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Hobby Lobby: The Corporation Cult & Creeping Theocracy

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On Monday, an all-male majority chorus of Supreme Court Justices determined that a for-profit corporation’s right to exercise its religion is inviolable, and women should probably dummy up and why aren’t they barefoot and pregnant, making them a sandwich in the kitchen, by the way? 

To clarify the ruling’s logic

(a) people have a right to free exercise of religion, under the Constitution but within the context of this case, pursuant to the 1993 “Religious Freedom Restoration Act”
(b) corporations are people; 
(c) therefore, closely held (non-publicly-traded) for-profit corporations are free to impose their owners’ “sincere religious beliefs” on employees. 

The RFRA sets up a scheme whereby a law of general applicability that allegedly interferes with a person’s free exercise of religion be strictly scrutinized to determine if it is constitutional.  The law was passed in response to American Indians’ complaints that federal actions were interfering with their ability to practice their religion and hold services. It also extends to American Indians’ use of peyote in services, and it has been cited as protecting Rastafarians from prosecution for marijuana possession.

When your smug Obama-hating buddies start in with “unconstitutional”, that’s not this case. The Hobby Lobby decision did not rule on the constitutionality of anything. 

The law is designed to protect people’s ability to worship by applying strict scrutiny to any accusation that a law of general application is violating someone’s free exercise rights. “Government shall not substantially burden a person’s exercise of religion even if the burden results from a rule of general applicability.” The test a court will apply assesses whether the burden on religion is in the  “furtherance of a compelling government interest.” The interest must be more than just routine, or a simple efficiency improvement, and relates instead to “core constitutional issues”. Secondly, the rule must be the least restrictive way in which to further the government interest.

Hobby Lobby, however, is not a person and is not exercising a religion. It is a corporate entity – a legal fiction – that sells picture frames and scrapbooking supplies. It’s not a “small business”, because this craft store chain has 15,000 employees and over 550 stores nationwide. It’s a closely held corporation, meaning it has corporate status but its shares are not publicly traded. Its fictional corporate “personhood” enables Hobby Lobby to operate and enter into contracts while limiting shareholder liability. The owners of Hobby Lobby’s shares are all evangelical Christians, and they make much of that on the company’s website. 

Hobby Lobby offers health insurance to its employees, but in order to comply with the Affordable Care Act, the policies needed to cover certain types of contraceptives. Hobby Lobby claims that it objected only to 4 of the 20 specified drugs and devices, because it believes them to be abortifacients – a point that is, itself, open to debate. (Plan B, Ella, and two types of IUDs were affected. These are the morning-after and week-after pill and prevent a fertilized egg from implanting. The Health and Human Services regulation at issue did not mandate RU-486 be covered. Scientifically, these are not “abortifacients”). 

Hobby Lobby itself was not mandated to hand contraceptives or IUDs to its employees, but merely to offer health insurance plans that covered them. Hobby Lobby argued that this mandate violated the company’s right to freely exercise its religion and sought injunctive relief enabling them to not pay for coverage of the four objectionable drugs and devices.

Writing for the majority, Justice Alito sided with Hobby Lobby. The majority, assuming the government had a compelling interest at stake, had a less intrusive way of meeting its goals. For instance, the government could pay for the devices and drugs itself, or mandate the insurers to pay for them. 

So, the outrage over Hobby Lobby is overblown insofar as it’s being made to seem as if the company objected to all contraception. It is not, however, overblown on two other points; namely, the notion that corporations are somehow sentient beings that have “faith”, and the notion that your employer can interfere with and micromanage the coverages you contract for with your health insurer. Remember – it is the policyholder who is the contracting party. 

As Justice Ginsburg’s dissent pointed out, this is a wild expansion of corporate rights at the expense of individual liberties. She noted that the majority’s decision, “invites for-profit entities to seek religion-based exemptions from regulations they deem offensive to their faiths.” The majority basically responded that this was all no biggie. 

Corporate personhood is a legal fiction – a convenience. Yet now we’re to believe that fictional people can hold real religious beliefs – and in many cases, the rights of the fictional person override the rights of a human being. Hobby Lobby as a corporation cannot exercise religion – physically or otherwise. This is the right-wing elite’s dream of expanding the cult of the corporation – something that kicked off when the Citizens United case declared that corporations can have 1st Amendment rights to spend unlimited money to influence elections. 

Justice Alito explained why corporations should sometimes be regarded as persons. “A corporation is simply a form of organization used by human beings to achieve desired ends,” he wrote. “When rights, whether constitutional or statutory, are extended to corporations, the purpose is to protect the rights of these people.”

Justice Ginsburg said the commercial nature of for-profit corporations made a difference.

“The court forgets that religious organizations exist to serve a community of believers,” she wrote. “For-profit corporations do not fit that bill.”

If Hobby Lobby can, by dint of its religious personhood, pick and choose which statutes and regulations of general application it will follow, the same is true of any closely held corporation, regardless of religion. If Hobby Lobby can exercise religion and reject a health insurance mandate for certain prescriptions, then any for-profit corporation can claim “free exercise” and religion rights to reject anti-discrimination laws in hiring, or public accommodations laws. How soon before companies like Hobby Lobby have a “no gays need apply” signs out front, or “no handicapped applicants will be considered”, or “transgendered people and transvestites stay out”. 

