Hobby Lobby Case

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AlyssaEimers's picture
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Hobby Lobby Case

Hobby Lobby Wins Contraceptive Ruling in Supreme Court - ABC News

The article is 3 pages long so I am not going to copy and paste here. It is the top story on all the news sites.

Debate: Good or bad decision? What will this mean for insurance going forward and other fall outs?"

AlyssaEimers's picture
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I am very excited about this decision. I feel strongly that owning a company should not strip you of your religious rights. I do think this will have wide and far reaching repercussions. As for the insurance issue, I do not believe employers should be the ones providing insurance. Insurance should be separate from work, where you can buy whatever plan you want without having to go through your employer forcing them to provide you with something they may object to. Also preventing someone like me who is a SAHM or someone who is unemployed from being able to buy the same coverage as someone with a job.

Joined: 03/08/03
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I think when you become a corporation then you don't have the right to inflict your religious beliefs on your employees. So I think the decision is wrong. I think it opens the door to all kinds of other issues, like having health coverage that doesn't cover blood transfusions, or use of animal products, or other specifics that are particular to someone's beliefs.

At the very least, I would hope they are VERY up front about this when hiring new employees. But I think it's a bad decision.

GloriaInTX's picture
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I think it is a very good decision. Forcing corporations to provide mandated healthcare coverage is what is putting them in this predicament. If they don't want to provide health coverage that covers blood transfusions or whatever else is against their religious beliefs they shouldn't have to. They are not forcing their beliefs on their employees by not providing something for free. Their employees are free to use whatever contraceptives they want to purchase.

AlyssaEimers's picture
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"freddieflounder101" wrote:

I think when you become a corporation then you don't have the right to inflict your religious beliefs on your employees. So I think the decision is wrong. I think it opens the door to all kinds of other issues, like having health coverage that doesn't cover blood transfusions, or use of animal products, or other specifics that are particular to someone's beliefs.

At the very least, I would hope they are VERY up front about this when hiring new employees. But I think it's a bad decision.

Would you like there to be a law that said if you were a corporation that you had to buy each of your employees a bible? Owning a company should not make you have to pay for something that you believe is morally wrong. Again, if insurance was separate from employment none of this would be an issue.

Joined: 03/08/03
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So...what if their religion tells them that paying taxes is wrong? What if their religion tells them that women getting paid the same as men is wrong? If my religion prohibits eating pork and my employee gets sick from eating pork, can I stop insurance from covering his/her medical bills? Religious freedom, baby!

And what happens when their employees can't afford birth control? I only hope they offer great maternity leave and family support for employees with kids.

Spacers's picture
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Very bad decision. As I've stated multiple times, when you choose to incorporate, you are legally removing *you* from the company, you can't be personally sued for debts the company incurs, you have no personal obligations to the company, you are sheltered from the tax obligations of the company, and in exchange for those legal protections you lose your right to exercise your personal points of view in some ways. Allowing these companies to claim that the companies have a religious right is absolutely wrong. Corporations can not have religious beliefs. At the least it does seem that the court limited this ruling to only a few very closely-held companies, but it's still a very bad decision.

GloriaInTX's picture
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"freddieflounder101" wrote:

So...what if their religion tells them that paying taxes is wrong? What if their religion tells them that women getting paid the same as men is wrong? If my religion prohibits eating pork and my employee gets sick from eating pork, can I stop insurance from covering his/her medical bills? Religious freedom, baby!

And what happens when their employees can't afford birth control? I only hope they offer great maternity leave and family support for employees with kids.

It would be very easy to solve this problem. Don't force corporations to provide healthcare. The government should not be deciding what healthcare a business has to provide. If the corporation is going to provide healthcare they should be able to decide what coverage they want to provide. The same as if a person wants healthcare they should not be forced to buy coverage that covers contraception or whatever other medical choices they want to make. The government mandating what coverage you have to have is not freedom of any kind.

