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Hobby Lobby

Discussion in 'Politics' started by Darth_Revan, Jul 1, 2014.

  1. Darth_Revan

    Darth_Revan Secret Squirrel Prestige DLP Supporter

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    Today was the last day of the US Supreme Court's spring term, and I'm sure everyone has seen a headline somewhere about the 5-4 ruling in favor of Hobby Lobby saying that small family-held businesses have religious rights under a 90's law, the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, that can trump federal regulations that violate their beliefs. In case you haven't, what with the World Cup and all, here's the coverage from SCOTUSBlog, which has the majority and dissenting opinions.

    In the aftermath, the media aren't wasting time. A poll from Reuters/Ipsos came out this afternoon that said:

    As a Democrat, I'm annoyed. As someone who is male but pro-choice, I'm troubled for what this means for female friends who work for small businesses, which might suddenly decided that all manner of things violate their religious beliefs. And as an Atheist, I'm disgusted by my country's latest insistence that the religious views of some are allowed to be forced on the day-to-day life choices of others. I'm all for your freedom to practice your religion, whatever it is, so long as you do it on your own time, off public property and resist the urge to shove it down my throat.

    As a matter of public policy, for the last few decades in the US, there has been a steady blurring of Thomas Jefferson's immutable wall between the Church and the State. Republicans insist--and many Democrats concede--that religion is involved in the decisions made in the halls of power around the country. But only in a very limited class of things are the concerns of religious institutions allowed to trump the state, namely religious institutions being given special treatment for taxation, etc. I think this ruling opens the door to private institutions trying to claim some of those privileges. It's bad precedent, it's bad law, and it's bad for America.
     
  2. Heather_Sinclair

    Heather_Sinclair Minister of Magic

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    Just to be a little more specific so as not to raise the "they is taking my pill from me" "war on women" hysteria. Most forms of contraceptive are approved by Hobby Lobby:

    It doesn't affect:
    • Most birth control pills (there are almost always restrictions on certain types which vary from insurance company to insurance company)

    • Condoms
    • Sponges
    • Sterilization

    The ones they don't agree with are:
    • Plan B "morning-after pill"
    • Ella "morning-after pill"
    • Hormonal and copper intrauterine devices (IUDs)


    The first two, in their opinion, are abortion pills, and the IUD prevents a fertilized egg from attaching to the uterus (in effect aborting again).
     
  3. Darth_Revan

    Darth_Revan Secret Squirrel Prestige DLP Supporter

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    The birth control issue is important, but it's a side issue to the Roberts Court continuing to extend personal rights to corporations. Corporations can't vote, but they can spend as much as they want to buy yours. Now corporations can't go to church, but they can still say it's okay, it's because they're religious while they violate your rights.
     
  4. Perspicacity

    Perspicacity High Score: 3,994 Prestige DLP Supporter DLP Gold Supporter

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    We learned today that the Roberts court totally digs single-payer coverage, provided it's only for ladies' birth control. Talk about sticking to one's principles.

    Can't wait for "religous" companies to start forcing their employees to tithe with otherwise illegal payroll deductions. Gotta do the Lord's work.
     
  5. Pasta Sentient

    Pasta Sentient Disappeared

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    It's their companies. They can do what they want. If you don't like it, don't work for their company. You have that freedom in the USA.
     
  6. frodrick

    frodrick Slug Club Member

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    The purpose of a corporation is to create a separate "person" (I use the term loosely) in order to maximize profits while limiting personal financial liability for any losses. If the owner(s) of a corporation are to be held as identical to the corporation itself, it defeats the purpose of a corporation. Imagine suing not the Coca-Cola Company, but each stockholder of the Coca-Cola Company.

    Or imagine that the owners of a corporation declare that their religious beliefs are against child labor laws, and they will hire as many child mine workers as they want, dammit.
     
  7. Wildfeather

    Wildfeather Seventh Year Prestige

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    Which religion has that belief again?

    Anti-religious rhetoric is always amusing in its ridiculousness.
     
  8. awinarock

    awinarock Fourth Champion

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    Sure, but what happens if other corporations start using religion as an excuse to enact bull shit employment policies and site this case a precedent? Then what do you do? Move to another country?

    I'm pretty sure that that wasn't anti-religious rhetoric. I think frodrick was trying to say that corporations would twist religion, like so many others have in the past and will in the future, for their personal benefit.
     
    Last edited: Jul 1, 2014
  9. Darth_Revan

    Darth_Revan Secret Squirrel Prestige DLP Supporter

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    That's effectively a de facto policy of employment discrimination based on religion, because it would force out anyone who didn't hold the same views. Which is illegal. See Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.
     
  10. Pasta Sentient

    Pasta Sentient Disappeared

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    The company is that person's property. They have the right to choose what they do with it. I do not believe discrimination is right, but you are taking away the freedom of someone who does have certain views when you say that they -have- to hire someone whose views they may disagree with. It can go either way.