With this ruling, it should be mandatory that companies such as Hobby Lobby issue a formal disclosure of the corporate entity’s religious beliefs so that employees can make an informed choice whether to be employed there. It won’t, though, because we have elevated corporate personhood above human personhood, and we have elevated Christianity above all other religious beliefs. 

Welcome to the new theocracy.


  • Government infringement upon liberties = bad.
    Corporate infringement upon liberties = Free Market Awesome! ALL HAIL FREE MARKET JESUS!!!

    • This wasn’t a decision about “free market awesomeness”, it was about respecting people’s religious values. If you want to talk about government infringement upon liberty, start with the AFA, a much greater infringement.

      • Which church does the Hobby Lobby Corporation attend?

      • You would need to ask the people who make up Hobby Lobby for that answer, not that it matters. Congress passed the RFRA, now they must abide by it. It simply statutory The majority of the Supreme Court decision only had 2 dissenters, the 4 dissenters were on a narrow provision of the decision..

      • Earl Gonzalez

        the same one Al Sharpton does

      • ckg1

        Explain to all of us how this is a victory for religious liberty. Because…unless each and every employee of Hobby Lobby gets to decide which laws they’ll follow…and, for that matter, each and every citizen of this country gets to do the same thing…then all this says is that if you have the money and own a company, you get to impose your religion on your employees-the laws be damned. That’s the opposite of liberty.

      • Rick in TX

        what part of this makes you think any religion is being imposed on anyone? no one is being denied access to ANYTHING. they can buy whatever they want with their own money. no one ever said they couldn’t.

      • ckg1

        You don’t get it.

        Go back to Breitbart.

      • Rick in TX

        Then by all means explain it to me. Or just answer my question, if you “get it” that is.

      • ckg1

        There is nothing TO answer. You’re here to stir the pot. Nothing more. Nothing less.

        And, believe me, if this case was about a company whose family just happened to be of…let’s say, the Muslim faith…penny to a pound you wouldn’t be as complimentary of the decision. You’d be foaming at the mouth.

      • Rick in TX

        My only problem with anyone’s religion is if it fails to recognise that their rights stop where mine begin. Outside of that worship whomever or whatever you want. Buddha, Allah, Jesus, God, a goat, or none of the above. Your failure to recognise that access has been denied to no one in this case is intellectually dishonest, plain and simple. That’s the problem with the”gimme gimme” crowd- they just love telling other people how to give them more free stuff. And then when the generosity of the givers reaches a limit, you cry foul. Try providing for yourselves sometime. It feels good.

      • ckg1

        Religion does not trump constitutional rights. You’re free to worship as you please….but you do not have the right to shove your religion down the throat of someone who doesn’t give a rat’s ass what they believe.

        And, sorry, but you’re the one who’s being intellectually dishonest. You just said that the only problem you have with religion is if it doesn’t recognize that their rights stop where yours begin. Here, you have a perfect example of someone’s religion-in this case, your employer’s-interfering in YOUR rights. But, apparently, you don’t care about that.

      • Rick in TX

        You could not have this more backward. It is the opposite of interfering. They are butting out of that decision of the employee to use products they philosophically disagree with. They are not taking it away from them. What part of that is so difficult to understand?

      • ckg1

        WRONG.

        They ARE interfering by telling you exactly what types of birth control you can and cannot get and the ones that they will not pay for because it affects their tender sensibilities.

        Arguing with you is like going on a merry go round. I’m getting off of it because with you, up is down, left is right, freedom is strength, etc.

      • Rick in TX

        they have told their employees nothing of the sort. you can keep claiming this restricts access all you want, but it simply isn’t true. those employees can still use any legal form of birth control they choose. nothing about this decision says any different. if you feel the only way for you to get something is for someone to buy it for you, I feel sorry for you. quitter.

      • No one is buying it for them. It is routinely covered under a policy of health insurance – and the employee is the policyholder and contracting party – and the employee pays the premiums and, possibly, a copay.

        No one was forcing Hobby Lobby to stock contraceptives, or to hand over cash to employees to buy IUDs. The regulation treated Hobby Lobby as it should have – no differently than any other corporate fiction created pursuant to a secular statute.

        The overreach here is the suggestion that corporate entities can have “faith” and interject their “faith” and their phony pseudoscience into a legal contract entered into between an employee and a health insurer.

        Again – the employee pays for the health insurance. There are no “freebies”.

      • Rick in TX

        um, the ENTIRE BASIS of the case lies in the fact that the employer is “mandated” to “provide” this coverage. reading is fun.

      • Mandate to provide coverage – which is a contract between the employee and the insurance company, subsidized by the company but not controlled by it. The employee is free to contract – or not contract -for it. If they choose to do so, it should be none of the employer’s business what the contract says, unless of course you believe in a feudal system whereby the employee is the employer’s vassal and the employer’s rights and beliefs can be imposed on others in the name of “free exercise”.

      • Rick in TX

        You can tap dance all you want with the words, but it is not the government’s place to make someone buy something that they believe is contrary to their beliefs. That’s what it boils down to.

      • Rick in TX

        Once again, for the cheap seats… NOTHING IS BEING IMPOSED. those employees are free to use any of those drugs or devices they like. The employer doesn’t pay for corn flakes, or tube socks, or neck tattoos either, but that doesn’t mean anyone can’t buy them.

