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By the end of this month, the U.S. Supreme Court will rule on Sebelius v. Hobby Lobby Stores, the first major case to limit the scope of Obamacare since the entire law was upheld by the court. The court is also deciding Conestoga Wood Specialties Corp. v. Sebelius, a related challenge that will probably be folded in with Hobby Lobby. The two cases challenge the provision in the law that requires employer-provided health insurance plans to cover contraceptives. These companies argue that that requirement violates their religious beliefs and breaches the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA).

Here's a look at what could happen to the rights of working women should the court decide for Hobby Lobby and Conestoga Wood, according to Laurie Sobel, a senior policy analyst for women’s health policy at the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation:

1. If a woman works for a company covered by the ruling, her access to contraceptives paid for by her insurance will depend on the religious views of her employer’s owner. If the Court applies its ruling to all for-profit companies, these types of claims could be brought by any for-profit employer, Sobel said, including publicly held companies. “It would allow that door to be open,” she said.

2. Employers could seek exemptions to coverage of other types of medical care based on personal religious beliefs. For example, Jehovah’s Witness owners could request an exemption from providing coverage for blood transfusions, since the treatment goes against the religion’s belief system. These exemption requests would likely be assessed on a case-by-case basis, Sobel said.

3. This decision could allow companies to deny other types of benefits to employees based on religious beliefs.[…] “It depends how the Court crafts the decision to see how far that door is open, how many people can bring lawsuits, and if it’s at the federal or state level,” Sobel said.

4. Employers might be able to restrict insurance coverage for doctor’s visits at which providers discuss contraceptive options with patients. […] “It is an interesting question as to whether that will be included in the decision,” Sobel said. “It might be one of those gray areas after the decision.”

Other potential outcomes: Congressional action to amend the RFRA to clarify the status for-profit companies; companies could start challenging state-based laws requiring contraceptive coverage; or, female employees of these two companies could file a Civil Rights Act suit on the basis of unequal treatment with their male counterparts. These are all possibilities if the court decides with Hobby Lobby. If it doesn't, the court is recognizing the religious freedom of all the rest of us who don't think an employer should be able to dictate our medical or family planning choices.

Originally posted to Joan McCarter on Mon Jun 23, 2014 at 03:26 PM PDT.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Best response yet: Don't buy any of their crap (33+ / 0-)

    let 'em go broke and the people get better jobs at non-bigoted  sources.

    LBJ, Van Cliburn, Ike, Wendy Davis, Lady Bird, Ann Richards, Barbara Jordan, Molly Ivins, Sully Sullenburger, Drew Brees: Texas is NO Bush League!

    by BlackSheep1 on Mon Jun 23, 2014 at 03:28:21 PM PDT

    •  The nearest HL is 115 miles from me (20+ / 0-)

      and if I go to Ft. Smith this year, it will be Michaels all the way.

      I worked for HL in the frame department in the early 2000s. I loved the frame shop but hated the atmosphere of the 'store'.
      We only got 30 hours a week. The shifts were unbelievable. The music played on a loop and was christian. Yuck.

      I guess my best memories are how happy people can be when you do a fantastic job framing something they bring in. The next one would be the year the manager gave the 'closers' all the Christmas decorations we could carry to our cars. :) They were 90% off.........

      I hope, hope, hope HL loses their case.

      “Listen--are you breathing just a little, and calling it a life?” ― Mary Oliver

      by weezilgirl on Mon Jun 23, 2014 at 03:53:54 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Well, when you're closed on Sundays (3+ / 0-)

        that doesn't leave many hours during the rest of the week for your employees.

        Only HL I know of in the Bay Area is down in Morgan Hill, which isn't quite Red State California but might be reddish-purple in terms of political views (moderately conservative if not full wingnut).

        I'm a Christian, but of a denomination that values reason. My church has no issue with contraception, leaving the issue up to the couple and their own consciences. I don't see why an employer's beliefs should trump my own.

        I also hope HL loses their case -- we might see an increase in Christian Science membership amongst corporations if HL wins.

        There's only one rule that I know of, babies -- goddammit, you've got to be kind. -- Kurt Vonnegut

        by Cali Scribe on Tue Jun 24, 2014 at 02:40:49 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  HL opens at 9:00 a.m. (5+ / 0-)

          and closes at 8:30 here. We would have to stay with the 'store employees' until the store was spotless. That could mean 10:30 p.m. And they still rotated employees to keep from going over 30. Of course we did not get paid for the extra hours of cleaning.

          I have posted about this before and I think you will like it. I lived 'behind' a parsonage for a Catholic church in Texas. The priest was a wonderful and caring man. He counselled all his young couples that they could use birth control. He stressed it was their choice. I adored that man so I gave him fresh eggs from Thelma, Louise, Cagney and Lacey each week. :)

          “Listen--are you breathing just a little, and calling it a life?” ― Mary Oliver

          by weezilgirl on Tue Jun 24, 2014 at 03:04:31 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  closed on Sunday (0+ / 0-)

          Hobby Lobby has stores opened on Sunday. They are called Hobby Lobby for men. There is one that about 10 miles from my home hidden at the end of a dead end street with trees that grow on the main road and on the side of the interstate hiding it. I found out about it when they put out a sign on the main road advertising it. It opened after Hobby Lobby filed their lawsuit against the contraceptives part of the Affordable medical Act. Also this good Christian family that owns Hobby Lobby and the Hobby Lobby Corporation have money invested in contraceptive making corporations, buy the goods that they sell from China where there are millions of abortions done yearly, where millions of girl babies are killed or abandoned to die because the Chinese want only boy babies since they can only have one child. The Green Family are not Christians they are fake christians. They provided some contraceptive coverage before ACA so why all the sudden want to claim it is against the Corporation religious believes. How does a corporation go to and enter a house of worship?



