Declining to Pay for Something Isn't the Same As 'Blocking Access' to It

The Hobby Lobby case should spur a debate about which actions are properly compelled or prohibited.

In 1878 the Supreme Court unanimously rejected a Mormon's First Amendment challenge to the federal ban on bigamy. Since marrying more than one wife is a crime, the Court reasoned, allowing it for religious reasons would be akin to allowing human sacrifice by someone who sincerely believes his deity demands it.

The Court had a point, but only if you accept the analogy between polygamy and murder. Likewise, critics of this week's Supreme Court decision concerning religious objections to Obamacare's birth control mandate have a point, but only if you accept their argument that declining to pay for something is the same as "blocking access" to it.

The contraceptive case, Burwell v. Hobby Lobby, involved the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA), a 1993 law that prohibits the government from "substantially burden[ing] a person's exercise of religion" unless it is the "least restrictive means" of furthering a "compelling governmental interest." The Court concluded that the federal rule requiring employers to offer health insurance that covers 20 kinds of birth control, which was challenged by businesses whose owners view four of those methods as morally equivalent to abortion, failed RFRA's test.

Dissenting from that decision, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg cited cases in which business owners objected for religious reasons to serving black customers, hiring "fornicators and homosexuals," and taking pictures of a lesbian commitment ceremony. In the face of claims like these, Ginsburg wondered, "How does the Court divine which religious beliefs are worthy of accommodation, and which are not?"

It was because of such concerns that the Supreme Court, after a series of rulings in which it closely scrutinized laws that impinged on religious freedom, reversed course in 1990. In a case involving members of the Native American Church who were denied unemployment benefits after they were fired for using peyote, the Court decided that neutral, generally applicable statutes are consistent with the First Amendment's guarantee of religious freedom, regardless of their practical impact.

Three years later, Congress responded with RFRA, which passed almost unanimously, reflecting a bipartisan consensus that the Court's new, deferential approach did not provide enough protection for religious freedom. In 2006, when the Court unanimously ruled that RFRA gave a religious sect the right to use ayahuasca, a psychedelic tea that contains the otherwise prohibited drug dimethyltryptamine, the decision likewise was welcomed across the political spectrum.

The Hobby Lobby case has been much more contentious, both on the Court and off, because it involves a law supported by most Democrats and opposed by most Republicans. This partisan divide both illustrates and obscures the broader issue of whether and when it is appropriate to exempt people from generally applicable laws on religious grounds.

Murder is easy. The government clearly should not allow the ritual killing of nonconsenting humans, no matter how important it is to someone's religion. More generally, religion should never be a license to violate people's rights.

If people had a right to free birth control, allowing some employers to violate that right because of their religious beliefs could hardly be considered just. Since there is no such right, it seems to me that letting some people escape this unjustified mandate is better than forcing everyone to comply.

Similarly, religious (and medical) exceptions to drug prohibition make some people freer without making anyone else less free. Although I do not think adults should need a government-approved reason to consume psychoactive substances, it is hard for me to see how arresting people for sacramental use of peyote or ayahuasca advances the cause of liberty.

Still, there is something undeniably troubling about making criminal or civil liability hinge on a person's religious beliefs (or lack thereof). If Americans were not so blinded by partisan commitments, this situation would spur a discussion of which actions are properly prohibited or compelled. When it seems reasonable to contemplate a religious exception to a generally applicable law, that is a pretty good reason to question the law itself.

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  • prolefeed||

    OT, from the thread last night:

    MegaloMonocle|7.1.14 @ 8:20PM|#

    The employment context is a little different, in this way:

    The employer has a contract with his employees, mostly implied, that is revealed by how they act. If the employer has never required that employees submit their cars to a search, its fair to say that's not part of the deal.

    Now, say the employer wants to change the deal. Can he unilaterally do so? Not clear to me that he can. What consideration does the employee get for agreeing to the amendment? In some areas, at least "you get to keep your job" isn't consideration for an amendment to the deal.

    Apparently you don't live in a right to work state. Think of it this way -- every day, you and your employer mutually decide whether what has been a mutually beneficial relationship is still so. Either of you can decide to end the relationship, or propose to modify the terms of the agreement, knowing that if you make unrealistic demands, the relationship ends. It lasts as long as you each think it's a good deal to so associate, and then you move on to something else.

  • some guy||

    It's kind of like every other interpersonal relationship any two people can have...

  • ||

    Why do you guys hate women and minorities most?

  • prolefeed||

    I hate Epi and Warty the most. I love fucking minority women, so that accusation rings a bit hollow. =D

  • Rob||

    I saw what you did there.

  • waffles||

    In my field women are the minority.

  • Harvard||

    Pro bass fisherman, eh?

  • KalkiDas||

    probably tech, like me.

  • steedamike||

    woops, my mind went straight to a 'cotton' field ;

  • Suicidy||

    I too love fucking minority women. Hot ones anyway. And I support the right of all hot women to fuck each other.......while I watch.

  • MegaloMonocle||

    I've always lived in right to work states. The employee is always free to leave a job, but the employer isn't free to fire for any reason or impose any requirements they feel like. C'mon, you know this.

