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5 Thoughts on the Hobby Lobby Win – A Victory for All Religions

June 30, AD2014 89 Comments

In a historic 5-4 decision, the Supreme Court of the United States sided with the contention that the HHS Mandate is unconstitutional. Although it’s disappointing that the decision was so close, we are again reminded that when man stands for what is right, God is honored – no matter the outcome. Hobby Lobby spent countless dollars and months, in a fight from which they could have walked away. Strength in a time of duress is a sure sign of conviction. May God bless all those who stand strong in the face of adversity.

Here are some thoughts, from varying sources, to keep in mind as we continue to travel the road of defending Religious Liberty. May this be a turning of the tide.

  1. “If you are discussing the Hobby Lobby case with friends, remind them that the administration was trying to force religious employers not only to buy contraceptives for their employees, but also abortifacient drugs… drugs which kill unborn human beings in the womb. Thank God it was overturned by one vote today.”
    ~Fr-Andrew R. Moore (Facebook friend)

 

 

 

  • Justices Elena Kagan, Sonia Sotomayor, and Steven Breyer joined Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who wrote the dissent saying, “Reading the Act expansively, as the court does, raises a host of “Me, too” questions. Can an employer in business for profit opt out of coverage for blood transfusions, vaccinations, antidepressants, or medications derived from pigs, based on the employer’s sincerely held religious beliefs opposing those medical practices.”

 

As we can surmise from this verbiage, those who oppose this decision will have more to say and will try to win others over to their ‘side’. There are more cases pending, including the one being brought by EWTN. We must remain vigilant in prayer, action, and discernment.

 

 

 

  • While this decision is certainly a victory for Religious Liberty, there’s much more work to be done. Although Hobby Lobby sought relief from ObamaCare, its owners/lawsuit only opposed four of 20 forms of contraception the mandate required employers to offer to employees at not cost. The Catholic side of the HHS Mandate opposition coin maintains its objection to being required to provide all contraceptives, sterilization, and abortive ‘services’ because they are all recognized to be an intrinsic evil.

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NOTE: I’ll be adding more to this list as information becomes available. Feel free to share relevant stories and facts via the combox.

Filed in: Faith • Tags:

About the Author:

Birgit is a 50-something cradle Catholic who is passionate about the pro-life movement. She has been married to her Catholic convert husband, Rick, for 39 years. They have four children and eight living grandchildren (all age ten and under). Their frequent visits eliminate any fear of an empty nest! Birgit can also be found on her personal blog Designs By Birgit and Facebook fan page Designs By Birgit, where she shares the pro-life memes she creates.

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  • Birgit Atherton Jones

    UPDATE as promised: EWTN Wins Big Pro-Life Victory Against HHS Mandate on Heels of Hobby Lobby Decision – http://www.lifenews.com/2014/06/30/ewtn-wins-big-pro-life-victory-against-hhs-mandate-on-heels-of-hobby-lobby-decision/

  • Asemodeus

    So many lies in this article.

    1. None of the 4 contraceptions that Hobby Lobby thinks cause abortions actually cause abortions. You first need to have a embyro to implant in the womb before you have a abortion, something that none of these drugs do.

    https://www.guttmacher.org/pubs/tgr/08/2/gr080207.html

    “To be sure, not every act of intercourse results in a pregnancy.
    First, ovulation (i.e., the monthly release of a woman’s egg) must
    occur. Then, the egg must be fertilized. Fertilization describes the
    process by which a single sperm gradually penetrates the layers of an egg to form a new cell (“zygote”). This usually occurs in the fallopian tubes and can take up to 24 hours. There is only a short window during which an egg can be fertilized. If fertilization does not occur during that time, the egg dissolves and then hormonal changes trigger menstruation; however, if fertilization does occur, the zygote divides and differentiates into a “preembryo” while being carried down the fallopian tube toward the uterus. Implantation of the preembryo in the uterine lining begins about five days after fertilization. Implantation
    can be completed as early as eight days or as late as 18 days after fertilization, but usually takes about 14 days. Between one-third and one-half of all fertilized eggs never fully implant. A pregnancy is considered to be established only after implantation is complete.

    Source: American College of Obstetricans and Gynecologists.”

    2. This ruling only applies to closely held corporations.

    3. Bold faced hypocrisy for the author.

    4. Anecdotal. If we took anecdotes seriously there would be a whole lot more pastors in jail.

    5. It isn’t a victory for religious liberty, since for the first time, a employer can use his religion to override the religious belief of his employee. They still have rights and freedoms too, they are just forgotten about since, in this case, it is about the freedoms of women.

    • Cynthia Millen

      Wow! You are an angry person! The author did an excellent job of backing up all of her assertions with facts and news articles to support her statements. Yet you attack her in ad hominem attacks and are not kind. You can disagree but be kind and thoughtful.

    • Sample1

      I don’t see an ad-hominem. And it’s ok to be angry, there is no shame in that, though I’m not even saying Asemodeus is angry. Anger never nullifies facts.

      Your post comes off as defensive without any real retort to Asemodeus’ points.

      Mike

    • Birgit Atherton Jones

      Accusing the author (me) of hypocrisy with no qualification comes off as angry – as does the charge that the article is anecdotal when it’s filled with sources.

    • Asemodeus

      To be fair, Catholics are massive hypocrites just on principal. Centuries and centuries and centuries and centuries of Catholics oppressing other faith groups across 3+ continents.

      The one religious group that has no historical right to complain about religious freedom is complaining about religious freedom, right now. It’s startling in its breadth and arrogance.

    • Birgit Atherton Jones

      1. The scientific community disagrees with you. Read these quotes, gathered by Princeton, to see that life begins at fertilization: http://www.princeton.edu/~prolife/articles/embryoquotes2.html

      2. Check out the impact closely held corporations have on the economy. Then consider that this case is one of many still being decided. This decision will surely lead the way to restoring more religious freedom. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Privately_held_company

      3. I don’t know how to respond to this. Example?

      4. I provided many sources from various news outlets – hardly anecdotal.

      5. No one has been given the ability to override any aspect of an employee’s religion. What many people who are angry about this outcome fail to recognize is that nothing has been taken away from the people: 1) pharmaceutical companies will still manufacture 2) doctors will still prescribe 3) pharmacists will still fill 4) patients can still purchase and use any birth control available on the market. The only thing that has changed is that those who morally object will not have to financially participate – as they have for only the two years since Obamacare has been the law of the land. Further, Title X funds provide birth control, free or at reduced cost, at any number of health clinics all across the U.S. Even the outright purchase price is minimal ($9 or less per month). This fracas has so many facets of misinformation but is really quite simple and not worthy of such histrionics, as are being displayed by some.