      •  I'd never even heard of HL before they started ... (4+ / 0-)

        I'd never even heard of HL before they started bitching about birth control. It sounds like a horrible environment to shop in.

    •  better yet, Jews, Muslims, Buddhists, Hindus... (23+ / 0-)

      ... pagans, agnostics, and especially atheists infiltrate the hell out of HL and then when the inevitable workplace discrimination occurs, file Civil Rights lawsuits.

      There is a particular strain of right-wing ideology that claims that the 1st A guarantee of freedom of religion does not apply to atheists because they do not espouse religion.  If ever an issue was really really begging for a day in court, that's the one.

      We got the future back. Uh-oh.

      by G2geek on Mon Jun 23, 2014 at 09:48:16 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  This is actually a brilliant idea. Me likey! n/m (4+ / 0-)

        THE ONLY WAY YOU CAN CONTROL PEOPLE IS TO LIE TO THEM. You can write that down in your book in great big letters. -- L. Ron Hubbard Technique 88

        by xenubarb on Tue Jun 24, 2014 at 10:07:34 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  There is also a particular strain (8+ / 0-)

        that claims that the first amendment only applies to Christians.  The person who will probably be my next congressperson, Jody Hice, claims  that Islam is not a religion and so does not deserve 1st Amendment protection.  He will replace idiot bigot Paul Broun, an OBGyn who does not believe in evolution, but does believe that women don't get pregnant from rape.  Can't you smell the freedom?

        If the Republicans ever find out that Barack Obama favors respiration, we'll be a one-party system inside two minutes. - Alan Lewis

        by MadRuth on Tue Jun 24, 2014 at 11:21:14 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Hice is playing to his "base," and it's very clear (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          ... from the famous Jefferson quote about "Musselmen"*, that if he tried to pull anything based on the idea that the 1st A doesn't include Islam, he would be laughed out of court.

          Really, he's pandering to bigots, in the same ineffectual manner as if he was ranting to outlaw interracial marriage.

          Sorry to hear your neighbors are so overtly backward as to vote for Broun and probably Hice.  Personally I wouldn't live in an area like that.  Because I'm frankly a chicken about my personal safety under those conditions.


          *"Musselmen" was an early mis-pronunciation of "Muslims" that continued as a separate word into recent times.  If I'm not mistaken there was a "Musselman" brand of food products, similar to certain Kosher brands of foods in the Jewish community.  (Now I've got myself the munchies for Matzos, which would be nice to have around the house as a snack, and I'm not even Jewish;-)

          We got the future back. Uh-oh.

          by G2geek on Tue Jun 24, 2014 at 04:47:42 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  i am so with you on this. (7+ / 0-)

        as an atheist i am sick of hearing how there is no freedom from religion, only freedom of religion. what about my belief that there are no gods?

        guess im chopped liver.

        •  Did you see the study (in today's Star-Ledger) (6+ / 0-)

          Where 53% of registered voters said that they would be less likely to vote for someone knowing he/she was an atheist.

          One wonders how they would have reacted to Franklin, Jefferson, and the other Deists?

          •  yeah i guess that (5+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            lcbo, cybersaur, jessbell911, mslat27, G2geek

            the fact that i (we) wont start crusades, inquisitions, witch hunts, holocausts, or wars  with religion as a motivator just says so many negatives things about me (us). who knew????

          •  Back then they probably knew (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            what a "deist" was.  Try that on a Xtian today and you will get...bupkis.

          •  I'd vote for an atheist (4+ / 0-)

            over a fundamentalist Christian, as long as that atheist had good stances on my key issues (public transportation, social safety net, and foreign entanglements).

            There's only one rule that I know of, babies -- goddammit, you've got to be kind. -- Kurt Vonnegut

            by Cali Scribe on Tue Jun 24, 2014 at 02:42:46 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  one of the last frontiers of discrimination... (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            ... is about religion and candidates for public office.

            To be quite clear about this, I would not vote for someone who was a Dominionist or other member of a hard-line fundamentalist denomination of any tradition, and I suspect I'm not alone here.

            But if we insist on that right for ourselves, how can we criticize others doing likewise?  

            Seems to me the solution here is the "JFK answer," which is for individuals to make clear that they will exercise the duties of their elected offices in a manner that is not determined by the doctrines of their religious beliefs or their "beliefs about religion" (the latter including the atheistic belief that theistic beliefs are not true).

            This in turn depends on being able to trust the integrity of candidates, something that can't be taken for granted.  

            As well, there are also religions such as the Unification Church (e.g. Moonies) that espouse doctrines such as "heavenly deception" that specifically allow lying to promote the interests of the church.  To my mind, membership in any such organization (that would also include "The Family" in DC), or other evidence of espousal of a belief that lying is acceptable to accomplish one's goals (aside from lying under criminal duress), is sufficient reason to call someone's integrity into question.

            We got the future back. Uh-oh.

            by G2geek on Tue Jun 24, 2014 at 05:17:54 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  Deists aren't Atheists (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            Deism is the belief that God exists, and is responsible for creation, just indifferent to day-to-day events.  I'm not sure if Ben was a Deist, properly speaking, or agnostic (i.e., acknowledged that he just couldn't know) - but I'm pretty sure he wouldn't have called himself an atheist.

