News from the Plains: All the RED can make you BLUE
Hobby Lobby: Check your vaginas and ovaries at the door
by Barry Friedman
Jesus wept for this?
Late last week, a United States District Court set aside, for the time being, penalties that Hobby Lobby and the Mardel Christian Book Store were facing for failing to provide certain forms of birth control to its employees.
The company was looking at daily fines in excess of $1-million.
Let's review: as soon as the parameters of ACA became known, the Greens began clutching and waving their bibles (many now on sale at Mardel) in front of circuit court judges, claiming their very raison d'être was at stake, hoping someone would answer their prayers.
The 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals had said Thursday the companies were likely to prevail, comparing the companies to a kosher butcher unwilling to adopt non-kosher practices as part of a government order.My pork shank it does. No federal agency is telling the store it has to stock "Bong Hits for Jesus" embroidered vinyl wall art any more than its forcing butchers in Borough Park in Brooklyn to sell munster cheese and Half N Half from the same walk-in freezer where the brisket is kept.
Furthermore, Hobby Lobby is not a non-profit; its owners--the Greens-- buy fabric, macramé, and ceramic serving dishes from China, where abortions are performed and where, apparently, the products are cheaper than buying them from countries where the procedure is prohibited; and it does not offer Sunday Worship Services or perform baptisms; so, a) it is clearly not a place of worship, entitled to a religious exclusion (Hobby Lobby does God's work by selling glue sticks, bolts of fabric, and miniature doll houses) and b) it makes allowances within its Christian business model when it suits them, when it needs to.
But heaven forfend the store from the unruly mobs of OB/GYNs ready, willing, and able to fit Hobby Lobby's female employees with IUDs on the company's dime.
In what sane universe does a company's HR director get to make decisions on what the birth control medication is being used for? Do we really want company executives deciding whether the Ortho-Novum being used by the warehouse clerk is for fornication or fibroid tumors. (And even if you think there should be exemptions for certain businesses--and God help us--do we really want Kiki, the assistant employee benefits supervisor, making the call?) By this logic, the Greens should be able to veto the decision of those employees who buy condoms and vibrating eggs with money derived for their Hobby Lobby paychecks because it also "violates the conscience" of their faith.
Salary, benefits are not gifts which can be monitored in the same way a parent controls how many hours a day her six-year-old is allowed on the Wii.
Hobby Lobby had shown they would suffer financial or spiritual consequences, and that an injunction was in the public interest.
Public interest? I'm the public. I'm fine, really.
And of course the company would suffer a "financial" consequence--that's sort of the point of fines. They're supposed to hurt. As for the spiritual consequences, how does the floral department assistant manager, suffering from Metrorrhagia, effect the Greens' faith by getting it treated and using her company insurance to do so? Talk about prudish piety. Are the Greens saying they'll cover health concerns for women on every other part of their body except, you know, the hoo ha?
Hobby Lobby's lawyers have said the U.S. Department of Human Services has granted exemptions from portions of the health-care law for plans that cover tens of millions of people and that allowing the companies an injunction would be no great burden to the government at the expense of the Greens' religious freedoms.And, anyway, it's just a few ovarian cysts--no big deal.