    The parking lot thing? Probably could do that.

  • RishJoMo||

    Dude that makes no sense at all man.

    www.WentAnon.tk

  • some guy||

    but only if you accept their argument that declining to pay for something is the same as "blocking access" to it.

    Apparently Progressives will believe anything you want them to believe if it means they get their way. Principals, not principles.

    The next Republican Congress should pass a law requiring every household to have a gun in it. Not because such a law would be a good idea, but just to give the Progs a taste of their own medicine.

  • ||

    To give the profs a double-dose of their own petardedness, they ought to amend that law to say the government must pay for the gun that is to be put in every home.

  • ||

    Profs=progs.

  • BakedPenguin||

    Profs=progs

    About 90% of the time, anyway.

  • UnCivilServant||

    +1 Ivory Tower

  • KalkiDas||

    They should call it the crimson tower (red)

  • BakedPenguin||

    It would be funny to go after the progs who object to this. "Why do you want to block access to guns for poor people?"

  • Ken Shultz||

    "It would be funny to go after the progs who object to this. "Why do you want to block access to guns for poor people?"

    In a general sense, I don't see why there is anything special about the religious component. In other words, forcing your beliefs on other people isn't wrong because your beliefs stem from religion; forcing your beliefs on other people is wrong because it violates other people's right to make choices for themselves.

    And it's a great point that progressivism is all about using the government to force other people to do various things. The progressives' attempt to force other people to give up their guns, happy meals, sugary sodas, the name of their favorite football team, etc. may not stem from religious belief, but it is all about using the government to force their own values on the unwilling...

    ...and that's what's wrong with violating people's establishment and free exercise rights. It isn't the religious aspect that makes the right to make choices for yourself special--it's forcing Hobby Lobby to do something against their will that makes what Obama was trying to do wrong.

    Progressives I read seem to imagine now that it's okay to violate other people's free will--so long as they aren't using religion to justify it--but that's baloney. When they try to force other people to give up sugary soft drinks, they're acting just like Baptists trying to deny people the right to gay marriage--as far as I'm concerned.

    Religion isn't really the issue.

  • straffinrun||

    A man in a funny hat tell that is right or wrong? What! You came to that conclusion on your own? Stay outta Malibu, goldbricker. *Wacked by coffee mug*

  • Suicidy||

    You're talking about the same group of people who put Stalin, Hitler, Pol Pot, Chavez, etc. in power. The only reason they haven't pulled extreme shit like that is because they haven't got the horsepower to pull it off......yet.

    I've taken shit on this site for advocating brutal force against progressivekind in the past. But the fact of the matter is we better out an end to them before they do the same to us.

  • Eric||

    Do you recommend that we move straight to the ovens for progressivekind, or should we start by making them wear something on their person to identify them first?

  • Seamus||

    The government can't afford it. Instead, require all employers to pay for their workers' guns.

  • ||

    Then the law wouldn't impact the 40-50% of children aged 21 to 26. Who is going to provide access to self defense for those poor, lost souls?

  • UnCivilServant||

    Environmentalist groups!

    If their warmists predictions are correct, we're going to need a gun behind every withered blade of grass to fight off the starving hordes.

  • ||

    But isn't one of their stated goals to see about 75% of the worlds population die off? You know, the 75% that think their policies are full of shit.

  • Rob||

    If their stated goal was really to cull the population by 75%, wouldn't they support arming everyone? They already think giving people guns turns them into mass murdering maniacs. By their own logic arming everyone should lead to an immediate and massive reduction in the population.

    /sarc

  • Idle Hands||

    yeah but they intended those people to eat natural organic meat and heat their houses with the energy from the sun, they didn't see this coming.

  • Akira||

    Hell yea... I've been window-shopping this Sharps Rifle at my local gun store for ages!

    There's no way I can afford that on my own, therefore my employer is denying me my Second Amendment rights!

  • perlhaqr||

    Wouldn't making it be something their job has to buy be more congruous? Or if they are unemployed, that they have to buy a firearm or pay a PenalTax? :D

  • Matrix||

    I do find it quite annoying how crazy they have become over this issue. Apparently someone else not paying for something they want is infringing on their rights. If I refuse to buy your birth control, somehow I am nosying on your bedroom or trying to control your uterus.

    But if I do have to pay for it, would I not have a vested interest in trying to control your bedroom activities and your uterus?

    But no, they want benefits and no responsibilities. If you want me out of your bedroom, that's fine. I don't want to be there. Nor do I want to be in control of someone's uterus. But with that, I don't want to have to pay for that shit either. Pay for your own shit. It's not that fucking difficult.

  • ||

    It's even worse than that. They're not refusing to buy their employees birth control. They just don't want to pay for 4 of 20 particular kinds of birth control.

    It's like the progs are demanding that the rich pay for everybody's food and rather than pass out soup and sammiches, they want us to hand them menus to a dozen local restaurants where they can select what they want off each menu...at someone else's expense.

  • ||

    Dear Everybody

    Please pay for my deep dish pizza smothered in artisanal mayonnaise

    love and kisses

    ifh

  • UnCivilServant||

    -1 Lunch

    If you find it, don't tell me, I don't think I want it anymore.