      • That’s an interesting point – scientifically, none of these drugs or devices are abortifacients. RU-486 was not mandated, was not covered, and I could be persuaded to side with an employer with a faith-based objection to RU-486 coverage in a policy.

        But like their belief in Jesus, Hobby Lobby’s objection to the devices and drugs cited in the case was wholly faith-based. Now, the SCOTUS is going to buy into some company’s make-believe, faith-based “opinion” about an objective fact, and make law on that basis.

        Talk about an “activist court”.

      • Rick in TX

        The thing about religious belief is that no one gets to even debate about its rationality. That’s the entire basis of our freedom of religion. And this entire debate would be moot were it not for the employer mandate that 70% of the country disagrees with, and back room deals had to be made just to get his own partys votes.

      • Well, you’re clearly deflecting here. The drugs to which Hobby Lobby objected aren’t abortifacients, which was the foundation of their alleged faith-based opposition. We’re basically talking about something no different from a belief and faith in Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny, and we’re tailoring public policy to make-believe.

        If Hobby Lobby wants to be a church or faith-based charity, then apply for the 501c3 and have at it. Hobby Lobby instead chose to be a secular for-profit corporate entity created under the law.

        And mere days later, certain businesses are clamoring to interfere with their employees’ health insurance contracts to not cover ALL contraceptives. Ginsburg was right, and now the theocratic Republicans have lurched us back into a debate that was settled in the 1950s.

      • Rick in TX

        when did free birth control become a constitutional right?

      • It’s not “free birth control”. It’s “medicines and devices that a doctor prescribed for a patient, who has contracted with a health insurer to purchase a health insurance policy”. It’s none of Hobby Lobby’s business what the doctor prescribes, or what the insurer covers for the patient/policyholder.

      • Rick in TX

        1. That’s not a constitutional right either.
        2. This case, in no way, prevents any patient from receiving any medication or devices. This case only concerns who pays for it. If the patient feels so strongly about it, they should have no problem buying it. They aren’t expensive, and everyone knows their policy doesn’t cover every single thing under the sun. Why is this suddenly an issue now?

      • The patient pays for it when the patient contracts for and pays for health insurance. It’s the patient/employee’s contract, not the employer’s. It is unconscionable for the employer to impose his own opinion (again – scientifically, these aren’t abortifacients) and belief system on the patient/employee and dictate what someone else’s private contract can cover.

      • Rick in TX

        Why don’t you ask the president or the secy of hhs who is paying for this insurance. They all seem to understand it is the employer purchasing the coverage, so why can’t you get that through your head?

      • No one is getting anything for free. The employee pays money for the health insurance policy. She is the policyholder and contracting party, not Hobby Lobby.

      • The employer is interfering with the insurance contract between the health insurer and the employee/policyholder. It is none of the employer’s business, and health insurance policies routinely cover these drugs and devices.

      • Rick in TX

        The employer has every right to have a say in that contract, if they are footing the bill. And abortifacients have nothing to do with “women’s health.”

      • They are not footing the bill – they are footing part of a bill incurred by the employee buying health insurance.

        They are not “abortifacients”, and given that your name is “Rick”, perhaps you should keep your opinions about women’s health to yourself?

      • Rick in TX

        Oh,so men have limited rights to free speech now? Or only the ones that disagree with your twisted, liberal thinking?

      • The employer is interfering with the insurance contract between the health insurer and the employee/policyholder. It is none of the employer’s business, and women’s health is not a “vanity service”.

      • Each and every employee of Hobby Lobby can quit their jobs if they object to their employers religious doctrine.

      • UncleBluck

        This was not about respecting peoples “religious” values it was about abortion and the right wing “Christian” values that the “Christians” are always trying to shove down the throats of the rest of civilization….nothing more and nothing less…

    • rhmaccallum

      The Powerhouse Church Of The Presumptuous Assumption Of The Capitalist Corporation. Money for incense, COE’s for priests. Temples for the Bishops.

  • MaxPlanck

    Thank you for your clarity on the matter, Alan which due to my rage after hearing about the decision, I’ve been unable to discern. Your dissemination of RFRA was particularly helpful. Not helpful though, is the Roberts court which is the gift that keeps on giving to the corporatists, the well-off and those seeking to cloak their affairs in all things religious. With yesterday’s decision, I think we’ve got a Trojan horse in our midst.

  • BlackRockLifer

    Strange that Hobby Lobby has no problem doing business with China, I would think that country’s policies on birth control and abortion would warrant a boycott from this holier than thou corporation.

  • hwhamlin

    This is fun — watching the Left get loopy.
    I’m disappointed you don’t do a similar analysis of the extent of the First amendment right to free pharmaceuticals. I guess I’ll have to wait until there actually exists such a provision in the Constitution.

    • Matt

      I have a right as a contracted employee to spend my compensation any way I wish. Health insurance is part of my compensation. If a company doesn’t want to cover contraception they should have to disclose that. Is asking the company’s representatives “what religion does this corporation practice?” an appropriate interview question now?