    • Asemodeus

      1. The claim isn’t about the start of life, which is a nonsense idea in the first place, but when pregnancy starts. Learn the difference.

      2. The ruling actually decreases religious liberty, but you don’t see that because you ignore the religious liberty of people that you disagree with.

      3. Religious freedom for me, not for thee.

      4. You need to learn what anecdotal means.

      5. A boss now is given the religious “freedom” to trump the religious freedom of their employees. It’s corporate theocracy in motion.

      The rest is the usual gibberish and non-sequitur. Contraception is health care in America, and should be covered under health insurance plans, regardless of a bosses personal delusions. He should have no say in the medical choices of employees.

    • Birgit Atherton Jones

      If you think that determining the beginning of life is nonsense and has nothing to do with when pregnancy begins, I don’t know how to converse with you. That premise makes no sense from either a scientific or logical standpoint.

      I’d be interested in you explaining how exactly religious freedom is decreased by the Hobby Lobby decision. You don’t seem to understand the difference between freedom and forcing someone to pay for others’ moral choices (freedom). Your freedom is not dependent on my pocketbook – you choose, you pay.

      The fact that your boss may not share your moral views has nothing to do with your ability to exercise your freedom to make your own choices – the same freedom to choose a contraceptive lifestyle exists now as it has for the decades before Obamacare became law two years ago.

      I’d like to invite you to take a more civil tone.

    • Asemodeus

      “If you think that determining the beginning of life is nonsense and has
      nothing to do with when pregnancy begins, I don’t know how to converse
      with you.”

      Because, under your own definitions, pregnancy and the start of life are not the same thing. It’s gibberish from start to finish to try to define when life starts, since life itself is a continuous process. Life begets life, remember?

      “I’d be interested in you explaining how exactly religious freedom is decreased by the Hobby Lobby decision.”

      Health insurance is a earned entitlement of the employees for their work. It decreases their freedoms when their boss can decide what is and isn’t in that health insurance, that they worked for, and then call that religious freedom. It’s the exact opposite.

      You just cannot cope with this since you view religious freedom differently than sane people do.

      “You don’t seem to understand the difference between freedom and forcing someone to pay for others’ moral choices (freedom).”

      Which is as stupid as a argument as there can be. You are basically saying that a employer can force employees to spend their wages based on their religious ideals, since those wages were technically his.

      Grow up.

      “The fact that your boss may not share your moral views has nothing to do
      with your ability to exercise your freedom to make your own choices –
      the same freedom to choose a contraceptive lifestyle exists now as it
      has for the decades before Obamacare became law two years ago.”

      Speaking of choices, these contraception were covered under Hobby Lobby for years before it became a hot button issue.

    • Howard

      ” life itself is a continuous process. Life begets life”

      In your angry sputtering I’m glad you agree that human life should be protected and aborting it at any stage of it’s growth is wrong. Even if your desires for human life is much different than God’s – Ashmedai.

    • Asemodeus

      “In your angry sputtering I’m glad you agree that human life should be
      protected and aborting it at any stage of it’s growth is wrong.”

      Ectopic pregnancy.

      You’re welcome.

    • Howard

      You haven’t finished your first sentence or addressed your emotional plea that you made that life is a process without a break.

    • Asemodeus

      I just blew up your entire argument with two words. The least you could do is thank me for my efficiency.

    • Howard

      I am afraid you have opted for efficiency and eliminated understanding. Please explain.

    • Asemodeus

      You don’t know what a Ectopic Pregnancy is? Why are you commenting about women’s health if you don’t even know the basics?

      Wow.

    • Howard

      I am familiar with the term, I am asking why you seem to think that a shortcut two words says anything.

    • Asemodeus

      Because it blew up your argument so badly that I didn’t need to elaborate.

      Try to keep up.

    • Howard

      Well….would you please help out a dullard and help me to understand what argument blew up exactly. I know you have important things to do, but I would really be grateful if you would take the time to share your wisdom with such as I.

    • CowsomeLoneboy

      I guess Asemodeus grew understandably weary, so I’ll take up where he left off and explain the simple premise to you.

      Here are your words:

      “In your angry sputtering I’m glad you agree that human life should be
      protected and aborting it at any stage of it’s [sic] growth is wrong.”

      You stated that you are aware of what an ectopic pregnancy is. Then you know that the fertilized ovum continues to develop by cellular division and replication and grows in such a pregnancy, but in the entirely wrong place–generally in a fallopian tube but it can also occur in other areas of the body than where it is supposed to grow–the uterus, or womb. By your own statement this is a “human life [that] should be protected and aborting it at any stage of it’s [sic] growth is wrong.” As I just mentioned the now embryo is growing alright and it meets your definition of a human life that is in a stage of growth, so you’ve just argued that it should be protected and it is wrong to abort (or more properly in the case of ectopic pregnancy, terminate) the continued growth of this human life, albeit in a place not at all suited for its development.

      Again, since you say you understand EP, you know that the continued growth of this “human life” if it is in the fallopian tube of the host’s body will result in excrutiating, unremitting pain and if allowed to continue can very well lead to the host woman’s death. There is no chance that the embryo will develop into a living child because the fallopian tube, or other non-uterus place, cannot provide the environment for that to occur, but your absolute injunction is that this “human life” should not be interfered with in any way in its growth and so the woman must necessarily endure unimaginable suffering and the prospect of death so that she can accommodate the sanctity of this growing “human life” within her.

      OK then. You’ve enjoined this woman to an awful fate. Please explain yourself to her.

    • Howard

      Asemodeus grew weary but because his patronizing attitude towards other people was not accepted. You however do not grow weary of spreading false information and venom so I will answer you.

      You are incorrect that mine or the Catholic position on life is that “”human life” should not be interfered with in any way” in it’s initial growth stages. We object to the direct attack on that life during pregnancy.

      Interestingly enough he have earlier described the travel of an embryo into the uterus and then state, “A pregnancy is considered to be established only after implantation is complete.“ Now you are accepting the attachment to a
      fallopian tube as a pregnancy, one that has no chance of coming to term
      naturally.

