Do we have freedom from religion?

I don’t even know where to start. Yesterday’s ruling was a huge disappointment. By now, you all probably know that the SCOTUS opened the door for “people” (both living and nonliving) in positions of power to push their religious agenda on others. Hobby Lobby & friends are exempt from providing coverage for certain types of birth control they deem against god’s will. (You know, because they have a direct line to HIM or because they read HIS ever-so-accurate 2,000 year-old manuscript for living that he, without a doubt, authored or inspired or something like that.)

What I find even more appalling is, having contributed my two cents to the topic here yesterday, people actually said that we have freedom of religion but not freedom from religion. Crazy, I know. Then there are those who say, You’re a socialist! Buy a sex toy! Or some other asinine comment. (Yeah, people always take what you write personally, and they personally attack you in return.) They fail to see this is not about 1. Socialism or 2. The type of birth control women prefer. This is about religious employers making decisions for you based on their beliefs. This is about control and power and judgment. And what does god say about people who judge?

But the most appalling sentiment running through the comments is that people actually think that Hobby Lobby & friends have a right to decide what is best for you. The ACA was intended to be a fair and lawful solution to America’s healthcare woes. It was not mean to be a religious battle. In what should be a health decision made between you and your doctor and perhaps even your partner, your boss can now step in and say, “My god says it’s wrong, so it’s wrong for you, too.”

What’s next? Will corporations (and not just family owned) now claim insuring gays harms their religious sentiments? What about single moms? Will Hobby Lobby still pay for Viagra since the medication artificially induces an erection when god clearly does not want that? (Ummm…of course not.) What happens when a Muslim or Jew or devil worshipper decides to impose her beliefs on employees?

As Justice Ginsberg said, the Court has “ventured into a minefield.” This case was important not just to women but to all Americans, regardless of what they believe about god.

Right now, it’s apparent that we do not have freedom from our boss’ religion.

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76 responses to “Do we have freedom from religion?

  1. I too felt like it was opening a door wide open that shouldn’t be opened. I couldn’t explain it to myself but I think you said it very well. It saddens me to know end when I realize how much influence religion has over the government these days. I never noticed it so much until 9/11 and Mr. Bush’s openness about religion and how we must pray harder than ever, blah blah blah. Now it seems like our freedom from religion is gone. I too have heard people say we have freedom of religion but that is different than freedom from it. So basically we are free to choose a religion but we aren’t free to opt out? Now this. This ruling almost sounds like a way to cut down ACA even more, to make the other side’s point about how bad it is. What bothers me too is that Hobby Lobby isn’t a religious organization, how can they behave like a church? Is that even legal even if they are a privately held company? Does that mean they can use religious discrimination when hiring? I love Hobby Lobby as a store, but I more and more I am disliking how they run things. The whole thing is a huge disappointment all the way around.

  2. You are so, SO RIGHT! This wasn’t about contraception or the ACA. It was about giving religious rights to a corporation. The Supreme Court established that corporations are people and now they’ve given those corporations the power to enforce their religious preference on others. This decision is so wrong. So very, very wrong.

  3. Thank you for mentioning the Viagra. I see it all as women are second class citizens. We have no right to govern our own bodies. It doesn’t matter if we are single or married (gosh, you think contraception is only used by single women [aka, "sluts"]?) But trample on the rights of those who require Viagra, Cialis or a penis pump to get an erection and you can bet there will be quick action by courts and legislature.

    I’d continue but all the thoughts about this ruling, and the home healthcare worker one as well, just can’t coalesce into understandable sentences right now. All I come out with is “but! but! GAH!”

  4. And if my religion says “Go forth and fuck with joy and childlessness”? I certainly don’t have freedom of religion if I work for 90% of American companies that can take advantage of this ruling. I am still trying to get a grip on my rage to post semi-coherently about this tomorrow.

  5. I’m beginning to wonder about the intelligence of Americans. Most folks think this case can be reduced to, “Women just want free stuff!” REALLY?!!!

