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Sunday, June 24, 2018

What do contraceptives have to do with religion?

As a liberal Protestant, I see no connection — but that’s beside the point. There are plenty of sincere Catholics and conservative Protestants who believe the use of contraceptives, or at least some types of them, is sinful. That’s reason enough to be careful about any broad government regulations involving birth control.

Religious liberty is a cornerstone of the American way of life, a fundamental principle of the U.S. Constitution. The Founding Fathers were close enough to the bloody religious wars in Europe to try to found a country safe for pluralism, respectful of all religions while requiring none. If there is any such thing as American exceptionalism, freedom of religion is certainly one of its hallmarks.

Still, no Constitutional freedom is limitless. For more than a century, jurists have restricted religious liberties when they interfered with other important values. The Supreme Court did so as early as 1879, when it ruled against polygamy, practiced by some Mormons at the time.

That’s why the U.S. Supreme Court ought to rule against two corporations whose owners are fighting the requirement — a tenet of Obamacare — that employers’ health insurance plans pay for birth control. If businesses are given an exemption from a valid law that serves a useful public purpose because they claim it violates religious beliefs, where would it end?

(I’m leaving it to others to argue the perfectly valid point that corporations don’t have religious beliefs. They are not people. How many corporations have you ever seen sitting in the pews on Sunday?)

There are plenty of businesses and institutions that believe they have the right to fire gays and lesbians because homosexuality violates their religious beliefs. Some religious groups would keep outdated practices toward women, banning them from most high-powered jobs. While many people genuinely believe their God requires that, our civil society puts a premium on promoting equality.

If the two values are in conflict, individuals’ right to equality ought to win out. In a 1993 religious liberties case involving the use of peyote, Justice Antonin Scalia, himself a hyper-conservative Catholic, quoted from an earlier case when he wrote for the majority: “Can a man excuse his practices … because of his religious belief? To permit this would be to make the professed doctrines of religious belief superior to the law of the land, and in effect to permit every citizen to become a law unto himself.”

173 Responses to Companies Are Not Churches, And Must Conform To Modern Laws

      • Many businesses and organizations have regulations and standards: examples – the wearing of uniforms, if your in the military there are a lot of rules of what you can and cannot do – (hair length, beards or not, tattoos, etc) and that is okay. If you are a paramedic or fire fighter there are weight restrictions. Hospitals and counselors have confidentiality requirement.
        Why? Because they want to maintain a specific standard. Why should a company not be able to choose what is or is not acceptable? Why should a government dictate. Government agencies have standards. If you don’t comply you’re out. Like the home land security employee who spoke to the media.
        If your values conflict, then don’t work there. If you don’t like their benefits or lack of, then don’t work for them. Hobby Lobby is a large employer and good for the economy. If they are not here who wins? Maybe they say enough is enough and close their stores. Who wins then.

        • Welcome to logical fallacy. The point is that THE LAW says that insurance coverage must provide contraceptive coverage. By your own logic, Hobby Lobby doesn’t have the grounds to choose not to follow the law. There is also a law that says they cannot discriminate based on religious views… should we also allow that law to be circumvented?

        • While I am sure WHAT the present health insurance provided by Hobby Lobby provides I would suspect it covers vasectomies which the Roman Catholic church is also against . Lets not even talk about coverage for ED by paying for drugs and Penal Pumps . I as stunned to discover Medicare pays for these

        • In this Country, no one is above the law. If they feel
          strongly enough, their religion prohibits their following
          of the law, then it would be their decision to sell out.
          In fact, with the proceeds they could find a Country
          who’s people want religious law to become the law
          of the land. Of course they’d need to buy out an
          ayatollah or a ruling mullah, right now. Because, given the track record, and what always happens when theocrats get to run things all by themselves. Other than the Mullahs, and a few hard nosed Baptists. It’s hard to find anyone that thinks it’s a good idea. But, they are sure welcome to try. Just not here. We’ll survive somehow without the Hobby Lobby, nick knacks.

          • Interesting. So much anger. No one is above the law — But the law itself! We have laws that even the government is not following or feel like they need to… in.Illinois State employees loosing their pensions. Because the legislature’s decided that what they once promised they can no longer deliver/afford because the state is broke.

            I was told by my government that my health coverage would not change — PERIOD. It did change. Because of the government the same health coverage would now cost me $3300 more. I
            Regarding Hobby Lobby and others if you do not like the benefits or lack of benefits of your employer work somewhere else. And in regard to legislators — vote for someone else. I will.

            We are becoming a country that does live under an Ayatollah when people cannot run their own business as they choose and with no religious freedoms or freedom of speech. My government believes it can tell me what I should believe or not…and if disagree then I am called names, a bigot, unloving, and whatever.

          • You fail to understand that the separation of church and state was the philosophical basis for the First Amendment, as explained by Jefferson in his letter to the Danbury Baptists while he was president. This philosophical concept is rooted in Enlightenment thinking and underscored by the writings of English philosopher John Locke, who was influential in shaping the views of our Constitution’s authors. The right to worship as one sees fit is an individual “natural” right, not a right of legally created entities. The owners of Hobby Lobby want to blur that line to claim that their business is an extension of their faith. They have a remedy. Become a non-profit faith based organization. Your remedy is more aligned with Medieval feudalism than a modern republican democracy.

          • Great post JJb1310. George Washington wrote a similar type letter to the Danbury Baptist when he was President that Thomas Jefferson did. Several other founding fathers wrote letters and papers that said the same things Washington and Jefferson did in different ways. As Jjb1310 said Hobby Lobby Corporation wants the religious rights of a church change the corporation into a not for profit organization and get a religious tax exemption. Jesus told his followers to give “unto Caesar’s what i s Caesar’s” in other words obey the civil laws of the time. So many fake Christians walk this world today thinking that God and Jesus will holding the gates of heaven open for them when they get there, trouble is they won’t be going there because they are not real Christians. Christians follows Jesus’s rule of “Do until to others as you would have them to do until you”, a rule that so many fake christians don’t even know.

          • Somewhat in line with what you were saying, is that faux Christians also tend to focus a great deal on what is recorded in the Old Testament and ignore the fact that God passed on through the writer of the letter to the Hebrews that the Old Testament had been “obsoleted” and should have long since passed away (Chapter 8 vs 13). And they put too much stock in some of what Paul said in his epistles when he even pointed out that some of his preaching was based on his own thoughts and biases and not something that were necessarily from God.

            Yet, although faux Christians will latch onto “some” of what’s in the gospel, they pick and choose what it is they want to latch onto and follow – for example, the owners of Hobby Lobby are obviously purposely ignoring some verses from Paul’s letter to the Romans when he begins the 13th Chapter with these words:

            “Everyone must submit himself to the government authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God. Consequently, he who rebels against the authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and those who do so will bring judgement on themselves.”

            Clearly then, since it is ‘government created” legislation that requires the covering of contraceptives, God should find no fault with the Hobby Lobby owners allowing them to be covered via ACA, but he could well be finding fault with them for purposely trying to fight against our government wanting to fully enforce that legislation.

          • The “Golden Rule” is a transcendent moral code. All of the major faith based beliefs adhere to this code in one form or another. Christians (or name your faith) that believe they are compelled to convert others to their faith or face eternal damnation are the ones that don’t “get it”. Many of them are at the forefront of the revisionist movement and are actively promoting the view that the Constitution is a Christian document. The owners of Hobby Lobby are in that camp. It’s all about believing that Christians must be in control.

          • As You Well know, The Term “Separation Church And state” Appears Nowhere In The Constitution. The metaphor “wall of separation” was written by Jefferson some 12 years after the ratification of the Constitution and Bill of Rights — to a group Danbury Baptists.
            What the 1st Amendment does say is that government shall make no law “respecting an establishment of Religion Or prohibiting the free exercise thereof. ” Thus a strict separationist view is not supported by the Constitution. Thus, seeing this as Medieval feudalism is to place that label on the writers and proponents of the Constitution.

          • Who would know better than what the First Amendment says than the author himself? Take your fundamentalism elsewhere. It is an AMENDMENT. The Constitution – like the Bible – is subject to interpretation. The letter to the Danbury Baptists was used as evidence by the Supreme Court to end public school led prayer.

          • First of All I’m Not A Fundamentalist.
            Secondly, the Bill of Rights was written to protect our freedoms not squash them.
            Thirdly, interpretation: who’s interpretation, yours? Since you brought it up how many ways can you interpret the Biblical statement “love one another.”, or a phrase on our money in God we trust? Next you are going to say that the Bible was meant to be rewritten. Liberal interpretation always means that if you don’t see it my way your wrong.
            You never did admit that “separation of church and state” is not in the Constitution. It’s a myth, but when said enough times it becomes reality. Blind reality, and a false or twisted reality to manipulate others.

          • You said: “You never did admit that “separation of church and state” is not in the
            Constitution. It’s a myth, but when said enough times it becomes
            reality. Blind reality, and a false or twisted reality to manipulate
            others.”

