If you haven’t yet read Justice Ginsberg’s dissent to the Hobby Lobby ruling from the Supreme Court, I strongly suggest that you do. It is fascinating, educational and a terrific social commentary all in one. This ruling strikes me as a particularly easy one to dissent from, which makes the majority opinion all the more shocking. It was bad enough that the Supreme’s first told us that Corporations were people, today they tell us that they have religious beliefs that cannot be infringed upon.
Under a 1993 law called the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA), Americans are not required to follow federal laws that “substantially burden religious exercise.” This was a frequently cited example in the majority’s ruling, which Justice Ginsberg does a nice job of eviscerating in the dissent. Consider the outrageous implications of this ludicrous Act passed into law so casually by the Congress. In theory at least, none of us need to follow laws if they cause a burden to the particular myths that we believe are real. I’d love to see how this would impact one if they were to set a goat on fire on their front lawn as a burnt offering to The Lord. Or if someone brought their disobedient children to the town square and asked that they be killed for disrespecting their parents. Yes, both of these are commands from The Lord.
“If a man have a stubborn and rebellious son, which will not obey the voice of his father, or the voice of his mother, and that, when they have chastened him, will not hearken unto them:
Then shall his father and his mother lay hold on him, and bring him out unto the elders of his city, and unto the gate of his place;
And they shall say unto the elders of his city, This our son is stubborn and rebellious, he will not obey our voice; he is a glutton, and a drunkard.
And all the men of his city shall stone him with stones, that he die: so shalt thou put evil away from among you.” ~ GOD
I think we can all safely assume what protections my religious beliefs would offer me if were to set fire to livestock or stone my kids to death for being gluttonous.
In one of many brilliant points elucidated by the dissent, Ginsberg points out that the the Court has actually suggested that The Government should assume the cost of providing contraceptives to any woman who cannot obtain them under their health insurance policy due to their employer’s religious objections. So the Court thinks it best if you and I as tax payers, pay for health care benefits because a woman’s employer “believes” that invisible, undetectable magic cloud people don’t like certain pills. The fact that we as a nation of people still offer respect to beliefs that mythical fantasies about giants, unicorns, men that lived to be 1,000 years old, flying zombies and invisible magic kingdoms in a parallel dimension are factual is an insult to human intelligence. I for one, am ashamed. Therefore, I also dissent.
Ginsberg points out a fairly obvious and easy conclusion one would draw from the majority’s opinion in Hobby Lobby:
“Would the exemption the Court holds RFRA demands
for employers with religiously grounded objections to the
use of certain contraceptives 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 (Christian
Scientists, among others)? “
Reasonable people may disagree, but I’d like to hear the arguments in favor of for-profit corporations choosing to have their group health care plan not provide coverage for vaccinations, because a few of the owners are Christian Scientists. I disagree with her on only one point in 35 pages. In closing, she states that she believes there is an overriding interest in keeping the courts out of the business of evaluating the relative merits of differing religious claims. Well, I think we damn well should evaluate them, in court, in front of the world, so the veil of bullshit can be torn free once and for all from all but the most gullible, for whom there will always be a snake oil salesman waiting to sell them a mircale cure for their goiter or a magic fat loss potion made from frog’s breath.