  6. Is anyone setting up pickets and protests in front of Hobby Lobby’s stores? You know what’s against “my” religion? Profiting from crap made in China that falls apart shortly after use. Sorry, I can’t even be civil in this discussion. That’s why we have you to talk intelligently for us, Debbie:)

  7. Firstly, the Constitution of the United States of America guarantees freedom FOR religion not “of” nor “from”.

    Secondly, all the court said is that corporations do not have to violate their religious beliefs. It does not say that corporations can force their beliefs upon others. Obama care stipulated that companies like Hobby Lobby had to offer particular things in their insurance which up until now had been optional across the board.

    The only one’s whose rights and beliefs were potentially infringed upon by being forced to do something it did not believe in was Hobby Lobby and corporations like it.

    God Bless,

    Christopher

    • Hi Christopher. Thanks for your respectful comment.

      You are incorrect. The Constitution, as subsequent cases have proved, most definitely provides for freedom OF and FROM religion. This is a fact.

      The ACA offered a fair and just and LEGAL solution to the healthcare issues in this country. Hobby Lobby should not be exempt from a portion because it doesn’t align with “their” religious beliefs. “They” do not have to take the contraception in question. And it is extremely un-Christian-like to judge and decide for others. In fact, I’d say your god considers that a sin.

      • Reguardless…

        What gives you the the right to force your beliefs upon Hobby Lobby?

        See? That’s the real issue. Hobby Lobby’s rights were being infringed upon and intolerant people are attempting to force their ideals on . Hobby Lobby is not doing that. Those who are “appalled” by the SCOTUS ruling are the ones judging and deciding for someone else what to believe and do.

        • Christopher, Oh. My. Gawd. Seriously? Now “I’m forcing my beliefs upon Hobby Lobby”? Read. Think. When you can comment with good logic, come back. I’m just shaking my head.

          • LOL Deborah! That’s exactly what you want to do. Thanks God that he SCOTUS got this one right. Please take your blinders off and think for yourself. Then you will see that my argument is completely logical.

            Who is being asked to change? Hobby Lobby
            Why? Because it’s beliefs don’t coincide with another’s beliefs.

            Hobby Lobby isn’t asking anyone to believe as it does. It merely desires for it’s beliefs to be respected.

            Simple logic.

            Those who disagree with the SCOTUS ruling are an intolerant bunch. You seem smarter than that Deborah.

            • I’m sorry, Christopher. Those who know me know that I am usually very patient with people. Ok. Let’s start from the beginning. The ACA was lawfully passed, and in that law, it included healthcare coverage for contraception. We agree on that, right? We agree that all the options offered are also legal. HL said, “I DON’T AGREE WITH THAT BECAUSE MY GOD SAYS CERTAIN CONTRACEPTIVES ARE ABORTIFACIENTS!” This is up for dispute, but even if it weren’t, YOU have every right (I mean, your wife, daughter or lover) NOT to use those options. Right? You do not have a right to tell me what to use as a contraceptive, nor even the right to abort a fetus if I so choose. So “Hobby Lobby is INDEED asking everyone to believe as it does.” Give me a break.

              Your argument is not reasonable. Moreover, I have little respect for your evangelizing. If this were a Muslim company, we wouldn’t even be having this discussion.

            • And I was checking out your blog. So you think you’re going to take the express train to “heaven,” but your Hindu, Muslim and Jew neighbors are not? Hmmmm….

              • Pretty much. Thanks for checking out my blog.

                And since you are resorting to ad hominem snipes, I accept your surrender.

                • That’s not ad hominem, CR. (This is ad hominem.) Deb did not reject your argument on the basis of some irrelevant fact about you but spelled out where your thinking went off the tracks of what’s reasonable. She then commented that you have expressed on your blog some very similar derailed thinking… an observation you mislabel as a ‘snipe’.

