There are two things I just don’t get about the Hobby Lobby case.
Number one, Hobby Lobby covers birth control under its existing health plan. What it appears to object to is that it is required to cover certain forms of birth control, like Plan B, that it deems an abortifacient. The problem is that, at least based upon science, Plan B does not act as an abortifacient. I know that there are sometimes broader questions being argued by a case than the facts themselves, but, don’t the facts play a part? Wouldn’t something that was found to be factually incorrect make the case moot in any other context? Suppose I have a religious belief that limiting the caloric intake for children to just enough to keep them alive is beneficial for their health and helps their religious faith because they learn gratitude to God for what little they have. If my actions, based upon my exercise of religion, don’t have to have any basis in fact, wouldn’t that be enough for me to claim an exemption from abuse and neglect laws because it was my “sincerely held religious belief” that I was helping my child, despite all medical evidence to the contrary? Would the fact that what I was doing was harmful and not beneficial enter into the discussion? Or if I claim a religious belief, can I just do whatever I want regardless of whether it has any basis in reality? That seems to be the case here.
See my other quandary below the orange sideways question mark.
Number two, am I the only one who finds Hobby Lobby’s religious principles a little suspect? They claim to be against abortion and for that reason, their corporation can’t provide for coverage for employees to use those birth control methods that they claim would violate those principles. I have to wonder, though, where those principles are in evidence when it comes to stocking the merchandise they sell. Most of it is made in state-run or state-sanctioned factories in China. This is the same Chinese state that has no problem whatsoever coercing its citizens into having abortions against their will to enforce its one-child policy. Why would a company that finds abortion so morally abhorrent buy most of their inventory from a country that not only allows abortion, not only encourages it, but actually performs it against the will of their own citizens?
I recognize that the second issue will not be argued in Court, unfortunately, mainly because we have to dance around things deemed “sincere religious beliefs” and how people chose to live those beliefs. It’s the same dance that occurs when someone claims “religious freedom” not to provide service for someone who is gay or lesbian. No politician is going to point out that that same merchant has no problem providing service to the divorced, adulterers, fornicators, etc. The fact that sincere religious beliefs can be subject to picking and choosing and not even consistent within the faith the person espouses seems to be perfectly okay. And it seems to be perfectly okay that the person can claim a religious exemption, even as they violate their own beliefs in every other area of their religion when running their business.
So, how did this case not get thrown out of court, and how is justice served when material facts seem not to matter at all? And how can someone claim their faith informs all their business activity, except when, you know, they decide it doesn’t?