Hobby Lobby & The New Age of Slut-Shaming

3 Jul

Here are the wrong opinions I’ve seen in the earlier Hobby Lobby thread, rebutted. 

“Freebies”

No one is getting anything for free. Hobby Lobby offered employer-based health insurance coverage through private health insurance companies. The employees were free to choose to purchase that coverage. In the end, it was the employee – not Hobby Lobby – who was the contracting party and policyholder.  Hobby Lobby won the right to interfere with a private, legal contract between two contracting parties, neither of whom was Hobby Lobby.  By paying her health insurance premium, the employee received coverage for which she contracted, and this included coverage for certain contraceptives that require a physician’s prescription.  So, on top of the contraceptives not being free, but bought pursuant to a paid-for health insurance contract, this is Hobby Lobby interfering with the doctor-patient relationship.  

“Religious Freedom”

This case was about the extension of a legal fiction – corporate personhood – into human personhood. All of a sudden, corporate entities can have “faith” – something that is impossible, because a corporation doesn’t physically exist. Hobby Lobby’s founders are free to exercise their religion however they want. They are free to reject the contraceptives they find objectionable. They’re even free to use no contraceptives at all. No one infringed on that in any way, shape, or form. But by choosing to participate in the non-faith-based for-profit marketplace, Hobby Lobby should be treated as any other corporate entity. If Hobby Lobby wants to be a church and enjoy the exemptions from laws of general application that offend its founders, then it should have done so. The slope here is ridiculously slippery. 

“1st Amendment” or “Constitution”

This was not a constitutional case. It interpreted a federal regulation as being violative of a 1993 federal statute, which was passed to protect American Indians and their exercise of religion. From the opening of the majority opinion: 

We must decide in these cases whether the Religious Freedom Restoration Act of 1993 (RFRA), 107 Stat. 1488 , 42 U.S.C. §2000bb et seq., permits the United States Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to demand that three closely held corporations provide health-insurance coverage for methods of contraception that violate the sincerely held religious beliefs of the companies’ owners.

and

Our decision on that statutory [RFRA] question makes it unnecessary to reach the First Amendment claim.” The decision is not based on the First Amendment.

and

Any First Amendment Free Exercise Clause claim Hobby Lobby or Conestoga might assert is foreclosed by this Court’s decision in Employment Div., Dept. of Human Resources of Ore. v. Smith, 494 U. S. 872 (1990).

So, no. This was not a Constitutional case, and nothing was declared unconstitutional. 

“They can buy it themselves”

Yes, they could, but they bought health insurance so that it would be covered.  Health insurance policies cost money, and they routinely cover these drugs and devices. Hobby Lobby subsidizes the premium, but it is not a contracting party. As such, it should have no say over what drugs are prescribed and covered, just like it should have no say over which doctor an employee can see, or what diseases the Bible supposedly says are real or not. The women who work for Hobby Lobby are now treated differently from other women working for other corporate entities, and their options for health insurance prescription coverage are more limited than the policies dictate. Hobby Lobby has now opened the door to businesses micromanaging the terms of other people’s contracts for them, when Hobby Lobby is not a party to the contract. 

“These drugs are objectionable; cause abortions”

No, they’re not. Now, we’re not only legally acknowledging that a legal entity can hold “faith”, but we are buying into that company’s false pseudoscience. The drugs and devices to which Hobby Lobby objected – some IUDs and the morning after / week after pills – are not abortifacients. You might believe they are, but they scientifically are not. The Supreme Court did not only rule that Hobby Lobby’s alleged “faith” overrules federal law, but also succumbed to a faith-based opinion that is rebutted by objective fact. If Hobby Lobby sincerely believes that, e.g., SSRIs are forged by Satan in the hellfire, presumably the SCOTUS would just take that without argument and allow Hobby Lobby to interfere with their employees’ health insurance contracts and forbid them from being covered under the prescription coverage provisions of the policies. Sorry, folks! Hobby Lobby’s God wants you to just buck up and live with your anxiety and depression! 

“This is limited to just this one case”. 