            That is a fundamentalist reading of the Establishment Clause. Jefferson, the person who authored it, later explained its intent in his letter to the Danbury Baptists. He used the phrase “wall of separation” as did John Locke, the person historians credit with coining the phrase and influencing Jefferson’s writings. That phrase – that letter – was used in arguments by the Supreme Court in putting an end to public school led prayer.
            So you are refusing to accept historical facts and a Supreme Court ruling by clinging to a fundamentalist reading of the Establishment Clause. You aren’t thinking critically about it if you automatically assume that the meaning of “free exercise of religion” is clear and unchallengeable.

            The Supreme Court also ruled that owning a handgun was protected by the 2nd Amendment. The words “handgun” and “own” are nowhere mentioned in it. Do you think you have a protected right to own a handgun?

          • Yes, the Supreme Court did uphold separation of church and state. That doesn’t hinder your right to go to whichever church you want. It protects my right to now have your church dictating via law my right to worship as I see fit.

          • You need to understand why the Bill of Rights was added, to begin with. Madison – the “father” of the Constitution – had to be convinced by Jefferson to add it. Jefferson’s and Madison’s writings after the Constitution was ratified were very clear about their distrust of government involvement in religion. Madison took issue with religion, in general. You have a very limited understanding of the Bill of Rights.

          • Maybe you better go back and re-read the Supreme Court (law of the land) on separation of church and state.

          • Not anger, and certainly not at you Sir. More
            exasperation, at the exaggeration, if you know what I mean? $3,300, more? It defies logic Sir. The cost of any commodity, and that’s how insurance is being dealt with, decreases per unit at increased volume. Walmart has made a fortune on that very principle alone. So, it makes no sense your coverage would have increased by $275. per month, as the result of any of the actually very mild regulations the healthcare law imposes on the insurance industry. Did your State Government help with health reform, or fight it? Those that are refusing to expand Medicaid are needlessly costing their people plenty. And they will comply in a couple of years anyway, and the revenues will be wasted. Yes, there are depleted State budgets. Then, there are the created depletions, such as was
            engineered in Florida, and Wisconsin, by their
            newly instated Republican Governments. In order to break their public sector unions, both
            literally gave away, in the case of Florida, hundreds of millions of dollars to some of the State’s largest, and most profitable corporations,
            and private, utility corporations with absolutely no
            strings attached. Then, claiming a severe lack of
            funds, laid off a hundred thousand teachers across the State, in order to push their private religion based, charter schools. So, you’re not
            telling me anything about Government, I haven’t
            seen. But, healthcare is different. It worked fine
            for a time, delivered as it was, to almost all workers as part of their pay package. Still, it had
            it’s downfalls. If one became too sick to work, and became unable to pay the premiums, then
            it’s primary purpose was defeated, and families
            sometimes lost everything. For the past 10 years
            running, the number one reason for personal bankruptcies was medical bills. And each year the bankruptcies became more numerous, and
            the abilities of the working poor to advance to the
            middle class, and the middle class to maintain
            their status, has continued to become more fragile, and uncertain with each passing year. And, more than any other factor driving this trend, has been the skyrocketing premium prices, and the increasing inability of employers to pay them. This has also been the number one
            driver of public debt. As government has been
            stepping in to fill an ever widening breach. Some
            such as Governor Deal of Georgia, began calling
            for the repeal of the 1986 Federal Law, requiring hospitals, and doctors to provide medical care, irrespective of the person’s ability to pay. Now,
            think about that for just a second. It really comes
            down to what kind of Country we want to live in.
            With millions of jobs outsourced, a living wage
            becoming a scarcity. With giant retail corps. employing an ever greater percentage of the labor force. This is now, and may become to a much larger extent, about who has the final say in the ultimate direction of our Country. It might become impossible one day for the vast majority, to just work elsewhere, if they didn’t agree with management. So this issue at it’s core, is about much more than contraception, or religious freedom. It’s about who decides the freedoms we may, or may not exercise, in conducting our
            lives as a free people. Now, if businesses feel they cannot respect that. Then, perhaps they should be, in the interests of everyone’s freedom, be relieved of their role in providing healthcare altogether.

      • Show me WHERE in the Constitution it claims Corporation is a Person .
        The owners of Hobby Lobby have every right to practice their religion as hey see fit they have NO right to impose it on their employees as this violates their right to religious freedom .

        • I am on your side; I mentioned the constitution provides relief from religion imposing/serving as the justification for business under imposing the will of said religion on public employees

          • They are PRIVATE employees. Not Public. Why should a government be involved at all in the employee employer realtionship?

          • Because like with everything else done in the private sector, without government involvement, companies would start hiring children as slave labor; or start requiring their employees to work 75 hours/week without paying overtime; or virtually any other depraved thing that came to their mind. Come on!! When are you going to wake up!! You’re so clueless it’s appalling!!

          • And lock the doors to stop the shirtwaist employees from sneaking out after 16 hours. Ignore all the mine safety rules leading to 29 mining deaths a year. How about doing away with the 40-hour week and overtime pay. Who do these lowly workers think they are? Asking for a decent wage just because their labors make their employers wealthy/

          • So as “private employees” are they not part of the public? therefore have different rights?

          • Just a little off…They have the right to follow the religious beliefs they choose too. They CANNOT force their beliefs onto their employers. Employees and employers both have their religious rights protected.

          • So if an employee for lets say Hobby Lobby would want all the benefits of his or her policy to be available to them, and the employer denies them that right due to there religious beliefs, how is that not imposing ones religion on someone?

  1. The owners of Hobby Lobby set up their family owned business as a Corporation to provide legal protection for them and their family from
    liabilities of the business, protect them financially from actions against the
    corporation. If the business was forced to file bankruptcy the families
    personal assets are protected. They separated their personal finances and assets from the Corporation. However now this family wants personal religious beliefs to be part and parcel with the business. If you and your family are protected financially by being a corporation you can not than claim your entity has religious beliefs.

    Hypocrisy – Bitching that paying for birth control “goes against your religious beliefs” while expecting non-Christian taxpayers to pay for your churches. Source – TimelinePhotos

    • I would guess that most of us posters at this site are not lawyers, yet this case seems to be clear to us. I call it common sense. If the SCOTUS comes down in favor of Hobby Lobby, it will truly be a political move, IMO. Is there any way of getting rid of a justice for “incompetence”? I’m talking about Clarence Thomas. If he remains mute for all these years, how do we know what he’s thinking or how he’s making decisions? How do we know that his opinions aren’t written by his law clerks?

      • Ask Thomas’s wife what his thinking is. I agree most of us are not attorney’s and you are right it is common sense.

      • My concern is and has for some time been, the words and rulings handed down from Scalia! He, along with Alito and Thomas and at this point Roberts himself. Scalia, Alito and Roberts are all Catholics, as am I. Scalia in particular seems to let his Catholic ideology rule his thoughts in all things, and am certain he along with Alito and Roberts will rule in Hobby Lobbys’ favor, Thomas will, as usual, simply go down the ideological road of extreme Conservatism that he and his notorious vile wife live by….. Now….. there is the Catholic church’s “influence” by way of a “back door” as a direct assault on the Constitutional freedom of millions of women and certainly all the female employees of these two enities that brought this asinine case. As a Catholic I let common sense before religious ideology decide my critical choices in life, not the church! I remember when John Kennedy ran for President, the right “proclaimed” that if elected, it “would be the Vatican running the White House”. That, of course, never happened. But look where we are now, we have three ultra conservative Supreme Court justices that are letting THEIR religious adherence to Catholic doctrine possibly decide for all women of all faiths about the most personal and important choices a women with particular concern that of women with limited resources, can make with regard to their entire life. Sickeningly scary what this Roberts Supreme Court has done over the last several years with the Citizens United ruling, knocking down section 5 of the VRA, 93% rulings in favor of corporations……..Roberts sneaky ruling allowing states to opt out of Medicaid expansion in the HCA ruling…..I am not sure how the court will decide, but I’ll put money Scalia will vote in favor of Hobby Lobby and against women!!! Scalia’s questioning during the hearing said everything about his complete ignorance and indifference towards struggling women having to pay for birth control and the costs involved. Time will tell, but I don’t have a good feeling, AGAIN, with this court!!!!!!

        • The three justice you have named are letting their politics get in the way of upholding the Constitution. When you have Scalia, I can’t remember if it was Roberts or Kennedy or both meeting with the Koch Brothers and Republican donors in secret meeting at the Koch brothers ranches to plan Republican strategies that shows the justices are no longer impartial and are more likely to base their decisions on the Republican strategies than they are on the Constitution The article said Thomas also was there sometimes. All of them need be to impeached and removed from the bench so they plan Republican strategies as civilians not Supreme Court Justices. Wonder if Thomas would be invited if he is no longer a justice?

          • The only way these justices, or any other official, can be impeached is by a 2/3 vote of the House to impeach, or accuse, and a 2/3 vote of the Senate to convict. NO REPUBLICAN would vote for either of these actions, regardless of the evidence (like a parent who would never allow his child to be held accountable by the justice system). Therefore, a 2/3 majority of Democrats — PLUS a margin of error — would be necessary to impeach and convict ANY Republican judge; and there is no doubt in the minds of REALITY based people that they ARE Republican judges, NOT impartial ones.

          • Those three justices are owned. We used to respect the Supreme Court as the highest ;legal authority in the land.Now they are a mockery to justice. It used to be that a law had to be challenged in a court of law before it came to the Supreme Court for a decision. Now it only has to be challenged by some anti-government ideologue in the court itself. That is legislating from the bench and that is not what the Supreme Court was established for. This is just another one of our freedoms being attacked.