      Most “ectopic” or “out of place” pregnancies are in the fallopian tube but don’t have to be and about half of these resolve on their own without intervention.

      What we have with the other 50% is a decision between TWO
      (2) human lives as the tube will become pathological and both are in danger.
      Removing this portion of the tube with the unborn child removes the
      pathological condition without directly intending to abort the child. This is
      morally acceptable because the death of the child is not the cure for the problem; it is an unintended and unavoidable consequence sometimes necessary in medicine.

      The physician has not performed an abortion as Catholics
      understand that to mean a direct attack on a human life. He has surgically
      removed a pathology that threatens both lives equally. Other methods attack the unborn life to solve the problem and would be considered abortions.

      This solution is roughly equivalent to amputating someone’s leg, not because you want their foot to be gone, but, because you wish to save their life and the foot is an unavoidable loss.

    • CowsomeLoneboy

      I find it curious that you attack me personally right out of the gate when what I did was supply the answer that you had begged Asemodeus to give you. Furthermore, please read any number of your comments in this discussion. If what I wrote is venomous, then your comments would be easy to construe as the instant-death kind of venom. We disagree, obviously, but your ad hominem attack launched at the very start of your reply to me is uncalled for and does nothing to further the intelligent discussion of these issues. I think it’s interesting that you and the author of this article both take umbrage at the “tone” of replies simply because your firmly held beliefs are taken to task. Where is the intellectual honesty in that approach?

      “You are incorrect that mine or the Catholic position on life is that
      “”human life” should not be interfered with in any way” in it’s initial
      growth stages. We object to the direct attack on that life during
      pregnancy.”

      Let’s take that one one sentence at a time. As to the first one, I simply copied and pasted what you wrote to Asemodeus. I did that a couple of times so that I could be sure I was not misconstruing your words. To quote you again, “…I’m glad you agree that human life should be protected and aborting it at any stage of it’s [sic] growth is wrong.” “Any stage.” Far different from your current position which is that you and the RCC have no problem with interference in “it’s [sic] initial stages.” I hope you will acknowledge that there is an inconsistency there.

      Now to the second: “We object to the direct attack on that life during
      pregnancy.” Now what should we make of that? What are you calling a pregnancy? Your colleagues here, Ms. Jones and Ms. Millen, have been strenuously arguing that the RCC position is that once there is a fertilized ovum there is a baby and there is a pregnancy. You have been saying pretty much the same thing. If that is how it is viewed, then an ectopic embryo is a life in pregnancy, is it not?

      “Removing this portion of the tube with the unborn child removes the
      pathological condition without directly intending to abort the child. This is
      morally
      acceptable because the death of the child is not the cure for the
      problem; it is an unintended and unavoidable consequence sometimes
      necessary in medicine.”

      You have some fine parsing going on there; understandable given that your faith’s moral injunctions are almost always stated in absolutes and finding the wiggle room for exceptions without at the same time giving any ground on the absolute is an extremely difficult path to tread. Being honest with the situation, though, calls for recognizing that the “child” IS the pathological condition because the growing embryo is the sole source of the problem. The surgeon’s solution is to deliberately terminate that “pathological condition,” which in almost every other instance you’ve insisted on calling a “life” or a “child,” so that the extant, viable, and fully formed human who is the other piece in this dilemma can survive. The surgeon deliberately removes the embryo knowing it will destroy it whether you want to acknowledge that here or not. I call this situation a dilemma only because you’ve posed it as a choice between one or the other life–“a pathology that threatens both lives equally.” Most people, and even most ethicists, would not see it as a dilemma at all, as I do not. There is an unviable, barely formed clump of cells that under different circumstances might have become a human versus a fully formed, sentient human being who needn’t die just because she’s host to that clump of cells that won’t ever become a life anyway. That is how most rational people, not yoked to dogma, will view it and to them there would never be a question about whose rights are absolutely superior. But because you will only discuss this issue in such absolutist terms, you are then not free to make that common sense, rational argument.

      That is the point that Asemodeus was making and you have offered nothing to counter it. Those of us who are pro-choice are not at all pro-abort as so many in the “pro-life” arena like to scream at us. We value life. We value and hold dear all of our children. We grieve when a friend has a miscarriage. We believe in the sanctity of life. We also understand fully and embrace the situations like ectopic pregnancies discussed here in their entirety, not in some compartmentalized, legal-argument way as you presented it and we also recognize that there are many other such situations where real lives matter and difficult, often painful choices must be made.

      If you must cling to an absolutist view of the world in order to navigate it, then I fully support your rights to your beliefs and your need to live your life as you see best. Why is it that the pro-life camp cannot understand the simple, civil concept that people of good will and good morals can view life differently and see that others must be accorded the freedom to follow their consciences in the way that fulfills their lives? Why must you insist that your view be the only one allowable in our society?

    • Howard

      I suggest that you look up the definition of ad hominem. Because I comment on both of your arrogant poor behaviors, it is not an attempt to discredit your statements. I have provided answers to address those.

      1. Nothing I said is inconsistent. Aborting human life, as I have explained,
      means to a Catholic a DIRECT ATTACK on that life. You have overlooked this very important difference. Even though we may say the life was aborted as we may say, “I have aborted my travel plans”, it is clear that it is not the same as “interfered with” in this context.

      2. No parsing at all. A life will die. Intention, motive, circumstance are the
      deciding factors here. Just as we have the same result in murder, manslaughter, and accidental death, the factors that come into play with the person you are accusing affect the punishment or lack of. Your dislike of legal-like arguments ignores completely the fact that society must go to great lengths to correctly judge some and provide justice to others.

      It is obvious what your view of human life in the womb is, and it is natural that you would judge from that point of view. I reject your viewpoint as irrational also, so we have no common ground here.

      3. Asemodeus made no point, he grunted a few of words.

      4. “…people of good will and good morals can view life differently and see that others must be accorded the freedom to follow their consciences in the way that fulfills their lives?” Very chilling in the context of our discussion. I presume that you are the one to define “good morals” and “good will”. I see your conscience as having not been formed correctly in that you refuse to acknowledge the truth that life in the womb is not a choice to be made by a second party, but a right of the owner of that life.