Spacers's picture
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"GloriaInTX" wrote:

It would be very easy to solve this problem. Don't force corporations to provide healthcare. The government should not be deciding what healthcare a business has to provide. If the corporation is going to provide healthcare they should be able to decide what coverage they want to provide. The same as if a person wants healthcare they should not be forced to buy coverage that covers contraception or whatever other medical choices they want to make. The government mandating what coverage you have to have is not freedom of any kind.

Another easy solution: if you want to keep such personal control of your business, then don't incorporate.

GloriaInTX's picture
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"Spacers" wrote:

Another easy solution: if you want to keep such personal control of your business, then don't incorporate.

You shouldn't have to give up your religious rights to incorporate.

AlyssaEimers's picture
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"Spacers" wrote:

Very bad decision. As I've stated multiple times, when you choose to incorporate, you are legally removing *you* from the company, you can't be personally sued for debts the company incurs, you have no personal obligations to the company, you are sheltered from the tax obligations of the company, and in exchange for those legal protections you lose your right to exercise your personal points of view in some ways. Allowing these companies to claim that the companies have a religious right is absolutely wrong. Corporations can not have religious beliefs. At the least it does seem that the court limited this ruling to only a few very closely-held companies, but it's still a very bad decision.

The supreme court and although I do not have any states on this I believe at least half the country disagrees with you. Owning a company does not strip you of all your freedoms. Nor should it.

mom3girls's picture
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I believe the constitution was upheld today. And I loved the brief written by justice Alito.

I also believe it is important to point out that this is not an attack on woman's rights, the pills in question are still readily available. The only thing that changed today was who has to pay for them.

Joined: 03/08/03
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A few things.

One, Hobby Lobby has been investing in pharmaceutical companies that actually make birth control pills. So they need to get their "morality" in order.

Two, they had better start offering the best maternity & paternity leave on the planet if they really want to show morality. If they don't believe in birth control, they'd better believe in making it financially possible for people to raise families.

If they REALLY want to put their money where their mouthpieces are, then they need to go in whole hog. They need to pull out their investments from the companies that make the morning after pill, IUDs, etc., because right now they are profiting off of the very thing they don't want to pay for for their employees. And those employees are going to get pregnant if they can't afford birth control, which gets very expensive when it's not covered by insurance.

OR...the real result of this will be that the government will have to offer additional coverage to the people who work there, which doesn't sound like something everybody is going to be happy about. They'll pick up the slack.

I don't see how this is a good decision. Religious rights have to do with making choices for yourself, not for others.

KimPossible's picture
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The government needs to get its head on straight. Is access to affordable birth control something they truly feel is a right? Or is it something they feel that you should have 'as long as your employer thinks you should have it'. There is no place for the second option...thats ridiculous. Our employers should not be deciding other people's morality.

If people want corporations to be part of the equation in providing health care to everyone, then you can't say "everyone should have access to birth control" as part of the rules and then say "but not really" after the fact. Either its something everyone is supposed to have access to or its not.

Bonita, you say you don't want corporations as part of the healthcare equation...but you seemed to take issue with the private exchanges in past debates too due to how expensive it is. Thats one thing about corporations providing it as a benefit, it helps keep it more affordable. Just curious what kind of healthcare set up you actually want? A single payer system? Something else?

Ultimately people have to stop viewing allowing other people to make their own choices about whats right or wrong as a reflection upon their own morality. You can believe contraception is wrong and still let your individual, independant thinking employees who are not extensions of your master mind decide for themselves if its wrong. Just like you can be a citizen of this country and think homosexuality is wrong but let your fellow citizens, who are not you...they are themselves, decide if its wrong. The last doesn't have to really do with this debate...its just an analogy and another example of this "If I let other people exercise their free will to do something I think is wrong...I"m sinning too!" mentality. I hate it.

AlyssaEimers's picture
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"KimPossible" wrote:

The government needs to get its head on straight. Is access to affordable birth control something they truly feel is a right? Or is it something they feel that you should have 'as long as your employer thinks you should have it'. There is no place for the second option...thats ridiculous. Our employers should not be deciding other people's morality.