          • I personally think we should have term limits for Supreme Court Justices. This lifetime job is totally absurd!!

        • What’s really ridiculous is that about 85-90% of Catholic women use birth control…..so who do they think they will stop with this ridiculous ruling if they pass it? All they are doing is discriminating against ALL women, not just Catholic women, who apparently they don’t trust to make their own decisions about this subject!

    • In addition, if the abortion issue is truly a matter of conscience with them (even though there is no scientific evidence to support the claim that plan B medications and IUDs cause abortions), they would need to explain why that conscience is absent when 90%+ of their retail products are produced in a nation that not only doesn’t allow its people the free exercise of religion, but has the authority to enforce its one-child policy with abortion.

      • I guess when it comes to profit, they become members of a different faith and pay homage to the “Almighty Dollar”.

      • They don’t want American women to have abortions. They will support millions of abortions being done, millions of baby girls being abandoned on the side the of the road or killed so Chinese parents can try for the 2nd time to have the baby boys they all want as their one 1 child. China doesn’t just do abortions in the first say 26 weeks they will force a woman to have an abortion no matter far along she is and sterilize her at the same time, Everytime Hobby Lobby places an order for merchandise from China( where most it not all their products are made) the corporation and the Green family shows that they support the forced abortion law (and millions of abortions done each year) used by China to control their population and that also support the abandonment and or killing of baby girls. If the Supreme Court rules in favor of Hobby Lobby the one bright spot will be since the court ruled a corporation is religious like its owners if the corporation gets sued for damages etc so can its owners and stock holders be sued personally they will no longer have the corporate veil that protects them according to a lawyer that appears on the Ed show regularly.

      • If abortion is truly a matter of conscience to them, they need to explain why their “consciences” are so flexible when it comes to starving, miseducating, and allowing or even condoning beating and other abuse of those precious “babies” under the excuse of budget cuts, or – better yet – parental “rights.” They need to explain why they support war, capital punishment, and degrading human beings who are poor, destroying the environment on which we all depend, and a million other things that show most of them have no conscience at all except when it’s convenient to them.

    • Good point. We have seen the Court sees corporations as people.
      Now we will see if they believe they also have a soul, and are trying
      to get into heaven!

      • Corporation are not people , but without people no one can make any Corporation. What should be understood here, is one should not have whatever is called Corporation in their mind and decide to do what suits them best, and that which doesn’t suit their Corporation mood, they just kick it away. That is quite wrong. Corporation are existing in a Society or a State where everything to implement any Law, are there and well displayed. What Corporation should know is. The government is, it doesn’t discriminate whether you are a religious person or not,

  2. The
    protection of the Constitution is absolute. Chief among those protections is
    freedom OF Religion. ANY attack on those protections is an attack on all of
    them.

    • I think you misread the first amendment. It says “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof;”. How is a law that provides contraceptive coverage prohibiting the free exercise of anyone’s religion? The people who own the corporation are certainly able to choose not to use contraceptives… however, in this case, they are attempting to limit their employee’s access to contraceptives by saying that they will not pay for health insurance that provides that coverage.

      Let’s say that the company is owned by Jehovah’s Witnesses. Should the business be allowed to prevent insurance coverage from covering vaccinations or blood transfusions?

      • ” or prohibiting the free exercise thereof;”. Corporations are PEOPLE. A law imposing penalties for following the tennants of your religion is UNCONSTITUTIONAL.

        As for the Jehovah Witness question…If they so deemed it YES. If you don’t like the Ins. issued by the company buy your own add on policy or work somewhere else.

        • Despite Romney’s claim Corporations are NOT people . They are an artificial entity created to limit personal liability .
          Unlike people they do not die , can NOT go to jail and unlike the act that slaves constituted 6 tenths of a person for determining representation are not counted at all for he purpose of Congressional representation .

        • You actually make a damn good case to get employers, and insurance cos. out of the health-
          care business. And start not only saying healthcare
          is a Right, but treating it as such. The fact that these
          employers can attempt to inject, or impose their
          religious beliefs, through the healthcare law, ought to be a wake up call to every American that treasures their freedom. We need to be clear. The
          standardization of covered procedures, and medications, covered by one’s health policy. Is not
          a requirement that people with sincerely held beliefs
          aganist the use of contraception, be somehow held down by the government, and forced to ingest them.
          The fact this made it to the Supreme Court is in my
          opinion an outrage!

          • Insurance should be a FREE MARKET. Just like dental and lasik today continues to drop in price so would general medicine as people shopped for their doctors and hospitals. Let people see the bills and buy the insurance they want. The poor could get a government sponsored policy like flood insurance. NO one should be required to buy ANYTHING by force.

          • It’s true that one of the factors contributing to the
            rapid increases in premiums for health insurance, was the lack of competition between insurance cos. But, also there is just this ever increasing size of the potential medical bill that insurance is supposed to protect us from. Figure an average bill could total $100,000, for a serious medical event, such as losing control of the car, carrying a family of 4. The potential size of the claim of this fairly common occurrence, could be very high indeed. More transparency of those costs might make people more aware of the deep financial hole they would face without insurance. As far as being required to purchase insurance. It’s not a concept Americans are used to when it comes to a health policy. But, drivers have been required to purchase insurance for harm they may cause to other drivers for many years now. So, in that way
            health insurance protects the public from taking
            on the uninsured medical bills of people unable
            to pay for their own care. As providing for one’s
            potential hospital bills, is the responsible thing to
            do. And the ACA of course provides subsidies to
            low income people. The other part of the equation is really a moral one. Should society always pay for the care of those who chose to be uninsured, then create a debt they are in no way capable of paying? Or should they suffer the
            full brunt of their irresponsible decision, and be
            refused care, even if that resulted in their death?

          • Oh yes, like the health care’s bottom line on the stock market page of The Wall Street Journal. Who do you think is more important – their insured or their stock holders?

          • There is more than one kind of “force.” When a family or individual is living in poverty and cannot find affordable insurance, or is not OFFERED any by ANY company because of pre-existing conditions (either since birth, or which was covered by a previous policy that was cancelled), there is no “bargaining.” Would you really call up various hospitals and ambulances when you are in a car accident, or having a stroke or heart attack, to find the “cheapest” one? Would you really delay treatment for cancer while you research the cost-benefit ratios of all the nearby doctors and hospitals?

            Dental work (except for toothache emergencies) and lasik surgery have a competitive market because the patient has the choice to delay or do without such services, so like cars or cell phones, there is an element of marketing in convincing people that they NEED the service in the first place (some people refuse to get their hearing checked even though it is obvious they are losing it, because a hearing aid costs so much; and some of them, not all, have the cash to buy more frivolous things).

            I agree that everyone, in an ideal world, should not be forced to pay separately for health insurance. Since everyone pays taxes (in some form), if health care at an essential level were paid for by tax money, everyone would be contributing. Those who can afford more could get “premium” policies that would cover lasik, but everyone could at least get glasses regularly; and no one would die or suffer unbearably only because POSSIBLE treatment was denied due to cost. Until we can get that passed, which requires the collective understanding that SOME things of right OUGHT to be “socialist” and other things “free market,” this ACA is the best we can do to help the most people.

          • NO one is being forced to join their religion. It is wrong to force someone to buy you A PRODUCT THAT OFFENDS THEIR FAITH. Hobby Lobby provides a very good insurance policy. They ony exclude a couple of abortion causing items. If you want them buy them yourself!

          • Forcing the 10% tithe is not forcing the joining of the religion. It is simply exercising the religious mandate that the owner of the company feels he is required to observe, and dragging all of the employees along whether they (individually) want to or not.
            What term do you suggest using when a person must observe all of the tenets of a religion to which he does not belong? That was a common practice during the era of slavery.

          • Yes, unemployment in the tech sector has been well below 6% for a few years. Unfortunately, for the low-skill workers (those most in need of health insurance) unemployment still hovers over 7%, meaning that the Hobby Lobby job may be all that’s available in the area. Of course, that does justify the “factory store” mentality in upper management, and the belief that the company can do anything to the employees with no repercussions.

          • “just get a different job. after all obama claims the economy is just fine” Translated: If the poor cannot afford bread, let them eat cake!

          • Die painfully okay? Prefearbly by getting crushed to death in a

            garbage compactor, by getting your face cut to ribbons with a

            pocketknife, your head cracked open with a baseball bat, your stomach

            sliced open and your entrails spilled out, and your eyeballs ripped

            out of their sockets.

            I would love to kick you hard in the face, breaking it. Then I’d cut

            your stomach open with a chainsaw, exposing your intestines. Then I’d

            cut your windpipe in two with a boxcutter.

            Hopefully you’ll get what’s coming to you.

            I really hope that you get curb-stomped. It’d be hilarious to see you

            begging for help, and then someone stomps on the back of your head,

            leaving you to die in horrible, agonizing pain.

            S T F U, before you get your face bashed in and cut

            to ribbons, and your throat slit……

      • This could be taken farther. Say this case is passed and the rule is now that a corporation has religious rights. What do you think will happen when a company says that they will not cover any ED drugs and low testosterone drugs because it violated their beliefs? There will be a huge outcry because this affects men not women. I agree that everyone has the right to practice their own religion but they do not have the right to force it on anyone else. This is a big part of the reason that people are leaving the church.

