem in believing that other people are heretics. The problem arises when you impose your religious views on other people to their great harm.

    When two freedoms bump up against each other, we need to come down on the side of the freedom that does the least harm and the freedom, the protected right that does the least harm in this circumstance is the one that prevents institutions, particularly legal institutions, from discriminating against other protected rights.

    […]

    I favour religious freedom. I favour freedom of conscience, but that’s an individual thing. We should not be accrediting an institution, a legal institution that will promote, sustain, spread discriminations that we have relatively recently in our history successfully fought.

    [Transcript (pdf, p. 160, line 9 onward)

    Here’s the video. The the above speech begins at 1:06:18, but the whole final hour of the convocation (beginning at 9:58) is well worth the listen.

    The Convocation eventually voted to reject the accreditation of TWU by a vote of 28 to 21, and at least two other provincial law societies have now followed suit.

    Hopefully the U.S. Supreme Court justices will some day take notice of the developments taking place around the western world for the past decade and finally decide to join the 21st century.

    Good post, BTW.

  4. Oh, I forgot to mention…

    For S&Gs, Hobby Lobby workers should now press their employer to pay them daily—just as the good book commands:

    “Don’t take advantage of a hired person who is poor and needy, whether he’s your fellow citizen or a foreigner who lives in your city. Pay his wages that same day before the sun sets, because he is poor and his livelihood depends on it. Otherwise, he may cry out to the LORD against you, and you will incur guilt.” Deut. 24:14-15 (ISV)

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