Looks like Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg was right, and the Courts are now going to be overwhelmed with awful corporate entities suing to not have to provide any contraceptive coverage at all

Business owners who don’t want to pay for their employees’ birth control are ending that coverage after the Supreme Court said they could choose on grounds of religious belief not to comply with part of the health care law. Some owners are already in touch with their brokers in the wake of Monday’s ruling. Triune Health Group Ltd. wants to know how soon it can change its coverage to stop paying for all contraceptives, said Mary Anne Yep, co-owner of the Oak Brook, Ill., company that provides medical management services. “We were ready to go when we heard the decision,” she said. Triune had filed lawsuits against the U.S. government and the state of Illinois because of requirements that they pay for contraception.

So, there you go. Women’s health comes second to a corporate entity’s alleged “faith”. As the American right continues its lurch backwards into what they envision as some pre-Roosevelt golden age, women find their status being relegated to that of a second-class citizens. After all, I don’t see Triune or Hobby Lobby demanding that health insurance contracts for male employees exclude Viagra, which can be used to commit sins. 

Slut-shaming. It’s as American as apple pie, and now endorsed by five males on the Supreme Court of the United States of America. 

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51 Responses to “Hobby Lobby & The New Age of Slut-Shaming”

  1. Michael Rebmann July 3, 2014 at 9:00 am #

    1. HL is not interfering with the patient-doctor relationship, utter BS. Not a single person was prevented from going to a doctor and getting a prescription for anything. It is the ACA that is interfering with the patient-doctor relationship by dictating what is covered, what is not covered and how much coverage is provided.

    2. Nothing was declared unconstitutional because the mandate was not challenged on constitutional grounds. An existing statue provided the more efficient path to the decision. In the absence of the RFRA, a court challenge very well could have resulted in an unconstitutional decision.

    3. When somebody buys something there is a voluntary agreement between 2 parties, the buyer and the seller. This is a forced transaction, not a sale or purchase.

    4. This isn’t a women’s health issue. The ruling did not “take away” the “right” to treatment for legitimate medical diagnoses.

    “I cannot undertake to lay my finger on that article of the Constitution
    which granted a right to Congress of expending, on objects of
    benevolence, the money of their constituents.”
    -James Madison

    • UncleBluck July 3, 2014 at 10:51 am #

      The job of the Supreme Court is to interpret law, not rewrite it as they have. This is about abortion and women’s rights…nothing more and nothing less…..as for your notion that women are not being denied the ability to get a prescription…you’re right there …they are simply being made to pay for it twice……

      • jimd54 July 3, 2014 at 3:42 pm #

        Hm, I wonder if the insurance companies can be made to lesson the premium for not providing what is contracted? Or for that matter can they be sued for failing to provide what is contracted?

      • Michael Rebmann July 3, 2014 at 5:08 pm #

        SCOTUS interpreted the RFRA to be more compelling than the contraceptive provision in the ACA.

    • Mike_Chmiel July 3, 2014 at 11:23 am #

      I have read your point one three times and cannot get around the incredible logical inconsistency of those two arguments.

      • jimd54 July 3, 2014 at 3:38 pm #

        Good luck finding logic in Mr Rebmann’s posts. I think he does it on purpose just to fuck with everyone.

      • HapKlein July 4, 2014 at 2:53 pm #

        I just caught up with this and must agree with Jim.
        Essentially the ACA properly pays the freight that Rebmann thinks is easily available. Like the Deciding Five Guys he never had to pay $1200 plus or minus for a uterine device to stop having children or $45 to avert consequences of a quickie when the kids finally fell asleep.
        I see debauchery mentioned here too. Do you mean the millions of American Catholic Women who stop having children after two or three are involved with debauchery?
        Shocking to say the least.

      • Lloyd M. Jr. July 6, 2014 at 3:12 pm #

        Your postings, jim, would be more fitting of the “lacking in logic” variety.

      • jimd54 July 7, 2014 at 3:00 pm #

        Thank you

      • Michael Rebmann July 3, 2014 at 5:16 pm #

        Please, enlighten me. You have merely expressed an opinion with no substance.

      • Mike_Chmiel July 3, 2014 at 6:36 pm #

        You got it:

        You first argued that the Hobby Lobby decision does not affect the doctor/patient relationship because it only governs what needs to be covered by the health insurance policy.

        Then – without any indication of irony – argued that ACA affects the doctor/patient relationship because it governs what needs to be covered by the health insurance policy.