          • Yep. The problem here, though, is the corporation is privately held. In theory you should claim (as Suter did in his arguments opposing the Citizens United ruling), that shareholders, union members, etc. would be forced to be a party to the majority’s political views with no legal recourse, other than to resign or sell off their shares of stock.

          • A very good point about being a privately held company but as someone suggested they can’t have it both ways imposing their PRIVATE views but shielding their Assets

          • In this case if the court rules in favor of Hobby Lobby there will no longer be a corporate veil that protects the owner, owners and or stockholder personal money if a person sues the corporation for what ever the reason they will be able to sue all that are invested in the corporation for their personal money. This is according to lawyer that appears regularly on the Ed Show, Mike Pats( can’t sell his last name). He said that he will have a heavier caseload because it he files a suit against a corporation he will also be suing the owner, owners and or stockholders also.

          • Whoever owns the most shares of stock, of course! What if a large company was bought out by a Muslim ruler who imposed Sharia law on all employees? All these GOP extremists would be ready to fix THAT with their “patented Second Amendment solution!”

      • They really better watch what they wish for: I believe in population control and that 7 billion people on the planet is a couple billion too many. I am concerned about the stress feeding and sheltering the growing horde is putting on Mother Earth. Saving her from us is my new religion. I’ll preach it from a soap box and shout it from a mountain top. And, now I have my own corporation selling cheap artsy crap “Made in China”. As it goes against my heart felt religion-based “two-child policy”, I don’t feel a government mandated healthcare plan can make me cover more than 2 child births per employee. More than that….it’s your dime!

        • At least for those children conceived after the enacting of your law, by people who have ACCESS to birth control and abortion (as a backup). Wouldn’t be fair to cut off the families that ALREADY have 19 children (but they should pay a surtax to cover them).

    • Nobody is stopping the owners of Hobby Lobby from practicing their religion. The issue is can owners of a corporation legally force their religious beliefs on the employees of their corporation. It will be interesting how Scalia votes on this issue. He certainly had no problem telling an indian tribe their use of peyote should not be allowed under present laws. If he suddenly sides with the owners of Hobby Lobby, then he will have done a complete backflip.

        • The ACA was a GOP idea hatched by the Heritage Foundation and resulted from the fact that taxpayers (and insurance premium payers) were subsidizing the expensive and ever increasing costs for those who used hospital emergency rooms for medical treatment because they were not covered by any insurance at all. The hospitals were mandated, by a federal law signed by Reagan, to provide treatment for anyone, regardless of their inability to pay.

          • NO, The obamacare law was and is a solely dem law. Regardless of any ideas a group of RINOs may have had. This current law is a disaster written and voted for solely by the Dem Party.

          • Wrong on all counts. RINO’s like you infected the party with ignorance and pitched the battle against the ACA. It is, was, and will always be a Republican idea. Democrats CAPITULATED on single payer and dropped the single payer option to get this passed. You have NO facts to back up your ridiculous statement.

          • WRONG!! The ACA legislation was a bi-partisan effort between these senators: Democrats Max Baucus, Jeff Bingaman, and Kent Conrad, and Republicans Mike Enzi, Chuck Grassley, and Olympia Snowe, that took at least 31 meetings of more than 60 hours. See this:

            After his inauguration, Obama announced to a joint session of Congress in February 2009 his intent to work with Congress to construct a plan for healthcare reform.[69][70] By July, a series of bills were approved by committees within the House of Representatives.[71] On the Senate side, from June to September, the Senate Finance Committee held a series of 31 meetings to develop a healthcare reform bill. This group — in particular, Democrats Max Baucus, Jeff Bingaman, and Kent Conrad, and Republicans Mike Enzi, Chuck Grassley, and Olympia Snowe — met for more than 60 hours, and the principles that they discussed, in conjunction with the other committees, became the foundation of the Senate’s healthcare reform bill.[72][73][74]

            And the only reason no Republican voted for the final legislation, is because Mitch McConnell who

            said when Obama was elected that the GOP’s #1 priority was to make him a one term president, decided that it wasn’t to the GOP’s advantage to vote for ACA. See this:

            However, following the adoption of an individual mandate as a central component of the proposed reforms by Democrats (which the GOP had previously supported), Republicans began to oppose the mandate and threatened to filibuster any bills that contained it.[48] Senate minority leader Mitch McConnell, who led the Republican congressional strategy in responding to the bill, calculated that Republicans should not support the bill, and worked to keep party discipline and prevent defections:[79]

            And whether you believe it or not, healthcare legislation very close to ACA was initially submitted by a Republican back in 1993. See this:

            The 1993 Republican alternative, introduced by Senator John Chafee as the Health Equity and Access Reform Today Act, contained a “universal coverage” requirement with a penalty for noncompliance—an individual mandate—as well as subsidies to be used in state-based ‘purchasing groups’.[54] Advocates for the 1993 bill included prominent Republicans who today oppose a mandate, such as Senators Orrin Hatch, Chuck Grassley, Bob Bennett, and Kit Bond.[55][56] Of the 43 Republicans Senators from 1993, 20 supported the HEART Act.[48][57]. Republicans did not raise constitutional issues with the mandate; Mark Pauly, who helped develop a proposal that included an individual mandate for George H.W. Bush, remarked, “I don’t remember that being raised at all. The way it was viewed by the Congressional Budget Office in 1994 was, effectively, as a tax.”[48]

          • There is a reason why the GOP is now the party of the lunatic fringe. They have the defiantly ignorant useful idiots like you carrying their water for them.

            The GOP had a choice. They chose to fight the president rather than admit that their idea was a good one and work to make it a fully bipartisan effort.

          • Just what is it about the truth that so bothers you?
            Is it the fact that the Dem party OWNS obamacare?
            That weak and fruitless attempts by the left to spread the blame for this worthless and UNPOPULAR law are failing? The truth of the matter is NOT ONE GOP vote was cast for this law.

          • The Democratic Party should proudly claim ownership of the ACA, as it has provided a lifeline to millions of previously uninsured and under-insured Americans, while the Republicans, many of whom have been helped as well by the ACA, preach lie after lie (the bet actors or delusional baggers that Koch money can buy), throw obstruction after obstruction, and try to sell the only product the Republican party has, fear and divisiveness. A significant percentage of those opposed to the ACA are actually holding out for single payer, so an actual majority favors the ACA or something more expansive.

          • Yeah, Sure. How is that Kool-Aid?
            Obamacare is an absolute failure and dems continue to RUN from it in mass. The worst power grab by government in our history. This failed law was rammed thru by ONE party. It passed by 100% dem votes and not ONE GOP vote. The best proof of how scared of the fallout from this disaster Dems are is how forcefully lefties try to convince people this is a bi-partisian law. LIES. You would think if it was sooooo popular they would keep all the credit for it.
            They twist the truth but the facts are the law does not work and never will. They want socialist medical single payer and thought that by destroying medicial care they could wear down the public to accept their “saving idea”. America is NOT SOCIALIST and will not accept this government overreach. The constant attacks on our Constitutional rights by the use of this back-door is proof that true concern for the poor was NEVER their intent.

          • “America is NOT SOCIALIST”.

            The ACA is not socialist. Not even by the wildest stretch of the imagination. It could easily be construed as plutocratic, though, since it is controlled by the insurance industry, which – by the way – was instrumental in crafting most of it.

            But you shamefully display your ignorance by repeating GOP lies to stop Obama and the Democrats from stealing their thunder. Once the single payer option (“socialism”) was dropped at the behest of the insurance industry, the proposal met the general requirements of the insurance industry and effectively mirrored the proposal crafted by the Heritage Foundation, a conservative think tank.

            This is how most legislation has been done over the last 30 years. Lobbyists write the bills and Congressional staff members pour over the details to summarize it for their bosses; Pelosi illustrating that fact with her ill-advised comment. Do you honestly think all Congress members read, word for word, every appropriations bill? Again, another stupid GOP tactic that served to illustrate their dependence on ignorant fools to trust them.

            Lastly, we already have lots of socialism in this country, two examples of which are wildly popular programs: Social Security and Medicare. A single payer system – like Medicare for all – is an inevitability. It is the end game of our poorly regulated “free markets” and the cronyism prevalent at all levels of government in which it thrives.

          • “Lastly, we already have lots of socialism in this country, two examples of which
            are wildly popular programs: Social Security and Medicare. A single payer system
            – like Medicare for all – is an inevitability. It is the end game of our poorly
            regulated “free markets” and the cronyism prevalent at all levels of government
            in which it thrives”

            So your idea is that a socialist future is “an inevitability”.
            I do not agree. If America is to remain a Free nation we MUST return to our Constitution and stop this self destructive government growth. America became it’s greatest when LIBERTY and Freedom was the rule. It drew millions to this nation in search of what Europe and the rest of the world ignored. LIBERTY. Personal Freedom. The idea of a man working hard and gaining Wealth and position based on nothing but his own hard work. Big government breeds corruption and corruption breeds tyranny. Are we doomed to continue to repeat history? If America continues down this path who will the world turn to? We are the LAST hope for freedom and Liberty on this planet. If America fails we are all doomed.

