Skip to comments.Contraception Mandate Trampling Religious Freedom?
Posted on 03/25/2014 6:04:56 AM PDT by xzins
The U.S. Supreme Court will take up the most prominent case yet pitting some Americans' religious rights against Obamacare's edicts Tuesday.
Some say Obamacare is forcing business owners who believe abortion is a sin to pay for contraception that will terminate life in the womb.
Others warn if the justices side with those business owners, it could lead to all sorts of business owners using religion to try to dodge all sorts of laws.
Hobby Lobby's owners have lived out their religious beliefs through the store chain for decades, like keeping all Hobby Lobbys closed on Sundays.
They company is in court because they say Obamacare will force them to cough up coverage for drugs and devices that basically abort life at its earliest stage in the womb.
Those on the other side of the case say if the Supreme Court rules for Hobby Lobby, it's basically saying that businesses, not just people, have religious rights. Opponents believe that's nonsense.
But the Green family who started Hobby Lobby say, as the owners, if they have to pay for contraceptives that kill potential life, that's a direct violation of their religious conscience.
Attorney Lori Windham, with the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, has been fighting for the Greens against the Obamacare mandate that Hobby Lobby must cover 20 forms of contraception. The company only wants to be freed from having to cover four of those.
"In the law Congress said you had to cover women's preventive services, and a federal agency decided that women's preventive services meant all forms of contraception, including four drugs and devices that could terminate a human life," Windham told CBN News. "And that's something that the Greens cannot pay for in good conscience. If you do not comply with this, then you are looking at penalties that very quickly run into the millions of dollars."
One of the nation's top secularists told CBN News Hobby Lobby's desire to be free of giving its workers what Obamacare guarantees them is just wrong.
"Think about an employer who has 10,000 employees, and all those employees have different personal beliefs. But should that one employer's religious belief trump each one of the individual 10,000 employees' religious beliefs?" Edwina Rogers, executive director of the Secular Coalition for America, said.
Rogers said to imagine the chaos if every employer can claim his religion exempts him from Obamacare's mandates.
"What if that employer happens to be a Jehovah's Witness and they're opposed to blood transfusions?" Rogers asked. "My daughter is alive today because she got a blood transfusion. What if the employer is Christian Scientist and they believe you shouldn't have access to any type of modern health care? That you should only be praying to their God?"
On the other side of the issue, the Becket Fund's Windham pointed out Hobby Lobby only wants to be free of having to cover the four drugs and devices that can terminate an unborn life. And even then, all its employees could still go buy them themselves.
"They have a right to access all different forms of contraception, even those that could take a human life, and this case isn't going to change that," Windham insisted. "What's at stake here is whether the government can force the Green family to be the ones who provide those things."
She said the charge that the Green family is trying to control what contraceptives its employees use is ridiculous.
"They cover most contraceptives, including the contraceptives that 93 percent of American women use," Windham pointed out. "It's only four specific drugs and devices they won't cover, and so 16 out of the 20 FDA contraceptives they have no problem with."
But Rogers argued Hobby Lobby's owners won't actually be taking money out of their pockets to buy those four drugs or devices at the center of this case.
"Legally, technically, they're not paying for it," Rogers suggested. "Because when you work, you have a salary, you have your fringe benefits, which usually includes health insurance and maybe life insurance. But that's part of your compensation. It is owned by you as an employee. If you weren't there working, earning it, it wouldn't exist."
She said it's flawed thinking to mix up the Greens' religious rights with Hobby Lobby itself.
"A company is not a person and doesn't have religious liberty," Rogers opined.
Windham couldn't disagree more and believes the Greens face great harm.
"This is a basic religious freedom case," she told CBN News. "Does a family still have their religious freedom when they open a family business? Or can the government come in, take that freedom away, and force them to do things that violate their faith?"
This is a simple case. The government wants to run the Green family out of business if they follow their religion.
