It's been a weird month. Two weeks ago when I called for a sexual predator's post to be taken down, all the progressive Christians were like: YES! and PREACH! And "thank you!" and #Solidarity and #Sisterhood. Today when I tweeted that I agreed with the SCOTUS ruling, suddenly I became an anti-woman rape apologist. Because of COURSE.
Among a plethora of bossy, angry tweets, I was accused of believing "that raped women should just live with it." Another progressive Christian dude suggested I should "call it a day." Because as long as he's progressive, there's nothing sexist about a man telling a woman to shut up, am I right?
To his credit, the guy apologized. But the women? Not so much. Here lies #Sisterhood, she died on Twitter.
Well, maybe the Internet just needs a nap. And a glass of wine.
Still, I gotta take responsibility. Twitter is a difficult place for in-depth discussions. Pretty sure nobody walks away from a Twitter argument and is all: Wow, that TOTALLY changed my mind. So, in that regard, I kinda asked for it because *I* engaged on Twitter and *I* argued on Twitter and *I* tweeted lots of stuff.
So MEA CULPA, MEA MAXIMA CULPA.
But now that we're here on my nice, comfy blog, I can discuss in depth. Mwah-ha-ha!
So. FIRST THINGS FIRST.
A handy little Hobby Lobby Kerfuffle Timeline (all quotes from SCOTUS found in today's majority ruling available HERE)
1. ObamaCare becomes law
2. ObamaCare requires contraceptive coverage. But Congress did not specify which types must be covered (generally speaking, for-profit companies must cover the 20 kinds approved by FDA)
3. Owners of three, closely-held, private for-profit corporations believe that life begins at conception and thus, mandatory coverage of 4 types of contraception (which, according to current FDA labeling, may have abortifacient properties) are a violation of their religious beliefs.
4. They sue HHS.
5. They are denied, courts claiming for-profit companies cannot "engage in religious exercise."
6. 10th Circuit Court reverses that decision, saying that under the Religious Freedom Restoration Act of 1993, the government is prohibited from substantially burdening a person's exercise of religion. Under this act, Hobby Lobby qualifies as a "person" due to it being a closely-held, privately-owned, family company.
7. The Supreme Court agrees with the 10th Circuit court, noting that since HHS conceded that a for-profit company "can be a 'person' under RFRA" so can a for-profit company. In other words, just because a company MAKES MONEY doesn't negate its "person" status when seeking judicial protection from the substantial burden of, in this case, the HHS contraceptive mandate.
8. The Supreme Court further noted that "protecting the free exercise rights of closely-held corporations thus protects the religious liberty of the humans who own and control them."
9. The Court made clear that this ruling is for contraceptive mandate only and "should not be understood to hold that all insurance-coverage mandates, e.g., for vaccinations or blood transfusions must necessarily fall if they conflict with an employer's religious beliefs. Nor does it provide a shield for employers who might cloak illegal discrimination as a religious practice." In other words, THIS case is concerned with the contraceptive mandate and is not intended to set a precedent for other religious beliefs, which should be dealt with separately.
Reasons Why I Commend This Ruling:
1. I believe in religious liberty. Religious liberty is the source from which all other freedoms flow. I support religious liberty for EVERY religious group, not just the ones I happen to agree with theologically.
2. I grew up in a cult and I have a severe allergy to ANYONE--government included--telling me which religious beliefs I'm allowed to exercise and which I am not. Mandatory ANYTHING gives me hives. Also, my husband owns and operates a small business. We have employees. It would take me like five hours to explain how freaking DIFFICULT it is to own a small business in California. How insane it is to do taxes, pay 8 billion fees, insurances, coverages, workers' comp, liabilities, etc etc. etc. We comply. But damn. Government makes it HARD. Our country was founded on the principles of small government and I still believe small businesses are the backbone of this country. Therefore, I'm just philosophically opposed to unnecessary government intrusion.
SIDEBARS, CAVEATS & DISCLAIMERS!!!!
A. Do I think Hobby Lobby is hypocritical for removing coverage of these contraceptives only AFTER ObamaCare is passed? Sure. Doesn't change my opinion about this ruling. SINCERITY is not a qualifier for religious belief. It just needs to BE the belief. Our Courts are not in the business of determining whether someone's beliefs are SINCERE or not. There is no litmus test for Sincerity. If there was, I'm pretty sure we'd ALL fail. Because nobody is a Perfect Believer. Amen and amen.
B. Should companies be required to cover blood transfusions and vaccinations despite holding contrary religious beliefs? YES. And again, THAT issue is NOT what this case was about.
C. Am I a crazy Tweeter? YES. But I love this stuff. I realize I'm totally just an armchair Constitutional scholar. I like to read. And I read a lot. I like big books and I cannot lie.
D. Let's all go drink wine. Or not. If that's against your religious belief. Kool-Aid will do. KIDDING! KIDDING! OH MY WORD, kidding!
E. Lastly, in the immortal words of my husband: "What have you been talking about all day? Handy-Dandy?" #NailedIt