If people want corporations to be part of the equation in providing health care to everyone, then you can't say "everyone should have access to birth control" as part of the rules and then say "but not really" after the fact. Either its something everyone is supposed to have access to or its not.

Bonita, you say you don't want corporations as part of the healthcare equation...but you seemed to take issue with the private exchanges in past debates too due to how expensive it is. Thats one thing about corporations providing it as a benefit, it helps keep it more affordable. Just curious what kind of healthcare set up you actually want? A single payer system? Something else?

Ultimately people have to stop viewing allowing other people to make their own choices about whats right or wrong as a reflection upon their own morality. You can believe contraception is wrong and still let your individual, independant thinking employees who are not extensions of your master mind decide for themselves if its wrong. Just like you can be a citizen of this country and think homosexuality is wrong but let your fellow citizens, who are not you...they are themselves, decide if its wrong. The last doesn't have to really do with this debate...its just an analogy and another example of this "If I let other people exercise their free will to do something I think is wrong...I"m sinning too!" mentality. I hate it.

So everyone has rights except for business owners? This is not about telling your employee that they can't have certain kinds of BC (BC that many feel is abortion or killing an unborn child), it is about forcing someone to pay for something they think is morally wrong. Just because you follow a dream and start a business, it does not mean that that dream strips you of all human rights.

As for how insurance should be, I believe you should be able to buy it like you buy anything else. That several "stores" sell it, and you shop around for the best price and value and buy what you want. I think there should be Government oversite (no gouging), but not Government control.

AlyssaEimers's picture
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I would love to see a poll on what percent of people think that small businesses and corporations should not have religious freedoms.

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I don't see dictating policy for OTHERS as a religious freedom. And it's particularly hypocritical to invest in the very products you claim you don't want to pay for.

KimPossible's picture
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"AlyssaEimers" wrote:

So everyone has rights except for business owners?

Sure they have rights...but they should not have the right to deprive their employees of something the government has deemed people should have. That is a ridiculous and rather frightening right. They have rights...THIS should not be one of them.

This is not about telling your employee that they can't have certain kinds of BC (BC that many feel is abortion or killing an unborn child),

Yes it is...because the government says that it should be part of people's healthcare plans, and is relying on employers to be part of that system that gets healthcare to everyone.

it is about forcing someone to pay for something they think is morally wrong. Just because you follow a dream and start a business, it does not mean that that dream strips you of all human rights.

ALL of your human rights? Thats a bit dramatic. An employer is paying for healthcare and is not in any way responsible for the way some individual that doesn't share their religion chooses to use that healthcare. If the employer feels like they are sinning by the fact that their employee, whom they should have no personal lifestyle control over, wants to get birth control, which is legal in this country...then that is their problem they will need to reconcile personally. If your religion makes it impossible to live in a country and interact with people of other religions...then that is a personal problem, it should not be the problem of an employee who is simply trying to gett healthcare through the channels that their government has deemed appropriate.

If i give an adult child 50 dollars and say "Here, go take care of yourself with this" and then the child in turn uses that to do something immoral...I am not responsible for that. If an employer provides healthcare to an employee and then in turn that employee uses it to get birth control....that is on the employee, not the employer. If the employer think they are sinning in that scenario...then like i said, time to move to a religious state where people are controlled and restricted to the same religious practices you are.

We live in a country that is trying to provide healthcare to the masses. The masses don't have a religion. If these things are problematic to someone....then a)fight the idea of providing healthcare to the masses, it obviously doesn't jive well with them. or b)fight for a religion based government so they don't have to worry about these conflicts.

If people are going to live with other people of different religions they need to stop looking at an integrated society being something that causes themselves to sin. Hobby Lobby's money is going into all sorts of people's pockets that likely sin in their eyes. Its not like they have control over anything their employees do with their paycheck. I guaruntee you some of them are doing sinful things with that money. Like I said, if you can't integrate yourself with other religions...then you need to live in a country that has an official religion. A business owners OWN religious beliefs should not interfere with something that a non religious government has declared a healthcare right for its people.

