Today, in a 5-4 decision, the Supreme Court stated that religious belief (backed with a lot of cash) is more important than actual scientific and medical fact.
Hobby Lobby, a chain of craft stores, decided it didn’t want to cover birth control in its mandated employee health insurance because its owners oppose abortion and felt that birth control pills were an abortifacient. These beliefs are wrong — that is, factually incorrect — but nevertheless we had to let the Supreme Court decide just how important actual facts are.
Turns out, if the facts can be ignored in favor of wealthy corporations and against women, they aren’t that big of a deal. So Hobby Lobby is now free to execute its religious freedom in denying health care to women.
Some other facts that need to be ignored:
1) Hobby Lobby does the bulk of its business with China, where abortion is mandated by the state, but that doesn’t seem to compromise their beliefs.
2) Hobby Lobby invests, as part of its pension plan, in companies that manufacture birth control pills, but that doesn’t seem to compromise their beliefs.
3) Hobby Lobby’s employee health insurance covers vasectomies, as that doesn’t seem to compromise their beliefs.
These firmly held religious beliefs only seem to matter when they both affect women and make instead of cost money.
Now, I know what you’re thinking. “What if the boss is a Jehovah’s Witness? Are they exempt from paying for blood transfusions? Scientologist and psychiatrists? Christian Scientist and any health care at all?” You’re right to wonder that, but don’t worry; the ruling specifically says those don’t apply here. Why? I don’t know, but I can guess. For one thing, religious beliefs are varied, and there are differing opinions on what is and isn’t permitted, but one thing they all seem to agree on is that women are filthy whores whose slut-holes must be vigilantly monitored by their male superiors. Also, and this is a sort of by-the-by, but I guess the Supreme Court can now decide which religion is true and right (conservative Christianity) and which are bullshit nonsense we don’t have to acknowledge (all others). No big deal there.
We know that Corporations have Freedom of Speech. And they’re people. Now they have Religious Beliefs. It seems like they can do just about anything these days except go to jail when they break the law.
This was a golden opportunity for the right wing. It simultaneously got to help a corporation do whatever the hell it wanted to do AND state how unclean and wanton women are for thinking about non-procreative sex. It came as no surprise to anyone who has had to make herself content in the knowledge that Corporatism and Corporate-friendly Christianity get the last word on anything in this country anymore. We don’t need facts, we don’t even need common sense, we just need whatever Milton Friedman and Wall Street Jesus tell us they deeply believe.
It’s hard to find any winner other than Corporatism in this ruling. Even the evangelicals who have been fooled into thinking the GOP gives a damn about their sincere religious beliefs don’t win, because let me assure you, if you sincerely believed that Jesus would have wanted capital gains taxed at a higher rate you’d find out in a second what your allies think of you.
It’s am embarrassing mess of nonsense, this ruling. It follows the trend of corporate entities gaining more rights and actual human beings losing them. And I don’t see how we’ll ever retreat from this “progress”.
Now if you’ll excuse me, I have to fill out my What I Did With My Genitals This Weekend report and get it onto my boss’ desk.