          • Became its greatest when? Before the Whiskey Rebellion? Before the War of 1812? Before the Civil War? Before the “Trail of Tears”? Before women were allowed to vote? Before Jim Crow laws were struck down? Exactly when was Freedom and Liberty the rule for ALL?

          • The so-called free markets are not free markets. When the large multi-national corporations can force the smaller business out, that is not free market.

          • So, how’s the weather in your totally untethered, devoid-of-reality parallel universe?

            Down here we’re battling idiots who are trying to deny anthropomorphic climate change. That despite the fact that out of 10,855 peer-reviewed published science articles only two – TWO – didn’t think so.

            That’s 0.0184% science idiots who are wrong.

            You want cites for FACTS – since we all know FACTS have a definite LIBERAL bias – I’ll give you cites:

            http://www.latimes.com/opinion/opinion-la/la-ol-global-warming-neil-de-grasse-tyron-cosmos-england-zadie-smith-20140326,0,3874109.story#axzz2x65gaWh4

            http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2014/03/27/3419542/climate-science-vs-climate-politics-graphic/

            http://www.salon.com/2014/03/25/10853_out_of_10855_scientists_agree_man_made_global_warming_is_happening/

            http://crooksandliars.com/2014/03/out-10855-peer-reviewed-articles-climate

            So have a wonderful little life in your hate-mongering, bigoted parallel universe.

            And please … PLEASE JUST STFU w/ your IGNORANCE
            Oh, BTW – this is my LAST reply to your utter stupidity. Because you’re sure as HELL NOT worth my (or any rational person’s) time.

          • Socialist like your local Fire Department? Why not just let the private sector offer firefighting and EMT services to those who can afford to pay a subscription fee and/or pay cash when needed? Oh wait, we TRIED THAT ALREADY, and some small counties with insufficient tax base to fund a real Fire Department still do that, and it DIDN’T WORK! In urban areas especially, letting the fire burn through all the buildings that were NOT insured meant that when it reached an INSURED building, it could NO LONGER be stopped, making the “insurance” worthless. And with contagious diseases, either natural or due to a terrorist attack, that is a perfect analogy for health care also.

            So if your house catches fire, be thankful that your Socialist Fire Protection scheme caught on, and that the only disaster you have to face alone if you do not have insurance is the cost of REPLACING what burned.

          • I suggest you go read the history of Social Security. Yes, another one of those, “worthless, and UNPOPULAR,” laws the Democrats had the vision, and political courage to enact. Not something that empowered the powerful, protected their fortunes, and advanced the hegemony of the wealthy over the interests of those who’s work, and sweat, truly create the wealth of this Nation. Educate yourself in the way this system really works. And see if you don’t at least come away with some respect for the Party that takes the considerable risk of standing up for you. Even when you, like too many in your shoes, vote aganist them for doing so. The problem in a nutshell is there aren’t that many people still around to tell others just how difficult it became for average work a day people, when most politicians were like our current modern day, Corporate fed Righties. Men, women, and their children worked their lives away, for not money, but company script. It almost covered their rent, and food. So they were quickly in debt, and worked until their health broke as indentured servants in the world’s first democracy. If you have any doubt as to their lack of human decency, educate yourself by taking a look at their factories in these overseas hell holes. Where the locks are on the outside of the factory doors. And you’re cheering them on! Yes, freedom from healthcare! It’s what we deserve! In some cases it’s hard to argue with that.

          • What is it about you that hates anyone presenting a view and facts that might differ from yours? Oh, I forgot, you have to group think.

          • And they were given every opportunity to come up with a plan or to make changes in the proposed plan. In fact, the President asked them to present a plan.

          • Not one vote was cast because, in the end, the Republicans honored their commitments to Mitch McConnell and the Kochs more than they did their commitments made during their “negotiations.” They negotiated in extremely bad faith, and prominently displayed their complete lack of honor and integrity, and for that you praise them?

          • Spot on. I used to vote for Republicans before this PR disaster. They are off the rails. Only stupid people listen to them now.

          • Are you really that clueless as to not realize why no Republican voted for Obamacare?? And it wasn’t because it’s that flawed a bill. Yeah! It needs some fixing, but it was originally a Republican idea as I showed you, back in the early 1990s. And it’s very close to being exactly like the bill that then Governor Romney, a Republican, signed into law in Mass. And ACA has more than 189 Republican amendments in it – and some of the things that need to be fixed are the amendments that the Republicans insisted on having added when they were supportive of the bill – UNTIL!!

            Some Republicans realized that Hey!! This bill may really work and make Obama and the Democrats look good because they pushed to get it passed – WE NEED to do everything we can to try and keep it from being enacted and the American people realizing just what it can do for them. Because, if they find out and realize fully that it was the Dems who enacted just one more socially acceptable benefit like Social Security and Medicare – WE JUST may have a problem getting one of OUR GUYS elected back into the Presidency.

            You aren’t so clueless as to not realize that no Republican ended up voting for ACA for one main purpose are you??? For the same reason that Filibuster Mitch has used the fake fillibuster more than 420 times to keep any good legislation from being passed by the Senate TO TRY AND PREVENT ANYTHING FROM BEING PASSED THAT MIGHT MAKE OBAMA AND THE DEMS LOOK GOOD!!!!

          • You easily forget that the DEMS owned both houses of Congress and could have and did pass whatever they wanted to. The GOP could not stop obamacare
            The people DEMAND this law be repealed. IT DOES NOT WORK. Do you really believe if this was a success that Dems would share credit with the GOP? Instead they run from it. Remember the famous words “if you want to see what’s in the bill you must pass the bill”? This is 100% a DEM disaster and will cost the dems badly at the polls regardless of how much cheating they attempt this next time.

          • Well, you’re really living in a world that simply does not exist. It assumes for starters this is a Congress
            where all Democrats vote like Republicans do, lock
            step. You ignore the filibuster which was imposed a record number of times. And, you ignore the fact, if “The people,” demanded the healthcare law be repealed, they had a very good opportunity to vote
            for a Congress, and President that were promising
            to do just that. They said it was unconstitutional, it
            wasn’t. They said it would create death panels it
            doesn’t. They said it would come between patients, and their doctors, when an insurance cartel, no one had any control over, had been doing just that for years. And after a while they had told so many lies, in their zeal to stop a program one of the most conservative groups in the country formulated, and the entire GOP once supported. They’ve kept this charade up, until eventually they’ve lost all credibility on the subject they might have once had, And now they run the risk of looking too stupid to realize when they’ve lost. Which they did, over a year and half ago.

          • A Dem disaster?? Really!! Is that why more than 6 million have signed up, actually exceeding the projection of the White House???

            Yeah! It didn’t reach the 7 million the CBO had projected, BUT THEN, when the CBO made that projection it hadn’t anticipated that more than 20 GOP states would refuse to not only expand Medicare BUT also even refuse to do anything about promoting their citizens to enroll in Obamacare.

            So considering the degree of GOP obstructionism, as with virtually everything else a totally clueless Reublican fake party gets involved with, Obamacare has been a SMASHING SUCCESS!!

            Not only have 6 million signed up for Obamacare but when you consider the Americans who have re-enrolled or signed up for Medicaid for the first time, and when you include the dependents of the 6 million that have enrolled for ACA, more than 15 million Americans have healthcare today than had it at this time last year. It’s only totally clueless idiots such as yourself who will eventually pay the price for their obstructionism; obstructionism that is basically the same as the lame insane GOP has put up ever since FDR signed Social Security into law and LBJ signed Medicare into law.

            The GOP IS NOT a political party – it is a group of crooks no different than the Italian Mafia, except that they PRETEND to be politicians instead of the absolute CROOKS THAT THEY ARE!!!

          • It wasn’t all that easy because Ted Kennedy died on 8/15/2009 before the Senate was ready to vote on ACA which kept the Dems from having a filibuster proof majority in the Senate for a while. It took a lot of manuevering to get cloture because Dem Senator Nelson was concerned the bill didn’t have strong enough language to prevent ACA from paying for abortions. Here’s just some of the narrative on the struggle the Dems had getting ACA passed in the Senate:

            The bill as amended would ultimately incorporate elements of proposals that were reported favorably by the Senate Health and Finance committees. With the Republican minority in the Senate vowing to filibuster any bill that they did not support, requiring a cloture vote to end debate, 60 votes would be necessary to get passage in the Senate.[91] At the start of the 111th Congress, Democrats had only 58 votes; the Senate seat in Minnesota which would ultimately be declared in favor of Al Franken was still undergoing a recount, and Arlen Specter was still a Republican.

            To reach 60 votes, negotiations were undertaken to satisfy the demands of moderate Democrats, and to try to bring aboard several Republican senators; particular attention was given to Bob Bennett, Mike Enzi, Chuck Grassley, and Olympia Snowe. Negotiations continued even after July 7 — when Franken was sworn into office, and by which time Specter had switched parties — due to disagreements over the substance of the bill, which was still being drafted in committee, and because moderate Democrats hoped to win bipartisan support.

            However, on August 25, before the bill could come up for a vote, Ted Kennedy—a long-time advocate for healthcare reform—died, depriving Democrats of their 60th vote. Before the seat was filled, attention was drawn to Senator Snowe because of her vote in favor of the draft bill in the Finance Committee on October 15, however she explicitly stated that this did not mean she would support the final bill.[75] Paul Kirk was appointed as Senator Kennedy’s temporary replacement on September 24.