Actually, I would have less of a problem with people trying to fight the idea that birth control should be a healthcare right in the first place, then I would with this notion that it can be a right that only some people have to abide by but large corporations don't.

As for how insurance should be, I believe you should be able to buy it like you buy anything else. That several "stores" sell it, and you shop around for the best price and value and buy what you want. I think there should be Government oversite (no gouging), but not Government control.

So like a healthcare exchange? Thats what it is you know.

From wikipedia

In the United States, health insurance marketplaces,[1] also called health exchanges, are organizations set up to facilitate the purchase of health insurance in each state in accordance with Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (known colloquially, and sometimes pejoratively, as "Obamacare"). Marketplaces provide a set of government-regulated and standardized health care plans from which individuals may purchase health insurance policies eligible for federal subsidies.

KimPossible's picture
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I edited this post. Because while i liked the qusetion i had in it...i don't want my other post to be skipped and this one the only one that its responded to.

GloriaInTX's picture
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You do understand that Hobby Lobby covers contraceptives right? The only thing they don't want to cover is the morning after pills and IUDs. So are you saying that there should be some kind of RIGHT to FREE morning after pills and IUDs?

The Green family has no moral objection to the use of 16 of 20 preventive contraceptives required in the mandate, and Hobby Lobby will continue its longstanding practice of covering these preventive contraceptives for its employees. However, the Green family cannot provide or pay for four potentially life-threatening drugs and devices. These drugs include Plan B and Ella, the so-called morning-after pill and the week-after pill. Covering these drugs and devices would violate their deeply held religious belief that life begins at the moment of conception, when an egg is fertilized.

Reminder: Hobby Lobby Provides Coverage for 16 Types of Contraception - Katie Pavlich

KimPossible's picture
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"GloriaInTX" wrote:

You do understand that Hobby Lobby covers contraceptives right? The only thing they don't want to cover is the morning after pills and IUDs. So are you saying that there should be some kind of RIGHT to FREE morning after pills and IUDs?

Reminder: Hobby Lobby Provides Coverage for 16 Types of Contraception - Katie Pavlich

There should not be a discrepancy between what the government says needs to be covered and what certain corporations do cover.

(well thats my opinion at least...obviously enough men on the supreme court don't agree)

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An IUD prevents sperm from fertilizing an egg. What's the objection to that, then?

AlyssaEimers's picture
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"KimPossible" wrote:

Sure they have rights...but they should not have the right to deprive their employees of something the government has deemed people should have. That is a ridiculous and rather frightening right. They have rights...THIS should not be one of them.

*That is one of the things this case is about. Plan B should never have been a part of health insurance plans in the first place.*

If i give an adult child 50 dollars and say "Here, go take care of yourself with this" and then the child in turn uses that to do something immoral...I am not responsible for that.

*Giving someone $50 and telling them to go buy some food but they buy drugs instead is completely different than going out and buying drugs for someone.*

So like a healthcare exchange? Thats what it is you know.

*Private with multiple companies to choose from, not Government run. The Government should not be controlling Healthcare. They simply are not competent. The VA is a perfect example of that.*

Look above

KimPossible's picture
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"AlyssaEimers" wrote:

Look above

*That is one of the things this case is about. Plan B should never have been a part of health insurance plans in the first place.*

This is not true. This case does nothing to take that out of the coverage requirements.

*Giving someone $50 and telling them to go buy some food but they buy drugs instead is completely different than going out and buying drugs for someone.*

I don't think there is much of a difference at all. Hobby lobby is not buying this birth control and putting it in the hands of their employees and telling them to use it. Hobby Lobby's is providing healthcare benefits...that an employee should be able to use and should be able to expect them to comply with the law...and let their OWN religious beliefs dictate if they will get to use these contraceptives or not...not their corporate CEO. Yuck.