      • Rick in TX

        your “compensation” includes your paycheck, and you are free to use that part of your compensation package to buy whatever BC you want. forcing them to buy something for you that they have philosophical faith-based objections to is over the line of religious freedom. pretty easy math.

      • Matt

        How are your benefits not part of your compensation package? I certinly compare them when deciding where to work. If something as major as birth control is left out, they should have to disclose that. Before I waste my time with them.

      • Rick in TX

        A. I never said they weren’t.
        B. HL pays for birth control. 16 different kinds.

      • Matt

        Hobby Lobby does, there were other companies named in the lawsuit that choose not to provide any.

      • Rick in TX

        Funny, they aren’t mentioned in this story, much less the headline. If there are others refusing ANY bc coverage, why is HL being attacked, in the headline no less?

      • Matt

        Hobby Lobby was the main plaintiff, they are also the biggest company in the lawsuit that’s why they get the most attention. Conestoga Wood Specialties the Menonite owned company equates birth control with killing humans and was a plaintiff. There is nothing in this ruling preventing other companies from dropping contreception coverage entirely, which is used for treating achne, and, ovarian cancer among other things.

    • Your loyalty to Kim Jong Inc is noted, but this is a statutory issue, not a declaration of constitutionality.

      • hwhamlin

        See above. Read the majority opinion — it’s better than the Daily Kos or Media Matters or Talking Points Memo, for informing you of the holding in the case.

      • I did. It cited violation of the RFRA, not the 1st Amendment.

      • Rob Patterson

        “Our decision on that statutory [RFRA] question makes it unnecessary to reach the First Amendment claim.” The decision is not based on the First Amendment.

    • Marc Rebmann

      This wasn’t decided on the 1st amendment. This is really basic and easy to find out. How did you pass the bar?

      • hwhamlin

        I passed the bar by learning the law. The first mention of the First Amendment Free Expression clause is on page 4 of the majority opinion. I realize that the Lefties all glommed onto Ginsberg’s dissent, but eventually they should actually read the winning entry.

      • “We must decide in these cases whether the Religious Freedom Restoration Act of 1993 (RFRA), 107 Stat. 1488 , 42 U.S.C. §2000bb et seq., permits the United States Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to demand that three closely held corporations provide health-insurance coverage for methods of contraception that violate the sincerely held religious beliefs of the companies’ owners.”

      • Earl Gonzalez

        I think the Supreme Court decided it yesterday. You did just write a post on it.

      • That quote is from the first sentence of Alito’s decision.

      • Earl Gonzalez

        I do believe Samuel Alito is a member of the supreme court

      • disqus_g6fqjyhj09

        On page 4 it is merely used to indicate that the RFRA was amended to remove the First Amendment references from it via the RLUIPA. Oh, and then there’s this on page 65:

        “Any First Amendment Free Exercise Clause claim Hobby Lobby or Conestoga might assert is foreclosed by this Court’s decision in Employment Div., Dept. of Human Resources of Ore. v. Smith, 494 U. S. 872 (1990).”

    • David Staba

      I can’t imagine taking some sort of joy out of someone else’s disagreement on a legal or political issue. What a sad little life for a sad little person.

    • UncleBluck

      This is fun! watching the righties try to impose their beliefs on a nation that is slowly if not surely moving away from the party of angry old white men. What is even more fun is watching the right as they try to impose the old Jim Crow laws as they desperately try to remain relevant in a world that no longer has any use for them. As they continue to wonder why they have lost 5 out of the last presidential elections (remember the Shrub did not win the first one, the angry old men on the court handed him that one), it really would be in their best interest to look forward as they probably will never hold that office again. The right is done. They just don’t realize it yet….or maybe they do……

      • Earl Gonzalez

        So what we are re arguing 2000 and impotent Al Gore on the heels of a successful presidents inability to win? The democrats had there chance to prove theft in 2004 but failed. Two more years of Obama on his current path and the angry old white woman Hillary with her damaged brain won’t even realize she lost

      • You’ve got it backwards. This provision of Obamacare imposes beliefs upon others who don’t want it and don’t agree with it. The Supreme Court decision is a small step restoring the ability of individuals to follow their beliefs.

      • ckg1

        Unless every person in the United States is free to decide what laws they will and will not follow, all this says is that your employer can shove their religion down your throat and there will be two things you can do: Nothing…and like it!

        Just one more thing…and answer honestly: If the religions in this case were anything BUT Christian, would you have the same reaction? my money is on NO. Make that…HELL NO.

      • Rick in TX

        you could not be more wrong. they can buy whatever they want with their own money. no one ever told them they couldn’t.

      • EricSaldanha

        Actually, you’re wrong….the HL case gives the employer the authority to prohibit their employees from using part of their compensation (i.e. health insurance coverage) for a wholly legitimate health care expenditure simply because the employer doesn’t agree with it. It’s the same thing as handing an employee a paycheck, but telling them they can’t spend any of it on booze or weed.

      • Depending upon the circumstances, the government currently mandates that employees spend part of their compensation on Obamacare, whether they want to or not.

      • EricSaldanha

        Except that the federal government is not their employer. It’s merely assessing a tax on citizens, as it is allowed to do under the Constitution (and affirmed by the Roberts Court). Try again.

      • Earl Gonzalez

        And now the Roberts court has a new ruling. So if we use that as a measure you are wrong

      • There is no such thing as “Obamacare”. There is a variety of private health insurance plans available to people on a state or federal public marketplace.