They want to force the Green family to pay for what is NOT even a medical necessity.
That should be the real issue. Why should anyone be forced to pay insurance for what are medical choices? It isn't insurance, it's social engineering.
I don’t know that I am crazy about my employer making medical decisions for me.
Why is there even a question mark in the title of the article?
Oh. Wait. I know.
That because - when Muslims demand THEIR religion REQUIRES the rest of us to follow THEIR religious requirements, we MUST follow those requirements in public and as a matter of public law for ALL to follow, but when “our” personal religious beliefs conflict with a liberal socialist democrat’s demand for abortion and persecution of Christian and Catholics and “our” religious beliefs, “we” must follow the socialist-atheist-liberal’s demands.
Makes perfect sense.
Religious freedom is enshrined in the constitution. It is really quite amazing to me that our government thinks they can trade our God-given rights for something that a majority of our population gets no benefit from.
The business is not an entity, therefore it does not have Rights, but the business does not exist without an entity...the owner, who does have Rights.
Therefore if the business is not an entity, but a reflection of the livelihood of the owner, by what Right does the government demand a business to commit murder in violation of their religion?
Notice how the progressive want to separate a man...from his work...from the product that he created...as if the government owns the work and the marketplace. As a small business owner myself, my work is me, is my personality, is my integrity, is very much who I am and my character, it is also a reflection of my moral beliefs.
I pray that the Supreme Court understands the division the socialists are forcing here, for who owns the business and the marketplace...we the people or the government socialists...this is actually a step to nationalizing all businesses.
Like it or not, to the degree that you rely on the health care available from the health insurance provided by your employer, your employer is making health care decisions for you.
What hospitals, what doctors for which you may use your health insurance, what treatments will be covered, etc., all are part and parcel of the plan that your employer provides.
You're always free to use your own money to obtain health care not paid for by the insurance provided by your employer, just as someone who wants to buy one of the four baby-killing “contraceptives” may do so. The difference is that buying one of these four “contraceptives” may set you back ten or twenty, or maybe, I don't know, fifty bucks. Obtaining medical services from a hospital and a doctor not in your network could cost you many thousands of dollars.
Under the model of employer-provided health insurance, your employer will always have something to say about your health care.
If that is how you see this, then you’ve been duped if your employer ever provided you with any kind of negotiated health benefit plans. And they negotiated them every year!
I don’t want anyone making medical decisions for me. I want the freedom to pay for anything I want myself.
I can pay to have an oil change on my car. My car insurance company doesn’t cover it.
Excellent comment. And contraception isn't a medical necessity.
Even a corporation has owners.
Hmm. Not so sure people don’t want birth control. I sure dont, it is logically one of our main if not the main social problems
But people want it and a lot of people don’t like when people procreate
Christians should pray that the outcome of these cases would result favorably toward those who wish to exercise their constitutional right to religious liberty. How should Christians pray? Here is a sample prayer guide:
God wants people to be free to seek him and to serve him (Acts 17:24-28). Pray for a favorable outcome. The cherished principle of religious freedom should receive the strongest constitutional protection it deserves.
God is Lord of the conscience, not government (Acts 5:29). Pray that the justices of the Supreme Court will understand the importance of the separation of the state from the church.
God can give understanding to make sound decisions (Prov. 2:6-8). Pray for those who disagree with us, that God would help them understand and respect the consciences of people of faith.
God can turn the hearts and minds of the justices to do his will (Prov. 21:1). Pray for the Supreme Court justices, that they would be receptive to the arguments being made passionately before them.
God can guide the mind and speech (Exod. 4:11-12). Pray for lead attorney, Paul Clement, who will be arguing on behalf of Hobby Lobby and Conestoga Wood. Ask God to give him clarity and wisdom, for his arguments to be persuasive, and for God to give him favor before the justices.