        Regulating what needs to be covered either does or does not affect the doctor/patient relationship. I believe it does not. See?

      • Michael Rebmann July 3, 2014 at 8:17 pm #

        The ACA mandates coverage, that isn’t wanted by many, while the SCOTUS ruling doesn’t prevent anyone from receiving needed medical care.

        Health care coverage never should have been tied to employment, but that road was traveled many years ago.

    • John Wilcox July 3, 2014 at 11:36 am #

      ZOMG, you’re so smart using that Madison quote. Tell us, how long have you waited?

  2. Rob Patterson July 3, 2014 at 9:55 am #

    The first point is the one that RWers cannot and probably never will understand or accept, and this tells you everything you need to know about their neo-feudal view of the employment relationship.

  3. hwhamlin July 3, 2014 at 1:48 pm #

    I wonder what kind of contraception MediaMattersForAmerica and OrganizingForAmerica provide for their unpaid interns.

    • Alan Bedenko July 3, 2014 at 2:42 pm #

      The same thing the Heritage Foundation does, most likely.

      • Alan Bedenko July 3, 2014 at 3:05 pm #

        Which is to say, none because interns work for free in exchange for school credit, are on student health or parents’ plan. #thanksobama

    • Jaquandor (Kelly Sedinger) July 3, 2014 at 5:31 pm #

      I always look forward to whatever completely irrelevant and useless (and often factually wrong) “point” Ward ejaculates, no doubt as he sits back and congratulates himself on being clever.

  4. Bradley July 3, 2014 at 3:32 pm #

    Did the Clinton White House not cover Monicas BC and thereby forced Bill to use alternative methods?

  5. rhmaccallum July 3, 2014 at 4:22 pm #

    That was a succinct and wonderful explanation of the issue Mr. Alan Bedenko. Well done. Very well done!
    Unfortunate those such as Mr. Rebmann fail to understand the part about a contract between the insurer and the employee. Well…maybe he does understand. But simply refuses to acknowledge the fact. Being a government hater makes a lot of people like that. Contracts, science, observed observation. All those things can be so easily ignored when it suits your purpose.

  6. Joe Langly July 3, 2014 at 11:22 pm #

    Sorry
    for being a bit late to a wonderful discussion. Let’s cut to the quick
    here though. This case is all about who should pay for another’s
    debauchery. Please understand that anybody’s particular debauchery is as
    just as good as anybody else’s. The only real relevant question here is
    why should I pay for your particular debauchery? Mr. Bedenko has it
    right when he is against public funding for Viagra, but what’s good for
    the gander should be good for the goose. Did I mess that up? I’m not
    sure.

    The
    beauty of this particular decision is that comes as part of a perfect
    progressive storm (maybe there really is climate change) coming right on
    the
    heels of the national and even international exposure of that wing of
    the government that would enforce this force funded free debauchery –
    the IRS. This debauchery freebie, due to the exposure of the IRS as
    having no more credibility, is officially water under the bridge. The
    freebies are now pretty much over in general, thanks to the IRS.

    Finally
    Alan when are you gonna cut Barry loose? What part of a prima facie
    case of incompetence do you not understand? A word to the wise should be
    sufficient here. Let’s all hope that Barry doesn’t try to get his
    finished rep back in one big blunder, by taking on another
    international idiot in the Ukraine. My friends, if Barry plays this
    percolating Ukraine poker game badly as he has done with everything
    else, forget the public funding of bizarre human behaviors, as you can
    put your head between your knees and kiss your lovely asses goodbye.

    • John Wilcox July 4, 2014 at 5:24 am #

      Calling the taking of the pill itself “debauchery” demonstrates quite a degree of ignorance on your part. There are many women who take the pill and don’t even have sex. Where’d you learn about this stuff, from Rush Limbaugh?

      Educate yourself so that in the future you don’t look as big a fool as you do now.

      • Joe Langly July 4, 2014 at 8:21 am #

        Of course you fail to state that all of the studies that you rely on are contradicted by other studies. In any event, no other supplements or drugs are better than birth control pills for women’s health? Your bias is chilling and quite humorous, not to mention your own profound ignorance. The point here is any woman or man can take any substance they choose to get any benefit they may surmise. Just don’t send me the bill.

