COMMENTARY: Let Americans follow their religious beliefs

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(RNS) Without a positive result from the Supreme Court, the Green family, owners of Hobby Lobby, will be forced to pay millions of dollars in federal fines if they maintain their convictions.

  • Sally Lewis

    The thing that most ‘religious’ folks over look in this debate is that if the mandate is lifted for any “for profit businesses” it effectively allows the employer to coerce the compliance of his employees into following his religious beliefs as a condition of their employment. In other words he is requiring them to give up a commercial benefit to which they are legally entitled, on the basis of his personal religious beliefs, in order to gain employment with his company. I do not believe this should ever be allowed.

  • It’s a shame that “our” government has become something that our founding fathers would never have imagined. Since when has life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness been replaced by, “We will force you to do this” even if it goes against your personal convictions. America has become a shell of it’s former self.

  • J.Wade

    Conversely, to use your own line of reasoning, the thing that most “non-religious” folks over look is that if the mandate is stayed for any “for profit businesses” if effectively allows the government to coerce the compliance of business owners into following the government’s beliefs as a condition of staying in business. In other words the government is requiring them to give up a liberty to which they are legally entitled, on the basis of the government’s beliefs, in order to remain in business. This should never be allowed. The commercial benefit of access to healthcare isn’t at question here, Hobby Lobby offers healthcare for it’s employees. The “benefit” at question is abortion.

  • Larry

    Your attempt at a counterpoint is nonsense. Government has always had the right to regulate commerce. The right to coerce businesses into meeting interests of the government is a well established practice. Government does so all the time. Minimum wage, workplace safety, anti-discrimination laws, mandatory policy provisions on insurance.

    There has never been such a thing as corporate religious belief. It is merely a fiction used here to dodge a law which has very politically partisan opposition without having to provide a rational argument.

    As typical of people who wish to undermine democratic ideals, Mr. Perkins quote mines James Madison to pretend they would have supported the views expressed. Madison would have considered his brand of religious politics abhorrent.
    “Religious bondage shackles and debilitates the mind and unfits it for every noble enterprise.”

    Hobby Lobby is requesting the right to violate employee confidentiality and dictate to the insurers what medical services or supplies are appropriate. It was never a legitimate decision on their part to make on behalf of employees.

  • Larry

    Unless you were black. Then, “I will force you to do this” was a major part of living in America at the time of our founders.

    In general when people talk about our founding fathers and their vision of government, they are usually making crap up or using ridiculous ahistorical arguments.

    Civil liberties are all about coercion of people to do what is right and necessary. People don’t grant them out of the kindness of their heart. It is hard fought and given usually after heavy opposition.

  • Larry

    There is no sane way “corporate religious beliefs” can exist without being a discriminatory horrific mess.

    Using Hobby Lobby Logic a company could do the following:
    -Require all business to stop 3 times a day for daily prayers
    -Require all female staff to wear hijabs
    -Require employees to pick up their paychecks after mandatory Mass
    -Pay employees in script which can’t be used to purchase pork, alcohol or shellfish
    -Hire or fire based on the employee’s religious belief
    -Refuse to fund health insurance which funds blood transfusions
    -Refuse to fund any health insurance since prayer is the only medicine God allows
    -Health insurance only covering witch doctors, shamans and acupuncturists

    All sorts of ridiculous things which fly in the face of various labor laws.

  • Jon

    If their religion was anything other than Christian, then Hobby Lobby’s attempt to use “religion” as a defense for bigotry would be obvious to everyone. But insteand, because of Christian Privilege, they not only maintain their argument, but even have people posting here in defense of their bigotry. The owners of Hobby Lobby can, of course, practice whatever religion they want to. They are simply be barred from forcing their religion on all their employees, just as other bigots are barred from forcing their bigotry on all their employees (such as, say, by requiring African American employees to wear dunce caps, or doing the same to Atheist employees, or Mormon employees). Only in cases of Privilege will people say they are being persecuted when they are prevented from forcing their religion on others.

  • Frank

    Keep up the great work guys! The battle is far from over.

  • Business are not churches or individuals.Why should white conservatives have the privilege to pick and choose which laws they will condescend to honor?

    Not to mention that Tony Perkins is the leader of a notorious hate propaganda organization, which seems to operate much like the Citizens’ Councils of my youth.

  • Earold Gunter

    When will christians learn that American’s tolerance for them forcing their religious doctrine upon us is quickly coming to a close? Green’s; you don’t want to compensate your employees with something that you feel violates your beliefs, then please don’t. This is America, and you don’t have to. Go ahead and drop employee health care coverage, pay them that money instead, and they can go the the healthcare exchange and get what they want, or don’t pay them anything towards their health care at all. Let the “free market” make whatever correction it will, which may be that soon you will have very few people who will work for you. Then you will no longer have to violate your beliefs, and you will have a opportunity to show everyone what you really worship.

    Religion is poison!!

  • Kurt

    The owners of Hobby Lobby are Protestants who do not object to contraception. Therefore they including contraception in their plan and force orthodox Catholic employees to pay for something they find immoral. Hobby Lobby’s complaint is that a handful of drugs the FDA has found to be contraceptives, Hobby Lobby believes to actually be abortion causing drugs.

    So what they are really saying is that they agree with the ACA that contraception should be included and abortion not. They just think that even though their field of expertize is marketing kits to turn popsicle sticks into amazing objects d’art, they know more about how chemical compounds work than the FDA and they should be able to impose this judgment on their employees. Were they to win the case, some other employer could say they believe that prostate cancer is caused by masturbation and therefore deny FDA approved treatments.

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