      • Health insurance that is mandated, and controlled by the government, with government subsidies (taxpayer money) is government run health insurance.

      • The principle is the same, no matter what the religion.

      • ckg1

        Agreed. Sounds good in theory, but in practice…not so much! Take a look at this link… http://www.thisistrue.com/rfree.html

      • Earl Gonzalez

        Only Obama is free to decide which laws he will ignore

      • And only cops are free to decide whether they give you a ticket or warning when he pulls you over for speeding. Executives have discretion.

      • UncleBluck

        No it isn’t Mike. Its the religious right trying to shove their beliefs down the throats of the rest of the county. The owners of Hobby Lobby are not trying to deny themselves the benefit, they are denying their employees the benefit that they have paid into as working employees…As for the Supreme Court there are laws being broken by all 5 of the conservative members on a daily basis through their blatant disregard for the laws that cover their supposed separation from political alliances…all 5 of them should be removed…..they are nothing more than political hacks for the right and the associated1%…..

      • rhmaccallum

        Well…they impose auto insurance companies on us. I truly hate that.

      • You can choose to not drive a car and still live your life. You can not choose to live without Obamacare without penalties.

      • jimd54

        You can also not choose to never be sick, at which point your health costs are absorbed by the rest of us. Making you, a deadbeat.

      • You’re making the false assumption that the lack of Obamacare can have only one result.

      • disqus_g6fqjyhj09

        The lack of having health insurance is completely separate from the chance of getting sick and does have only one result: paying a tax.

      • jimd54

        Fair enough, tell me another one, besides being self-insured.

      • Legally, a person could join a Health Care Ministry. My point, however, is that people should be able to excessive their own choice for receiving medical insurance, including the option to buy insurance from any state and purchasing basic Major Medical Coverage, if desired. If people don’t want insurance, let them sign a waiver that lets the government and taxpayers off the hook. People should be free to lead their lives anyway they see fit as long as it does no harm to others.

      • jimd54

        I think a better alternative would be for deadbeats who choose to exercise their individualism be matched with people who sympathize with them letting those people incur the cost. Thus preventing them from hacking said individualism all over everyone else in the elevator.

      • I guess that signals the end of a rational discussion.

      • jimd54

        It’s seldom a rational discussion with you. A waiver? Really? You know as well as I do the second that guy with the waiver’s kid comes down with leukemia, well fuck that waiver.

      • Whatever, I guess you just can’t handle the concept of freedom and holding people accountable for their own decisions. That weakness leads to intrusive controlling government.

      • jimd54

        the concept I struggle with is your individualism square peg trying to fit in the societal round hole. Just for context, I’m a guy who has been a self-employed carpenter for 35-40 years. I do not have employees, I am a one man band. When I am sick or hurt my paycheck stops. Hence, I am rarely sick or hurt (knock on wood).
        What I’ve gleaned over the years is not everyone is comfortable with this “freedom”. It is an old joke that many people at birth, having the cord cut, spend the rest of their lives looking for a place to plug it back in. I’ve learned not to have contempt for these people but to give them their space. Unions for instance are not for me. But I get why people find comfort in them.
        In our society we have all kinds. Government plays a role. If people were angels we would not need government. Not my original thought but more or less what James Madison said back in the day.

      • “If men were angels, no government would be necessary.
        If angels
        were to govern men, neither external nor internal controls on
        government would
        be necessary.”. Madison was also a big proponent of property rights, which includes the notion that people have a right to their own bodies and monies. Clearly, the government controls have failed, precisely as Madison feared.

      • jimd54

        Holy shit, we agree on something. People do have the right to their own bodies and monies. Which is exactly why this SCOTUS decision is wrong headed. Hobby Lobby employees are paying for something they cannot receive and are coerced into health decisions, not by the government, but by a fake human entity.

      • When you get sick and the taxpayer foots the bill because you’re a deadbeat who “chose” not to buy or otherwise obtain proper insurance, you “do harm to others.”

      • rhmaccallum

        Choosing not to drive a car certainly has penalties. This is 2014, not 1890. That’s like asking someone in the Jetson’s time not to drive their personal space car. They could just walk there but the lack of air, pressure and temperature in space kind of is a penalty.
        Obamacare could be, should be better than as conceived and passed. But to the Obama and Obamacare haters I would then ask just why after all these decades upon decades of the world’s costliest system that left a lot of people on the outs…nobody (read Republicans and conservatives) has put forth a better plan. In fact for the most part the sanctity of the “private industry” and all that loose profit potential simply brins tears of joy to their eyes. As long as they have theirs.

      • Because the government, in its infinite lack of wisdom, thinks it can design one size fits all plans without detrimental consequences.

      • Rick in TX

        no one is imposing ANYTHING. they are simply choosing which methods they are willing to shell out THEIR MONEY for. anything outside of that, the employee foots the bill for. where does access even come into play here?

      • rhmaccallum

        Odd viewpoint. HL gets to choose what they shell out their money for all the while saying that the gubment could simply pay for the stuff themselves.
        You and I end up playing anyway. But as a corporation I am sure HL is adept at short-changing their tax responsibility anyway.