        Nothing about your failed role models – Barry and his IRS? Nothing shocking there. I am truly praying with you that he again wimps out with that other goofball from Russia so that we are able to watch this freebie festival play out. Nice try though. Bone up on your debating skills. Gotta get back to work to pay for all of the debauchery!

      • Michael Rebmann July 4, 2014 at 12:08 pm #

        Please define “women’s health”. The term has been bandied about with such a wide latitude that it has become meaningless within the context of a rational discussion.

      • Joe Langly July 4, 2014 at 5:38 pm #

        It’s the twin sister of “climate change”. At one time women’s health meant certain things and since has evolved or devolved into a progressive freebie grab bag. It’s twin sister used to be called “global warming”, but whenever a brutal cold snap came along this term again devolved into the present absurdity that virtually all of the sycophants on this site regularly proclaim. The bottom line lesson here is when you give anything to the progressive left, you’ll NEVER get it back. However with the exposure of the fraudulent IRS. we can only hope.

      • John Wilcox July 5, 2014 at 2:48 pm #

        Studies? My own SISTER has a very difficult monthly cycle that is diminished greatly by THE EVIL PILL. She takes it regularly, whether she’s doing the devil’s fornication ritual or not.

        Conservatives are a dying breed. Thankfully.

      • Joe Langly July 6, 2014 at 12:08 am #

        So it’s now Dr. Wilcox? Nice. I have no objection with your sister or anyone else taking as many birth control pills as they like, just pay for them. The Devil’s Advocate – a fine film – at least interesting I think. It’s also interesting that you are familiar with your sister’s cycle. I won’t ask anything further however. Whatever would she do without the pill? Rationalization – “the great human skill”.

      • John Wilcox July 6, 2014 at 4:35 am #

        My point was your ignorant use of the word “debauchery”. Like most conservatives, it doesn’t take much to get you going on some ill-conceived and misguided puritanical rant.

        As per usual, conservatives benefit from their cloak of anonymity, thwarting any opportunity to see or know what inevitable skeletons they have in the closet that would render them a hypocrite.

      • Joe Langly July 6, 2014 at 9:57 am #

        Let me put your typical inaccurate assertions to rest. An accurate synonym for debauchery is unbridled self indulgent hedonism. Not only am I not against this, I have been accused precisely of this description in my younger days. In fact I frequently display self indulgent hedonism on occasion today. But I do my very best to fund these behaviors myself. Unlimited funding of unbridled self indulgent hedonism will destroy any individual, nation or species as we are witnessing today in this country.

        On a hopefully final note, we have recently experienced a truly seminal moment in American history with the exposure of the IRS as a political fraud. This should put an end to unlimited funding of unbridled self indulgent hedonism. That is a good thing, though difficult for a cultist to grasp.

      • Lloyd M. Jr. July 6, 2014 at 3:08 pm #

        “Conservatives are a dying breed”
        Only in the eye of the terminally daft would the above be credible.

      • Lloyd M. Jr. July 6, 2014 at 3:07 pm #

        Look in your mirror, John, for the real fool.

    • jimd54 July 4, 2014 at 6:40 am #

      Not late enough I reckon.

    • Alan Bedenko July 4, 2014 at 8:18 am #

      Disgusting and vile.

      • Joe Langly July 4, 2014 at 8:37 am #

        Oh come on, you’re being much too hard on Barry.

      • ckg1 July 4, 2014 at 4:37 pm #

        And you’re bringing THE STUPID in full force.

        Cut it out.

      • Joe Langly July 4, 2014 at 5:29 pm #

        Great argument, You win, I guess.

      • ckg1 July 4, 2014 at 5:44 pm #

        You’re damned right I did.

        You offered NOTHING to the conversation except half-baked talking points-which Alan blew apart.

      • Joe Langly July 4, 2014 at 7:06 pm #

        Ck – whatever. I truly apologize for bringing you the bad news.
        Progressivism is in it’s last and dying days. To be sure your ilk will
        go down fighting, but the IRS expose was the straw that will break your
        back.

        Oh and stop with those capitals. It makes you look like an imbecile.

        Alan
        said: “Vile and disgusting” and I was pretty much agreeing with him –
        at least with Viagra. You know what, if you think vile and disgusting is
        effective, I’ll consider using it in my briefs. Thanks for the insight.
        Your eloquence is truly impressive.