*Private with multiple companies to choose from, not Government run. The Government should not be controlling Healthcare. They simply are not competent. The VA is a perfect example of that.*

You just said you wanted government regulated...that's what obamacare is government regulated privatized healthcare.

ETA: you used the word "oversite"....what is the technical definition between oversite and government regulated??

Obamacare is not government run healtcare FYI....it defines a set of rules that private health insurers need to follow among other things...that's government regulated, or oversite.

AlyssaEimers's picture
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"freddieflounder101" wrote:

An IUD prevents sperm from fertilizing an egg. What's the objection to that, then?

There are many people that believe an IUD's secondary function is to abort any fertilized egg that makes it through. My main objection and many that I know is for Plan B. Regardless of what any of us on this board feel, The owners of Hobby Lobby believe that those two forms of birth control cause abortions and is the same as killing a child. No one should be forced to pay for someone else's abortion. Whether or not you agree that those BC are abortionist, it is not something that someone else should have to pay for.

Try changing the situation and see if you feel the same. Would you like there to a law that if you owned a company you had to buy a bible for each of your employees? Of course not. If they want one, they can buy one for themselves. It would be a major breach of religious freedoms to force an employer to do that for their employees. There has got to be a line between the Government controlling every single aspect of a company and a company running their business and the Government just overseeing to making it safe.

I am very pleased that the Supreme Court has ruled that Corporations still have some rights. Not just for this issue, but for many issues.

KimPossible's picture
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Here is a question for the supporters.

What is the defining difference between what laws corporations should be able to ignore by claiming religion...and what laws they can't ignore?

If a religious corporation believes that its sinful for women who are pregnant or mothers to work because they are obligated to be home with their kids according to 'Gods plan'...should they be able to fire them? Should they be allowed to ask their potential employees if they are pregnant or planning on getting pregnant?

ETA: If the answer is "yes, they should be allowed to do those things"...well then at least you are consistent. If the answer is no, I would like to know what the defining factor is that makes my example different. It would need to be very clear and obvious so it could withstand a court trial.

And I'm interested in hearing the actual answers to my last question, regardless of if they are yes or no answers.

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"AlyssaEimers" wrote:

There are many people that believe an IUD's secondary function is to abort any fertilized egg that makes it through. My main objection and many that I know is for Plan B. Regardless of what any of us on this board feel, The owners of Hobby Lobby believe that those two forms of birth control cause abortions and is the same as killing a child. No one should be forced to pay for someone else's abortion. Whether or not you agree that those BC are abortionist, it is not something that someone else should have to pay for.

Try changing the situation and see if you feel the same. Would you like there to a law that if you owned a company you had to buy a bible for each of your employees? Of course not. If they want one, they can buy one for themselves. It would be a major breach of religious freedoms to force an employer to do that for their employees. There has got to be a line between the Government controlling every single aspect of a company and a company running their business and the Government just overseeing to making it safe.

I am very pleased that the Supreme Court has ruled that Corporations still have some rights. Not just for this issue, but for many issues.

Paying for an abortion is completely different from providing health care and then having individual employees decide whether or not to use the coverage for birth control. Not the same at all.

The bible analogy doesn't make sense either. If I were in the library business and the law mandated that I provide a religious text from every different type of religion in my "religious studies" section, then I would do so. If I only believed in one of those religions, or even none of them, I'm still leaving it up to the library user or employee to decide what book to read. That's a much closer analogy than telling me to buy a bible for everyone. No one is telling these companies to buy birth control for everybody, they're asking them to provide comprehensive health care as defined by the law....until now. It's a bad decision and I hope it gets overturned.

AlyssaEimers's picture
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"KimPossible" wrote:

Here is a question for the supporters.

What is the defining difference between what laws corporations should be able to ignore by claiming religion...and what laws they can't ignore?

If a religious organization believes that its sinful for women who are pregnant or mothers to work because they are obligated to be home with their kids according to 'Gods plan'...should they be able to fire them? Should they be allowed to ask their potential employees if they are pregnant or planning on getting pregnant?