            With every other Democrat now in favor and every other Republican now overtly opposed, the White House and Reid moved on to addressing Senator Nelson’s concerns in order to win filibuster-proof support for the bill;[96] they had by this point concluded “it was a waste of time dealing with [Snowe]”[97] because, after her vote for the draft bill in the Finance Committee, Snowe had come under intense pressure from the Republican Senate leadership who opposed the ACA.[98

            It was GOP leadership, aka Mitch McConnell who DECIDED it was wrong for the GOP to support ACA, not the individual GOP legislators. Like the good sheeple that they are, all the GOP sheep went along with the fake shepard!! Good ole Mitch!!!

          • You so-called patriots who try and tell us how the government works don’t understand democracy at all. The president was elected by the people and had a wide majority in the popular vote. He doesn’t have unlimited power. We have three houses to see that never happens. We have the Legislative, The Executive, and the Judicial branches. The way it is supposed to work is that a bill is presented, argued and voted on. 29 bill have been tabled and not brought to a vote by the tparty House. The one bill that was brought up, argued, compromised and voted on has not been accepted by the tparty. The tparty heads, the Koch Brothers, are pouring money into state and local elections. I suggest you read, “The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich.” and “Farenheit 451.” The first book tells how Germany’s Democracy was destroyed by a third party and the second is science fiction about what happens when two giant corporations rule the world.

          • It was because of Mitch cConnell’s statement, “The Republican’s number one goal is to make Obama a one-term president.”

          • My God! He just wrote out for you, chapter & verse!
            What else do you deny? The nose in the mirror? It’s
            getting ridiculous, this denial of reality, posing as
            intelligent rebuttal from the Right. With your eyes
            clamped shut, and your fingers in your ears, you
            stand firmly on your Constitutional Right to believe
            the world is flat. Some cannot be moved. If they
            insist on sitting in the middle of the road to progress.
            Next they’ll be complaining about being run over.

          • Believe as you will.
            I am curious just which Constitutional protections would you toss asside?
            Or would you throw away the Constitution and it’s goal of a LIMITED federal government?
            If the protection of Religious Freedom is not important than what else should fall to the whims of the left?
            Are there ANY protections, any rights that are untouchable in your mind? Should the power of the central government be absolute? Should the excuse of “for the greater good” be enough? I recall another government that used the “greater good” to commit terrible crimes. Crimes commited by an elected government that assumed a “final solution” was needed “for the greater good”.
            When ever a person’s freedom and Liberty is violated in the name of “progress” or the “common good” we run the risk of repeating the tyranny of the past. We are walking that same path once again.

          • If you are for the military industrial complex, as it is today, you are not for limited government. You are blinded by a fantasy. We are where we are now precisely because we had to fight against the forces of tyranny. In doing so we became more tyrant like and never turned back.

          • There is no violation of employer’s Constitutional Rights, or anyone’s, in regulating insurance cos. No one is being forced to use contraception. Is that not the case? These corporations receive tax breaks, and better workers for offering health insurance as part of their pay package. If they would rather help the tax payer foot the bill for the indigent, than offer a comprehensive health plan to their employees. They can exercise that Right. Bottom line, there is a price for living in a modern first world Country. Where everyone, rich, and poor are entitled to fair treatment. Most people can tell the difference between mass genocide, and the government setting some minimum standards for a health insurance policy. Then, there are those who can’t. I file that under too bad, they didn’t listen more carefully in Civics class. They’d have learned everything the Nazis did, they underpinned it with Christian religious
            dogma.

          • The “tyranny of the past” with come to pass when we have the plutocrats in charge of the country and calling all the shots. They are throwing their considerable money and weight around trying to do just that.
            Where in the constitution does it specifically speak to “limited government”. There are not a lot of thou shalls and thou shall nots. There are a few such as the qualifications to run for office, which are basically age and citizenship. The broad phrases of the document are mean to adjust to the changing times and provide guidance for the government needed for the times and population. Remember, George Washington had 4 million people. We have 310 million +/- and multiple ethnicities and cultures. Our governing document and subsequent laws need to respond to this. That’s why we have a SCOTUS. We need an open-minded one and justices who are able to reason through precedent and modern problems. We are to be a country continuously striving toward that more perfect union, not stuck in the past while modernity goes forth.

          • And since their rhetoric is alike, you know it is canned programming sans independent thought.

          • The ACA, as it is now, is a product of the Heritage Foundation, a GOP think-tank. The reason republican lawmakers could not support its own plan is because of their single determination to vote against absolutely everything President Obama supported. What is now clearly evident, as the first enrollment period for the ACA comes to a close, is that it is working. Enrollment numbers, despite a rocky start, are strong. ANd, as more states opt-in to expanded medicaid, those numbers will skyrocket during the next two years of the rollout. If turning against its own plan wasn’t enough, add Mitt Romney to this toxic brew of GOP stupidity on steroids. As Gov. of Massachusetts he signed into law the very Heritage Foundation healthcare plan he later badmouthed during the 2012 presidential campaign. It’s this very confused and convoluted pretzel logic, on the subject of healthcare and immigration reform, debt-reduction, job creation and foreign policy that has the GOP tried in so many knots it can’t stand up straight any more.

          • The template for Romneycare, which became the template for Obamacare, came out of the conservative Heritage think tank as a response to the “evil” Hillarycare. The Democrats thought that surely with so many Republican ideas in this, they would get some support.

          • I doubt it would do any good to present a different point of view to you. When you said “RINO” I knew what you are.

          • Because it was proposed by the president, it has become a bad thing and lots of money is being spent to make it seem bad.

        • fm3359…..please don’t think you speak for everyone because you don’t! You don’t speak for me, and I’m sure you don’t speak for many others! Obamacare is NOT an attach on ALL our freedoms…..there are 6M out there that don’t agree with you! Please only speak for yourself!

    • Yes, the protection of the Constitution is important. But paramount, is the function of our Constitution. To protect the Rights of the People. To be a shield aganist any entity, be it government, or any other. That is the reason it was written. The purpose of it’s existence. Now, if I said, it is a personal decision my spouse and I have made to plan our family out thusly. And modern medicine has provided a tool with which we may accomplish our goals. It is legal, her doctor, and the those charged with such mandates, have deemed it safe. So, by what understanding then, that the Constitution stands as a shield aganist the abridgment of our Rights, should our employer have a say as to this product’s availability? The drug is provided as part of the health insurance made available as part of our compensation package due in exchange for the labor required to sustain the business. In other words it is not a gratuity. Then, why should entering into this bargain, compensation for labor, bestow any ancillary jurisdiction of said employer, over the personal decisions of what is, and this is is important, our private lives? Yes, the employer may decide to offer no health plan as part of the deal. But, his Constitutional Rights to manage the personal lives of his hires in a way that comports with his own personal beliefs, does not exist. If it did, the Constitution would cease to be a shield, guarding the Rights of all. And become a sword, wielded by the powerful, to shape our society in their likeness. And, if one became powerful enough, under this New Constitution, why couldn’t this aversion to, “sin,” extend to all manner, and habit of private life, in the protection of religious Rights? Why would it be limited to employment, simply because it started there? Why not stop the production of all contraceptives? And then what? What other tenets of his, or other’s beliefs could be ordered, in the interest of protecting the, “sincerely held beliefs,” of the religious order? To see this issue in any other light, but as maintaining the sanctity of religion from the intrusive power of the State. And the State, from the misguided enthrallments of the zealot, is to misread what is at stake.

      • Simply put, what would stop an employer from requiring you to donate 10% of your pay to their church? After all, “at will” employment in a “right to work state” would allow for-profit employers to claim that tithing of their employees wages is part of their “free exercise of religion”.

        • I see nothing to prohibit such a requirement. If they
          may lay down the rules for everyone in compliance with their faith. A Muslim, Hindu, or your run of the mill, atheist, would have to pony up. They might find
          it necessary on religious grounds, to contribute politically, in the same way.

          • Years ago I worked for a bank that required all of its employees to donate a certain percent of their pay to the industry’s PAC. It was considered legal (similar to union dues).

          • Like wise, years ago when I worked at a super store chain we had to give to United Way from our check. If I didn’t like it I was told I could work somewhere else.

          • And then that PAC lobbied on behalf of employees for better wages, more retirement benefits, and job security, Right? Or did they lobby for the bank?

          • Or Muslim owners could require ALL employees to participate in Muslim prayer whenever the prayer times fall during their work shifts (or just before or after, when they would be on the premises but off the clock). And hire private investigators to see if any employer EVER took a drink away from work or at home, or EVER purchases pork or serves it to his or her family! They could even forbid employees to own Bibles or attend their preferred churches!

          • And wouldn’t they holler and bitch? And, yet, Hobby Lobby starts every shift with a little off the clock prayer service to Jesus. Proving at least for the Greens, their religion is no more than an extension of their arrogance. It’s not the prayer they find so important. Or, the contraceptives they
            find as offensive. It’s the fact they have the power to force some 13,000 people each day to preform at their command. I heard N. Korean dictator Kim Jong Un ordered
            every man in his Kingdom to cut their hair like his. It’s the same principal at work here. I have the power, so you’ll dance to my tune. The outrage is, this is the kind of shit that makes it to the SC. Suddenly corporations are people, their money is free speech, and now, they want the power to rule everyone’s life, 24/7. Of course!
            Come here! Is that pork I smell on your breath?