  • ||

    Please? PLEASE????.

    Progs don't say please. They jam a government gun in your back and say "stick me up".

  • ||

    Me=em.

    Rough day on the autocorrect front for me.

  • UnCivilServant||

    We still haven't gotten around to figuring out how to pay for the government guns yet.

  • ||

    They could just close every armory and pass the guns out we have stored there. Some people will end up with some old M-14's and some will end up with .50 cal belt fed guns.

    I like it.

  • Restoras||

    I'll trade anyone for an M-14.

  • Eggs Benedict Cumberbund||

    M-14's are very cool but I would settle for Sprinfields M1A.

  • ouija147||

    It's their hypocritical stand

    google about their 401k this is from a Forbes article quoting a MJ piece

    The following is a summation of the companies manufacturing these products that are held by the Hobby Lobby employee retirement plan, as set forth by Ms. Redden’s remarkable reporting:

    These companies include Teva Pharmaceutical Industries, which makes Plan B and ParaGard, a copper IUD, and Actavis ACT +0.43%, which makes a generic version of Plan B and distributes Ella. Other holdings in the mutual funds selected by Hobby Lobby include Pfizer PFE +1.35%, the maker of Cytotec and Prostin E2, which are used to induce abortions; Bayer , which manufactures the hormonal IUDs Skyla and Mirena; AstraZeneca AZN +0.66%, which has an Indian subsidiary that manufactures Prostodin, Cerviprime, and Partocin, three drugs commonly used in abortions; and Forest Laboratories, which makes Cervidil, a drug used to induce abortions. Several funds in the Hobby Lobby retirement plan also invested in Aetna AET +1.21% and Humana, two health insurance companies that cover surgical abortions, abortion drugs, and emergency contraception in many of the health care policies they sell.

  • Matrix||

    Two keywords: mutual funds.

    Those include a variety of stocks.

    And Hobby Lobby has a right to be hypocritical all they want.

  • ouija147||

    Yes they do have that right...never said that they didn't

    But

    There are mutual funds that pander to the religiously afflicted

    Timothy Plan
    Ave Maria Fund

    Both screen out companies...
    that manufacture abortion drugs
    support Planned Parenthood
    engage in embryonic stem cell research

  • Warren's Strapon||

    You might want to post this two or three more times.

  • The Bruce||

    They are hypocrites. So what? What is your point? Should the Supreme Court rule based on Hobby Lobby's sincerity and not the Constitution?

  • perlhaqr||

    They actually didn't invoke the constitution in the ruling. This was all RFRA, not 1A.

  • JWatts||

    So the 401K Administrator for Hobby Lobby, which is a third party, has a wide variety of stocks available for the employees to purchase with their 401K money. How the hell does this make the owners of Hobby Lobby hypocrites?

  • Bill Dalasio||

    As I've said to a couple of my more progressive friends, where the hell is my Maserati? I have a right to have whatever the hell kind of car I want. And dammit, I want a Maserati! Therefore, by not buying me a Maserati, they're violating my rights. And that's an injustice that should not stand.

  • Eggs Benedict Cumberbund||

    Maserati's are for new money scum that aren't on the Ferrari dealer's list for new car purchase privileges.

  • Bill Dalasio||

    You know what? You're right! They need to buy me a Ferrari, too! I want a Maserati and a Ferrari! It's my right, dammit, and they're denying me my rights.

  • KalkiDas||

    don't give them ideas, please!

  • Brandybuck||

    Slight correction. If EVERYONE got soup and sammiches the progs wouldn't have a problem. On the other hand, if some employers provided pizza and sammiches there would be a problem. Vegan employers should be FORCED to provide cheesy pepperoni pizza as well. Because if the employer doesn't provide the pizza, how can the employee eat?

  • Doctor Whom||

    Giving less is taking! Taking less is giving! Not subsidizing is forbidding! My body, my right to choose, someone else's problem paying for it!

  • RG||

    Its not annoying, its deeply frightening that this mentality has taken root on the country.

    I've continually asked them how an employer not buying their food doesn't infringe on their right to access food. They're too busy foaming at the mouth with their two minute hate to be bothered to contemplate the question.

  • Scruffy Nerfherder||

    de Tocqueville was correct. He just couldn't foresee how government would co-opt businesses to implement the policies of theft and largesse.

  • perlhaqr||

    Oh, if only it was only two minutes.

  • Bender Bending Rodriguez||

    "KEEP YOUR BIBLE OUT OF MY BEDROOM!"

    "Hey, that's cool, I'll just grab my wallet on my way out..."

    "THE WALLET STAYS, BIGOT!"

  • KalkiDas||

    I'm saving this quote. Fantastic!

  • Robert||

    It's not even somebody else paying! You think the employees' premiums wouldn't reflect the cost of things like routine birth control purchases?

  • steedamike||

    Correct - just like employer health insurance costs are bourne by the employees' paychecks. It's just harder to notice.

  • Robert||

    Plus, it's funny to think this is about Hobby Lobby's paying of anything. It comes from their employees' compensation.

  • Akira||

    Exactly... If they were forced to buy birth control for employees, it would most likely be reflected in their overall wages.