                  Look at the language you use to describe HL: ‘it’. You then tell us that ‘its’ religious freedom is being curtailed if ‘it’ can’t determine its employees’ health coverage. This is a linguistic clue that your line of reasoning has derailed. ‘It’ is the owner’s religious beliefs – and these are changeable without having to be tethered to reality’s arbitration of their knowledge value. ‘It’ is religious belief that is the determining factor for emplyees’ healthcare coverage, which is a pretty good indication that a majority of SCOTUS members actually believes that religion – exercised at people’s expense under the disguise of ‘morality’ – trumps medical knowledge in determining appropriate medical coverage!

                  That’s a recipe for returning to the Iron Age practice of medicine that includes belief in illness caused by demonic possession and affected by the four bodily humors.

                  Now, I prefer being medically treated by someone who is willing to exercise knowledge about best practices based on today’s understanding of causal effects rather than from some guy who prefers to be guided by practitioners of some ancient superstitious beliefs. Correct me if I’m wrong but I suspect you do, too.

                  I sincerely doubt you claim religious persecution when your physician prescribes some drug therapy for your treatment rather than reporting you to the local clergy to haul you off and undergo a forced exorcism and appropriate bleeding. I suspect you would not take kindly to such medical practitioners abusing your civil rights in this way. But, of course, you make an exception when it comes to inflicting your religious beliefs on others. Bully for you. But your religious ‘persecution’ argument falls apart when such civil rights are violated in the name of imposing a religious hierarchy before receiving religiously sanctioned best medical practices. It is, in fact, exactly backwards. Elevating religious belief to determine employees’ healthcare coverage is not medicine; it’s religion.

                  It is ludicrous in light of medical advances over the past few hundred years (no thanks to religious beliefs) to think getting religious belief out of medically valid coverage is an attack on religious freedom. It’s not. The owners can still believe whatever they wish and adjust their medical care accordingly. Granted, criticizing the SCOTUS ruling is an attack against religious bullying because this issue has everything to do with empowering people’s religious beliefs to be imposed on others without their consent and to their medical determent in the name of religious ‘freedom’. And that’s a really good example of how privileging religious belief in the public domain means its defenders have to manipulate language to the extent of demonstrating Orwellian doublespeak: when ‘freedom’ is synonymous with ‘tyranny’.

                  That’s a clue, too…

            • Simple-ton logic. FTFY. HAND.

  8. I still have the same rights as before and I’m a woman. You can choose where to work or shop and you can also choose your birth control and yes, I respect your right to freedom from religion but I also have freedom of religion. I also agree that reducing it to “women just want free stuff” is way off but so is believing that women lost rights with the Hobby Lobby decision.

    • Mermaid. If your daughter needs an IUD or even the morning-after pill because she was raped, and her employer says, “Tsk-Tsk” god says “no,” will you side with her employer? She can still obtain these services–but out of her pocket now, while her sister, working at a competitor is “allowed” these services. You don’t think that’s a limitation? Hobby Lobby & company didn’t have to “pay.” Services were being provided in a comprehensive, fair and LEGAL plan through an insurance company. Give. Me. A. Break. Hobby Lobby & co shouldn’t get an exemption because “god says so!”

  9. Break granted, but Hobby Lobby did not get an exemption because “god says so”. It was actually based on a precedent set by a law that was signed by Bill Clinton. Also, the last I read SCOTUS is legal and makes rulings in accordance with laws and the Constitution. Employment at Hobby Lobby is not mandatory and while I know that you are entitled to your opinion please do not tell me what rights I have lost as I can make that judgement.

    • Mermaid. Are you talking about the RFRA? That was intended for living breathing persons. Funny. Reading is not mandatory, and you can take your opinions somewhere else, right?

      _____

  10. These kind of cases always remind me of the old adage that if men could get pregnant the vote would have been 9-0 or more likely the case would never have gone that far.

  11. I have been heartened as an advocate for New Atheism to see a steady rise in non belief in the younger population cohorts begin to transfer over time into the next oldest. It tells us we’re have an affect.