        •  what I REALLY strongly suggest is: (0+ / 0-)

          Write up your entire belief system and establish it as your own religion. This will protect your rights in a manner analogous to the way that evidence of prior writings about pacifism protected the rights of conscientious objectors to the draft.

          YES, I believe there is a greater than zero possibility that individuals with unpopular minority beliefs will have to defend their beliefs against persecution at some point in the future, in some parts of the US.

          Here I'm using the definition of religion as "beliefs about" rather than "beliefs in," and also describing its domain as that of "meaning, purpose, and ethics," which pointedly does not entail a requirement to include the domains of theology and thanatology (God and death), though atheists could address those issues by stating for example that they believe that the facts of nature do not entail the existence of a deity.

          I've been working on this exercise for some years and will be publishing the results online later this year.  I started doing it for the reason of seeking intellectual rigor and consistency within my belief system, and between my beliefs and practices.  I would suggest that everyone would benefit from doing the exercise for themselves, whether their beliefs are conventional or unconventional, majority or minority.

          We got the future back. Uh-oh.

          by G2geek on Tue Jun 24, 2014 at 05:01:31 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  But Atheism is a religion! (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          live1, cowdab

          The Supreme Court decided that years ago.  Can't find the exact reference, but the 7th Circuit referenced it in a decision in 2005 ( So legally, your faith in the belief that there is no God is protected.

    •  OK, you CAN buy Hobby Lobby's big knitting needles (11+ / 0-)

      Add knitting needles to poster naming them as Hobby Lobby's new birth control plan for employees.

      •  Ooh, I'm liking that idea. If I had the will to... (0+ / 0-)

        Ooh, I'm liking that idea. If I had the will to give them any money, I'd get some from them, but the thought of giving them any money makes me sick. Maybe I'll get some from another company and do that.

  •  Talking point: SCOTUS bans contraception. (22+ / 0-)

    That's basically what it boils down to.

    Relentlessly pound this into the heads of the people. Make Republicans have to be defensive and explain.

    "Nothing in all the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity." --M. L. King "You can't fix stupid" --Ron White -6.00, -5.18

    by zenbassoon on Mon Jun 23, 2014 at 03:51:21 PM PDT

  •  0. Acceptable Religions Defined. (10+ / 0-)

    Hobby Lobby gets to enforce its religion, Native casinos and Scientology businesses do not.

    I think they've already done that wrt drug usage.

    We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

    by Gooserock on Mon Jun 23, 2014 at 03:56:29 PM PDT

  •  Employer based health insurance (9+ / 0-)

    will have to go. Does it make us one step closer to single payer? I am not versed enough to answer that question.

  •  Can a corporation have religious beliefs? (9+ / 0-)

    Since a corporation is entirely a construct of the State, and the Constitution requires the separation of Church and State, how can the State create something with religious beliefs?

    •  Yes, because a corporation (10+ / 0-)

      has essentially been determined to be a person by the same bunch of yahoos.

    •  Does that mean (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      That you don't believe a religious charity should be allowed to be organized as a non-profit corporation?

      •  A reasonable and difficult point. (0+ / 0-)

        The non-profit status of religious entities, including charities, re-enforces rather than reduces the church-state separation. Which is why these non-profits are in an entirely different category of entities. In my view, the State is not creating an entity by allowing a church (including its charity arm) not to be taxed; the church generally existed before the State and the tax-free status it is granted is merely the recognition by the State that it does not have the authority to control the Church.

    •  Here's the path: (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Yosef 52, ypochris, jessbell911

      1.  Citizens United - corporations are people

      2.  Religious Freedom Restoration Act, which placed a higher bar for people to  'exercise' their religious freedom, and put it at odds with the general applicability standard that actually governs a free society.  

      "In the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, Congress states in its findings that a religiously neutral law can burden a religion just as much as one that was intended to interfere with religion;[1] therefore the Act states that the “Government shall not substantially burden a person’s exercise of religion even if the burden results from a rule of general applicability.” (wiki, but accurate)

      This is the basis of pharmacists refusing to dispense birth control, etc. and Catholic hospitals deciding that their religious beliefs should dictate the health care you receive in their hospitals.  Couple it with CU, and we have a VERY serious situation that can undo most of what makes America great.  

      This law and the CU decision rips apart the general welfare, not only placing individual personal religious beliefs above the rights of others, but giving those rights to corporations.  

      I'm terrified.  And yes, we will find all kinds of 'churches' springing up, saying that regulation of carbon gasses is against their religious beliefs, and the CEO of Halliburton and the Koch Bros showing up for services.  Okay, I'm being a little facetious, but this is the direction.  

      Remember, Clarence Thomas actually thinks it's acceptable for the states to have state-based religion and Kennedy lives in a rarefied dream world and loves him some corporate 'freedom'.  

      Doesn't get more dangerous than this.  

    •  Since SCotUS believes corporations are people (0+ / 0-)

      It is only a matter of time before Exxon runs as a pious, family values candidate. And they will win after pouring millions of free $peeches into the race.  

      +++ The law is a weapon used to bludgeon us peasants into submission. It is not to be applied to the monied elite.

      by cybersaur on Tue Jun 24, 2014 at 01:43:53 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Blood transfusions, organ donations outlawed (12+ / 0-)

    There are Christian denominations in the United States which prohibit blood transfusions or organ donation. SCOTUS knows this. I think it will be 5-4 against Hobby Lobby (review Justice Kennedy's questioning of Clement during oral argument).