    • CowsomeLoneboy

      I’m not at all surprised, Howard, that you directed me to look up ad hominem rather than doing so yourself. Had you done so you would have discovered that it is an attack directed at the person’s character and not that person’s ideas. “Because I comment on both of your arrogant poor behaviors, it is not an attempt to discredit your statements.” There, from your own keyboard in the very comment where you imply that you didn’t engage in an ad hominem attack, is your own admission that you indeed do engage in ad hominem attacks. And just to clarify, in your first reply to me you wrote this: “You however do not grow weary of spreading false information and venom so I will answer you.” When you assert that I constantly, and by implication deliberately, spread false information–in other words, lie–you are attacking my character. That you did not cite one instance where you attempted to prove that I “spread false information [without tiring]” compounds the personal and uncalled for nature of your attack.

      The foregoing illustrates quite well the point I came away with after reading your second reply. You say things that appear to show that you don’t truly comprehend what you’re writing. “Nothing I said is inconsistent.” You’re willing to make that categorical statement even though I laid your inconsistent comments side-by-side where the inconsistencies are impossible to escape unless you simply can’t admit them or you can’t comprehend them?

      Perhaps all your statements betray no inconsistencies if you start from the premise that the RCC’s teachings are inerrant and therefore no matter what you personally say, so long as you believe it accords with those teachings, it can’t possibly be wrong as a matter of higher authority. It well appears that that’s where you’re coming from. However, in the realm of logic and reason, your different pronouncements have internal inconsistencies. I point this out not because I expect you to suddenly admit this, since I know you are unlikely ever to, but because it means that we cannot have a rational discourse about this matter.

      And so we’ve reached the point where I’ll just sign off from you, abandoning my further opportunities to display my arrogant, bad behaviors, at least for your consumption. But before I leave entirely and will no longer have the chance to bring up arrogance with you again, thanks for determining for me that my conscience has not been formed correctly.

    • Howard

      Read the definition again, irrelevant facts are the key.

      It has been a while since I have had a chance to exercise my mind in such a confrontational conversation and I thank you for the opportunity.

      Goodbye.

    • Howard

      “Since the first century the Church has affirmed the moral evil of every procured abortion. This teaching has not changed and remains unchangeable. Direct abortion, that is to say, abortion willed either as an end or a means, is gravely contrary to the moral law:” Catechism of the Catholic Church 2271

    • RealChristiansListenToChrist

      Well said! And when company owners, with other religious beliefs, try to force their religious beliefs upon Christian Right employees, the Christian Right will be crying and whining like babies, screaming THEIR religious freedoms are being trampled. I always believed that Christ taught us to love our brothers and care for those in need. The Christian Right, obviously interprets Jesus’ teachings differently or are simply choosing to ignore His teachings.

    • Birgit Atherton Jones

      A fitting analogy would be a Jewish deli owner not purchasing bacon (a morally repugnant food) for their employees’ Sunday brunch – bacon will still be produced, marketed, and available for purchase by anyone who wishes to indulge. I doubt anyone would be crying about the unfairness of that! The same goes for contraceptives – still produced, marketed, and available for purchase by anyone who wishes to use them. Crying foul about that is simply wrong minded – making the accusation that it represents someone’s rights are being trampled is ridiculous.

    • Asemodeus

      “A fitting analogy would be a Jewish deli owner not purchasing bacon (a
      morally repugnant food) for their employees’ Sunday brunch”

      That’s a lot of gibberish. Everyone knows that the Jewish holy day of rest is Saturday, not Sunday.

      Besides that nonsense, purchasing deli meats isn’t a compelling government interest, so fail analogy 101.

      “The same goes for contraceptives – still produced, marketed, and available for purchase by anyone who wishes to use them.”

      Which is health care and should be covered under health insurance. Just because some contraception is cheap doesn’t mean the rest shouldn’t be covered under health plans.

      “Crying foul about that is simply wrong minded – making the accusation
      that it represents someone’s rights are being trampled is ridiculous.”

      Having your boss impose his religion on your religious freedom is being trampled upon.

    • Birgit Atherton Jones

      I was speaking of the food,not the day of the week.

      So is health insurance all about freebies for everyone now? What in the world did these people do before Obamacare became law a mere two years ago? The beholden class is becoming more and more demanding. The freebies come at a price, both to one’s sense of accountability and to the demand on society to give away what used to be an individual’s responsibility.

      Again, denying 4 (abortifacient) out of 20 contraceptives is hardly cause for such histrionics.

    • CowsomeLoneboy

      So suppose, Ms. Jones, you have a daughter who requires anti-depressants. She works for a corporation that is suddenly taken over by a leveraged buy out firm that is owned by a bunch of Scientologists. They announce that they are stripping the behavioral health medications benefit from the health insurance package because such medications violate their religious consciences, this despite the fact that the law requires parity between behavioral health benefits and all other medical benefits.

      Your daughter’s Lexapro is still being produced, marketed, and available for purchase. However, the $35 per month she must now pay out of her own pocket puts a strain on her family’s budget and she quite rightly wonders why she’s paying for health insurance AND paying out of pocket for her medication when her co-worker, Jane, who takes a medication for her acne, gets her meds with a $5/month co-pay with that same health insurance.

      That, Ms. Jones, is an analogy, unlike your ridiculous bacon at a Jewish deli offering. And whose rights are being “trampled” is, to use an old expression, a matter of whose ox is being gored.

    • Birgit Atherton Jones

      Again, only 4 out of 20 forms of contraceptive are even affected by this decision. As for your example, there are many medications and/or insurance plans that don’t cover all types of medication. My own situation is a prime example. What in the world did all of these people do before Obamacare was passed a mere two years ago? Many things strain one’s budget, that’s a fact of life. The situation one finds oneself in, isn’t always the same for all others. It’s called life. I would also ask you to remain civil and to lose the aggressive tone.

    • CowsomeLoneboy

      When an analogy is a poor one, totally inappropriate to the situation, in fact, I will call it for what it is. If you think that’s being uncivil and aggressive, so be it. I only match the tenor of my comments to those of the people who feel they are in control or in charge of the situation, such as you. If you would peruse your own comment you will likely find the use of “ridiculous” there. Sauce for the goose and all that.

      Actually, SCOTUS revised its decision to signal to all concerned that in fact the decision was not limited to the 4 forms of birth control but is meant to cover all forms. Again, it was the all RCC majority that made that determination.