    Now I see this SCOTUS ruling by the majority five male members (who – by the greatest of coincidences that I’m almost sure has nothing whatsoever to do with affecting their legal opinions – also just so happen to be Catholic) will help enormously to recruit more women of reason into our growing ranks. It will help when a Hindu owner refuses coverage for beef eaters, when scientologist owner refuses mental health coverage, when a Christian Science owner refuse any and all medical coverage, and so on. Good times.

    Allowing the religious belief of owners to determine its employees’ health care coverage on religious grounds is guaranteed way to get more people off their benign ass…umptions about religious privilege in the public domain (it seems to be okay for MY religious beliefs but not so much for others that cost me something) and begin to see – like so many younger people clearly do – why and how this kind of toxic religious privilege is actually an insidious and pernicious effect that causes real harm to real people in real life. That’s religious privilege in action.

  12. Great comment, Tildeb. And Amen.

  13. Hi Deb,
    I agree 1000% with you… even for non-americans like me, it is shocking to see what was once one of the most revolutionary societies in the world turn to conservadurism in this manner.
    Having said so, I think you are missing a very important point. When you say: “But the most appalling sentiment running through the comments is that people actually think that Hobby Lobby & friends have a right to decide what is best for you” you are genuinely surprised, but probably you shouldnn’t. If you look at the very root of these discussions (wherther we should accept or not that there is a god is directing our lifes and so on), it is actually THAT what make us different: Most ppeople do not want to have the responsability of taking ther own decissions – or making their own mistakes- they want/need a superior being, either a god, a cardinal, a priest, or their boss, to be responsible of their choices. At the end of the day it is the same, people settle for someone else taking their decisions on their behalf,

  14. Something is very fishy about HB’s lawsuit. Hobby Lobby imports billions of dollars of products from China. China has one of the highest abortion rates in the world, and they promote the use of all contraceptives. They also have had some of the worst human rights violations — which included forced abortion during the last 4 decades. Where does HB’s sincere religious beliefs come into play here when it comes to selling products make in China?

    From Mother Jones: Documents filed with the Department of Labor and dated December 2012—three months after the company’s owners filed their lawsuit—show that the Hobby Lobby 401(k) employee retirement plan held more than $73 million in mutual funds with investments in companies that produce emergency contraceptive pills, intrauterine devices, and drugs commonly used in abortions. Hobby Lobby makes large matching contributions to this company-sponsored 401(k).

    ….Yet, for years, Hobby Lobby’s health insurance plans did cover Plan B and Ella. It was only in 2012, when the Greens considered filing a lawsuit against the Affordable Care Act, that they dropped these drugs from the plan.”

    http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2014/04/hobby-lobby-retirement-plan-invested-emergency-contraception-and-abortion-drug-makers

    There was more to these lawsuits and victories than meets the eye and it appears it have had little to do with “sincere religious beliefs”.

    • “….Yet, for years, Hobby Lobby’s health insurance plans did cover Plan B and Ella. ”
      This is pretty crucial, and it clues us in to HL’s nature. They only dumped this when they wanted to push the lawsuit (I’m sure that’s when they had their insurance plans combed through looking for things like this.) I am wondering if Viagra, etc. is covered?

      It is also pretty damning to speak of all the stuff they sell that is made using bad labor practices in foreign countries.

      Thanks for pointing this out.

    • Really interesting, V. Thanks for sharing this. I didn’t know that HL’s health plans previously covered Plan B and Ella. Something is definitely “fishy”…..

  15. lancethruster

    Hell no.

    Religionists are essentially Nelson Muntz telling us to ‘stop hitting ourselves.’

  16. I agree completely with everything you’ve written, dear friend. This is a terrible misuse of power and the SCOTUS is just covering their ears and eyes, or worse, condoning it. Ruth Bader Ginsburg must be eating TUMS like it’s candy today.