    •  mph - while I agree with your view that HL (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      tobendaro, Aunt Pat

      will not win, let's remember there is nothing in this case about the legality of any medical procedure. Nothing will be "outlawed" including organ donation or blood transfusions. This case is exclusively about what an employer must reimburse through their ACA compliant healthcare plan for employees.

      "let's talk about that" uid 92953

      by VClib on Mon Jun 23, 2014 at 05:15:34 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I am acutely aware of that (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Aunt Pat, 57andFemale

        But this diary was talking about message. If the right-wing can get away with running "death panels" ads, we should do it also.

        •  We should run ads that we know are not truthful? (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Stude Dude

          Not with any of my money.

          "let's talk about that" uid 92953

          by VClib on Mon Jun 23, 2014 at 07:16:04 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  DCCC runs candidates (0+ / 0-)

            That we know are not truthful.

          •  dicker over language all you want (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Berkeley Fred

            you and your fellow conservative apologist coffeetalk always seem to crawl out from under your rock to defend the Roberts court, but if someone is denied their only access to a certain form of birth control that they need because of this ruling, to the layperson it has the same effect as being outlawed.  Same goes for blood transfusions, if they grant the exemption then people could be denied the procedure, and having a tedious conservative apologist such as you dicker over whether it's actually outlawed won't make a damn bit of difference.

            •  red rabbit - I have gone on record many times (0+ / 0-)

              stating that I don't believe that Hobby Lobby has a sound legal case and don't think the SCOTUS will rule in its favor. If they do, I won't agree with their decision. However, I do think it is important that we discuss things factually. No medical procedure will be "outlawed" regardless of what the Court decides. We are either a fact based site, or we aren't.

              "let's talk about that" uid 92953

              by VClib on Tue Jun 24, 2014 at 05:16:30 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

      •  none the less, coercion is coercion. (9+ / 0-)

        Joe Naive gets the only job he can find, as a stock clerk with Dominion World.  One day while stocking shelves, a pile of heavy stuff falls on him and he's taken by ambulance to the hospital.

        At the hospital it's determined he's lost a lot of blood and needs a transfusion, and furthermore has suffered internal organ damage and will need a transplant.

        But uh-oh, along comes his employer's insurance company saying that the transfusion and transplant aren't covered.

        Is Joe in any position to shop around?  No.  

        A "market" is not a "market" when a buyer is under duress and therefore not "willing."  Further, the failure to disclose exclusion of emergency life-saving medical care, an exclusion that is not reasonably foreseeable by a person of normal intelligence, constitutes fraud in hiring.

        The coercion faced by Joe in the hospital is no less real than if it was enacted by a legislature.

        We got the future back. Uh-oh.

        by G2geek on Mon Jun 23, 2014 at 09:55:43 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  predictions of the ruling: (13+ / 0-)

      The USSC will rule against HL on the following grounds:

      1)  Unlawful discrimination in hiring and employment.  If a corporation is allowed to declare a religious affiliation, that is tantamount to declaring that persons of other religions "need not apply."  Discouragement of application for employment is a form of constructive discrimination, therefore illegal per established precedents (statutes and case law).

      2)  Non-favoritism in conflicts over 1st Amendment religious affiliations between employer and employee.  The court will choose to not privilege an employer's 1st A religion rights over those of the employees.

      3)  Interference with the regular conduct of interstate and international commerce.  Publicly-traded corporations will face pressure from shareholders to declare religious affiliations, but any such declaration by a corporation will put it in an unfavorable position in jurisdictions having majorities of other religions, and particularly in jurisdictions having official state religions e.g. oil companies doing business in Saudi Arabia.  This puts Boards of Directors in a double-bind situation and is inimical to the normal conduct of routine commerce.

      We got the future back. Uh-oh.

      by G2geek on Mon Jun 23, 2014 at 10:03:46 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  From your mouth to SCOTUS's ear. (NT) (6+ / 0-)

        "The opposite of a profound truth may well be another profound truth.”" -- Paul Dirac

        by Rikon Snow on Tue Jun 24, 2014 at 11:11:26 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  The other possibility (5+ / 0-)

        Is that corporations will shop around for the religion that allows them to fund the least level of benefits possible, while still recruiting qualified staff.

        (Yes, I know it's far-fetched. But how can you prove that a corporation hasn't just converted?)

        •  Ah. You've hit a point that no one else has made. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          Brilliant and very, very apropos!

          "The opposite of a profound truth may well be another profound truth.”" -- Paul Dirac

          by Rikon Snow on Tue Jun 24, 2014 at 12:26:20 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Hmm. Maybe I should start a religion (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          that opposes health care and unemployment benefits and social security and workmen's compensation . . . I could probably find a few converts among the Fortune 500.  Walmart?  Lookin' at you babe.

          "The opposite of a profound truth may well be another profound truth.”" -- Paul Dirac

          by Rikon Snow on Tue Jun 24, 2014 at 12:58:28 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Make sure you require healthy tithes (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Rikon Snow, G2geek

            in order to maintain good standing.

            There's only one rule that I know of, babies -- goddammit, you've got to be kind. -- Kurt Vonnegut

            by Cali Scribe on Tue Jun 24, 2014 at 02:58:47 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  that's another issue in point: tithing. (3+ / 0-)

              Some religions, such as the Latter Day Saints (Mormons) strongly expect their members to tithe.

              Will a corporation owned by LDS members seek to impose the tithing requirement on their employees?   Keep in mind that this is economically neutral to the corporation: the tithes don't impact its own bottom line, so there is not a financial incentive at work here.  