    If this case had gone the other way, then you are forcing a group of people to do what they think is immoral. The way the case went...how is this in anyway forcing the beliefs of religion on others? They just do not wish to pay for something that they believe is immoral. How is that wrong? They will lose workers to other companies that do offer that incentive, but it is their choice to do such.

    What is truly forcing the beliefs on someone is when you make laws, as the current administration has done, forcing someone to do what they believe is immoral.

    There are those that say they could now claim any manner of civil indignities because of religious beliefs; however I would say that the same could be done in the name of 'equality'.

    Religious liberty must be maintained in the United States. Otherwise, we will be a Representative Democracy in name only. The more government enforces on the people, the less ability the people have to create a better life.
     
  11. Silens Cursor

    Silens Cursor The Silencer DLP Supporter

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    ...yeah, funny thing about that, it'd be nice if said 'policing against immorality' was any kind of consistent or not specifically targeted at specific demographics. Heather already pointed out that condoms, certain birth control pills, and other methods were covered - or that every form of male birth control, such as it is, is covered - so Hobby Lobby's religious 'intent' to not act immorally is awfully shaky (and really only applies to women).

    Oh, and said mandate only covers the contraceptive part, not covering insurance mandates, like for blood transfusions or vaccinations (which some religions have opposed) - so not only is the Supreme Court's mandate a direct insult against female sexuality, it's also radically inconsistent when it comes to broader assertions of religious 'freedoms'.

    And here's the thing: by ruling favour of Hobby Lobby, you are setting precedent that certain corporations belonging to certain religions have protection from government mandates - simply because of an assertion of 'they don't want to act immorally'. Now, correct me if I'm wrong, but they are only supplying the coverage - is it not the consumer of the pill who is acting immorally? And since the pill has other functions - the one that immediately leaps to mind is skin care - Hobby Lobby has no way of knowing consumption of the pill would be specifically targeted for what they consider abortion (a extremely stretched definition if I've seen one). They have a significantly lessened claim to making an 'immoral' act, and instead reveal themselves as a discriminatory organization who are trying to legislate women's sexuality, at least amongst their employees. This is discriminatory policy (which is illegal under the Civil Rights Act of 1964), and one that sets a dangerous, counterproductive precedent for future challenges.

    In other words, it was made of stupidity, and anyone saying that this was a serious threat to religious freedoms is speaking from a disgustingly myopic vision of the rights and privileges that religious organizations enjoy in the US. And this is me speaking as a Catholic and saying "this is fucking asinine".
     
  12. halfwaydecent

    halfwaydecent Fourth Year

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    As for people just hiding behind religion in order to do various things (like the example given of child labor laws) in the name of religious freedom, the Constitution does say that you can believe whatever you want, but if it is illegal you can't actually practice it. Therefore some Company X can't hide behind religious freedom as justification for an illegal act.

    Besides if Hobby Lobby and Chik-Fil-A don't want to provide for abortions which are against their religion (and based on the actions of those two companies it's clear they are actually religious and not just hiding behind religion), how is that wrong?

    They way that Hobby Lobby sees it is that the pill does nothing that other medicines can't achieve without the same effects on a person's reproductive system. Also, Hobby Lobby and the Church itself believes that providing someone the means for an abortion is a serious sin so it makes sense that they would refuse to provide contraceptives.
     
    Last edited: Jul 1, 2014
  13. Pasta Sentient

    Pasta Sentient Disappeared

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    We will have to disagree to disagree, because forcing a company to provide the means to murder a child is something that I hope everyone finds immoral. This is not an attack against 'female sexuality,' but rather the defense of human life.

    I am certainly for women having the right to vote, have jobs, and be equal to men; but that child is -not- their body. It is a responsibility that they now have regardless of how they received it. Accident or purposeful.

    I agree that our government is incredibly inconsistent with how they deal with religious freedom in our nation; but that is the result of numerous changes in our government. The result of being a democracy.

    However, I do think it is incredibly ridiculous that 9 people who have not been voted for are allowed to make such decisions.
     
  14. Zennith

    Zennith Pebble Wrestler Prestige

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    Talk to me next time you're a woman.
     
  15. Perspicacity

    Perspicacity High Score: 3,994 Prestige DLP Supporter DLP Gold Supporter

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    Nice strawman, cribbed straight from Fox's "news" feeds. Inspired, truly.

    (Another for the Ignore List.)
     
  16. Pasta Sentient

    Pasta Sentient Disappeared

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    As you are not a woman either according to your profile, I fail to understand your point? I base my knowledge off my conversations with pregnant women, women who have had abortions, and doctors. My mother once had an abortion. So do not think I am just mindlessly spouting off rhetoric. These are my beliefs after much interaction and thought.

    Even one who does not believe that life begins at conception must agree that life will eventually occur unless there are complications or an abortion.