    It's almost like progressives don't understand that "corporations" don't have an endless supply of money!

    It's almost like they don't understand that businesses will pay employees whatever they feel their labor is worth.

  • perlhaqr||

    It's kind of a fuzzy line.

    I don't know how HL has their setup working, but at my job, I pay 50% of my insurance premiums, and my employer pays 50% of the premiums. Which, yes, if the employer wasn't paying that, in theory they could pay me more. In practice, opting out of buying insurance won't get me a higher salary (other than the portion of my salary that doesn't go to health insurance, obviously).

    And my employer is *huge*, so, the group discount we get makes my health insurance costs a lot less than they'd be otherwise. I suspect that I'd pay more than the 100% cost myself if I tried to get insurance as a standalone person.

    Ultimately, I don't even care what reason HL has for their stance. It's enough for me that they say "We'll pay you $X an hour and offer health insurance that covers A, B, and C, but not X, Y, and Z." Having your mafioso Uncle Sammy come stand in the corner and point a gun at your boss while you "suggest" that they cover X, Y, and Z too is the offensive part.

  • Warren's Strapon||

    I don't think this would wake them up in any way. At no point would their argument be that the government didn't have the authority to pass this law. They'd just object to the content of the law.

  • some guy||

    True. I've given up on trying to wake these people up. I just want to rub their own idiocy in their faces while laughing smugly.

  • Eggs Benedict Cumberbund||

    I personally like knowing that Team Red + Libertarians have more guns than Progs, so I'm not willing to skew that ratio toward the Progs.

  • prolefeed||

    Still, there is something undeniably troubling about making criminal or civil liability hinge on a person's religious beliefs (or lack thereof). If Americans were not so blinded by partisan commitments, this situation would spur a discussion of which actions are properly prohibited or compelled. When it seems reasonable to contemplate a religious exception to a generally applicable law, that is a pretty good reason to question the law itself.

    I don't think it is as much about blind partisan commitments as it is about the lack of an epiphany that it is wrong to have people wearing state costumes do things on your behalf that you would find morally hideous to do personally to your neighbors.

  • ||

    a discussion of which actions are properly prohibited or compelled.

    I'm racking my brain trying to think of any action that is properly compelled by the state. And I just can't come up with one, sorry.

  • UnCivilServant||

    In a minarchist view, if the state is mediating torts, wouldn't enforcing the ruling against the offending party be an action properly compelled by the state?

  • ||

    Perhaps. I always considered the party as having volunteered to take part in the mediation though. Also, wouldn't they have to have voluntarily entered into a contract with the aggrieved party that they broke, thus necessitating the mediation?

    Maybe I'm being too literal in my definition, but it don't see compulsion because the association necessitating the mediation is voluntary to begin with.

  • UnCivilServant||

    There's always those cases where both sides are convinced the other is in the wrong, and knowing human nature, will resent and/or resist compliance because it's "not their fault".

    So I can see your point, but the cynic in me know that "Voluntarily entering an agreement" and "willingly abiding by all its terms" are not mutally assured elements.

  • DJF||

    """"it is about the lack of an epiphany that it is wrong to have people wearing state costumes do things on your behalf that you would find morally hideous to do personally to your neighbors."""

    I think the problem is that they don't think its morally hideous to do it personally to their neighbors, I think they lack the guts to do it. So they have the government do it. They think what they do is morally superior and their neighbors are evil for what they do.

  • ||

    Is it really too hard to remove employer involvement in health insurance?

  • prolefeed||

    Politically, yes. Constitutionally, no.

  • Suicidy||

    Aside from the Army I gave never had employer provided insurance. It was never a problem until Obama and his evil care. My mediocre private policy that cost me about $3k per year was cancelled, and the next best thing was Obama's shit ass platinum (should have been called talc) plan for $6.7k per year.

    Not a fucking chance was I going to pay that. So now, thanks to that fucking traitor Obama I have no health insurance for the first time in 43 years.

    Having a private policy was easy, and it made it less complicated to change jobs when I was not self employed.

    Goddamn Barack Obama
    Goddamn the democrat party.

  • Scruffy Nerfherder||

    The third party method of government control works too well for them to give it up. Think of it this way, businesses collect taxes for the government, they implement social policies for the government, they restrict choices by order of the government, they collectively insure by order of the government.

    If you remove that barrier between the government's demands and the average citizen, the backlash will be tremendous. The entire system would unravel. Government knows this and that's why it will never happen.

  • ||

    But I also feel the need to focus on the part of the 1878 ruling--religion should never be a license to violate people's rights. Maybe if we had a collective discussion of what "rights" are or we REALLY have and the people--not legislative bodies, but THE PEOPLE--actually voted on it, maybe we would start to accept each other. I'll get off my "perfect world" soap box now. :-(

  • ||

    Fuck that shit. The last thing I want "the people" voting on is what they consider a right and who they can make pay for that right to be enjoyed. That's how places like California became such progressive shitholes with absurd taxation, withered acreage in the valley and a fucking suicide net under the Golden Gate Bridge.

  • Swiss Servator, CH yeah!||

    California reminds me of the old Billy Joel song...

