Should Congress repeal the law behind the Hobby Lobby case?

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President Bill Clinton signs the Religious Freedom Restoration Act on the White House's South Lawn on Nov. 16, 1993.

Public domain photo via the The U.S. National Archives

President Bill Clinton signs the Religious Freedom Restoration Act on the White House's South Lawn on Nov. 16, 1993.

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WASHINGTON (RNS) The Hobby Lobby case revolved around the question of whether an employer had to cover all types of birth control, including ones that their religious convictions held out as morally objectionable. But it hinged on little-known RFRA.

  • Daniel

    Congratulations America. You voted for Republicans and now look how stupid you look! Yikes!

    Republicans are crazy. They intractably believe that their beliefs and the mythologies they subscribe to, are justification to intrude on the very private and difficult decisions women may have to overcome in life.

    Tolerance has no place in our world anymore does it?

    Clearly we should all start our own religions and warp the rule of law to fit our beliefs. Our stupid decisions about how we believe the universe works are clearly more important than empirical data and logic.

    Hmmm….Yet how many Republicans batted an eye at said murder of hundreds of thousands of already living and breathing men, women and children in Iraq, at the hands of those same people who asked for their votes in the name of “protecting life”? Republicans are hypocrites.

    This is what we are dealing with America. Terribly stupid fake people.

    It makes me so mad that in the 21st century we are still debating the separation of church and state……and that those people who want to force their beliefs on others do so with no consistency. For these people to say they care about life is a joke.

    Who needs radical Islam when you have the modern Republican?

  • Tom Downd

    Ten prominent religious leaders. My guess is that these are the usual suspects shilling for the right wing. Many may agree with them, but you can be assured the don’t represent the majority of religious people. The particular issue aside, they do great harm because they are presumed to speak for all of us. Generations of young people have turned away from the faiths because of just such as these.

  • ed-words

    The 11th Commandment:

    When you’re not allowed to force your religious beliefs on others,
    and they challenge your privileges, scream ‘persecution’.

  • Lles Nats

    Yes, cause the liberal “thinkers” will scream even more than they currently do unless they can get a christian to assist monetarily in their abortions.

  • Ruth Walker

    Catholics are more likely to have had an induced abortion than others. Evidence-based sex and having accessible contraception is the solution.

  • Ruth Walker

    It is a terrible law and should be repealed. Stop the expensive, ineffectual war on drugs (that discriminates against the poor and minorities) so the Indians can use their drugs in religious rituals (apparently the original reason for the RFRA).

  • Melanie

    There’s one method of contraception that Hobby Lobby fully supports, even makes money off of it: it’s called ‘craft-making’ … funny!

  • Frank

    They should strengthen the law.

    Well done congress! For once?

  • Atheist Max




    America has become a nation of idiots
    because the idiocy of religion
    has taken over the American mind.


    Ronald Reagan
    George W. Bush
    Dick Cheney
    Sarah Palin
    Donald Rumsfeld
    Pat Robertson
    Jerry Falwell


    Osama Bin Laden
    Rudolf Hess
    Adolf Eichmann
    Cardinal Bernard Law
    The Koch Brothers
    Marshall Herff Applewhite, Jr.
    Ayman Al Zawahiri
    Robert Tilton
    Joseph Mengele
    Ayatollah Khomeini
    Hahmoud Ahmadinejad
    Adolf Hitler
    Peter Popoff
    Reichsfuhrer SS Julius Shreck
    Reichsfuhrer SS Joseph Berchtold
    Max Koegl (Manager of Auchwitz)
    Reichsfuhrer SS Erhard Heiden
    Reichsfuhrer SS Heinrich Himmler
    Reichsfuhrer SS Karl Hanke
    Archbishop Cardinal Law
    Adolf Eichmann
    Adolf Deikmann
    Fritz Hardjenstein
    Werner Braune
    Bob Morehead
    Fred Phelps, Sr.
    Oral Roberts
    Jim and Tammy Faye Bakker
    Matthew Hale
    Al Queda
    Billy James Hargis
    Bob Larson
    Jim Jones
    Saddam Hussein
    David Koresh
    John Paulk
    Suicide Bombers
    D.V. Grant
    Mike Warnke
    Emperor Hirohito
    Ariel Sharon
    Yasser Arafat
    Benjamin Netanyahu
    Paul Crouch
    Pat Robertson
    Marcial Maciel Degollado
    Michelle Bachmann
    Sarah Palin
    Franz Stangl
    Paul Blobel
    Hermann Goering
    Josef Kramer
    Jerry Falwell
    Oskar Dirlewanger
    Jimmy Swaggart
    Creflo Dollar
    Ilse Koch
    Joseph Goebbels
    Reverend Sun Myung Moon
    Sunday Adelaja
    Pope Leo X
    Anathole Serromba
    Jean Bertand Aristide
    Mel Gibson
    Benny Hinn
    T.D Jakes
    Dick Cheney
    Adolph Hitler
    Kim Jong-Il
    Kaiser Wilhelm II
    Kim Il Sung
    Rush Limbaugh
    Erst Kaltenbruenner
    Michael Bray
    Paul Jennings Hill
    Father Charles Edward Coughlin
    Tomás de Torquemada
    Emperor Constantine

    If god is good – why does he have such a disgusting marketing team?
    If God is moral, why is he always a fascist?