      • No one is stopping you from using the method of your choosing. Pay for it yourself. What right do you have to another’s wallet?

        • The benefit of healthcare provided by employers is
          not welfare, or a gratuity. It is a two way street.
          Good benefits reward employers with a stabile, well trained, and more productive workforce. Relieving
          management of the burden of constantly training
          new hires. While freeing management teams up to attend to more important chores. Such as making
          sure each department is preforming at maximum
          levels of efficiency. And the best employees are
          noticed, and chosen for eventual management
          positions. That said, I cannot dispute your logic.
          It seems to me, all would be better served if both
          employers, and the entire for profit system was
          replaced with a single payer public run operation.

          • Actually benefits are part of the wage package. Your wages will be x amount of dollars, plus x amount of vacation, health care, etc. So since it is part of the package, Hobby Lobby is telling their employees how to spend their wages.

        • Has anyone considered that health benefits are part of the employee’s SALARY? In fact, if Congress had not, in the past, exempted them from taxes (and more recently, LIMITED that exemption), they would be taxable income. In other words, just as they pay you a salary, or hourly wages, to get you to work there, they also pay for part of your benefits to get you to work there, That means that, once the premium is paid, the policy belongs to YOU, the employee. And since the Court has not YET authorized employers to prevent employees from spending their PAY on things their boss might consider sinful, the same principle should apply to employee choice of medical procedures.

    • What if you are a devout Aztec who demands to be allowed to perform human sacrifices? There has to be SOME limit to First Amendment rights in order to protect others, and the public as a whole. Just like “shouting ‘FIRE!’ in a crowded theater.”

      • Absurd statements just makes you out as a fool. Just which of YOUR rights should be restricted in the name of the “greater good”?

        • The absurd statement was precisely the point. If the First Amendment is ABSOLUTE, not even limited by COMMON SENSE, then religiously sanctioned murder WOULD be exempt from regulation. Remember, the case which led to the RFRA in the 1990s was that the SC put the war on drugs ahead of religious freedom, in that people who wanted to take mushrooms as a religious sacrament were being prosecuted under drug laws (historical note: even in the 1920s, the 18th Amendment and Volstead Act made exceptions for sacramental wine used by Catholics and Jews, and even obvious abuses of those exceptions were not prosecuted; when Lindbergh flew across the Atlantic, Catholic Bishops ordered tons of “sacramental” champagne and distributed it for celebrations).

          Perhaps an Aztec could not get away with capturing members of the general public for use as sacrifices, but could an Aztec commune get its new converts to sign away their right to protection in case they were to be chosen for that “honor?” Could a hyper-Biblical commune win exemption so that they could stone blasphemers and adulterers to death as the Scripture commands?

          The point is, if you concede ANY common sense and/or public protection limit to the First Amendment at all, you will have to debate each one. Since one’s company-paid (or these days, PARTIALLY company-paid) medical/dental/vision insurance is effectively part of one’s salary (counted as a labor expense on the company’s tax return, and subject to taxation if and as Congress removes its historic exemption), it should be up to the employee ALONE, and the employee’s religious or other beliefs, what is covered, limited only by the cost to the insurance carrier. And providing birth control, and even abortion, is MORE cost effective for the insurance carrier than refusing coverage, since they avoid pregnancy related costs and avoid having to cover the child’s health.

    • A few years back, a man claimed he got a direct order, from God, to feed his children only watermelon and lettuce. True story. They took the older children away from them because the older children were severely malnourished. They had another and moved away. The authorities found the parents with an infant who was on the brink of death and took the infant to the hospital. The couple sued, saying that their freedom to worship was being taken from them. The arguments for the First Amendment came about to protect us from the government having an official religion. Read them. England had an official religion that was supported by the people, whether they believed or not. I feel like I should be protected from religion as well as have the freedom to worship as I see fit. I should not expect you to worship as I do.

      • England still does have an official religion, but the normal exercise of any religion by the people is not persecuted, despite the lack of a FORMAL treaty to end the war between the British Crown and the Vatican. However, the monarch cannot legally be a Catholic (the current Queen was asked this question ceremonially in secret upon returning from her honeymoon in Africa, before she could be officially crowned), and if a member of a third religion were to come up as the heir to the throne, Parliament would undoubtedly pass a law narrowing that restriction to require the monarch to be an Anglican before taking the throne.

        One reason for the speculation about Princess Diana being murdered was that, IF she married Dodi Fayed, and IF he did not convert to the Anglican faith, he MIGHT have contributed Muslim teachings to the upbringing of William and Andrew, and one or both of them MIGHT have become Muslim upon reaching maturity. Again, the speculation was wild and unjustified, but that is one motive the speculators put forth for the Government to kill Diana.

        But despite having “official” religions, all the Western democracies in Europe tolerate complete freedom of worship or non-worship, and only restrict the behavior of non-official-faith citizens by the minimum necessary for public protection (except France, which seems to have a bias against ALL public religious displays left over from the 1790s; and Ireland, which restricts birth control and abortion, even to save the mother’s life from a crisis such as an ectopic pregnancy).

        In Britain, interestingly enough, all houses of worship of any faith are owned by the Anglican Church and leased to the congregations that use them, for renewable 19 year terms.

    • How does “biblical law” grab you?

      Tax Documents Reveal: “Hobby Lobby’s secret agenda: How it’s quietly funding a vast [religious right] movement – Exclusive: How entities related to the company are quietly pumping tens of millions into a mélange of fringe [religious right] causes”
      http://www.salon.com/2014/03/27/hobby_lobbys_secret_agenda_how_its_secretly_funding_a_vast_right_wing_movement/?utm_source=facebook&utm_medium=socialflow

      “Video from [Supreme Court Justice] Clarence Thomas’ [Tea Party] wife says ‘secularism’ must end due to Obama’s ‘tyranny’”
      http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2014/03/31/video-from-clarence-thomas-wife-says-secularism-must-end-due-to-obamas-tyranny/

      Corporate “religious freedom”? Let’s examine what else the Tea Party considers “anti-Christian”: taxation, corporate regulation, the minimum wage, unions, environmetnal policy, public education… healthcare (obviously)… “entitlements”:
      http://www.pfaw.org/rww-in-focus/barton-s-bunk-religious-right-historian-hits-the-big-time-tea-party-america

      Does any of this sound familiar? it should. It’s the Koch-sponsored ALEC agenda – model legislation for which has already been written by corporations – view it here: http://www.alecexposed.org/wiki/ALEC_Exposed

      How, exactly did ALEC come to be? Meet ALEC founder Paul “We don’t want everybody to vote” Weyrich:

      “Paul Michael Weyrich (October 7, 1942 – December 18, 2008)[1][2][3][4] was an American religious conservative political activist and commentator, most notable as a figurehead of the New Right. He co-founded the conservative think tanks, the Heritage Foundation,[5] the Free Congress Foundation, and the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC). He coined the term “moral majority”, the name of the political action group Moral Majority that he co-founded in 1979 with Jerry Falwell. He switched from the Roman Rite of the Roman Catholic Church to that of the Melkite Greek Catholic Church and was ordained protodeacon.”
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paul_Weyrich

      Ever heard of the notion of “Biblical Capitalism” (ask Paul Ryan about his budget): http://www.talk2action.org/story/2012/2/15/111659/576

      ‘Libertarian’ Ludwig von Mises Institute scholar – his website: “Biblical Capitalsm” – “The Bible mandates free market capitalism.”
      http://www.garynorth.com/public/department57.cfm

      “How the Koch Brothers Are Funding the Anti-Choice Agenda”
      http://rhrealitycheck.org/article/2013/11/05/anatomy-of-the-war-on-women-how-the-koch-brothers-are-funding-the-anti-choice-agenda/

      “MEMO: Health Insurance, Banking, Oil Industries Met With Koch, Chamber, Glenn Beck To Plot 2010 Election” – plus two of the Supreme Court Justices (Thomas and Scalia):
      http://thinkprogress.org/politics/2010/10/20/124642/beck-koch-chamber-meeting/

      And the “Tea Party” landslide of 2010 commenced.

      “Biblical Law” – the agenda: http://theocracywatch.org/biblical_law2.htm

      Any questions?

  3. fm3359, we also have the right to freedom from religion. You can believe anything you want you don,t have the right to force that belief on me. That is what is going on here, people trying to force their religious beliefs on their workers, something our constitution says is a no-no.

    • Since when has the Supreme Court paid attention to the Constitution? Much like the Bible, it’s all up to their individual interpretation, which is bought and paid for by their conservative bosses.

  4. The faux religious SPECTACLE from the unfounded of the right is calculated and has NOTHING to do with abortion or religion but the narrow minded cretins working on the power to control women and our reproductive therefore productive lives! Mr. green and family have shielded themselves in the corporate veil to protect from liabilities while wanting to foist their personal beliefs on their employees….If they need the protection become a not for profit tvanglist organization and quit with the sanctimonious rhetoric of the ignorant..importing cheap Chinese junk to gouge their customers!