      You deliberately ignore the analogy. Why? The question is whether a corporate employer can decide to strip benefits from health care coverage based on mythological religious “beliefs” of the corporation. When you actually see Hobby Lobby–the corporation and not any of its owners–kneel down and pray or quote scripture please alert me first. I’d like to be able to get the scoop credit on that one. Yes, some medications are not covered by some plans, but the question–and please don’t ignore it a second time–here is whether religious considerations will now tailor our health care coverage or whether medical appropriateness and efficacy should be the guiding principle.

      The Pandora’s box has been opened because now it isn’t just about medical care and Obamacare, the boogeyman to all conservatives and now apparently most all Catholics, even though Jesus did proclaim that caring for the sick was a blessed act and the new pope sees this not just as some church-tethered obligation but the proper province of nations and societies . Now corporate religious beliefs may well trump all kinds of good public policy, such as moves underway already to avoid anti-discrimination laws due to “religious beliefs” of corporations. There’s a good chance we won’t be a religion-neutral country as the Founders envisioned but instead a fragmented sectarian battleground that

      the Founders had hoped to avoid.

      You express dismay in your piece that this wasn’t a unanimous decision by the Court, or at least that it was only a one-vote majority. Well as you said in your reply to me, it’s called life, and many people in this life who have a good perspective on the larger picture knew and still know that this was a bad decision by the Court. Alito obviously recognized to the extent he was capable that such implications could arise from the decision because he talked in terms of a carefully tailored decision, trying to cut off the Hydra’s head before it emerged. He should have read his mythology more carefully and known what a difficult and improbable feat that would be.

    • BiologyBrain

      1. Technically, the definition of pregnancy varies depending on what the scientist/doctor is discussing/supporting at the time. When discussing an unwanted pregnancy via contraception the definition you gave is usually used. However, when discussing a ‘wanted’ pregnancy, the definition often begins at fertilization, sometimes ovulation, or sometimes even the last known menstrual cycle. Many medical dictionaries refer to conception/fertilization as the beginning of a pregnancy. From a genetics standpoint, as soon as the sperm penetrates the egg, new DNA is formed. From a microbiology standpoint, a single cell with unique DNA that metabolizes and replicates is a new organism. So the basis of pregnancy starting at conception/fertilization isn’t unsupported by science.

      The package inserts of many (if not all) emergency contraceptives and/or hormonal contraceptives give one of their modes of action as disrupting implantation. Why would the pharmaceutical companies out this as a mode of action on these products if it’s untrue? Are these companies lying? Why not remove that information if it’s untrue?

      5. What religious beliefs of the employee are being overridden? Is there a religion out there that demands people to have sex as often as possible? Is there a religion out there that demands it’s members to use contraception? Hobby Lobby isn’t demanding that their employees not be allowed to contracept, they just don’t want to have to provide insurance that pays for it. Why can’t these employees just cough up the money to pay for it themselves? I had to pay for progesterone supplements during my pregnancies because they weren’t covered by my insurance. The progesterone I needed was quite expensive – more so than most contraceptives. Many pharmacies offer $4-15 monthly contraceptives without requiring insurance. Why not take advantage of that?

    • Harry

      I don’t think location means humanhood. A fetus is a human before they impact on their mother’s wall. Just like you’re a human even if you don’t currently live in New York City. There are humans in other places and there are even astronauts.

    • Asemodeus

      You are trying, and failing, to describe personhood to a clump of flesh that needs to attach itself to a actual person in order to live.

  • http://healingandempowerment.blogspot.com Phil Dzialo

    Perhaps we should poll Church going Catholic women if they agree that this is a “victory.” Also, since all Christian religions do NOT consider contraception morally objectionable, it can hardly be claimed to be a “victory for all religions.” It is a victory for the “right -wing” conservatives.

    • Birgit Atherton Jones

      It’s a victory for all who hold dear their religious/moral principles – and Freedom in general, for that matter. Forcing someone to do something or pay for something they find morally repugnant is certainly against the First Amendment. What many people who are angry about this outcome fail to recognize is that nothing has been taken away from the people: 1) pharmaceutical companies will still manufacture 2) doctors will still prescribe 3) pharmacists will still fill 4) patients can still purchase and use any birth control available on the market. The only thing that has changed is that those who morally object will not have to financially participate – as they have for only the two years since Obamacare has been the law of the land. Further, Title X funds provide birth control, free or at reduced cost, at any number of health clinics all across the U.S. Even the outright purchase price is minimal ($9 or less per month). This fracas has so many facets of misinformation but is really quite simple and not worthy of such histrionics, as are being displayed by some.

    • RealChristiansListenToChrist

      Corporations are playing the Christian Right like fiddles! It’s almost laughable at how easily they are being manipulated. The Christian Right are way too gullible, thinking this was about religion. Hobby Lobby is laughing all the way to the bank, as they continue profiting from countries, which force abortions and businesses, which make abortion causing medicines and devices.

    • Birgit Atherton Jones

      This comment isn’t even on topic. Hobby Lobby has no hand in other countries’ procreative practices. Were we to abstain from any company or country so involved, we’d have to go live off the grid, in the wild and not consume products from any company currently in existence. There would be no utility, no bank, no food or merchandise worthy of purchase.

      And what, exactly does Hobby Lobby’s profit have to do with the issue? As is the right of any business, they are certainly entitled to profit – even while adhering to their moral principles. I personally find it disappointing that they objected to only 4 of the 20 contraceptives in question. As a Catholic who adheres to the teachings of the Church, I know that any contraceptive (and abortifacient) is morally wrong.

  • Pingback: What Hobby Lobby Means - BigPulpit.com

  • http://healingandempowerment.blogspot.com Phil Dzialo

    Actually, Hobby Lobby was a victory for hypocrisy … deny women free contraceptives but invest employee retire funds in companies that make contraceptive, even plan B.

    “At least eight of those funds have been invested in companies that produce contraceptives such as Teva Pharmaceutical (TEVA), Bayer (BAYRY), and Pfizer (PFE), according to a CNNMoney analysis. Teva makes Plan B. At least one fund also held Forest Laboratories, which makes a drug that is used to induce abortions.”

    http://money.cnn.com/2014/07/01/investing/hobby-lobby-401k-contraception/index.html?hpt=hp_t2

    Victory? It is never a victory when hypocrites get their way….

