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Ginsburg – Oh the Humanity!

July 5, 2014

Ruth Bader Ginsburg, a Supreme Court justice seems to have forgotten what America is all about; that our founding was to support religious freedom.  A popular article lauds 7 lines from her Dissent on the Hobby Lobby case.  I think it shows how out of touch she really is.  Lets look at them one by one.

1. The exemption sought by Hobby Lobby and Conestoga would…deny legions of women who do not hold their employers’ beliefs access to contraceptive coverage.

No it wouldn’t. Unless they are barred from buying it out of their own pocket, no one is being denied at all.

2. Religious organizations exist to foster the interests of persons subscribing to the same religious faith. Not so of for-profit corporations. Workers who sustain the operations of those corporations commonly are not drawn from one religious community.

She would have a point if it was a publicly-held company, but not for a private company.  Workers may not believe the same as the owner, but they know that going in.  When I go to a friend’s house who does not drink, I don’t expect to be served alcohol.  If I own a business outright, freedom says I get to make the rules.  Ginsburg forgets that ownership has its privileges and its responsibilities.   The owner gets to make the rules and must be upfront about what those rules are.  To give up one’s moral convictions to enter the marketplace is an unfair burden.  Sometimes that means sacrificing; HL and Chick Fil A are closed on Sunday, sacrificing a big sales day to honor their faith.  This puts people out.  Should the government make them open on  Sundays?  Of course not. 

3. Any decision to use contraceptives made by a woman covered under Hobby Lobby’s or Conestoga’s plan will not be propelled by the Government, it will be the woman’s autonomous choice, informed by the physician she consults.

And it still is.

4. It bears note in this regard that the cost of an IUD is nearly equivalent to a month’s full-time pay for workers earning the minimum wage.

No one at Hobby Lobby makes minimum wage, they make almost twice the minimum wage. Further, an IUD lasts years, up to ten years, if I recall correctly. Spread that cost over a decade and it’s not so unreasonable.  That’s really neither here or there, though.  Cost doesn’t enter in to a matter of principle.

5. Would the exemption…extend to employers with religiously grounded objections to blood transfusions (Jehovah’s Witnesses); antidepressants (Scientologists); medications derived from pigs, including anesthesia, intravenous fluids, and pills coated with gelatin (certain Muslims, Jews, and Hindus); and vaccinations[?]…Not much help there for the lower courts bound by today’s decision.

Sure, why not?  If a company wants to restrict its hiring pool to people who agree to such limitations, it’s their folly.  Employment is an agreement.  People should not be slaves, but neither should owners be slaves to the government.  

6. Approving some religious claims while deeming others unworthy of accommodation could be ‘perceived as favoring one religion over another,’ the very ‘risk the [Constitution’s] Establishment Clause was designed to preclude.

This may have some merit. Some.  A business owner who decides their religion says it’s okay to lie to infidels and tries to not to pay them, big trouble in River City.  Or if a business owner claims to believe in the Great Pumpkin and decides he can’t pay people for fear they will kill pumpkins… no leg to stand on.  But abortion isn’t a little thing. Nor is it solely a religious thing. I was against abortion as a teenage atheist because on the face of it, it is selfish and wrong.

7. The court, I fear, has ventured into a minefield.

The country stepped into a minefield when the founding fathers realized something important: religion must be protected from the control of the state.  “The separation of church and state” which is NOT in the constitution is to protect the people from the government as much as the government from the people.  I wouldn’t want legislation to restrict grown adults from doing what grown adults consent to do if no one else’s rights are abridged.  But abortion, which is the root of this case, is a big deal. A life hangs in the balance and we are deeply, sadly divided on the issue. Some say these forms of contraception are the equivalent of Viagra.  They don’t get it (though if I owned HL, I’d drop Viagra from coverage since it isn’t remotely a healthcare issue) IT’S ABOUT LIFE.   That should be respected from both sides, especially since employees aren’t being barred from purchasing it on their own (you know, like we had to do way back when).

Ginsburg’s response worries me; this is a Supreme who doesn’t understand her role to protect all American’s rights.  

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