              (Though there might be an "esteem among peers" incentive: the business owner would be more highly regarded at his local LDS church for doing so.  But aside from that, it's "clean" as far as a business interest is concerned.)

              An employee who is e.g. Catholic, and tithes to his own church would have reason to object.  An employee who is atheist, and donates to the Freedom From Religion Foundation, would also have reason to object.

              Yet another swamp, that could potentially factor into the USSC's decision.

              We got the future back. Uh-oh.

              by G2geek on Tue Jun 24, 2014 at 04:37:54 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

        •  Christian Science, anyone? nt (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          There's only one rule that I know of, babies -- goddammit, you've got to be kind. -- Kurt Vonnegut

          by Cali Scribe on Tue Jun 24, 2014 at 02:58:03 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  that's the most-dangerous scenario for... (0+ / 0-)

            ... employees, that they would be subscribed to "insurance" that will not cover emergency treatments needed to save their lives.  This also applies in the case of the Jehovah's Witnesses, who forbid blood transfusions and organ transplants.

            We got the future back. Uh-oh.

            by G2geek on Tue Jun 24, 2014 at 04:39:03 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  My uncle died from cancer because of Jehovah's (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:

              witness beliefs.  He could have been treated, had surgery, might still be alive, but he refused to accept blood products and refused the surgery, which involved replacement of his bladder.  So he died.  Reminds me of a joke I heard once, of a man who prayed for help from God, was offered help by many people and refused, died, and when he went to heaven asked God why he didn't help him.  God said to him he sent help but he refused.  That was my uncle.  

        •  yes, exactly, per my "commerce" item. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          ten canvassers

          Corporations will be legally obligated to adopt whatever religion "maximizes shareholder value" (SEC language).

          This will lead into an absolute swamp.

          Should Exxon espouse Islam for purposes of ease of doing business with oil-producing Islamic states in the Middle East?

          Or should Exxon espouse Christianity for purposes of marketing impact with its retail customers in the USA?

          And, which denominations of Christianity or Islam?

          And, should Exxon create a Jewish subsidiary for purposes of doing business in Israel, and a Catholic one in Italy, and an Anglican one in England?

          It won't just be about funding of benefits, it'll be about much wider ranges of issues.

          Oh, and then should Exxon channel its Muslim employees to its Saudi branch, its Episcopal employees to its UK branch ("close enough" to Anglican;-), its Jewish employees to its Israeli branch, and its Catholic employees to its Italian branch?  What if an employee wants to work in a country that is not the same religion?

          As you see, an enormous swamp.  For which reason I do think this issue will be a factor in the USSC decision.

          We got the future back. Uh-oh.

          by G2geek on Tue Jun 24, 2014 at 04:32:05 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  I have heard rumors that the Jews (2+ / 1-)
    Recommended by:
    drmah, Stude Dude
    Hidden by:
    JamieG from Md

    Plan to ban all christians from the shopping malls they own should hobby lobby win so they won't become unclean.  

    •  I figured out what that means (0+ / 0-)

      Unclean makes your head hurt with filthy stupidity, ignorance and pride. At least one of those is a sin.

      THE ONLY WAY YOU CAN CONTROL PEOPLE IS TO LIE TO THEM. You can write that down in your book in great big letters. -- L. Ron Hubbard Technique 88

      by xenubarb on Tue Jun 24, 2014 at 10:16:27 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  These exemption requests would likely be assessed (10+ / 0-)

    on a case-by-case basis, Sobel said.

    So hurray, here you have another layer of people with no medical degrees interfering between you and medical treatment. That is just what we need, more stupid bureaucracy controlling our health care!

    THE ONLY WAY YOU CAN CONTROL PEOPLE IS TO LIE TO THEM. You can write that down in your book in great big letters. -- L. Ron Hubbard Technique 88

    by xenubarb on Tue Jun 24, 2014 at 10:06:04 AM PDT

  •  If corporations were people, their religion... (4+ / 0-)

    would not be any version of Christianity, but the worship of Mammon.

    There's no such thing as a free market!

    by Albanius on Tue Jun 24, 2014 at 11:09:53 AM PDT

  •  I am just horrified at the thought (14+ / 0-)

    of employers having veto power over an employees health care decisions.

    The employment relationship is an agreement where the employer agrees to pay the employee a certain amount for performing certain tasks.

    The employer does not get to follow the employee home, and into her bedroom anymore than the employee gets to follow the employer home and dictate what TV shows they can watch.

    This is so offensive.

    My dogs think I'm smart and pretty.

    by martydd on Tue Jun 24, 2014 at 11:15:57 AM PDT

    •  Yes. At what point, precisely, does the (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      "employer's money" become the "employee's money?"  
      Doesn't matter, really, if it's paid direct to the employee or indirectly to an insurance company.  So, anyway, I think.  Course I'm not a SCOTUS justice.  2bad.

      "The opposite of a profound truth may well be another profound truth.”" -- Paul Dirac

      by Rikon Snow on Tue Jun 24, 2014 at 11:21:42 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I don't get it (0+ / 0-)

      I think Hobby Lobby wins the case outright.

      But, I don't understand how people reach the dire conclusions I see posted about this case all the time.

      Hobby Lobby is objecting to being required to pay insurance that covers "abortionfacients" (spelling?) - like the "morning after" pill.  

      They don't care, or at least, aren't taking any action against someone who uses the medication -- they just don't want the government to mandate that they have to participate in what they view as an immoral act by paying for it.