      • wnyresident

        How so? I’m pretty sure any employee of Hobby Lobby can walk into any drug store and buy what birth control they would like. Right? Is Hobby Lobby telling employees if they use birth control they are not allowed to work for them? yes or no?

      • In which aisle will you find IUDs?

      • rhmaccallum

        Hardware?

      • wnyresident

        One example.

        http://www.plannedparenthood.org/health-info/birth-control/iud

        You need to see a health care provider to get an IUD. Your health care provider can help you decide if an IUD is right for you. You can find a health care provider who can help you with getting an IUD at your local Planned Parenthood health center or at other clinics.

        Alan. I assume you know how google works don’t you?

      • Planned Parenthood isn’t a store. It isn’t a CVS or a Rite-Aid. You said walk into “any drug store”, and Planned Parenthood isn’t one.

        On top of that, the right wing is waging war on Planned Parenthood, and some states only have one location. That’s quite a hardship, and one you never have to deal with.

      • rhmaccallum

        Watch that use of stereotypes would you my friend? I myself and an old white man, sometimes angry…and I never feel motivated to apologize for it.
        ‘Course, if I had my druthers I’d druther be a young old white man.

  • Tom Beecher

    It’s interesting to me how narrow the perspective is by those cheering this decision. The gloating about ‘antagonizing the left’ will surely backfire the first time some mid-sized S-corp pulls something they don’t like under the guise of ‘religious expression’.

    • John Wilcox

      And all the celebrating by the right will certainly be forgotten by all those females who cannot wait to vote OP/TP.

  • observer

    So Hobby Lobby has religious rights. What church (I assume Jewish and Muslin places of worship are out of the question) does Lobby Hobby belong to? Come to think of it, I’ve never seen Hobby Lobby in church — some Christian!

    • Earl Gonzalez

      I have never seen you in church or anywhere for that matter. Does that mean you do not exist?

      • John Wilcox

        Do you really wanna get in a battle of which side’s outspoken figures actually go to church and mean it?

      • Earl Gonzalez

        Why not Nancy Pelosi is such a good catholic, it might be fun to argue

    • John Wilcox

      Hobby Lobby usually stands in the back of the church reading the weekly bulletin. It skips many weeks at a time, but is always there on Easter.

      Hobby Lobby also hates the church’s baby room because the crying is annoying.

  • If the federal government had stayed away from mandating health insurance coverage, as it should have, the RFRA wouldn’t apply since it does not apply to states.

    • Earl Gonzalez

      Or if they took the time to change the RFRA Statute in the law that would have worked as well. But they could not do that because of Scott Brown. They had to ram home a flawed law. God forbid they try to compromise with evil republicans when they had the numbers to just ignore them.

      • Congress could change RFRA, but then you would probably be looking at a 1st Amendment challenge. SCOTUS started the erosion of religious freedom in the 80’s, perhaps they would now be willing to fix that.

      • Earl Gonzalez

        Alan is amazing how he twists something and then uses it as a straw man argument (kind of like Obama). Thank you michael for understanding the obvious meaning. Instead of trying to change RFRA as part of the ACA Bill /law. they chose to ram through the flawed bill. Scott browns presence would have forced them to actually negotiate with republicans if they wanted health care reform.

      • rhmaccallum

        Well…except that for decades upon decades now Republicans have had no intention of reforming health care, have never presented and pushed any type of reform plan and have stood steadfast opposing any and all reform plans that have been suggested.
        Hard to negotiate with those who don’t want to negotiate, no?

      • Earl Gonzalez

        I have often heard talk from republicans of opening up health care to be able to sell between states, health savings accounts and many other ideas. Bush did medicare part D The problem I the only thing a democrat considers compromise is for you to agree with them 100%

      • These things would not solve the problem of universal coverage. There were two choices – work with insurers to have them participate in a universal scheme, or effectively decimate them by implementing some level of single-payer. President Clinton tried the latter, and that didn’t work, so President Obama tried the former, which is what 1990s Republicans were recommending as a conservative alternative to universal health coverage.

        The only difference is that now, the Republicans no longer count “universal health insurance coverage” as a policy goal. They’ve instead regressed to a more pre-1900 worldview.

      • Earl Gonzalez

        I agree with you about not solving universal coverage. The ACA does not either though. a Marxist view does not solve problems either. The only thing that will solve it is if the individual decides health insurance is important, that may never happen

      • The RFRA was passed in 1993. Scott Brown was nowhere near it.

  • hwhamlin

    The transparency of the Left is refreshing, in comparison to the lack of same in their hero Barry.
    Every 5-4 SCOTUS decision that goes their way is a wise decision guiding Americans to a better tomorrow, and every 5-4 decision that doesn’t go their way is a dark and foreboding overreach suggesting the imminent ascent of totalitarian theocracy.

    • ckg1

      Shorter hwh: Blah blah blah, yargle bargle.

      I can train a cat to do better takes than you.

    • wnyresident

      Good point. 🙂 Funny how the story changes depending how the court rules.

      • SHOCK HORROR: PEOPLE AGREE WITH SCOTUS DECISIONS THEY AGREE WITH, DISAGREE WITH SCOTUS RULINGS THEY DISLIKE. ALSO COMING UP AT 11, RAIN IS WET, SNOW IS COLD, AND RIGHT-WINGERS ARE PREDICTABLE KNEE-JERKERS

      • Earl Gonzalez

        ADD LEFT WINGERS ARE PREDICTABLE JERKERS AND I WILL AGREE WITH YOU.