Oh, and I do not think this should be in court. It’s a non issue. Hobby lobby shouldn’t have to pay for this nor should I, not the sisters of charity. Men could stand up and say just stop all this, we think a pill or a procedure that turns women into objects of sex is degrading
But that’s not happening.
I am, in spirit, with the group, ‘women speak for themselves’ who are at the Supreme Court today praying for a good outcome to this horrific situation, a release of hobby lobby and our country from this trouble
How about a simple test. If the business is privately owned and run (does not sell shares, have a board of directors etc) then they keep the government cannot tell them they have to purchase health insurance for their employees that included things that go against their religious convictions.
Employees can buy their own contraceptive insurance or go work elsewhere
What if your employer were Scientologists? They would not cover anti-depressants or anti-anxiety medicines. Or Muslim and they refuse to cover any medicine that could contain pork, whether real or imagined?
Anyway, this is not a religious issue. They object for moral reasons, not religious reasons.
Obviously, the real problem in this is a requirement that an employer pay for health insurance. That’s crazy. Why not pay for auto insurance?
So, prior to this the employer chose to provide health insurance. It was then entirely their business decision to provide or not to provide and what to provide.
The government seized control of health care and THEY are the ones telling businesses what to cover.
So, if anyone is IMPOSING their beliefs, it is the government.
The best, in my opinion, is for the business to simply get out of health care altogether and give pay raises equal to the amount they used to spend on health care.
Let everyone then buy their own.
Just to explain further, the group of people who actually use this type of contraception are truly a minority. Men don’t use it. Children who have not entered puberty don’t use it. Post menopausal women don’t use it. Of those who are left, not all of them use it. And yet the government wants to step on our religious rights to force those of us who object to provide this. That is the definition of tyranny.
True but health insurance is considered a draw for employees. I just get a little uncomfortable with the company getting involved in medical decisions. It’s a Pandora’s box and really none of their business. I mean, is it morally wrong in their view for a virgin to use birth control pills? Or someone who isn’t having sex?
Appy, if it’s their business, and they’re the ones buying, I really don’t see it as any different than the company vans they choose to purchase. Maybe they want radios and maybe they don’t. Maybe they want 12 passenger seating and maybe they don’t.
It’s their business. It’s their decision.
They were buying your loyalty by providing a benefit on top of salary for working there. You would look at that benefit and say, “Well, that’s cool. I’m not putting my application in elsewhere.” If you didn’t like the benefit, then you looked for a better deal elsewhere.
The only real obligation I saw in regard to benefits was openness about what the package included or didn’t include.
To me, the question is “Why the heck should they be buying someone’s birth control in the first place?” It isn’t even an insurance issue. There’s no one dying of condom deficiency.
And women want everyone else to pay for what they say is a “holy choice”.
That is what I don’t get. They are not saying that an employee can’t use birth control, but that the company doesn’t have to pay for.
They need to sue over the violation of personal rights. If a corporation is a legal person, they have the same legal rights and responsibilities as “real” persons.
I think there is a difference between medical care and a car. If a company says “You can’t have a Ford”, no big deal. If they say “You can’t have vaccines”, that’s a big deal
What I’m saying pappy is that it’s their money and their decision to give you a bonus to keep working for them. They don’t have to give you any bonus at all. And if they do, they can give whatever bonus they want to give.
They are not obligated to give you a bonus.
Until NOW when the government said, “You know that bonus you used to give your employees, well, we’ll be telling you what a bonus has to look like no matter what you say. And, oh by the way, if you don’t give your employees that gift bonus, we’ll be fining you for it.”
If a large business doesn’t buy insurance at all, then they pay $2000 per employee penalty for each full time employee.
That seems to me to be the better route financially for Hobby Lobby. I’m sure their insurance costs far more per full time employee than that. Let’s say each policy cost them on average $10,000.
If they got out of the insurance game altogether, they could then give each employee 8000 more in their paychecks to buy their own insurance.
Then each person could buy what they wished