ETA: If the answer is "yes, they should be allowed to do those things"...well then at least you are consistent. If the answer is no, I would like to know what the defining factor is that makes my example different. It would need to be very clear and obvious so it could withstand a court trial.

And I'm interested in hearing the actual answers to my last question, regardless of if they are yes or no answers.

In my opinion the line comes in the form of common sense safety issues. A company should not be able to say it is a condition of working somewhere that someone must have sex with their boss. A company should not be able to put rat poison in their food. Those are good Government regulations. Saying that an employer should have to provide this, this, and this above their pay is not.

"freddieflounder101" wrote:

Paying for an abortion is completely different from providing health care and then having individual employees decide whether or not to use the coverage for birth control. Not the same at all.

*I disagree*

The bible analogy doesn't make sense either. If I were in the library business and the law mandated that I provide a religious text from every different type of religion in my "religious studies" section, then I would do so. If I only believed in one of those religions, or even none of them, I'm still leaving it up to the library user or employee to decide what book to read. That's a much closer analogy than telling me to buy a bible for everyone. No one is telling these companies to buy birth control for everybody, they're asking them to provide comprehensive health care as defined by the law....until now. It's a bad decision and I hope it gets overturned.

Some above.

No library should "have" to stock any one particular book. If a library does not have the book you want go to a different library. If there was a book on how to build a bom, a library should not "have" to stock that book if they are afraid someone might use that information to build a bom. If a library's owner has a moral objection to pornography, no one should be able to come in and say they "have" to stock it. - A business should have complete control over what they sell/ don't sell.

Joined: 04/12/03
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What about my human rights? Do I give up those because I seek employment? Anything else should I be willing to do? Female circumcision if I want to be a dancer? Participate in a morning prayer group with my employer (so their religious rights don't get infringed), getting fired if I divorce?

The main issue I have is giving a corporation status as a "person" for some things but not others. If the same company sold envelops with glue that they knew could cause death without letting the consumer know, the company could be sued . There would be no personal liability. The owners' personal assists would not be subject to ligation. No criminal charges. Nothing. If I did this as an individual - gave people toxic glue - there could be personal legal and civil consequences. Did anyone from Ford or GM get charged?

I think "religious beliefs" of an individual allowing a corporation to deny employees of something is going to lead to unintended consequences.

I don't know the answer but did other businesses with a reputation for being highly religious (In-and-Out) object?

KimPossible's picture
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"AlyssaEimers" wrote:

In my opinion the line comes in the form of common sense safety issues. A company should not be able to say it is a condition of working somewhere that someone must have sex with their boss. A company should not be able to put rat poison in their food. Those are good Government regulations. Saying that an employer should have to provide this, this, and this above their pay is not.

So what about my example. Are you saying yes to that scenario? That a corporation should be allowed to do that?

GloriaInTX's picture
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"KimPossible" wrote:

If i give an adult child 50 dollars and say "Here, go take care of yourself with this" and then the child in turn uses that to do something immoral...I am not responsible for that. If an employer provides healthcare to an employee and then in turn that employee uses it to get birth control....that is on the employee, not the employer. If the employer think they are sinning in that scenario...then like i said, time to move to a religious state where people are controlled and restricted to the same religious practices you are.

That is not really an accurate representation. Hobby Lobby isn't giving its employees $50 dollars to spend on anything they want. It would be more like giving a child a tab at the school lunch counter. If you think it is wrong to eat candy for lunch and you don't want them to be able to purchase candy for lunch you should be able to exclude that from the list of items allowed. If you don't exclude candy as an allowed item and they purchase candy with their lunch dollars did you pay for the candy? Absolutely.

Spacers's picture
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We're not talking about children and candy. We're talking about grown women and their reasonable access to the birth control options that the government has MANDATED that employers cover. Employers should NEVER be involved in their employees' birth control decisions.

GloriaInTX's picture
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"Spacers" wrote:

We're not talking about children and candy. We're talking about grown women and their reasonable access to the birth control options that the government has MANDATED that employers cover. Employers should NEVER be involved in their employees' birth control decisions.