    It is estimated that since 1973 around 50 million abortions have been performed in the United States. That is more than 8 times the number of Jews killed in the holocaust. That is 50 million people who do not exist. 50 million people of whom could have cured cancer, been an olympic athlete, offered something great to our society.

    I'll just end with this in this thread. If your mother had had an abortion, you would not even be able to be having this discussion. I don't know about you, but I would rather exist than not exist.

    Edit: I don't watch Fox news. Cspan is the way to go.
     
    Last edited: Jul 1, 2014
  17. Zennith

    Zennith Pebble Wrestler Prestige

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    I'm not a woman. But you'll find I don't profess to speak for them, either. Or try to dictate their actions that I'm incapable as a male of truly understanding properly.
     
  18. Solomon

    Solomon Heir

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    Horseshit. A ruling against Hobby Lobby would force companies like Hobby Lobby to reconsider how they handle insurance. They could throw it entirely over to a third party and be perfectly okay.

    Also from your other posts in this thread I really wonder: do you know what contraception does?
     
  19. Taure

    Taure Magical Core Enthusiast Prestige DLP Supporter

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    Abortion

    Pasta Sentient, let's say you're right and the foetus is alive. Let's say, for the sake of argument, that it's not part of the woman's body. I don't believe these things, but I'll be generous so as to show that abortion should still be legal even within your belief system.

    Imagine a man dying in a hospital. He needs a new kidney, but there isn't one available. In the bed next to him is a healthy man who is a perfect donor match. He has two healthy kidneys. One of them could be removed and he could live on with the same lifestyle.

    But he doesn't want to donate.

    Can the hospital forcibly take the kidney from the healthy patient to save the dying patient's life?

    Very few people would say yes. And why is that? It's because we believe that the right to personal self-determination beats that of the right to life. It might be laudable for the healthy person to donate their kidney, but in no way is it required.

    So it doesn't matter if the foetus is alive. It doesn't matter if it's separate from the woman's body. The foetus' continued life depends on the woman's body like the dying man depends on the healthy man. It depends on violating her self-determination.

    You may say that the man with the kidney is not analogous, but the main disanalogies are exactly the things you wish to deny: that the foetus is part of the woman's body, and that it's a developing life, not an established one.

    ---------------

    Businesses

    On the subject of businesses, it's a massive over-simplification to call them a person's private property which can be used in any way the owner likes.

    1. A business affects more people than the owner. A gun is the property of its owner, but that doesn't mean you can go around shooting everyone. A person can do whatever they like with his or her property only so long as it doesn't affect other people.

    2. A business is a separate legal entity to its owner and there are rules governing that relationship. A person cannot just use their business' accounts like their own personal accounts, for example. Different taxes apply to business than to people. Using your business to dodge tax is fraud. The bigger the company, the more complex the rules governing the relationship, and the less like property the company becomes. Look up board room rights.

    3. A business is a social institution. In a capitalistic economy, the citizenry have decided that free private enterprise shall be the primary means by which labour is organised. Businesses thus have a role within society, a purpose. Most of the time they can be left to get on with it, but market failure happens and when it does, it's up to the citizens to restructure things to put the market back on track.

    There are all kinds of market failure. There are negative externalities, such as a business polluting but not having to pay the costs of that pollution. The cost of the pollution is not factored into the market. There can be a lack of competition, like monopolies or collusion. This distorts the price mechanism, which depends on competition.

    In the USA, the people have decided that healthcare will be provided for the people by the private sector. And that's fine. A great many countries have high quality accessible healthcare using a system of private insurance. The US system is broken, but that's not the topic today. In the US a key part of how the system is set up is the employee healthcare plan. It is therefore part of the social role of businesses to provide healthcare for their employees. It's just part of the system that the people have decided upon.

    Now, if you don't think businesses should have that role, fine. Change to another system, e.g. the government provides healthcare directly and raises taxes to fund it, including taxes on businesses. But you can't stay within the same system but allow one element of it to drop its responsibilities.
     
    Last edited: Jul 1, 2014
  20. Blinker

    Blinker Seventh Year DLP Supporter

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    @taure (bit too long to quote)

    I'd say that the big disanalogy that will be argued for by some one opposing abortion, at least from your classic catholic philosopher standpoint, is the act-omission difference. We have to interfere in the mans life to take his kidney; letting things progress as they usually do will be sufficient in the case of the pregnant woman. The typical analogy of the violin player using someone as a dialysis machine (can't remember who originally formulated it) captures this distinction and does, from personal conversational experience, produce different gut responses.

    P.s. A little irony, I'm remembering the thought experiment from Singer, the original source is "defense of abortion" by Thomson.

    Feel I should clarify that I don't believe a foetus is anything like a person and hence believe it is incapable of having rights. Also am suspicious of the act-omission distinction
     
    Last edited: Jul 1, 2014
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