  17. It is my sincerely held religious belief that christians who are mauled by lions should not be allowed medical treatment (see, medical and historical).

    It is my sincerely held religious belief that mohammedans should be force fed bacon because… well, bacon (this religion is just foul and bacon would change their world view).

    It is my sincerely held religious belief that jews should also be force fed bacon because it is good for the sou (see, this is both medical and religious).

    It is my sincerely held religious belief that mormons should be forced to drink coffee because, honestly, half of them act like they’re asleep at the wheel while driving and caffeine has all sorts of benefits for the mind (see, both medical and a public service).

    Thus, where do we draw the line on what we can do with “sincerely held religious beliefs?” That is the biggest flaw with the opinion of the Court on this. Unless one asks Nino and he says that everyone should be catholic. Want to the see that conversation between him and Kagan.

  18. Dear lord, I wish we did have freedom from religion! It just amazes me that even some good friends of mine can believe some things that to me are truly ludicrous (such as that the IUD I have causes “abortions”). And yet I am the crazy one for pointing out how unscientific that is.

  19. Name Withheld

    The freedoms listed in the BIll of Rights are to protect The People from infringement — and here’s the important part — **by the gov’t**.

    If the gov’t wants to do / forbid something religious, that is not allowed.

    If a person or, in this case, company, wants to do something religious, the Constitution does NOT prohibit that.

    While I agree that HL *should* offer all the contraception choices, and I’ll gladly boycott them and encourage others to do the same, the gov’t should not be forcing them to do so.

    BTW, HL DOES cover 16 out of 20 contraceptive methods, including:

    — Sterilization Surgery for Women
    — Surgical Sterilization Implant for Women
    — Sterilization Surgery for Men
    — Implantable Rod
    — Shot / Injection (Depo-Provera)
    — Oral Contraceptives (Combined Pill) “The Pill”
    — Oral Contraceptives (Progestin only) “The Mini Pill”
    — Oral Contraceptives Extended / Continuous Use “The Pill”
    — Patch
    — Vaginal Contraceptive Ring
    — Diaphragm with Spermicide
    — Sponge with Spermicide
    — Cervical Cap with Spermicide
    — Male Condom
    — Female Condom
    — Spermicide Alone

    They don’t cover:

    — IUD Copper
    — IUD w/ Progestin
    — Plan B / Plan B One Step / Next Choice
    — Ella

    This is not exactly the same thing as “banning contraception.”

    • If a person or, in this case, company, wants to do something religious, the Constitution does NOT prohibit that.

      You cannot have freedom of religion if you have no means to be free of the effects of my religiously inspired actions imposed on you. Jurisprudence case history recognizes this and places reasonable limits on religious exercise on this Constitutional ground.

      • Name Withheld

        tildeb: no private person is obliged to “give you” freedom of religion. The Constitution only protects you from gov’t interference and creates no positive obligation on the part of anyone in the private sector.

        Who in this case has “no means to be free of the effects of my religiously inspired actions imposed on you”?

        • NW, I never said someone was obliged to “give me” (where on earth did those quotation marks come from?) freedom of religion. I said you cannot have freedom of religion without freedom from my religion whose effects are imposed on you. By relegating employee healthcare to be subject to the religious beliefs of its employer, employees are not ‘free’ from these effects. When such coverage is mandated by constitutional government legislation, you automatically invoke its constitutional clauses and their interpretation in case law.

          Perhaps surprising to only you, we do not suspend law in order to privilege religious actions from its application. Just imagine how much more priestly pedophilia there would be (no need for any cover-up)!

          Case law differentiates between belief and actions; you are free to believe whatever you want but are not free to use religious beliefs as a carte blanche justification for any and all actions based on them. Surely you can appreciate why my freedom to swing my fists ends where your nose begins. Surely you can appreciate why the owner of HL’s freedom to restrict his healthcare coverage based on his religious beliefs ends where your healthcare as an employee begins.