    • Birgit Atherton Jones

      Abstaining from paying for four out of 20 available contraceptives is hardly denying women contraceptives. Even these four are still readily available at minimal cost, just as they have been for decades. Again, women are not being denied access, Hobby Lobby will simply refrain from funding a pharmaceutical product that has an abortifacient effect.

      That many investment firms choose what they consider the most lucrative investments is hardly up to individual clients. Even so, the connection is certainly unfortunate. Yet, this landmark decision was a just one and will hopefully begin a landslide of similar decisions. Our Religious Liberty is a God-given right for everyone – even those who sometimes fall in their pursuit of moral perfection. Who among us…?

    • Howard

      Phil, you have always been quick to attack religion and agree with it’s detractors when something pops up on the internet that fits your agenda. You have said that you have worked in education, I would expect you to not jump emotionally into every anti-Catholic thread spreading the venom.

      http://www.forbes.com/sites/jeffreybrown/2014/07/02/is-hobby-lobby-hypocritical-or-just-complying-with-u-s-pension-law/

    • http://healingandempowerment.blogspot.com Phil Dzialo

      This should not be a place for “ad hominen” attacks…my issues stem not from emotion but reason, although I am sure you disagree….I react to ultra-right wing, extremist Catholic ideology. I do not attack people, just question ideas and scholarship.

    • Howard

      Ad hominen? You called Hobby Lobby “hypocrites” twice which left yourself open to correction. The only thing you concluded from the article you read was a list of stocks that you connected to a behavior on the part of the owners. NO EVIDENCE FOR THIS CONCLUSION AT ALL. Scholarship means more than pre-maturely going on the attack and then having to back-track.

    • Howard

      By the way, where do you get the idea that Hobby Lobby is extremist “Catholic ideology” they are not Catholic. More Ad hominen?

  • Birgit Atherton Jones

    Another update: Post-Hobby Lobby, Courts Grant Injunctions Against Obamacare Abortion Drug Rule for 7 Groups

    http://cnsnews.com/news/article/brittany-m-hughes/post-hobby-lobby-courts-grant-injunctions-against-obamacare-abortion

    • Cynthia Millen

      The Decision was excellent and I was disappointed with the dissent.
      1. Before the ACA, employers and individuals purchased insurance packages to their own liking. If you depended upon an employer for your insurance, you knew what was in it (either through your union or your contract.) individuals selected their own packages. You could have catastrophic care only with a large deductible or you could choose a very comprehensive package. In addition, most employer packages permitted you to add on additional benefits (e.g., dental, prescriptions, etc) if you paid for it. In this way, people could tailor their packages to better fit their needs. Yes, there were problems with failure to cover pre-existing conditions and other issues, but these could be corrected by legislation.
      2. The ACA did correct some problems but it’s main flaw was that it dictated what must be covered tb insurance policies. Thus high deductible, catastrophic policies were banished and costs went up for some people. Some people lost their policies. Some got better policies. All was not bad as some commentators claim.
      3. The ACA dictated what must be included in policies. This included medical procedures which are contrary to the religious beliefs of many individuals and the charities and corporations. No matter what anyone thinks about those beliefs, it has been a matter of settled Constitutional law that the govt cannot force someone to do something which violates his or her religious beliefs. The govt exempted a limited number of religious organizations but did not exempt those which had been considered religious in the past under IRS definitions.
      4. For some which were not exempt, the administration, after protests from various religious groups, permitted them to sign a waiver which would allow the organization’s insurance administrator to obtain the prohibited insurance coverage separately. This was/is still a problem because I or my company is still providing coverage that is considered immoral, against my religious beliefs or is tantamount to murder.

      The solution here is clear: the govt can provide the services in question itself to those who want it, thereby removing the person/employer from involvement in an activity which it considers contrary to religious beliefs. That is what the majority stated.

      No one, either individually or through the business he or she created, should ever be forced to violate the tenets of his or her faith.

    • Cynthia Millen

      Bravo Brigit

    • Cynthia Millen

      Sorry—Birgit!

    • Bill S

      This was/is still a problem because I or my company is still providing coverage that is considered immoral, against my religious beliefs or is tantamount to murder.

      At some point, your “religious beliefs” become your problem not mine if I happen to be a female employee in need of contraceptive coverage that doesn’t even require my employer to pay any higher premiums. It is essentially a free coverage that my religious fanatic employer wants to take away from me because he can’t use contraceptives so he is going to make damn sure that no one else can either. Your religious rights end where my rights begin.

    • Cynthia Millen

      Nope.
      If you want to kill your baby, I am not going to pull the trigger for you.
      I won’t prevent you from doing it, but please don’t include me.
      I believe that a fertilized egg is life which is unique and sacred.
      The drugs which Hobby Lobby did not want to cover were abortifacients—they rid the body of a fertilized egg.

      Let the Government provide those drugs if they want, but don’t force me to go against my faith to do it.

    • Bill S

      I believe that a fertilized egg is life which is unique and sacred.

      In this hypothetical scenario, my wife opts for an IUD, which used to be covered by your employee plan at no extra cost to you. You choose to tell the insurance provider that you no longer want IUDs covered, even at no extra cost. Because of your religious scrupulosity, a coverage that the government has guaranteed to me under Obamacare is not provided even though I have no such religious reasons not to take advantage of this provision.

      Five MEN on the Supreme Court are OK allowing someone else’s religion affect my life. The WOMEN justices disagree.

    • Cynthia Millen

      Bill,
      Your wife can still get the IUD, but just directly from the Government and not through me.
      And you could even pay me extra to give your wife the IUD, and I still wouldn’t do it. It’s not the cost, Bill. It’s the sanctity. It’s wrong for me—–instead, the Supreme Court said that if Obama really wants your wife to have her IUD, he can provide it to her in other ways but not through me.

      Please respect my religious beliefs. Your wife can get her IUD either through another insurance program directly funded by the government, on her own dime or at a free clinic (in some cities), but not from me. I don’t want to be a participant in murder. I am not preventing your wife from getting her IUD. I just don’t wish to be part of it.

      Right and wrong is not a matter of public opinion. For me, it’s not right to take life away, no matter how small and insignificant.

    • Bill S

      Then, there should be an accomodation and you should have to submit a 700 form with a copy to the insurance company just like the religious nonprofits have to do.