  • I support the payment of insurance covering the contraceptives for the treatment of actual medical problems. I do not support the government forcing everyone to pay for contraceptives, the use of which is strictly a matter of choice, and the cost is not a significant burden. There are many serious medical conditions that still require the outlay of possible thousands of dollars by a person, even with Obamacare. Framing the argument for the coverage as a women’s rights issue is disingenuous at best. Women’s Rights, in this case, is a buzz phrase used to motivate the uniformed masses.

    • Great. I don’t support the government “forcing everyone to pay for” Viagra or Cialis.

      • Earl Gonzalez

        Could not agree more, men should pay for their own Viagra. You have correctly pointed out that Obama does have remedy. He could force insurance companies or government to pay for it? This is something he could fix today with his pen and phone. This is truly one thing he does not need congress to act on. So why doesn’t he?

        Answer is:

        No political mileage there. Not another opportunity for a battle in the war on woman if he did that. Better politically to once again say congress will not do its job.

      • I don’t either, my position is rather consistent.

      • Earl Gonzalez

        Yes please Michael for Alan’s benefit please list absolutely everything you are for so he need not assume anything

      • Lloyd M. Jr.

        Amen. If it is not a medical necessity, it is personal vanity. Any service having to do with facilitating personal sexual pleasure should be left up to the individual.

    • rhmaccallum

      I might agree with that if we also stopped “everyone” subsidizing others rampant reproduction by things like that child dependent deduction you find on your 1040.
      You don’t want to pay for another’s contraception but in the final end you pay for their progeny.

      • I would eliminate all tax credits and deductions.

      • rhmaccallum

        You would, I would and a host of others would so…what, or who is the hold-up do you suppose?

    • rhmaccallum

      Did you mean uniformed masses or perhaps uninformed masses?

  • jimd54

    I encourage everyone to listen to todays “On Point” with Tom Ashbrooke. Hobby Lobby is just a pawn in a much more sinister power grab by religious zealots. It is creeping and creepy.

    • Earl Gonzalez

      I am pretty creeped out by Nancy Pelosi as well and atheist zealots but this is America and they do have a right. I find ignoring them helps.

      • jimd54

        Wouldn’t atheist zealot be a contradiction in terms? By the look of your posts you don’t seem to be doing a very good job of ignoring anyone. BTW why don’t you like Black Rock Lifer? Do you know him?

      • Earl Gonzalez

        You can be zealous with out being religious. It just means extremely enthusiastic.

        I was speaking specifically about pelosi and atheists. But you are probably right this place is loaded with atheists so I guess I have not been ignoring them too well. Just having fun with them. They do get their shots back.

        I only know him from his posts

  • John Wilcox

    Why does it seem that when corporations want to donate money to a candidate or impose their religious beliefs on others, they’re just a “person” who is allowed to do that, whereas when they do bad things, there’s little accountability because they’re just a big, nameless, faceless corporation?

    • rhmaccallum

      Great question.
      Because when you purchase politicians and government itself you get to make all the rules.

  • Kevin Hickey

    Why does our employer have anything to do with our health care in the first place? Oh yeah, because our system sucks.
    Our health care system is run by glorified bookies.

    • Earl Gonzalez

      Kevin

      Good point, the only reason employers even started to offer health care was when Nixon created wage and price controls. Employers saw it as a way around adding compensation when the GOVERNMENT TRIED TO CONTROL BUSINESS. Now it has become a tool for the government to control corporations.

      • Kevin Hickey

        HA HA!! Ahh yes, the poor babes in the wood corporations at the mercy of Big Government!
        HA HA HA!!
        Whom do you think writes legislation?

    • Sean Crowley

      Because there are too many greedy fucks filling their pockets standing in between Americans and the health care every other industrialized nation provides its citizens.

  • Mr.Snooks

    Hobby lobby is an employer and that should have been the end of discussion. All employers should be bound by the exact same laws. No exceptions.

    • Lloyd M. Jr.

      Snooks opens: “Hobby lobby is an employer…”

      I finish: …and has every right to determine, since they are the ones employing and doling out the money, how their money will be applied.

      As the sayings tell us:

      He who has the gold makes the rules.

      Beggars cannot be choosers.

      There you have it.

  • Rick in TX

    what part of this decision, or HL’s policies, keep these drugs out of the hands of their employees? I’ll give you a hint: NOTHING. they can use whatever birth control drugs they like, but their employer chooses only to provide coverage (with THEIR money) for 16 of the 20. no one is telling these people what they can and cannot use. no one is telling them their jobs are at stake if they do choose the alternative 4 drugs. HL just wants the right to pay for only the ones they don’t have philosophical disagreements with, and they have never objected to the other 16 being included in the coverage THEY pay for.

    • rhmaccallum

      With the current Roberts court we have seen personhood for corporations and an open invitation for corporations and persons of extreme wealth to utilize money in place of speech…in effect allowing them to purchase government influence, buy politicians and end any semblance of one man- one vote. Opening the door to the end of democracy as we know it and our founders envisioned it.
      Now this.
      What thinking, intelligent person believes that it all will end with this HL decision? Corporations and interests of wealth will only be encouraged now to ramp up the pressure and not stop until we have a governance of wealth, for the wealthy and by the wealthy. We are almost there now.
      And with the current majority on the court they will very likely succeed.