          • tildeb, Something interesting I’ve noticed from comments on this topic. Some folks really can’t understand that their freedom of religion has boundaries. They’re convinced that HL is the victim. Interesting…

            _____

            • As a New Atheist, I am quite familiar with the charge that any criticism of any religious justification used by someone with whom I am disagreeing is commonly considered an attack… making the person who has been trying to insert religion – by imposing it on others and then thwarted by compelling reasons against it – as a ‘victim’ of those nasty, rude, intolerant, and militant New Atheists.

              That’s why the vast majority of Americans who are Christian, and who continue to try to impose their religious values on others by any means possible and think it pious to do so, really do see themselves as a victimized minority when anyone dares to deflect their attempt with the First Amendment… as if secularism itself was a weapon to be used against the righteous rather than a defense against religious tyranny.

              I honestly believe that most Americans neither understand nor appreciate why their revolution was revolutionary (in the sense of where political authority comes from) and how – as the world’s first secular state – it became the beacon of freedom for the world. Many religious people are taught to equate non belief with the secularism, secularism with atheism, and atheism with the great evils of totalitarianism. These same folk seem utterly gobsmacked when the best example of non belief in government isn’t National Socialism or Communism. It’s the United States of America.

              The cognitive dissonance is a marvel to behold.

        • @Name Withheld I’d say that public school students are, for the most part, “free of the effects of your religiously inspired actions.” I’d also say that, in the businesses in which I’ve worked, they’ve been careful not to allow employees to impose their religion on coworkers. There are many examples. The Constitution also protects me from you imposing your religion on me.

    • WASHINGTON (AP) — “The Supreme Court on Tuesday confirmed that its decision a day earlier extending religious rights to closely held corporations applies broadly to the contraceptive coverage requirement in the new health care law, not just the handful of methods the justices considered in their ruling.”

      • Name Withheld

        Agreed.

        Because of this, a handful of companies in the US, that infinitesimal % of all companies which are both privately-held and strictly Catholic companies, can choose to not cover any contraception.

        On the other hand, *all* publicly-held companies must offer *all* forms and even most other privately-held companies (including HL) choose to cover the majority of possible forms.

        This still doesn’t add up to contraceptives are being banned, as some hyperbolists have claimed.

        • @NW — The problem with this is that no scientific evidence was considered. And there was an assumption that someone who gets an IUD must be sexually active. There women who need an IUD for medical reasons. The IUD is used for the treatment of heavy menstrual bleeding, for protection of the endometrium in women taking estrogen in menopause and for women with a history of ectopic pregnancy. It’s used for treatment of fibroids, menorrhagia, dysmenorrhea, anemia and pain. Studies show that IUD use among women is associated with a 40% reduction in the risk of endometrial cancer. An IUD is also a safer alternative to sterilization for perimenopausal women who are seeking a long-term, and also reversible method of contraception. A couple of million women in in the U.S. use IUDs.

          However the 5 justices ruled that all one has to do is believe that these contraceptives cause abortion (which they don’t) and they can trump the well being of women and their privacy. It is, in fact, none of their damn business. It shows that HL and these other companies value the possibility of fertilization over the well being of women and their health. This is not going to remain a small percentage.

          Again, women rely on contraception for noncontraceptive purposes. A study documenting this finding, “Beyond Birth Control: The Overlooked Benefits of Oral Contraceptive Pills,” by Rachel K. Jones of the Guttmacher Institute, found that more than half (58%) of all pill users rely on the method for purposes other than pregnancy prevention — meaning that only 42% use the pill exclusively for contraceptive reasons.

          “a handful of companies in the US, that infinitesimal % of all companies which are both privately-held and strictly Catholic companies, can choose to not cover any contraception.”