    • Cynthia Millen

      So if I won’t kill the baby, I hire a hit man to do it. Nope. How hypocritical is that? Gee, I don’t want to kill babies, but if I sign this piece of paper, I can arrange for someone else to kill the babies.

      If Mr. Obama wants to kill babies, he can do it himself.

    • Bill S

      To say that you oppose the coverage because you don’t want to “kill babies” is evidence that religious fanatics have had too much say in how mainstream people are to live. Unfortunately, we have five MEN on the Supreme Court who are all to willing to allow their decisions to be influenced by religious extremists.

    • CowsomeLoneboy

      Ms. Millen, if you want to argue that Justice Scalia and his band of Catholic comrades have the right to impose their religious values on the rest of the nation through the force of law, please go ahead and forthrightly make that argument. Please, however, don’t engage in verbal histrionics talking about the “killing of babies.” You are far more intelligent than that and you know that you are not being intellectually honest when you use such hyperbolic language.

    • Cynthia Millen

      Let’s call pregnancy what it is: the carrying of a baby before he or she is born.

    • Bill S

      Soooo, to you, a fertilized egg/embryo is a baby. And women are supposed to have their finances and lives negatively impacted based on your naïveté. You are assigning a definition that most women using contraceptives would find laughable.

    • Birgit Atherton Jones

      Medical science says it’s a baby – a life. The decision making process happens at the moment of consensual coupling. http://www.princeton.edu/~prolife/articles/embryoquotes2.html

    • Bill S

      I don’t think everybody cares about when life begins. Many a fertilized egg never makes it any further and is naturally expelled. It is a nonevent.

      There is a strange superstition about some sort of metaphysical “ensoulment” that makes conception seem more meaningful than it actually is. The fact that a fertilized egg has all the chromosomes necessary to become a full grown human being is really of no significance.

    • CowsomeLoneboy

      Let’s not, unless, again, you’d rather be intellectually disingenuous. We know that every human developed from a fertilized ovum but we also know that not every fertilized ovum becomes a human being. Further, medicine tells us that until the fertilized ovum is implanted in the uterus a true pregnancy does not occur. Therefore, even using your own attempt at misdirecting the conversation, the birth control methods that were originally in question in the Hobby Lobby case did not have anything to do with terminating a pregnancy. Of course, by addendum, in a backdoor–some might say surreptitious–way SCOTUS expanded on its supposedly extremely limited decision by announcing that the ruling applied to all forms of birth control and thus really made crystal clear that it isn’t about “killing a baby” as you keep bleating but adopts your agenda of making the RCC view on family planning the law of the land, at least as regards the personhood rights of the legal fictions known as corporations.

      I have no problem, Ms. Millen, with arguing the realities of this issue. I do, however, have a problem with your continued unwillingness to be intellectually honest about them.

    • Birgit Atherton Jones

      On the contrary, medical science says it’s a baby – a life. That you contend that this doesn’t represent pregnancy is beside the point. The decision making process happens at the moment of consensual coupling. http://www.princeton.edu/~prolife/articles/embryoquotes2.html

    • CowsomeLoneboy

      No, let’s be honest, please. Medical science says that it’s a potential life. Yes, the union of the ovum and the sperm is the very first stage in a long and miraculous process that in about 50% of such unions ends in the birth of a viable human child. You say I’m engaging in semantics by stating a medically verifiable fact and yet you quote “science” to prove that what is a potential life is a “baby.” That is truly a verbal gymnast’s delight of semantics.

      Not all such unions of ovum and sperm result from “consensual coupling” either. That you even state such as a foregone conclusion, saying that the decision-making process has occurred then, is rather astounding in its breadth of presumption.

    • Howard

      I am afraid Bill S that you have no right according to the Supreme Court in this case so there is no conflict. I like your optimism about “free” coverage though and the clever use of “need” contraception.

    • Bill S

      What happens if the employer decides that the 16 contraceptives that Hobby Lobby does cover are also against his religion. Can he tell the insurer not to cover those?

    • Howard

      The issue was the for profit corporation tax status of Hobby Lobby and if the owners could exercise their religious rights. The court allowed the exemption from the mandate, the mandate is not a right and is not legal. The executive branch has overstepped it’s authority.

      From the decision:
      “Religious employers, such as churches, are exempt from this contraceptive mandate. HHS has also effectively exempted religious nonprofit organizations with religious objections to providing coverage for contraceptive services.”

    • Bill S

      Then there should be an accomodation similar as for nonprofit religious and Hobby Lobby should have to file a 700 form with a copy to the insurance company.

    • Howard

      Hard to hear Bill but you and millions of other Americans have been duped by the current Executive branch of government into believing this was an issue that would eliminate religion from the work place entirely. This to create public controversy in order to detract from the issue of Obamacare itself. Some religious exemptions existed from the beginning such as Amish and Muslim, and other for mainstream Christians. The administration had no intention of forcing a choice between religion and secularism as it’s main goal because it recognized the unique place religion has in American life. It has tried to chip away at the law using regulations, and the scared Congress has not had the ba… to react yet. This is only a very expensive diversion paid by tax dollars and hard earned profits going to the lawyer industry.

    • Bill S

      The ACA and HHS mandate have nothing to do with religion, nor should they. It is in the governments best interest to provide free contraception through insurance companies that do not charge extra for it because it results in less pregnancies and dependents.

      If this poses a burden to the free exercise of religion, then maybe that free exercise of religion has to be weighed against competing interests. Perhaps the government should simply require the insurance companies to provide the coverage for free and not involve the employer. Instead of the employer signing a statement that it feels authorizes the insurance company to provide the coverage, the employer can just notify the government that it is not providing the coverage at which point the government will arrange for the coverage by the same insurance company.

      It just shows how silly religious fanaticism can become.

    • Howard

      “then maybe that free exercise of religion has to be weighed against competing interests.”

      It has been, didn’t you take American History in school or American law?

      Or economics?

      What possible importance can the “free” distribution of contraception be to a small group of regulators in an HHS conference room? Not even close to a representative democracy. Or do you subscribe to the Big Brother political party.

    • Bill S

      When the statute was being finalized, a congresswoman introduced legislation for the provision of preventative services for women. Contraception is one of the preventative services along with cancer screenings, etc. that have been recommended and adopted. The prevention of unwanted pregnancies is a priority under Obamacare. It is a compelling government interest provided with no burden to employers since it carries no extra cost. To say that it violates an employers free exercise of religion is a tremendous stretch.