    Blackout, heatwave, .44 caliber homicide
    The bums drop dead and dogs go mad
    In packs on the West Side
    Young girl standing on a ledge looks like another suicide
    She wants to hit those bricks
    'Cause the news at six gotta stick to a deadline
    While the millionaires hide in Beekman Place
    The bag ladies throw their bones in my face
    I get attacked by a kid with stereo sound
    I don't want to hear it but he won't turn it down
    Life is tough but it's just enough
    To hold back the tears until it's closing time
    I survived, I'm still alive
    But I'm getting close to the borderline
    Close to the borderline

    A buck three eighty
    Won't buy you much lately on the street these days
    And when you can get gas
    You know you can't drive fast anymore on the parkways
    Rich man, poor man, either way American
    Shoved into the lost and found
    The no nuke yell we're gonna all go to hell
    With the next big meltdown
    I got remote control and a color T.V.
    I don't change channels so they must change me
    I got real close friends that will get me high
    They don't know how to talk and they ain't gonna try
    I shouldn't bitch, I shouldn't cry
    I'd start a revolution but I don't have time
    I don't know why I'm still a nice guy
    But I'm getting close to the borderline
    Close to the borderline

    I thought I'd sacrifice so many things
    I thought I'd throw them all away
    I didn't think I needed anything
    But you can't afford to squander what you're not prepared to pay

  • Swiss Servator, CH yeah!||

    I need a doctor for my pressure pills
    I need a lawyer for my medical bills
    I need a banker to finance my home
    I need security to back my loan
    It isn't new what I'm going through
    But everybody knows you got to break sometime
    Another night I fought the good fight
    But I'm getting closer to the borderline
    Closer to the borderline.

  • ||

    In case anybody wants to hear it: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3DBHWCy2jfQ

  • ||

    And if they don't, here's another "Borderline" they might like: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v.....feature=kp

  • Harvard||

    Makes me mourn Waylon's death all over again.

  • sarcasmic||

    Once upon a time our government operated under the principle of enumerated powers and unenumerated rights. That means that the government can do that which is allowed, while the people can do anything that is not prohibited. That's been turned on its head. Now the government is limited not by enumerated powers, but by the Bill of Rights. It has the power to do anything that is not prohibited. And the people? Well, we can do what is allowed, and nothing more.

  • Restoras||

    And the people? Well, we can do what is allowed, and nothing more.

    That's what Freedom is, according to progtards.

  • Redbeard||

    Remind me again, where in the Constitution does it say you have the right to have other people pay for your shit?

  • sarcasmic||

    General Welfare.

  • Warren's Strapon||

    Also, paying for shit=commerce.

  • sarcasmic||

  • sarcasmic||

    crap. that was meant to go below

  • Rich||

    "How does the Court divine which religious beliefs are worthy of accommodation, and which are not?"

    Emphasis added. Nice, Ruthie.

  • ||

    had to repost because it tried to use my fake tags

    (devil's advocate) In response to your paragraph, "Murder is easy. The government clearly should not allow the ritual killing of nonconsenting humans, no matter how important it is to someone's religion. More generally, religion should never be a license to violate people's rights." If a religious sect is founded on the basis of the ancient Aztecs but insists that a sacrifice to the gods is only worthy if the ah "victim" is willing, using the argument "the gods must have chosen him, he is willing and wanting to be sacrificed", and a little research finds that all their willing and wanting sacrifices suffer from a horrible, currently incurable affliction and the sect is in every State except Oregon, were assisted suicide is legal. Should SCOTUS allow ritual human sacrifice in this instance? The victim is willing and wanting! (/devil's advocate)

    But I also feel the need to focus on the part of the 1878 ruling--religion should never be a license to violate people's rights. Maybe if we had a collective discussion of what "rights" are or we REALLY have and the people--not legislative bodies, but THE PEOPLE--actually voted on it, maybe we would start to accept each other. I'll get off my "perfect world" soap box now. :-(

  • ||

    I'll reply again.

    Why would you want "the people" determining what they consider rights and who is responsible for providing them those rights? That kind of true democracy leads down some pretty dark paths if you ask me.

    Two lions and a lamb voting on who has a right to dinner and which one will be the main course comes to mind.

  • Scruffy Nerfherder||

    This. I'm extremely cynical when it comes to the people's understanding of natural rights. It's a cultural mindset that has been lost in this country and largely doesn't exist elsewhere.

  • ||

    yep

  • Restoras||

    The concept of natural rights also gets in the way of any group that wants to force its ideology on another - and is perhaps a reason a) the Founders enshrined certain rights, and b) at any given point in time, both left and right grumble about the Constitution.

  • Robert||

    My understanding of natural rights is that someone asserts certain rights are "natural".

  • Suicidy||

    Why do you think progs are so obsessed with eliminating Christianity from American culture? 50 years ago they could never get away their evil shit like they do now. Now people have very few morals, and far less education. Which is what prog traitors need to spread their evil.

  • Redmanfms||

    Why do you think progs are so obsessed with eliminating Christianity from American culture? 50 years ago they could never get away their evil shit like they do now.

    Bullshit.