          I wish I was as optimistic as you but I’ve been following this since 2010, when the religious right starting chipping away at women’s health and reproductive rights in unprecedented fashion. But besides that at least a 100 companies and 8 states sued along with HL and many more were initially turned away because of the huge influx. Business Insider also listed “18 Extremely Religious Big American Companies” such as Chick-Fil-A, Tyson Foods, Alaska Airlines, Marriott Hotel, JetBlue, Interstate Batteries, Trijicon, ServiceMaster’s, Merry Maids, Terminix, American Home Shield, May Kay, H.E.B. grocery chain, Curves, Tom’s of Maine, Timberland, Carl’s Jr., Anschutz Entertainment Group (AEG), who are likely to also believe the nonscientific rhetoric and follow like sheep.
          ————————————–
          While I understand where you are coming from — women have every right to be concerned. When we step back and look at the bigger picture and a likely snowball effect, it is not a small matter. Justice Ginsberg said she feared the Supreme Court has “ventured into a minefield”. I agree.

          • @V Great comment. In addition to the misinformation is the assumption that it’s anyone’s business what a woman does. Even if there were no women who needed birth control for any other purpose than fornication, it should not matter. No man would have been subject to these limitations and judgments. This was about religious bullying and controlling women’s bodies.

            • Thanks Debbie. I couldn’t help but laugh then sigh at the term “fornication.” Spot on.

              But are these self-righteous, religious zealots aware of the daunting ramifications if they keep chipping away at women’s reproductive rights? Have they forgotten what happened in Romania under the dictatorship of Nicolae Ceausescu when he forbid contraception and abortion? Women died id doves and babies in orphanages were stacked like loaves of bread on carts according to ABC’s 20/20. These children became severely mentally ill.

              Throughout history, bearing a child was the number one cause of death among women. Today, it’s the sixth most common cause of death among women age 20 to 34 in the United States according the National Vitals Statistics Report.

              Did these 5 justices close their eyes to the fact unintended pregnancy can plunge women and this country into poverty? Or that unintended children are at the greatest risk for brain damage, underdeveloped brains and mental illness?

              I keep reading where women should stop spreading their legs if they don’t want to get pregnant. Sigh. Never mind that unintended pregnancy is higher among married women than among never-married women according to Gullmacher Institute.

              You are right — this is religious bullying and the obsessive need to control women and their bodies. I’ll quote the World Health Organization in relation to undermining women’s reproductive health:

              “The underlying causes of this global pandemic are apathy and disdain for women; they suffer and die because they are not valued”

              The religious right have made great strides in undermining family planning, especially in the South — the most impoverished, uneducated and dysfunctional region of the country.

              The United Nations declared access to family planning a fundamental human right. Dr. Babatunde Osotimehin states:

              “Not only does the ability for a couple to choose when and how many children to have help lift nations out of poverty, but it is also one of the most effective means of empowering women.

              Women who use contraception are generally healthier, better educated, more empowered in their households and communities and more economically productive.

              By enabling individuals to choose the number and spacing of their children, family planning has allowed women, and their children, to live healthier, longer lives.”

              The five justices that supported HL and CW plus expanded the ruling to encompass all female contraception sent a strong message — they devalue women and do not want them healthy, educated and empowered.
              —————-
              “Religion: It’s given people hope in a world torn apart by religion. Jon Stewart

              • You know what is also dismaying, my friend, V. Is that there are other women who agree with the outcome of this case, who think that they don’t deserve a voice because god is speaking for them….

                _____

                • It is indeed very disheartening, Debbie. They voluntarily gave away their voice. Christopher Hitchens said in an interview about women and religion that men created G-d so that they could own women. He said that if women were told that men wanted to own and rule over them, they wouldn’t be as inclined to submit. But if they thought that was what G-d wanted, they would be more incline to do so. It worked.

                  I’ve studied a good bit about indoctrination and emotional manipulation, and I agree with Hitchens’ assessment. Women like this know very little about their history and the laws that were in place until relatively recently in the U.S. That once women got married they gave up their personhood. Many in the faith still see women (including women) as not having personhood. This ruling was a clear example of that belief.

