Tomorrow the Supreme Court will hear one of the silliest cases ever. Allow me to reprint my thoughts on this from a blog post months ago:
Hobby Lobby claims they are being discriminated against because they are being forced to provide health care which could provide birth control to those heathen women — you know, those hussies who can’t control their libido that Mike Huckabee warned us about.
Hobby Lobby claims to be a Christian corporation. They refuse to even sell Jewish merchandise in the store. (“Want Hannukah gifts? Go elsewhere, Christ-killer!”) They have no problem whatsoever in buying cheaply-made crap from China because after all, the Bible approves slavery.
Most importantly, they claim they have the right to force their religious views on their employees. Amazingly, a federal judge in Oklahoma agreed with them and held, for the first time that I can see, that a corporation can actually have a religious view.
Fortunately, this is now on appeal, and hopefully clearer minds will prevail. Many groups are filing briefs opposing Hobby Lobby.
The issue is whether a business can refuse to give health insurance to its employees because of religious reasons. I am shocked that some of my friends think that this is perfectly fine. What’s next? Will they refuse to give you your salary if you buy alcohol with it against their religious views? Will we have to reduce our own freedoms to make our employers happy?
Should I, as a business owner, be allowed to force my beliefs on my employees? What if my religion believes women should wear burkas and never speak? Should I make all my female employees wear burkas?
The lower court apparently believes employers have powers to ignore laws they don’t like. “If you work here, you have to live by my beliefs, not yours. Don’t like it? Tough!”
I think we instead should say to business owners, “These are people who work for you, who have the right to make their own decisions about health care. You will give them the option, because this is America where we value individual decisions. Don’t like it? Tough!”
Your religion does not give you the right to disobey the law. There are Jamaican religions that believe in smoking marijuana during their ceremonies — tough, that’s illegal. Animal cruelty in the name of religion is illegal. Refusing to give your child medicine in the name of religion is illegal. Religions shouldn’t be exempt from the law just because they “really really believe” something. That’s not what America is about.
Look, if you start a business in America, we expect certain things from you. You have to pay a minimum wage; you have to have a safe working environment; you have to pay business taxes; you have to pay for worker’s compensation; you have to provide health care. Keep in mind that your employees may decide to use their money or benefits to do things you personally disagree with. Don’t like it? Tough. Don’t open a business.
If you don’t like the fact that we have freedom from religion in America, then maybe you should open a business somewhere else, like Iran. I understand they have no problem with you forcing religion on people who work for you.