    50 years ago Johnson gave us the Great Society. 30 years before that Roosevelt gave us the New Deal. The idea that a "decline" in public Christian morality is what allows Democrats to pass awful bills is fucking moronic.

  • Rob||

    +1 lamb chops.

  • Robert||

    Well, OK, but somebody is going to have to determine what rights should exist, or even whether the legal system should be rights-based. What makes you think having people vote on those Qs gives any worse outcomes than any other impartial system? Having you as the boss doesn't count, and no robots.

  • ||

    The NAP is a good launching point for any determination of what "rights" should exist in a free and just society.

    There. Problem solved.

  • Bill Dalasio||

    And a well armed lamb contesting the vote is a constitutional republic.

  • sarcasmic||

    "Government is the great fiction through which everybody endeavors to live at the expense of everybody else."


    -Bastiat

  • Rich||

    These religious issues were a lot easier to deal with in olden days, like when Aaron's rod turned into a serpent and swallowed the serpent-rods of Pharaoh's sorcerers.

  • ||

    Aaron's? Ah.. can you cite your source and permit me to read that story?

  • Rich||

  • Restoras||

    Do you mean to tell me that Hollywood lied to me?!?!

  • Rich||

    ?

    Ima say "No".

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    Yeah, we know some dude hasn't sat in on a Passover seder.

  • Rich||

    Matzo matter with you guys this morning?

  • Rich||

    *** coffee kicks in ***

    Never mind.

  • Notorious G.K.C.||

  • The Late P Brooks||

    Is it really too hard to remove employer involvement in health insurance?

    You just don't understand. People are dumb, feckless children. If you pay people their full compensation up front, in cash, they will squander the money on data plans and shoes instead of buying insurance. Then, when they get hit by a bus, they'll go on welfare, and we'll all pay.

  • Rich||

    Obviously the solution is to withhold insurance premiums in addition to income taxes.

  • Scruffy Nerfherder||

    Why do I get the feeling that is coming?

  • Rich||

    Not a doubt in my mind. 8-(

  • perlhaqr||

    I'm not sure that's not here. My insurance premium comes straight out of my check. Heck, it's even pre-tax.

  • Auric Demonocles||

    Of course they'll go on welfare when they get hit by a bus. You get more benefits once you have a kid.

  • Suicidy||

    Or, as Orwell wrote in Animal Farm;

    “No one believes more firmly than Comrade Napoleon that all animals are equal. He would be only too happy to let you make your decisions for yourselves. But sometimes you might make the wrong decisions, comrades, and then where should we be?”

  • Spearmint17||

    "Murder is easy. The government clearly should not allow the ritual killing of nonconsenting humans, no matter how important it is to someone's religion."

    I think it's important to point out that according to the beliefs of Hobby Lobby and Conestoga, those four forms of contraception are basically murder -- because there's a chance that the contraception will prevent a living human embryo from implanting in the womb.

  • ouija147||

    I think it's important to point out that they are hypocrites

    Their 401K is investing in the very drugs and devices that they claim to oppose.

    There are funds that specifically select out those investments for the religiously squeemish...

    Google hobby lobby 401K

  • Warren's Strapon||

    I'll get right on that, Maddow.

  • ouija147||

    I don't get it...who is Maddow?

  • The Bruce||

    Why is it important?

    Hobby Lobby's hypocrisy and sincerity were not on trial.

  • jdfinct||

    That money belongs to the employees does it not?

  • Rich||

    Murder is easy. The government clearly should not allow the ritual killing of nonconsenting humans, no matter how important it is to someone's religion.

    That's just according to *your* religion, Jacob.

  • Harvard||

    The government clearly should not allow the ritual killing of nonconsenting humans, no matter how important it is to someone's uterus.

  • Marktaylor||

    If I were an alien visiting this planet I'd think women were a helpless group of mentally disabled people by listening to the feminists.

  • Doctor Whom||

    If I were an alien visiting this planet, I think that everyone outside of government and the government-ass-kissing media was helpless and mentally disabled, by listening to progs.

  • Warren's Strapon||

    Alien visitors? Hell, they've almost convinced me.

  • perlhaqr||

    And they are kinda their own worst enemy. I mean, did you read Ginsburg's dissent? After all the "women have vastly higher health care costs" stuff I'd think it no wonder employers didn't want to hire them.

    "Wait, you think this woman is on your side?"

  • Rich||

    Still, there is something undeniably troubling about making criminal or civil liability hinge on a person's religious beliefs (or lack thereof).

    "Oh, ye of little faith!"

  • Restoras||

    War on Wimminz!

    The White House has not narrowed the gap between the average pay of male and female employees since President Obama’s first year in office, according to a Washington Post analysis of new salary data.

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/.....ml?hpid=z4

    Interesting that this is in the WP. I wonder what effect Jeff Bezos is having on the paper.

  • Idle Hands||

    well considering they had Sandra Fluke write an op-ed on the Hobby Lobby case I would say minimal at the most.

  • Doctor Whom||

    Buttplug will shortly be around to explain how it's Bush's fault.

  • ||

    It's the opposite, actually. IME, the lack of more Bush is what leads to more sexual activity. If there was a lot more Bush around, the desire to have casual sex would diminish.

