Before you read this, I want you to be aware of two things. The first is that this is entirely based on my own opinion that I’ve reached through my personal and educational experiences. The second is that if you think this is going to piss you off (It’s the internet; it probably will.) then just don’t read it. I won’t be offended, you won’t get mad, and we can still be friends.
If you do read this and want to challenge me, go for it! Just keep it respectful.
I was very conflicted as Burwell v. Hobby Lobby (formerly Sebelius v. Hobby Lobby) made its way to the Supreme Court because of the lasting impacts it had the potential to make. In fact, I was just as conflicted then as I was when I decided to sit down and write this because I know how starkly and passionately divided people are when it comes to issues like contraception.
But when it was announced today that the Supreme Court, just as divided as the country on the issue, announced in a 5-4 decision that Hobby Lobby and other companies like it had the right to abstain (lulz) from providing certain kinds of free contraception to women who are covered under those companies’ health insurance plans, the champion of small government and liberty within me did a little happy dance.
On my lunch break at work I was scrolling through the news and I stumbled upon a Huffington Post article entitled, “My God is Better than Your God”. Oh, God. Each reference to this Onion-esque piece will be directly quoted because, well, this thing pretty much makes fun of itself.
“It’s a dark day in American History,” Lea Grover, a Mommy blogger and contributor to the Huffington Post writes, “…a day when all the non-Christians stood slack-jawed and shocked, amazed that now, their employer could dictate their lives beyond work based on some idea that their moral authority is better, that their faith is more important, that their God is better than your God.”
Frankly, I find this article offensive to people who believe in and worship multiple gods. But let’s continue.
“Hobby Lobby, who claims deep religious beliefs, says it’s an infringement on their freedom of religion to support those evil, selfish, sinning harlots if it provides them with a third party insurance plan that includes birth control.”
Well, that’s one way of looking at it. It’s good if you’re just trying to rile people up, but it’s not really the point of the case. This case was about the Obamacare mandate that required companies like Hobby Lobby violate their own religious morals to provide free birth control to their employees
an issue about providing insurance that gave an employee the opportunity to pay for their own contraception.
“Now that Hobby Lobby has the right to deny me my legal protections because of their religion, I might be fired for taking off Jewish holidays. Or if I skipped shul and went to work on Yom Kippur, I could be fired for refusing to take my lunch break, what with my fasting and all.”
“Now Hobby Lobby has opened a door that MUST be closed: the elevation of one religion over another.”
What the fuckity fuck? Did she just stop at the headline?
“Now that the Supreme Court has ruled that Hobby Lobby has the right to ignore federal laws under the guise of religious persecution, it’s open season on non-Christians in the workplace.”
…and out comes the tinfoil hat. Instead of reading or listening to the facts about the ruling of this case (or even the premise of the case itself, really) she chose to write a scathing idiotic rant about Christians are evil while whining about her right to use birth control no matter what Hobby Lobby thinks. And the Huffington Post chose to publish it, because that’s what the Huffington Post does.
A few seconds’ worth of research (insert appropriate Associated Press link
here), of course, shows everything in this article is complete and utter nonsense and that nobody gives a flying feather whether or not she’s on the pill.
“The court stressed that its ruling applies only to corporations that are under the control of just a few people in which there is no essential difference between the business and its owners…like Hobby Lobby.”
This means that this ruling in its entirety doesn’t apply to all corporations—only small, privately owned businesses—which becomes an even smaller amount of businesses impacted given the number of small businesses that are excluded from The Affordable Care Act in its entirety.
“Alito also said the decision is limited to contraceptives under the health care law. “Our decision should not be understood to hold that an insurance-coverage mandate must necessarily fall if it conflicts with an employer’s religious beliefs,” Alito said.”
No, Mrs. Grover, Hobby Lobby isn’t going to prevent you from observing your Jewish holidays because they’re a bunch of Jew-hating Christians. In fact, might I add the scope of this decision is so narrow that it only applies to the contraceptives in question, namely the morning after pill and a few kinds of IUD’s. Even left-leaning outlets with an ounce of journalistic dignity can’t ignore the fact that Hobby Lobby and the other companies involved with the case are completely okay with most types of contraception,
including the pill.
And the point that Mrs. Grover—and sadly, most Americans—are missing here is that this isn’t an issue of whether companies like Hobby Lobby have to provide insurance that happens to cover birth control. This is an issue of whether companies like Hobby Lobby have to go against their religious beliefs and provide certain kinds of contraceptives for free. Nobody is forcing someone to work at a place like Hobby Lobby, and all of their employees are completely free to pay for their own forms of contraception.
“[Alito] suggested two ways the administration could ensure women get the contraception they want. It could simply pay for pregnancy prevention, he said. Or it could provide the same kind of accommodation it has made available to religious-oriented, not-for-profit corporations. Those groups can tell the government that providing the coverage violates their religious beliefs. At that point, the groups’ insurers or a third-party administrator takes on the responsibility of paying for the birth control”
I don’t understand how, at this point, anyone can honestly believe this is an access to contraception issue. The Supreme Court Justices everyone so vehemently hates for “denying women access to birth control” and “dealing a low blow to women’s rights” is telling us how to go get contraceptives. (But really, is it so bloody hard to go down the street to your neighborhood pharmacy or grocery store and spend the $30-$40 for Plan B if you end up needing some?)
In summary, this supreme court case released a ruling that was so specific in its scope that it’s honestly the best compromise either side could ask for: small companies with strong religious roots don’t have to provide free forms of contraceptives that they see as morally wrong, and nobody is being denied access to those contraceptives whatsoever.The trouble here is that we’re so lost in the emotionally-driven narrative that we’ve forgotten what compromise is, or how to understand or even consider the facts.When the hate-fueled angst is louder than rationality, it’s impossible to find common ground with anyone.
I’ve used birth control religiously (trolololo) since 2011. In fact, I’m a strong supporter of using birth control because it’s responsible (and it makes me less PMS-y). It’s $10 a month at Walmart, and if I got a job at Hobby Lobby or any other evil Jesus-loving privately-held organization, I could still continue to purchase my estrogen pills. The only inconvenience is having to interact with the People of Walmart.
But using birth control or supporting its use does not mean we have a right to have other people pay for it for us. We are not entitled to free contraception. We ave a right to access it and purchase it, and the ruling on this case does not prevent these things in any way.
So if you use contraception of any form, good for you!
Nobody is standing in your way or trying to take it away from you. The ruling of today’s case doesn’t change that. So you can take your sensational journalism and exaggerated rhetoric…and make a pretty collage out of it.
I hear Hobby Lobby’s offering a sale.