      • Rick in TX

        I understand that concern, but the ruling in this case was quite narrow. And by the way, that’s the same argument that was made about the ACA to begin with. If the government can force us to buy health insurance, what will they make us buy next?

      • EricSaldanha

        And, right on schedule, religious groups are trying to bust through the “narrow” H-L ruling to get the government to protect their bigotry and ignorance:

        http://talkingpointsmemo.com/livewire/religious-groups-lgbt-hiring-hobby-lobby

      • rhmaccallum

        A narrow ruling in a concrete trend to elevate corporations to personhood, to elevate wealth and the dollar to free speech and votes.
        It simply has to be encouraging to those who intend to pervert our form of democracy.

      • Rick in TX

        the “money = speech” scotus decision is nearly 40 years old. your point?

      • Lloyd M. Jr.

        Money does equal speech. If one wants to contribute any amount of money to any cause of his or her choosing, that is his or her absolute and perfect right.

  • John Wilcox

    Employees at Hobby Lobby should start a regular collection amongst themselves where all proceeds go to support planned parenthood. Better yet, ear mark the money for abortions only.

    Imagine that: Hobby Lobby money going directly to killing babies. Shame on them.

  • Sean Danvers

    Coming soon – FedEx, UPS, Citibank, Wal-Mart and American Airlines will all embrace Christian Science, leaving them free to abandon all mandated employee heathcare obligations to the hands of Jeebus.

    • Earl Gonzalez

      As opposed to now being in the hands of government and being denied by Lois lerners types in the IRS

      • Sean Crowley

        So Wal Mart employees are all t baggists? Whut?

  • David A. Steele

    What happens if an employee uses their monetary compensation for something the religious owners don’t like. Can they go into their bank account and take back the money?

    • Is that supposed to be an intelligent question? (rhetorical, don’t answer)

      • Why not? If it’s against Hobby Lobby, Inc’s “religion” to subsidize a health insurance policy between two contracting parties that includes certain contraceptives that are scientifically not abortifacients, then what’s to stop Hobby Lobby from pulling back salary and wages that employees use to pay for other things Mr. Lobby (apparently now a human person) objects to?

      • Earl Gonzalez

        Laws would stop that from happening Alan. But then if hobby lobby follows Obama’s example laws do not mean anything anyways.

      • Lamont Cranston

        Apparently laws don’t apply to whiny christian filth.

      • Put it front of these activist theocrats on SCOTUS, and the law can easily be overruled.

      • Kevin Hickey

        Who needs rhetorical questions anyway?

    • Lloyd M. Jr.

      A “question” not worthy of an answer.

  • Lloyd M. Jr.

    All the ruling says is this…
    The employer does not want to be party, via insurance coverages they offer/provide, to abortion or anything else they find objectionable.
    If an employee wants to seek such personal vanity services, (s)he is free, after getting his/her paycheck, to buy such things on his/her own.
    It is not the employer’s duty, nor is it anyone else’s duty, to pick up after everyone’s selfish whims, desires, or dreams.
    2 Thessalonians 3:10… “If one will not work, neither shall they eat.”

    • The employer is interfering with the insurance contract between the health insurer and the employee/policyholder. It is none of the employer’s business, and women’s health is not a “vanity service”.

      • Lloyd M. Jr.

        I said nothing about women’s or men’s health. If it is not a “life-or-death” matter, but having rather to do with personal behavioral desires, it is vanity.
        I would rather that even Viagra be paid for by the individual.

    • donna

      Matthew 25:41-46 “Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. For I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, I was a stranger and you did not invite me in, I needed clothes and you did not clothe me, I was sick and in prison and you did not look after me.’ “They also will answer, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or needing clothes or sick or in prison, and did not help you?’ “He will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.’ “Then they will go away to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life.”

      • Lloyd M. Jr.

        Context, Donna. Context.
        Those willing to screw around ought to pay the price themselves.

  • Lloyd M. Jr.

    Let’s hope this leads to people of religious faith, come tax time, being able to list where they would like their tax money applied, or not applied. This would then make certain “sacred cows” have to survive on their own.

  • Mr.Snooks

    Hobby Lobby is an investor in the very same companies that manufacture the birth control devices that they are so fervently against, does anyone else see the hypocrisy here?

  • donna

    Bob Jones University was sincere in its belief in segregation. The pastor cited nine passages from the Bible to demonstrated that God intended races to be segregated and claimed that inter-racial marriage was playing into the hands of the antichrist. So… has the court reversed itself by allowing Hobby Lobby to impose its personal beliefs on its employees? This is a frightening decision.

  • donna

    It seems to me that Holly Lobby can only dictate health insurance terms if they pay 100% of the premium. If there is any portion of the premium paid by employees, the employees should have some say regarding their coverage.

    AND can Hobby Lobby discriminate against women who have had abortions or who have taken the morning after pill? Can they discriminate against women who have worked in medical offices where abortions were performed? It seems this decision was not very well thought out and leads this country down a dangerous path to place we have already left.