      The employee can still get the drug/procedure.  They can pick up the insurance to cover what is excluded.  After all, with the employer mandate endlessly delayed - H/L is under no obligation to provide their employees with any kind of health insurance.   But, they want the option to keep providing health insurance -- even though they aren't legally required to - which under normal circumstances we'd all applaud.  They simply feel that a government mandate to "kill" a fetus would violate their religious beliefs.

      If religion is truly protected under the First Amendment, I simply don't see how the Court could rule any other way -- when, the government by only applying this rule to companies with more than 50 employees doesn't view it as an urgent matter.  If they did - they would have applied to rule to every employer, no matter the size.

      •  keep trying- most of the rest of us have gotten (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        BachFan, martydd, jessbell911, snazzzybird


        and if it helps- how come women are always the ones to have to work through everything and have to pay for their health care.
        reproduction is a HUMAN condition- something last i heard men benefit from too- they are born...

        any way that is just my view on just a part of this

      •  Do customers shop at (8+ / 0-)

        Our Lady of Hobby Lobby cathedral? No, they shop at a retail store. Hobby Lobby is a commercial business, not a religious institution. It has no more right to "freedom of religion" than does my pet rock. Their customers, employees, directors, and shareholders are all fully free to exercise their religious beliefs as individuals, however and whenever they want: attend a church service, read their chosen holy scriptures, dance naked in the moonlight as a druid, or whatever. But Hobby Lobby the corporation cannot possibly have any religious beliefs, nor can it become a communicant of any faith, nor can it go it any heaven or hell.

        No beliefs, no religious rights, it needs to follow all of the laws and be religiously neutral.

        •  There are certain corporations (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Krotor, martydd

          I WISH could go to Hell -- the sooner the better.

          There's only one rule that I know of, babies -- goddammit, you've got to be kind. -- Kurt Vonnegut

          by Cali Scribe on Tue Jun 24, 2014 at 03:10:08 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  You're missing the point (0+ / 0-)

          If I started a business as a sole proprietorship or a a partnershp -- no one would assert I had waived my constitutional rights.  But, if I form corporation - voila!

          They're gone?

          And, don't get side tracked by the whole corporations aren't people rant, before you think about it.  Corporations are authorized to exist by the States -- because, the States correctly believe providing a liability shield encourages business formation and growth.  Even if they blatantly put in the underlying legislation that authorizes corporations that formng one would result in a waiver on constitutional rights - I doubt very much if the SCOTUS would say that passed muster.

      •  I would be shocked if SCOTUS didn't rule... (0+ / 0-)

        ...on the side of Hobby Lobby on this...and i don't think it'll be close. I think it will be 6-3 or 7-2.

        Adequate health care should be a LEGAL RIGHT in the U.S without begging or bankruptcy. Until it is, we should not dare call our society civilized.

        by Love Me Slender on Tue Jun 24, 2014 at 11:56:05 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Hobby Lobby is asking the court (6+ / 0-)

        to elevate their "faith" above all else.  Including facts and science.  

        The morning after pill is not an abortifacient.  It does not cause an abortion.  Ever.  No matter how hard you want to believe that it terminates a pregnancy, it just doesn't.  No fetus is "killed."

        Those are facts.  Not beliefs.

        My dogs think I'm smart and pretty.

        by martydd on Tue Jun 24, 2014 at 12:08:37 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  "Congress shall make no law (4+ / 0-)

        respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof."

        If Hobby Lobby wins this case, it would be respecting their particular religion over that of their employees. There are plenty of religions, and even Christian denominations, that have no issue with contraception but rather leave the use up to the individual and his/her conscience. Not to mention the employees who have no religious beliefs and don't belong to any organized group.

        The issue is that insurance benefits are part of the employee's benefits package; they earn those benefits by working. If Hobby Lobby wanted, they could choose not to provide benefits for anyone and pay the fines due under ACA. But they want it both ways.

        This doesn't even get into the issue of Hobby Lobby's hypocrisy; they had no issue with providing contraception coverage before the ACA was in effect, and they purchase most of their goods from China which has extreme "anti-life" policies such as forced abortion and limits on family size (and how do you hit those limits without contraception?).

        There's only one rule that I know of, babies -- goddammit, you've got to be kind. -- Kurt Vonnegut

        by Cali Scribe on Tue Jun 24, 2014 at 03:08:49 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Age discrimination (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    snazzzybird, chickenfarmerwood

    I know many think this is a silly example, but one of the big deals in the workplace is what to do with older workers.  Many would say that older workers tend to want more money, tend to do less work, need more days off, and, oh yeah, require more medical insurance.  Right now older workers have the right to sue if say, in a layoff, a disproportionate number of older workers are laid off.

    So what to do.  Obviously deny coverage.  Simply say this company does not condone smoking, drinking, or other vices like high fat food.  So medical conditions that are related to those things will not be covered.  No liver transplants. No hypertension drugs.  The company believes in personal responsibility, so if you are over 50 and get cancer, that was obviously a lifestyle choice, like being gay, as Perry has said.

    Excessive religious freedoms only leads to excessive religious bigotry, like some Christian churches who feel they have the right to advocate murder and torture against those they don't like.  I often give private firms, especially small private firms, great leeway.  But if a firm is large and especially a corporation, then it has a responsibility to conform to the norms of civil society.

    She was a fool, and so am I, and so is anyone who thinks he sees what God is doing. -Kurt Vonnegut Life is serious but we don't have to be - me

    by lowt on Tue Jun 24, 2014 at 11:18:58 AM PDT

  •  Even though my child-bearing years are long past (8+ / 0-)

    I am on pins and needles about this decision. For my daughter, my step daughters and my grandkids. The day they show me that a company can get down on its knees and pray in a singular voice is the only day on which I can accept such a ruling against women. I can just picture any Tom, Dick and Harry who owns a company to suddenly develop "religious convictions" that will automatically give them the right to decide what I do with my womb.