    Absurd that the roberts activist conservative court would entertain this farce!

    Call them out:
    1.202.479.3000 or 1.202.479.3211

  5. Grannysmovin gets to the heart of the matter when she correctly points out that the Fascist Christian Theocrats (my term, not hers) of Hobby Lobby and other businesses they own are being hypocrites by claiming “religious freedom” as the reason to practice bigotry and insulate themselves from having to follow the law. Just yesterday, I saw a meme on Facebook that further proves the hypocrisy of the FCTers: the meme quotes four Bible passages that essentially say that not following the law is the same thing as not following God’s law.
    Regarding the First Amendment: the point many people have missed is the simple fact that “religious belief” DOES NOT equal “free exercise thereof”. You can believe whatever you wish; however, if in the exercise of those beliefs, you infringe on the free exercise of another’s religion, you are violating the Constitution.
    The Hobby Lobby and Conestoga cases have put the FCTers that make up the Feckless Five Con majority of the Court (Judge Scaly, Uncle Thomas, Alito, Roberts and Kennedy) in a terrible bind: if they rule properly, aka, against Hobby Lobby and Conestoga, the Conservative FCTers are going to howl in protest. If, however, they rule incorrectly and claim that companies have religious rights/freedoms, they’ll expose themselves for the Con FCTers they truly are.
    Remember: the only reason the Hobby Lobby case is in front of the Court is that the 10th Circuit in Denver used the ridiculous Citizens United ruling in 2010 as precedent to rule that corporations/companies have religious rights, seeing as though Citizens United gave them “personhood” so as to allow them to make unlimited campaign/political contributions. That Citizens United decision ALONE is the reason the Feckless Five should be impeached and removed from the Court, sooner rather than later.

  6. Ok just a theory here . But if corporations are people. And slavery is illegal.

    Is it not illegal to own a corporation (person)? We should start a movement to “free the people” .

    • That would put the NYSE, NASDAQ, etc. in the same moral category as the old slave auctions. However, this is where corporate “persons” are different from natural persons: a corporation exists only BECAUSE it has owners. It exists as a legal SUBSTITUTE for a person with the right to buy and sell, sue or be sued, etc. (the term is “legal fiction”) more conveniently than a huge and constantly shifting group of people (stockholders) could buy and sell, sue or be sued.

      The only way a pair or group of corporations could be “unowned” is to arrange that, for example, all the shares of company A are owned by company B, and all the shares of B are owned by A. The only actual people at a stockholder meeting would be the directors of A and B, who would vote the shares in the name of their companies. And profit? Dividends would flow between the company treasuries and only reach a human when that human performs a service for, or sells a product to, one of the companies.

      Since this is not a configuration that any stockholders would vote for, it is safe to say that corporations only exist to be owned by people.

    • A corporation came to visit me the other day. I offered him tea and cookies. He wasn’t really a charming fellow. He said he was an important sort of chap as he had the great wealth and power to be important. I remarked that his wealth would trickle down and make all of us more solvent – wouldn’t it? His smile showed no mirth and he answered, “Of course, when we want no more wealth and power, we shall share it with you.” His greedy eyes roamed the room and I felt he was asking himself how much, of what I had, he could get. As he got up to leave I saw him slip the silver teaspoon, he had stirred his tea with, into his pocket.

  7. I don’t believe our Constitution states that only Churches have 1st. Amendment Rights! An individual that builds a company has 1st. Amendment Rights as anyone else. When you start violating one Right, it won’t be long until they are all violated, & gone. Someday, the Rights you enjoy, may also disappear.

    • The question is, do those rights you possess as an employer include restricting, beyond what is reasonable and necessary for an orderly, efficient and productive business, the rights of your employees, to make THEM conform to YOUR religion. If you provide health insurance to your employees, or make arrangements for them to purchase it through payroll deduction, it is effectively PART OF THEIR SALARY. If you object so strenuously to their spending part of their salary on abortions, birth control, or blood transfusions, because your religion forbids YOU to spend YOUR salary on it, then stop offering ANY health insurance. Fortunately, they now have the ability to purchase it through the ACA. As for forbidding them to buy pork, alcohol, tobacco, caffeinated beverages, or any other legal product (cotton-orlon blend shirts without tassels on the fringes? Lev. 19:19, Deut. 22:11-12), with the actual CASH you pay them, forget that completely.

      In other words, our REAL rights are not under attack by the “government” but by OTHER PRIVATE ACTORS WITH MORE MONEY THAN THE REST OF US. Just as the government had to “attack” the property rights of slaveholders in order to defend the human rights of their slaves not to be enslaved, and “attack” the property rights of publicly open businesses to discriminate, in order to protect the rights of the people being discriminated against, government needs to protect the rights of workers against infringement by employers who go beyond the reasonable needs of running an efficient business to make a statement about THEIR religious “freedom” at the expense of their employees’ freedom.

  8. I think maybe (Critical Thinking) could be of some help in solving these type of problems. What? the hell is going on in America. Who? is causing all of these un-answerable problems. Where? is my Democracy and Who? the hell is in charge in small-towns USA. cause strange people with MONIES are trying to change the meaning of our Democracy. What? happen to our Unions they up-helped our Democracy. Greedy (Capitalistic Pigs, Plutocracts, Do Nothing Republicans and Democracts and Etc Do Nothinginers) Why? have our country came to a STOP. Wake up People, MONIES are destroying the America way of life, but the VOTE and Critical Thinking can solve these problems cause the Vote is still supreme. Thank You are the magic words in my book. I Love Ya All. MR> C. E. KING

  9. I doubt that religion is the real reason, here. It is probably to hamper the Affordable Care Act. If their religion does not believe in birth control, don’t us it. Don’t force your religion on every one else.

  10. And, if they pass it, then we can all just move back to England because we’ll be right back where we started when the Mayflower sailed to the new land!!! To think that Hobby Lobby, etc. is a person hood is totally ridiculous. I can’t believe people as intelligent as those who sit on our Supreme Court can’t see that!! They will vote along partisan lines…..that’s what happens every time!

  11. Drugs that induce.an abortion of a fetus is murder. To try and FORCE your employer to pay for the killing of your unborn child is wrong. While the law allows you to murder your unborn child it does not allow for you to make another pay for that act. To side with life over murder may upset some I will always side with life. The unborn child has commited no crime.

  12. Tax Documents Reveal: “Hobby Lobby’s secret agenda: How it’s quietly
    funding a vast right-wing movement – Exclusive: How entities related to the
    company are quietly pumping tens of millions into a mélange of fringe
    causes”
    http://www.salon.com/2014/03/27/hobby_lobbys_secret_agenda_how_its_secretly_funding_a_vast_right_wing_movement/?utm_source=facebook&utm_medium=socialflow

    “Video from [Supreme Court Justice] Clarence Thomas’ [Tea Party wife says ‘secularism’ must end due to Obama’s ‘tyranny’”
    http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2014/03/31/video-from-clarence-thomas-wife-says-secularism-must-end-due-to-obamas-tyranny/

    Corporate “religious freedom”? Let’s examine what else the Tea Party
    considers “anti-Christian”: taxation, corporate regulation, the minimum wage, unions, environmetnal policy, public education… healthcare (obviously)… “entitlements”:
    http://www.pfaw.org/rww-in-focus/barton-s-bunk-religious-right-historian-hits-the-big-time-tea-party-america

    Does any of this sound familiar? it should. It’s the Koch-sponsored ALEC
    agenda – model legislation for which has already been written by corporations – view it here: http://www.alecexposed.org/wiki/ALEC_Exposed

    How, exactly did ALEC come to be? Meet ALEC founder Paul “We don’t want everybody to vote” Weyrich:

    “Paul Michael Weyrich (October 7, 1942 – December 18, 2008)[1][2][3][4] was an American religious conservative political activist and commentator, most notable as a figurehead of the New Right. He co-founded the conservative think tanks, the Heritage Foundation,[5] the Free Congress Foundation, and the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC). He coined the term “moral majority”, the name of the political action group Moral Majority that he co-founded in 1979 with Jerry Falwell. He switched from the Roman Rite of the Roman Catholic Church to that of the Melkite Greek Catholic Church and was ordained protodeacon.”
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paul_Weyrich

    Ever heard of the notion of “Biblical Capitalism” (ask Paul Ryan about his budget): http://www.talk2action.org/story/2012/2/15/111659/576

    ‘Libertarian’ Ludwig von Mises Institute scholar – his website: “Biblical
    Capitalsm” – “The Bible mandates free market capitalism.”
    http://www.garynorth.com/public/department57.cfm

    “How the Koch Brothers Are Funding the Anti-Choice Agenda”
    http://rhrealitycheck.org/article/2013/11/05/anatomy-of-the-war-on-women-how-the-koch-brothers-are-funding-the-anti-choice-agenda/

    “MEMO: Health Insurance, Banking, Oil Industries Met With Koch, Chamber, Glenn Beck To Plot 2010 Election” – plus two of the Supreme Court Justices (Thomas and Scalia):
    http://thinkprogress.org/politics/2010/10/20/124642/beck-koch-chamber-meeting/

    And the “Tea Party” landslide of 2010 commenced.

    “Biblical Law” – the agenda: http://theocracywatch.org/biblical_law2.htm

    Any questions?

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