  • Atheist Max

    Jimmy Carter belongs on this disgusting list, too.

    He brought ‘born again’ status to the level of the Presidency
    (an American embarrassment) and with his latest book
    Carter reveals he can’t believe in God in the same way anymore.
    He acknowledges that religion does too much harm to women.

    Better late than never, Jimmy. I applaud your questioning!

    But Carter will live in infamy with many others on this list
    of deluded fools and rascals!

  • Lles Nats

    Great. Whatever. As long as the individual is reponsible from beginning to end.

  • geneva coats

    Hey Daniel and others whose heads are about to explode (hopefully)….. didn’t your beloved Democrat Congress of 1993 and president Bill Clinton foist the Religious Freedom Restoration Act upon us? Just sayin, you are not really paying attention. Can’t blame Republicans for a Liberal agenda law and a very liberal Supreme Court who couldn’t completely ignore the mandate it contained. No one can be forced to finance activities that are against their deeply held religious views. Except ôf course via our tax dollars. Deems don’t have any problem financing their immoral agendas by taxing us to pay for them.

  • Larry

    The problem is not with RFRA. The problem is applying it to corporations rather than natural people who can have legitimate elisions beliefs. The ideas that one an impute religious belief to something whose existence is merely a filing of papers in a state’s Department of State was utterly ridiculous.

    The distinction between “public” and “closely held” corporations is utterly phony under the law. Even SCOTUS knew they were writing a stinker of a decision. But they wanted to justify a desired end but in such a way it could not really be applied elsewhere. They knew it was a fundamentally intellectually dishonest decision and li tied the ruling for purposes of damage control.

    Applying RFRA to corporations destroys its purpose and gives greater coercive power to those who already have it in spades. If the purpose of the law is to allow redress to those who lack power otherwise, it has failed with this little unwarranted amendment.

    Leave it to conservatives to twist laws beyond all sane reason to make it easier for corporations to attack individual liberties.

  • Joseph Santos

    hmm I’m on the fence on this one. i can see both sides of the argument. I do think that this issue shouldn’t even have made it to the supreme court and that religious beliefs shouldn’t have been used as the reason to deny coverage for these contraceptives. But I CAN see why someone wouldn’t want to pay to have these included in health care coverage.

    First, the entire purpose of a health care system is that everyone pays a little bit for the few that get sick. So if I’m looking at it from the perspective of getting sick and treating sickness, I don’t know if I can see contraceptives as treating a sickness. I mean we all get cancer or malaria or the flu and they’re all random, equal opportunist diseases (to an extent), so you can clearly see how those things should be covered. But not all of us get pregnant, and it’s not a random thing that you can get – you need to actually physically do something consensual on your part to actually get pregnant (Different issue for rape victims). So on the issue of sickness I can’t vouch for contraceptives.

    Then there’s the issue of wellness. And that, I can see how contraceptives should be covered on the basis of wellness. But there’s a lot of things you could consider to be part of the wellness of the human body. Couldn’t you make the argument (and a pretty convincing one) that vitamins do more for the overall human wellness than contraceptives do? So why shouldn’t the orange juice I bought at the market be covered by my insurance? Or to compare something more similar, why aren’t condoms covered by insurance?

    Anyways, the fact that the SCOTUS was split just goes to show that it’s an issue that’s evenly divided among people and that both sides have a fair argument. I do think that the religious freedom reason shouldn’t have been used to deny coverage, and I do think certain contraceptives should be included in health care, but if they weren’t included I can certainly see valid reasons for it that don’t include religion.

  • Larry

    And with no opinion on corporate religious belief you make Hobby Lobby’s position sound more reasonable than reality permits.

    SCOTUS will be divided on any issue with a blatantly partisan bent. ACA covers wellness in a sane fashion. Most diagnostic testing is covered. Your orange juice analogy betrays a fundamental ignorance of the purpose of health insurance a way to Make the anti-contraception POV sound reasonable when it clearly is not. Insurance covers what would be troublesome to pay out f pocket. In the case of contraception, it means effective ones for women. Many are expensive or require medical implantation.

    The idea of parsing out which contraceptive should be covered on what amounts to purely arbitrary and capricious (in this case also factually incorrect) reasons is ridiculous. The religious belief of the employer is not a legitimate reason to deny or limit healthcare options of employees.

    Pretty much the arguments people use here in favor of Hobby Lobby require willful omission, ignorance of facts or in he case of the SCOTUS decision blatant intellectual dishonesty.

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  • Randy jessop

    Not sure we’re you are getting your information, the original religious reformation restoration act was approved by Bill Clinton ( A Democrat) in 1993. It was originally mentioned to address native Americans use of peyote in their religious ceremonies. Although I am suspect of the ne ed of the law myself I have not encountered an case of this law being used to descriminate against anyone based on race, color or sexual orientation. I am also sceptic of the way the law is written that any of those types of discrimination would not be covered under this. This law the way it is worded seems to restrict governments ability to force religious people to do thing that are not accepted by their religious beliefs.