    I don't know if Ghandi actually said "I love your Christ, but I don't like your Christians", but I'm gonna keep attributing it to him. If he didn't actually say it, he was probably thinking it.

    by pearlsarefuzzy on Tue Jun 24, 2014 at 11:21:58 AM PDT

  •  If the Court renders a broad decision... (5+ / 0-) favor of Hobby Lobby, I predict lots of company owners will convert to Christian Scientist, so they can claim that any and all medical coverage goes against their religion.

  •  What a Pandora's Box this would open. (3+ / 0-)

    One's religious beliefs are their own and welcome to them.  Here in the United States we assume no one can foist their religious beliefs on another.

    According to a Forbes article in December, 2013, Hobby Lobby had revenue of 3.3B, and employed 23,000, at 578 stores.  

    The impact of denying contraceptive coverage that by all intents and purposes is a package offered by the insurance company not only violates labor laws and practices, but can directly impact the health of an employee.

    Contraceptive medication is used primarily to prevent pregnancy, we all know that.  However, preventing a pregnancy is not only to stop contraception, but many women, young and not so young, for health reasons, mental or physical, must not get pregnant; and, contraceptive medication is also used for polycystic ovaries, and other medical conditions.  

    Shame on Hobby Lobby.  For these zealots, focusing in on this part of the insurance product is the short-sighted and narrow view of their ilk.  Availability of contraception through your medical insurance is the perfect way to ensure not only the medical health of women, but to ensure the financial health of families.  The ability for committed couples to decide when they are able to have a family, or increase their family is vital to our society.

    •  My granddaughter has polycystic ovarian syndrome. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      She is only 14, has already had surgery for a very large cyst that caused her great pain.  She is on birth control pills for this very reason.  Thankfully Tricare pays most of the cost, only a $5.00 co pay.  The doctors she has seen say it is unlikely she will even be able to get pregnant without alot of help from a fertility doctor, but with the other problems she has, problably she will not want to have children. (she has ehlers-danlos syndrome, a genetic condition).  Polycystic ovarian syndrome can cause cancer if the person does not have birth control, because they don't have periods and the build up of the lining of the uterus can and often does become cancerous.  It is a treatment that can prevent someone's death!  So I view the availabilty of contraceptive as a life or death situation.  I am raising her, have since she was 6, some before that too.  I want her to have a long, healthy life.  I worry alot about what the Supreme Court may do with this and other decisions that frankly shouldn't even be an issue.  The treatments we get should be between us and our doctors, insurance should cover everything, and it is no one elses business.

      •  Thank you for your post. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        More voices should be raised to enlighten those ignorant lawmakers who only look upon this subject, availability of contraception, as an excuse for women to be "promiscuous."  I'm sure you've heard that one before.

        And, you are so right when you say the "treatments we get should be between us and our doctors, insurance should cover everything, and it is no one elses business."

        And, may I add, a woman's reproductive system belongs to her, and any decision she makes should be made between her and her doctor.  These are medical decisions.  A lawmaker has no business making any decision about her woman parts; they know nothing about her, her case, and her physical and mental health.

  •  So mote it be.... (0+ / 0-)

    Have a lick from the chalice.....

    Something tells me this ruling will only apply to Christianity.....

    Please know I am not rude. I cannot rec anything from this browser. When I rec or post diaries I am a guest at some exotic locale's computer. Ayn is the bane!

    by Floyd Blue on Tue Jun 24, 2014 at 11:43:32 AM PDT

  •  This just highlights... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Cali Scribe, chickenfarmerwood stupid it is to have employers providing healthcare to everyone.  Why would anyone want a large soulless corporation having any sort of say or control over their healthcare?  It just doesn't make any sense.

    Single payer is obviously the way to go.  The whole point of organizing as a country is so that we can get together and fund the stuff people need: roads, fire stations, water supplies, etc.  How is healthcare not on that list?  

  •  All because (0+ / 0-)

    corporations are people and money is speech.

  •  The next step for these corporations... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    once a corporation has the religious get-out clause enshrined by a court decided precedent, they will move on from just women's health to any other aspect of the law that they don't like.

    A second point. What happens if a corporation has owners of different religious beliefs? How will they decide who gets to impose their views on the employees?

  •  This is one good reason that (0+ / 0-)

    health insurance should not be employer based.  Insurers will start losing profit for denying coverage of half the population, women will choose reproductive health coverage over none.

  •  Hobby Lobby in California (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Hobby Lobby has many stores in California and California  is one of 28 states that requires contraceptive coverage.Does Hobby Lobby currently offer this coverage to employees in California?

  •  I hope Hobby Lobby wins (0+ / 0-)

    I don't see why employers should have to subsidize diabetics who stuffed themselves with food until they got horribly sick. I don't see why employers should have to subsidize greedy people who work extra hard because they want more, more, more. Lust isn't the only one of the seven deadly sins. Gluttony and avarice are there too.

  •  Muslim Store Owners (0+ / 0-)

    As soon as the Conservatives started screaming "Religious Freedom" the question I been asking is if a Muslim owned a candy store and caught a kid stealing a candy bar would those same Conservatives support that owners  right to catch that kid and cut off his hand claiming "Religious Freedom" because that is what his Religion tells him to do or does Religious Freedom only apply to Christians ?  