      • ckg1 July 4, 2014 at 7:39 pm #

        As far as the capitals I use go: Tough shit. I’ll use them whenever and wherever I damn well please. This remark comes from someone who hasn’t mastered the art of typing with Disqus, so take the damn plank out of your own eye before you criticize someone else for their typing sins.

        About the first paragraph: You and your ilk have been saying that for…God knows how many years. You haven’t been right about that yet and you won’t be right now. Just to let you in on a little secret: You’re just as expendable to the powers that be, too. You’re just too stupid to see it. I’d bet you’re the type of person who’d LOVE working for slave wages and are the type of person that after you got browbeaten at work would say after “Thank you, sir. May I have another?”

      • Joe Langly July 6, 2014 at 12:00 am #

        Well spoken as usual. How many different government subsidies-entitlements do you collect? The reason I ask is that this may well be the root cause of your pathology (s).

      • ckg1 July 6, 2014 at 4:20 am #

        NONE. I work for a living.

      • Joe Langly July 6, 2014 at 9:43 am #

        But according to your comments, you tell your boss what to do. I smell a union here and that is fine. Contrary to what you might think, I am not against unions. However unions are being made into a dinosaur before our very eyes due to third world slave labor. You simply cannot compete with it and will never eradicate it. Incidentally, I find third world slave labor deplorable.

      • ckg1 July 6, 2014 at 3:21 pm #

        And you know WHY they’re being made that way? For quite a few reasons, but it all boils down to money. As in, they want to make more of it and leave all of the rest of us fighting over the table scraps.

      • John Wilcox July 5, 2014 at 2:45 pm #

        You offer up a great example of the out-of-touch bubble that most conservatives live in these days. ZOMG, the IRS! The IRS! That’s the end of BARRY!

        There are only two kinds of tea baggers: Those who call Obama “Barry” and those who call him “Hussein”. Thanks for classifying yourself so quickly.

        The majority of Americans see through the right’s lame attempts to smear Obama on a regular basis. Go familiarize yourself with “The Boy Who Cried Wolf”.

      • Joe Langly July 5, 2014 at 11:58 pm #

        I am not a conservative, right winger, Republican or tea bagger, whatever that means. In fact I haven’t voted for more than thirty years. As the late, great Gore Vidal, who I had the pleasure of speaking with at length, stated with respect to the importance of voting and whether he himself voted: “No it only encourages them”, Truer words were truly never spoken. I personally despise authority and would consider voting for Elizabeth Warren, even with all her flaws, as she has heart. So my friend your silly stereotypes are way off the mark . You are what is precisely wrong with the progressive movement or what is left of it.

      • John Wilcox July 6, 2014 at 3:48 pm #

        You assume I’m progressive, speaking of stereotypes.

        If you actually talked to Vidal at all, it was to ask if he wanted more water.

      • Lloyd M. Jr. July 6, 2014 at 3:06 pm #

        TEA = Taxed Enough Already.
        If you want your favorite behavioral choices subsidized, then pay for it your own damned self; leave the rest of our $$$ out of it, thank you ever so much.

      • lavenderjane July 6, 2014 at 9:38 pm #

        This has nothing to do with your taxes – it has to do with private insurance purchased by Hobby Lobby’s employees. Or rather it would have if Hobby Lobby wasn’t given free rein to force their beliefs on their employees. However, as the justices noted, the government can find other less burdonsom ways to offer contraceptive coverage. Anthony Kennedy suggested that the government could provide the drugs themselves, so yes, now your tax dollars will go to subsidize Hobby Lobby’s religious beliefs.

      • Russ Andolina July 7, 2014 at 11:18 am #

        I love the people who scream about being taxed enough as they’re usually the ones who pay minimal federal taxes.

      • Lloyd M. Jr. July 6, 2014 at 3:04 pm #

        Only in a pig’s dream would your argument, ckg, be credible.

    • Russ Andolina July 7, 2014 at 11:15 am #

      What if my religion considers your close relative’s medical treatments for diseases/cancer X debauchery? Why should I have to pay for that kind of frivolity if they are in my employ? Life is fleeting, sir! /Scrooge

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