Discussion: Religious Liberty Revisited In Hobby Lobby's Wake

Discussion for article #224582

Religion : someone telling you what you can and cannot do .


That human bible costume is the best thing since the Dancing Cigarette Pack.


“…Many fair-minded people look sympathetically at the plaintiffs…”

Indeed. No one would want to empower government to force people to make choices that oppose their conscience. Liberals get that, and recently many people expressed it in the Snowden episode. Ironically, during the Vietnam War, it was liberals who dodged the law, and it was conservative’s “deeply-held” religious values that protesters should be forced to kill innocent people or sit in jail.

“…And so long as such companies operate in the secular world, they benefit…”

That makes it sound like a trade-off. It seems to say people who go into business gain x by giving up y. I agree with the older Court ruling (Lee?) which stated that business is a secular given, and that people freely choose to engage in business knowing the rules in that world.

Conservatives can argue that this health care mandate wasn’t in place when Hobby Lobby decided to enter the secular realm, but that’s merely quibbling at detail. Their deeply held beliefs surely don’t give a pass to a government that initiates an immoral war, yet their beliefs seem to contain nothing but indifference against the reality.

“…Hobby Lobby’s political and religious allies would if given the power to do so impose their beliefs about zygotes on the rest of us…”

The essential point of the article, which the Court appears to ignore. Hobby Lobby could have included in their employment application a question about birth control, and freely chosen not to hire people (including men) who would consider birth control. That’s supposedly their beef – the use of, not the mere offer of.

Instead, Hobby Lobby chose to use government to mandate that every potential employee (a) discover and (b) accommodate Hobby Lobby’s corporately-held religious beliefs. Good luck.


Religious liberty, um, but only if you are (faux) Christians and wealthy.


to quote Bertrand Russell, a British philosopher, “on the whole religion has caused more harm than good”


Whose freedom trumps whose? The conservative, activist court has an obvious, consistent pattern favoring millionaires’ and billionaires’ freedom over middle classes’ and working poors’.


Like “Tammy,” this piece should be better than it is. But fans here, like die-hard Melissa McCarthy fans, will think it’s good anyway.

Let’s make the best out of it! Christians, Buddhists, Jains etc refuse to pay federal tax since that money also goes into the defense budget where it is use to buy deadly weapons. Two problems only: most people have their taxes deducted automatically, and will the Supreme Court even hear that?


Well said. As a believer, I am deeply troubled not just by this decision, but by the motivation behind it. In short, this attitude is a large part of the reason younger people are leaving the church. So congrats on the culture war “victory,” Hobby Lobby, but you’re doing great harm to the health and well being of the body of Christ.


It’s going to be awfully hard for the Gang of Five to rein in all the crazy judges who are going to decide that this new precedent legalizes things like sexual-preference discrimination by religiously-affiliated organizations, or proselytization by religious organizaton receiving government funds to provide services. Once you start down the road saying deeply held religious convictions trump the law, it’s awfully hard to see where you stop.


Logical people who were against abortions would be in favor of anything that reduced the number of abortions, like contraception for instance. But they’re not in favor of that, because abortion isn’t the real issue.

What they’d really like to outlaw is non-reproductive sex. They are, after all, using the child as a type of sentence for the crime of sex. If you do the crime (sex) you have to do the time (have a child). Thus, contraception and abortion (all ways to avoid the “time”) are forbidden.


Let me take this opportunity to announce the founding of the Church of Universal Birth Control-of which I am appointing myself Pope, Chief Rabbi, Grand Ayatollah and Inquisitor General. Our main doctrine is universal, mandatory birth control for all, because we believe God is tired of humans and wants to give other species a fair shot. We hereby demand that the Supreme Court accommodate our views in all future decisions.

I thank you and the Big Guy (or Gal) thanks you too.


The actual crime is women enjoying sex. The double standard is alive and well. You are dead on that it has never been about abortion or choosing life.


Of course, one answer would be for Hobby Lobby and their ilk to pay their employees enough that they could afford birth control out of pocket and let them choose to spend on that or on other things.

Of course as Peter Sagal said on “Wait, Wait, Don’t Tell Me!” the other day:
“Anyone who has ever been inside a Hobby Lobby store would have assumed they were a form of birth control”.


Another in a string of appalling SCOTUS decisions. Laws are nothing like “choose any three” menus. What businesses choose is to continue to operate under the existing legal framework.

The basis of the complaint is that there is a difference among oral contraceptives (okay with Hobby Lobby,) IUDs and the morning-after pill. They all prevent pregnancy by preventing implantation of a fertilized egg. Hobby Lobby is ignoring science, but our Supreme Court is lending credence to the “ignore science” crowd.


‘Sincerely held religious beliefs’

As conscious beings, we exist only in response to other things, and we
cannot know ourselves at all without knowing them. Moreover, there is
nothing in theory, and certainly nothing in experience, to support the
extraordinary judgement that it is the truth about himself that is the
easiest for a person to know. Facts about ourselves are not peculiarly
solid and resistant to skeptical dissolution. Our natures are, indeed,
elusively insubstantial—notoriously less stable and less inherent than
the natures of other things. And insofar as this is the case, sincerity
itself is bullshit." Harry G. Frankfurt, ‘On Bullshit’

When someone talks to me about sincerity or tells me that they are sincere I check my pocket to make sure my wallet is still there.


The supreme court is turning this country into a monopoly. When corporations become human beings and have more rights than individuals, real human beings than you might as well turn over the POTUS to the power of the corporist. Also, by giving a for profit corporation religious rights they have basically said that corporate power is more important than individual freedom. The rights of the corporists takes precedence over human beings. That is not a good recipe for individual freedom or a democracy for the US to become a prosperous or growing economy.


It’s just fucking incredible that in 2014 millions of Americans believe that contraception is immoral. That the vast, vast majority of these people are Republicans indicates how thoroughly reactionary and trogloydyte the GOP has become. Anybody who casts a vote for a Republican is casting a vote for a party that is ideologically and theologically opposed to women and men controlling their fertility and reproduction.

The Republican Party—and its adherents—seek nothing other than returning the United States to the 18th century.


This ruling has left quite a few papers here on the East Coast quite upset,its not unusual to see editorials in one or two of these but it’s quite interesting to see the blowback on this decision from so many different points of view.Again IMHO the “consumer court” will weigh in on Hobby Lobby.