    • Howard

      You have not answered my questions.

    • Bill S

      You were saying that contraception was only important to a small group of bureaucrats but it was congress that adopted provisions for preventative services for women. It is you who have a problem with contraception being one of those preventative services. You obviously doubt its importance for women’s health care.

    • Howard

      Bill, this issue has cost you lots of money as a tax payer on top of the already huge debt. It has cost individual Americans lots of money. Court cases are not cheap and the Law industry is flourishing. So I guess some people are being put to work.

      This mandate is the result of a few government employee’s decisions. Because of the lack of understanding of the way America was founded to work freeing people from a dictatorial system of governing (probably very poor education), REGULATION not enacted law with deliberation has caused these court cases.

      Ask your self why a religious accommodation was offered to those religions that object to insurance at all. Are not their employees deserving of the same access to contraceptives. What happened to the “war on women” argument with them? Or did our regulators just not want to be accused of beating up on the Amish or American Indians.

      I am afraid that you are accepting anything that your “Big Executive Branch of Government” says because you are relinquishing your freedom in order to feel safe in Big Daddy’s arms. Lots of other peoples money to spend on you to buy your love, right?

    • Bill S

      The contraception mandate is alive and working quite well despite the exceptions that make the news. The only reason this is an issue at all can be attributed to religious scrupulosity on the part of people like the Greens, Kahns, Little Sisters of the Poor, Wheaton College and the list goes on. I don’t believe in gods, angels, demons and religion. I oppose any deference to religion that negatively impacts people who don’t share the beliefs of that religion. We have 5 male justices that are really going to screw this up and set women’s rights back decades.

      Freedom of Religion, if abused, is going to lead to deprivation of individual human rights for women, LGBTs, etc.

    • Howard

      Bill you avoid discussing any of the issues in depth. A dislike of other peoples way of life is not an excuse to eliminate them from living freely in this country that is our founding, our fellow citizens sacrifice, what makes us different from other countries. Face the issue with more understanding of what is at stake. What will you claim as a right when the powerful turn on you?

    • Bill S

      No one is being deprived on any freedom when the health plan for their employees covers a service that they object to if they are not paying extra for that coverage. In that case, no one is depriving them of the free exercise of their religion unless they think that free exercise includes telling others what they can or can’t do.

    • Howard

      Bill it would help you to actually read the SC decision and see how this is a contrived public diversion. And be more honest, Justice Breyer, a man, joined the dissent.

      “Although HHS has made this system available to religious nonprofits that have religious objections to the contraceptive mandate, HHS has provided no reason why thesame system cannot be made available when the owners of for-profit corporations have similar religious objections. We therefore conclude that this system constitutes analternative that achieves all of the Government’s aims while providing greater respect for religious liberty. And under RFRA, that conclusion means that enforcement of the HHS contraceptive mandate against the objectingparties in these cases is unlawful. ”

      “Nor do we hold, as the dissent implies, that such corporations havefree rein to take steps that impose “disadvantages . . . onothers” or that require “the general public [to] pick up thetab.”

    • Bill S

      It is the court’s intention that companies like Hobby Lobby be given the same accomodation as religious nonprofits whereby it can complete a form to be sent to the insurance company at which time the coverage would be provided by a third party. All these five morons have to do now is agree that even signing and submitting the form is an unnecessary burden on the employer to close the loop on this absurdity. Then they will have succeeded in throwing a major monkey wrench into the works, which it appears is their intent.

    • Howard

      Your hatred is truly a blinding force.

      May God bless you Bill S.

    • Bill S

      It is not hatred of people such as Scalia and company. It is hatred of the blind devotion that causes religious people to act as if they are taking the moral high ground when they try to take away a woman’s access to abortion or birth control or they refuse to bake a wedding cake for a same sex couple. People are becoming less and less inclined to tolerate people like that.

      I appreciate the conversation and wish you well. Thanks for your insights.

    • BiologyBrain

      Would you be as up in arms to learn that when I needed progesterone supplements in the form of IM injections, my insurance wouldn’t cover it. Their reasoning was that injectable progesterone is a ‘fertility treatment’ (used in IVF primarily) and my employer did not cover fertility treatments a such. Never mind that I was already pregnant, had shockingly low progesterone levels documented by various tests, and had previous expensive miscarriages due to this low progesterone. My employer and the insurance company would have rather paid for another hospitalization, blood transfusions, surgery, and various drugs than to pay for my progesterone. However, since it was my desire to have children, I took financial responsibility to ensure my pregnancy continued. Shouldn’t others have to exercise financial responsibility even if their choice is to NOT have children?

    • Bill S

      my employer did not cover fertility treatments a such.

      That is wrong. Unless it was for financial (and not religious) reasons, it is not up to the boss to make sure you don’t go for fertility treatments.

      The contraception coverage doesn’t cost the employer a dime. But it costs the employee if the coverage is dropped by the employer. There is no excuse for dropping a coverage that does not add to the premium.

    • Birgit Atherton Jones

      You do realize that there are 2000 government funded Health Centers in the US where contraception can be obtained, right? You also still fail to acknowledge that we’re talking about 4 out of 20 forms of contraception. That there are 16 options available, even from Hobby Lobby, is a vital piece of the big picture.

    • Bill S

      The government issues a regulation that requires my employer to do something for me. I want it and I don’t have any religious beliefs that prohibit me from having it. My employer has a religious belief that he can’t have it. If he can’t have it, I can’t have it so I have to pay for it myself. It wouldn’t have cost anything for my employer to let me have it as an employee benefit. That’s wrong. It doesn’t matter what it is. If the government says I should have it, I should get it.

  • dave bowen

    If the so called religious right is so opposed to contraception(prevention of fertilization,is not abortion,by the way,it in fact eliminates the demand for abortion) why have they not spoken up before now? They’ve had fifty years to speak out! If vacetomy was covered under obamacare you would have nothing to say

    Abstinence only is a 16th century,head in the sand idea,that ignores human nature. Truth is,the Hobby Lobby decision,did exactly what the plaintiff said they wanted to prevent. It allows the owners to shove their religious beliefs down the throats of their female employees. The decision was a joke,perpitrated by a politicall activist conservative court