Tuesday, July 01, 2014
Posted by Mike Hardin at 1:25 PM|Permalink
I'm trying so hard to do less politics on here, but sometimes I just can't keep silent, especially when politics rubs up against something I'm passionate about, religious liberty. I'm astounded by the comments of those who are upset about yesterday's SCOTUS decision in favor of Hobby Lobby, and especially those by Hillary Clinton, who should know better.
First, Mrs. Clinton is upset because "It’s the first time that our court has said that a closely held corporation has the rights of a person when it comes to religious freedom.” So why does this bother her? Does she know what a "closely held corporation" is? It's when those who own the company choose to incorporate it, but do not offer the stock to be publicly traded. One or two individuals, or sometimes a family, own all the stock. They own the whole business. Why does Mrs. Clinton think they should lose their religious liberty just because they choose to operate their business as a corporation, rather than a simple partnership, or as sole proprietor? I can't understand for the life of me why anyone finds it "deeply troubling" when the court upholds the religious liberty of one or more individuals.
Second she said that the ruling means companies can "impose their religious beliefs on their employees." Really? In what reality does an employer have to sacrifice his or her own religious convictions in order to not impose those convictions on employees? Is there any part of this decision that says closely held corporations can discriminate in hiring or compensation, or promotion of employees, based on whether they share the religious belief of the employer? Of course not. Employees are still free to believe whatever they want. They are still free to worship, or not worship, in any fashion they choose.
Third, she said that a closely held corporation could "deny women contraception as part of their health care plan." I suppose their is a smidgen of truth to this one, but only a smidgen. The only thing that makes this close to true is the "as part of their health plan" phrase at the end. In the case of Hobby Lobby, they were still willing to provide payment for most types of contraception in their plan, only raising a conscientious objection to a very few. But I could see how a Roman Catholic business owner might be able to say that his beliefs prevent him from paying for any type of contraception.
But what makes this last objection nearly a falsehood is the idea that if your employer doesn't include something as "part of your health plan" that you are denied access. My wife and I have two children, because that's how many children we wanted. We were able to limit ourselves to two because contraception was available and affordable, long before the Affordable Care Act mandated that it be included, at no cost to employees, in company sponsored health plans. It is so absurd to assume that because someone doesn't give you something free of charge that you are being denied access to that item. By that logic I'm being denied access to food, water, clothing and shelter.
It's time for the entitlement society to end. If you want contraception, and paying for it would violate your employer's conscience, buy it out of pocket, pay for a rider on your insurance so that YOU and not your employer are funding that benefit, or, go to work elsewhere, where the employer has no religious objection. If you don't like the compensation AND BENEFITS at one employer, you are free to seek employment elsewhere. We outlawed slavery over 150 years ago. Your employer doesn't own you. But please, don't try to sell me on the idea that the SCOTUS, or Christian business people, are denying you access to something that is available and affordable on the open market.
Thursday, December 19, 2013
Posted by Mike Hardin at 8:52 AM|Permalink