  • Harvard||

    I've certainly found it true in my life. Whenever I found myself around the Bush sexual activity followed.

  • ||

    I'm more of a scorched earth man myself.

    Or,at least a well-mown lawn.

  • Harvard||

    So, you like Brazil in the cup then?

  • Stilgar||

    Isn't the far larger issue that the goverments have somehow defined as a "right" womens (not men!) ability to have free birth control?

    If you don't want to pay for your own birth control, then don't fuck.

  • Scruffy Nerfherder||

    We must have a world without consequences. If consequences exist, then responsibility must exist as well.

  • sarcasmic||

    Freedom means being free from consequence and responsibility. That's why freedom means asking permission and obeying orders. As long as you've got permission and/or are acting on orders, you're not responsible.

  • ||

    The proggies are pulling the old "a lot of women need it for reasons other than birth control" and "most of these women using IUD's cannot take,oral contraceptives" bullshit canards.

    It reminds me of "most abortions are due to rape or when a woman's life is in danger" bullshit claim they trot out every time someone wants to regulate an abortion mill like any other medical facility.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    Minimum wage sets the lowest possible compensation an employer can pay his worker (provided he's not in Nancy Pelosi's district) and thus Obamacare adds to that minimum with free pecker ponchos. Unicorns in the sky can't change that. #WarOnWomen #FrenchPurses4All

  • Scruffy Nerfherder||

    I love it when they start to eat themselves.

    Hey "some" men of DU

    if you feel the need to down play the Hobby Lobby decision
    if you feel the need to think righteous anger is "hair on fire"
    if you feel the need to diminish the righteous anger by pointing out condoms aren't covered by insurance
    if you feel the need to point out that it's only 4 types of contraception that aren't covered (which in fact is an out and out lie)
    if you feel the need to say that women can still pay extra for their contraception therefore no rights are infringed upon
    if you feel the need to call women who are concerned and angry over the decision hysterical

    Kindly go fuck yourself.
  • Restoras||

    Tolerance is being intolerant of tolerance.

  • sarcasmic||

    No, no, no, no, no. Tolerance is being intolerant of intolerance, with intolerance being defined as anyone who doesn't agree with you. Enlightened progressives are tolerant. Anyone who disagrees with them is intolerant, and not to be tolerated.

  • Restoras||

    George Orwell couldn't have said it better.

  • Notorious G.K.C.||

    You mean that even on DU, there are people who aren't freaking out over the OMG fascist decision?

  • Scruffy Nerfherder||

    Even on *gasp* balloon-juice.

    Of course the response to them has been vitriolic

  • Auric Demonocles||

    There's this hot redhead that I'm Facebook friends with because she lives nearby and we met via some mutual friends (and she's a hot redhead). I recently had to add her to the unfollow group because of her reaction to the abortion clinic buffer zone decision. Most ridiculous part: while ignoring the actual facts of the case and ranting about women getting assualted going into PP, she said "As a man, you're lucky you blah blah blah". When she got called out on playing the gender card she got pissed.

  • Restoras||

    Never stick it in crazy.

    Redheads are crazy.

    Ergo...

  • MJGreen||

    "Hey, you are actually trying to react reasonably to this narrow decision? Go fuck yourself!"

  • Eric Bana||

    I find it odd that women are the center of discussion in contraception. A man has to be in the picture for contraception to be necessary.

  • Notorious G.K.C.||

    Charles Krauthammer, though he supports the Hobby Lobby decision, believes that the Democrats will be able to make political hay by calling the decision part of the War on Women.

    http://www.nationalreview.com/.....-nro-staff

  • Restoras||

    He's probably right.

  • OldMexican||

    [...]but only if you accept their argument that declining to pay for something is the same as "blocking access" to it.


    But that is exactly what Tony was arguing yesterday (ok, more like rambling). You see, if I stop paying for someone else's shit, I'm in reality blocking that person from obtaining it because that person is a helpless pile of flesh and bone and not an actual person with brains. But Tony and all leftists hate women, so who should be surprised? (See what I did there? Yeah, two can play that game!)

    By the way, only the desktop version of Reason will let me comment from mr Android device. Just an interesting observation.

  • ||

    What the fuck is an "Android"?

  • Warren's Strapon||

    Someone who read Atlas Shrugged.

  • sarcasmic||

    Not taking is giving and not giving is taking.

    So if you don't give something to someone, you're taking it away.

    Also, Tony has not decided he is a lover of liberty. But he has a more enlightened view of liberty than low-browed libertarians. Things like infectious diseases and dying in childbirth affect our liberty. So we need government coercion to protect us from those things and give us more liberty. Thus government coercion is liberty, and since Tony loves government coercion, Tony loves his enlightened definition of liberty.

  • Auric Demonocles||

    Michael: Well, I’ll tell you what. I’m going to give you a promotion. Welcome aboard, Mr. Manager.

    George Michael: Wow. I’m Mr. Manager.

    Michael: Well, manager; we just say manager. And you can hire an employee if you need one.

    George Michael: Do you think I need one?

    Michael: Don’t look at me, Mr. Manager.

    George Michael: Right, it’s up to me now. I’m Mr. Manager.