You are right. Hobby Lobby is now not involved at all. Including paying for it.

That was kinda the point. They didn't want to be involved.

KimPossible's picture
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No, more like giving full grown independent adults that are NOT my children money to use at the lunch counter. It would be totally inappropriate to tell them what they could or couldn't buy.

Will a supporter of this decision please form a response to my mothers/pregnant woman scenario? I really want to know how you would reconcile that... Or if you really think it would be okay for a corporation to do what I suggested.

GloriaInTX's picture
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"KimPossible" wrote:

Here is a question for the supporters.

What is the defining difference between what laws corporations should be able to ignore by claiming religion...and what laws they can't ignore?

If a religious corporation believes that its sinful for women who are pregnant or mothers to work because they are obligated to be home with their kids according to 'Gods plan'...should they be able to fire them? Should they be allowed to ask their potential employees if they are pregnant or planning on getting pregnant?

ETA: If the answer is "yes, they should be allowed to do those things"...well then at least you are consistent. If the answer is no, I would like to know what the defining factor is that makes my example different. It would need to be very clear and obvious so it could withstand a court trial.

And I'm interested in hearing the actual answers to my last question, regardless of if they are yes or no answers.

No I'm pretty sure that would violate discrimination laws. Plus I don't think that would pass the compelling justification and compelling interest test of the RFRA that this decision was based on. The government has a compelling interest in allowing women to work. If Hobby Lobby doesn't pay for the morning after pill it is not a hardship there are other sources they can get it.

I think it is the opposite it would be a much more compelling interest for the government for Hobby Lobby to continue to pay for healthcare coverage for their employees, which if they were required to pay for these types of contraception they would have just dropped their coverage completely and taken the fine. (Which actually would have been cheaper for them than fighting it in court) This would have just put more people on the public dime.

A near unanimous Congress passed RFRA in 1993 and President Bill Clinton signed the law. RFRA said that “governments should not substantially burden religious exercise without compelling justification” and “the compelling interest test as set forth in prior Federal court rulings is a workable test for striking sensible balances between religious liberty and competing prior governmental interests.”

The compelling interest test dated back to another Supreme Court decision, Sherbert v. Verner, from 1963. The Sherbert test said that if a person claimed a sincere religious belief, and a government action placed a substantial burden on that belief, the government needed to prove a compelling state interest, and that it pursued that action in the least burdensome way.

What is RFRA and why do we care?

GloriaInTX's picture
Joined: 07/29/08
Posts: 4116

"KimPossible" wrote:

No, more like giving full grown independent adults that are NOT my children money to use at the lunch counter. It would be totally inappropriate to tell them what they could or couldn't buy.

So it wouldn't be appropriate for a corporation to give employees a tab at a restaurant and not allow them to buy alcohol with it?

AlyssaEimers's picture
Joined: 08/22/06
Posts: 6560

"ethanwinfield" wrote:

The main issue I have is giving a corporation status as a "person" for some things but not others. If the same company sold envelops with glue that they knew could cause death without letting the consumer know, the company could be sued . There would be no personal liability. The owners' personal assists would not be subject to ligation. No criminal charges. Nothing. If I did this as an individual - gave people toxic glue - there could be personal legal and civil consequences. Did anyone from Ford or GM get charged?

I think "religious beliefs" of an individual allowing a corporation to deny employees of something is going to lead to unintended consequences.

I do think that it already is that a business owner can be liable for something that happened in their business. At least in small business owners. I am not sure how larger places work, but with the small business owners I know it does work that way. If they went bankrupt, the owner is liable as well.

"KimPossible" wrote:

So what about my example. Are you saying yes to that scenario? That a corporation should be allowed to do that?

I must have missed the example you are talking about. Can you tell me again?

"Spacers" wrote:

We're not talking about children and candy. We're talking about grown women and their reasonable access to the birth control options that the government has MANDATED that employers cover. Employers should NEVER be involved in their employees' birth control decisions.