                • Correction: I meant to write — they would be as inclined to submit.

                • Debbie — jeesh — my brain is fried after all the craziness this week, and I can’t even correctly correct I meant “they wouldn’t be as inclined to submit.”

                  I also misspelled Hitchens.

                • Happy 4th of July to all my American friends!!

                  Hopefully you all will have a nice day and a lovely summer – despite the fact that stupidity runs strong there ;)
                  Majority of ladies excluded :)

            • Correction: I wrote women died id doves. I intended to write “in droves”

          • Just had to reply to this. Carl’s Jr. is an extrememly religious company? That is crazy? Have you seen their commercials? They are so over-sexualized. It doesn’t bother me personally, but kind of hypocritical. Par for the course, I guess.

      • @V (Neuronotes) Someone mentioned this yesterday, and I tried to verify by looking on the SCOTUS. Un.fucking.believable. THEN THEY HAD BETTER AS HELL INCLUDE VIAGRA WITH THAT!

        • Debbie, from what I’ve read, Hobby Lobby has given no indication that it plans to discontinue Viagra coverage.

          It really bothers me that many are making lite of the ramifications of this ruling. Women have every reason to be upset about this including the misinformation; that facts don’t mean shit in the highest court of the land. and a stigma that has been associated with contraceptives.

          Un.fucking.believable is exactly right.

    • Yeah – it is not banning contraception in a similar fashion as in banning automobiles would not be banning personal transportation.

  20. This just begs the question whether religious people are evil AND stupid or whether that kinda people are just more prone to religiousness.

    It is amazing how the smart pious are either silent or non-existent here and at CNN blog. More amazing is that every singly xian comment I read applauded the SCOTUS decision for saving both them and HobbyLobby from…tolerance and intelligence?

    • Konsta- Many of those commenting can’t seem to understand that this isn’t about “someone else paying for birth control so women can f***.” (Because, you know, all birth control is used by women who just want to go out and have “free sex.”) They don’t understand that this ruling not only affects those of us who don’t believe, but everyone. Those evangelicals are not going to be happy when a Wiccan is allowed to impose his morality on employees. Idiots.

      _____

  21. Yes, idiots. The evangelicals are just one step up from the Taliban and what is worst, they do not apparently even realize it themselves. God sure is great…

  22. Wow this is a contentious topic! I love that most of the comments here align with my opinions, quite refreshing. I have a couple of things to add. Firstly, before the ACA not all health insurance plans covered contraception at all. Especially the lower cost ones. Second, I think the fact that this has become about contraception is a bit of a red herring. When corporations were afforded “personhood” by the “brilliant legal minds” of the SCOTUS the door was opened to this kind of ruling. It starts with Hobby Lobby and a narrow ruling about certain kinds of contraception, but where does it end? In my opinion this is only tangentially about women’s health, the bigger potential problem is that having set this precedent what else will we now see? Are we moving to a future where we will have to pick who we work for based on our alignment or non-alignment with the beliefs held by the corporation’s owners? Will corporations be given permission to discriminate based on whether the employee or potential hire adheres to the owner’s religious mandates? “Women needing certain kinds of health care coverage need not apply”.
    Corporations do not have morals or ethics, they are businesses not living, breathing entities – that’s why we have laws to make sure that corporate behavior does not contravene human and civil rights mandated by and voted into law by our government. A corporation’s owners are fully allowed to have their own beliefs and to live by the rules of those beliefs. They are not and should not be allowed to impose those beliefs on their employees in any way.

  23. lancethruster

    I finally figured out exactly why the Hobby Lobby ruling infuriates me so.

    Those applauding the ruling only see it in the context of accommodating the ‘right’ religion/religious belief. That ANY government entity would weigh in to favor one over another is expressly what the separation of church and state is all about.

  24. I find it very peculiar indeed that almost every single push for “religious liberties” or “freedom of religion” in our country comes with denial of some liberties or freedoms to the others.

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