    Michael: Manager. We-we just say, uh...

    George Michael: I know, but you...

    Michael: Doesn’t matter who.

  • sasob||

    Although I do not think adults should need a government-approved reason to consume psychoactive substances, it is hard for me to see how arresting people for sacramental use of peyote or ayahuasca advances the cause of liberty.

    Somehow I don't think the government, or even the Supreme Court, is concerned with advancing the cause of liberty.

  • creech||

    I once worked for a business that gave out turkeys or hams, your choice, at the holidays. Then a Jewish family bought them out, and eliminated the ham giveaway. Why were they allowed to deny us access to food?

  • ||

    True story: I once went to a huge holiday party at a friend's parents house and I took a ham because I really wanted ham and they were Jewish.

    They were aghast. But I got to eat all the ham I wanted. Win!

  • sarcasmic||

    I couldn't be Jewish. I mean, a life without bacon isn't a life worth living.

  • Matrix||

    There are beef and turkey alternatives which I find yummy.

  • sarcasmic||

  • ouija147||

    Their 401k invests in the very drugs and devices they object to

    They have a responsibility to know what they are investing in. In fact there are funds just to avoid any offensive investment

    The company's 2012 Annual Report of Employee Benefit Plan was filed with the Department of Labor.

    From a Forbes article

    The following is a summation of the companies manufacturing these products that are held by the Hobby Lobby employee retirement plan, as set forth by Ms. Redden’s remarkable reporting:

    These companies include Teva Pharmaceutical Industries, which makes Plan B and ParaGard, a copper IUD, and Actavis ACT +0.43%, which makes a generic version of Plan B and distributes Ella. Other holdings in the mutual funds selected by Hobby Lobby include Pfizer PFE +1.35%, the maker of Cytotec and Prostin E2, which are used to induce abortions; Bayer , which manufactures the hormonal IUDs Skyla and Mirena; AstraZeneca AZN +0.66%, which has an Indian subsidiary that manufactures Prostodin, Cerviprime, and Partocin, three drugs commonly used in abortions; and Forest Laboratories, which makes Cervidil, a drug used to induce abortions. Several funds in the Hobby Lobby retirement plan also invested in Aetna AET +1.21% and Humana, two health insurance companies that cover surgical abortions, abortion drugs, and emergency contraception in many of the health care policies they sell.

  • jdfinct||

    again the money in a 401k is the employees money is it not? Part of your compensation for working for a company. So it being invested in companies that make the products they are against paying for is not really hypocritical as it it not their money they are investing. unless i am missing something if so please inform me.

  • PRX||

    hypocrites. no bill of rights for them.

  • toolkien||

    Oh if only conflating health insurance (and thereby health care in general) hadn't been conflated with earning a living. We are now essentially debating who gets to decide what gets paid for for health, how much is subsidized, how much is mandated, etc. If only we could have a system of straight pay, benefits which are performance related bonuses instead of "support"-based in-kind benefits, and individuals then decide how to insure, and self-insure, for their health care needs. It took war-economy collectivism to distill the employer-based support-type benefits into the broad base as we now know it, and we now have an ongoing near-collective based situation where everyone needs to mail fists through the government at each other. Welfare/Warfare is a sucking quick sand culture to live in. The desire to cleave this Gordian Knot of partisan "you're a poo-poo head, no you're a poo-poo head" is, sometimes, too great to overcome.

  • Robert||

    OK, but Jacob wrote the same at greater length ~15 yrs. ago.

  • David Wall||

    The "right" to free birth control is an abject false concept. One cannot have the "right" to something that someone else produces or pays for. If this were true, let's say I am a cotton farmer and I need my cotton picked. I need it real bad and I cannot pay for it. Well, I obviously, then have the "right" to free cotton pickers since I cannot pay for it. Yea, that's the ticket, I need people to pick my cotton for free and I need the government to enforce this right. I need the government to either let me force others to pick my cotton or, better yet, I will get the government to force them for me.

    Slavery is running amuck in the country.

  • brobbs||

    I would argue health care is a right. But it's a right in that neither you nor the government can take away my right to receive health care when someone else is willing to give it to me.

    But just like Stephen Hawking does not have a right to tax-funded or mandatory employer-funded speaking machines as his right to free speech, I have no right to help myself to health care with other people's money via force.

  • Sevo||

    I believe this issue is willfully 'misunderstood' by writers griping about Amazon also.

  • Barnstormer||

    Have a debate? It would be like debating math.

  • Gmason||

    "... rightful liberty is unobstructed action according to our own will within limits drawn around us by the equal rights of others. I do not add 'within the limits of the law,' because law is often but the tyrant's will, and always so when it violates the right of an individual"
    — Thomas Jefferson (Letter to Isaac H. Tiffany - 1819)

    No individual has a right to force anyone else to pay for anything on their behalf. Compelling individuals to pay for others is at it's best theft, and at worst tyranny.

  • brobbs||

    The Democrats are trying to be more succinct in their speeches. Obama routinely babbles on way past 5000 words, and they realize it is getting ridiculous. On this subject they just left out some key words.

    'Blocking access to birth control' was originally written 'Blocking access to other people's money for birth control.'

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