    "Truth Like Beauty is in the Eyes of the Beholder" Elim Garak

    by garak99 on Wed Jun 25, 2014 at 10:30:53 AM PDT

  •  I feel the Affordable Care Act ought to allow (0+ / 0-)

    everyone working for a firm with any religious exception for firm owners on its employer subsidized health care the option of shopping on their state's insurance exchange.

  •  There's another consideration... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    that is largely unrelated to health care issues.

    It is clear that the religion is not that "of the corporation" so it must come from the owners.  Incorporation exists primarily to allow the creation of a firewall between the owners and the business, so the "sins" of the business cannot be visited upon the owners.  If a business goes bankrupt, the owners (stockholders) cannot be personally held responsible and their personal assets are not at risk.

    A ruling in favor of Hobby Lobby would open the door to claims that the firewall doesn't exist, simply because the owners are able to pass through their own beliefs and the corporation acts upon them.  That could easily mean that the door is open to stockholder responsibility for company problems.  It wouldn't just be the stock that would tank, it could mean that the assets of every individual stockholder/owner could be considered if the company is fined or goes bankrupt.  Folks would be far less likely to invest under those terms, or they'd be far more likely to take an active interest in the actions of the Board of Directors and company officers.

    It will be interesting to see how the Court rules on this IF they find in favor of Hobby Lobby, and it could easily become one of the most significant rulings ever issued.  Dred Scott and Loving and Brown will have nothing on a complete re-write of the protection offered by incorporation.

  •  So much hate in the name of religious freedom. (0+ / 0-)

    HL is invested in the same industry that it claims violate its beliefs.  There is something seriously wrong about the concept of religion in the US.  Other, legitimate religions aren't asking for special exceptions.  I haven't read of any Christian Scientist-owned companies asking for exemption from the ACA despite that religion's refusal of medical science for 150 years.  Religions that don't permit transfusions or organ transplants haven't asked to opt out of coverage of those protections for their employees.  Only if HL employed only others who believe as they do (which would violate labor laws) should they win their case.  

  •  And what if your employer doesn't believe... (0+ / 0-)

    ... in medicine AT ALL?

    What if your employer believes in faith healing only, and tells you that you don't need surgery, you just need to get yourself right with God by praying more?

    What if your employer believes in bleeding and leeches? And wants to treat your anemia by siphoning off a couple pf pints of of blood?

    In a just world all those affected by such an employer would be the right wing fundamentalist nut jobs who whole-heartedly support Hobby Lobby's spurious claim to a religious exemption for all their employees due to their own beliefs,  but since the world is not a just place, it would just be ordinary real people who suffered.

  •  When a corporation dies can it go to hell? (0+ / 0-)

    When a corporation dies can it go to hell?

  •  Why employer' religious beliefs (0+ / 0-)

    do not trump workers' medical needs.  My husband has worked for the same privately held corporation for over twenty years.  About ten years ago, the people who own the company converted to Jehovah's Witness, which religion forbids blood transfusions even to save life.  My husband developed a bone marrow cancer that required a stem cell transplant and FOUR DOZEN blood transfusions, from platelets to whole blood, over the course of his treatment (back to work, in remission, thanks be to God!) His employer, under this hideous twisting of law, COULD have made me a bankrupt widow.  They are true Christians, and never made a peep about this transfusions, the insurance covered most of the cost.  Hobby Lobby will never get another cent from me, and they should roast in H311.

  •  Maybe it's just an oversight. (0+ / 0-)

    "Here's a look at what could happen to the rights of working women..."

    Maybe it's just my own dumb idea, but I think some men are effected by this.

  •  My "I won't go there" list is huge but it's the... (0+ / 0-)

    My "I won't go there" list is huge but it's the only thing businesses understand. Walmart has been feeling the pinch with everyone becoming aware of the high cost of their low prices. Get the app for avoiding Koch industries. You vote every time you buy something.

  •  I believe at this point we should change (0+ / 0-)

    the 1st amendment that reads:
    Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion... to
    Congress shall make no law respecting established religion...

    No country can be both ignorant and free - Thomas Jefferson

    by fjb on Wed Jun 25, 2014 at 06:56:46 PM PDT

  •  NOT FAIR! (0+ / 0-)

    What about vasectomies and viagra?

  •  Staggering hypocrisy (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    I used to shop there.  Found the Christian music and all the cross decorations rather creepy, but still they had lots of things I needed.  Since they filed this lawsuit, I've not spent any money there.

    Along with the hubris of trying to dictate to people who may not even be of your religion what they can do with their bodies, the hypocrisy is breathtaking.  Probably over 90% of the crap this man sells in his stores is from China, which has been performing late-term abortions for years.  One would think that if he were truly a godly person, then he wouldn't be doing business with such heathens.  But wait-that might actually hurt his bottom line.  Not to mention his mutual funds are invested in the very pharmaceutical companies whose products he doesn't want his employees to have.

    I get very tired of supposedly godly people who are only religious when it doesn't inconvenience them.  Put Mr. Green right up there with the conservative right-to-lifers who defend fetuses but let live children starve.

  •  Complete coverage (0+ / 0-)

    If public healthcare coverage covered everyone, including the employed, this wouldn't be an issue.  Your health insurance would have nothing to do with your employer.  It'd be yours and none of your employer's business.  On the other hand, the cost of providing health care insurance would not be a fixed cost payed by the employer for each worker hired, which may encourage more employment.  


    Hobby Lobby GOING OUT OF BUSINESS SALE!!!!!!!!!!!

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