Employers should not have to pay for a woman's birth control either. BTW, the Hobby Lobby is not saying that you can not work there if you use those forms of BC, only that they will not pay for it.

"GloriaInTX" wrote:

So it wouldn't be appropriate for a corporation to give employees a tab at a restaurant and not allow them to buy alcohol with it?

This already happens all the time. If DH went to a working lunch where is boss was going to reimburse him or on a work CC, it would be totally appropriate for his boss to say no alcohol.

I know this was in there somewhere, but I am loosing it right now. There are tons of other companies that were on the side of the Hobby Lobby. They just did not have the money and resources to stand up like the Hobby Lobby did. The Hobby Lobby was definitely not the only business that wanted this ruling.

Joined: 04/12/03
Posts: 1686

"GloriaInTX" wrote:

No I'm pretty sure that would violate discrimination laws. Plus I don't think that would pass the compelling justification and compelling interest test of the RFRA that this decision was based on. The government has a compelling interest in allowing women to work. If Hobby Lobby doesn't pay for the morning after pill it is not a hardship there are other sources they can get it.

I think it is the opposite it would be a much more compelling interest for the government for Hobby Lobby to continue to pay for healthcare coverage for their employees, which if they were required to pay for these types of contraception they would have just dropped their coverage completely and taken the fine. (Which actually would have been cheaper for them than fighting it in court) This would have just put more people on the public dime.

What is RFRA and why do we care?

The compelling interest test dated back to another Supreme Court decision, Sherbert v. Verner, from 1963. The Sherbert test said that if a person claimed a sincere religious belief, and a government action placed a substantial burden on that belief, the government needed to prove a compelling state interest, and that it pursued that action in the least burdensome way.

Again, a corporation is not a person.

The Sherbert Test consists of four criteria that are used to determine if an individual's right to religious free exercise has been violated by the government. The test is as follows:

For the individual, the court must determine

whether the person has a claim involving a sincere religious belief, and
whether the government action is a substantial burden on the person?s ability to act on that belief.
If these two elements are established, then the government must prove

that it is acting in furtherance of a "compelling state interest," and
that it has pursued that interest in the manner least restrictive, or least burdensome, to religion.

AlyssaEimers's picture
Joined: 08/22/06
Posts: 6560

"ethanwinfield" wrote:

Again, a corporation is not a person.

I do not see where any of the definitions you gave go against someone who decides to add jobs to the economy by starting up as small business or for that business to become successful and incorporate. Businesses are owned by people. To not allow them rights is the same as not allowing their owners to have rights.

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Joined: 05/24/06
Posts: 3312

"GloriaInTX" wrote:

No I'm pretty sure that would violate discrimination laws.

That's my whole point. So why would it be okay in the Hobby Lobby case to go against laws, but not okay in this situation?

Plus I don't think that would pass the compelling justification and compelling interest test of the RFRA that this decision was based on. The government has a compelling interest in allowing women to work. If Hobby Lobby doesn't pay for the morning after pill it is not a hardship there are other sources they can get it.

Right...there is no compelling argument to prevent unwanted pregnancies. Obviously unwanted pregnancies particularly those in rather low wage jobs is good for society right? Not all contraceptives are the same, or taken the same way....limiting options means more unwanted pregnancies. And in my example "Moms could just get jobs somewhere else"....but less jobs means more unemployed. So the two seem really similar to me.

I really don't think you have formulated a compelling argument as to how the two are different. Certainly not one that makes me feel all warm and fuzzy about being rock solid in a court case.

Plus I also want to know...would you feel different if they refused ALL forms of contraception? Do you feel that a corporation would be prevented from doing that after this case? If you don't think it would be okay, what do you believe will prevent that from happening now? And how would that be all right in your eyes, to refuse a corporation their ability to 'practice their religion'. If you think it would be okay to refuse all forms of contraception (Catholicism teaches that no form of medical contraception is okay, as an example)...then whats the point in bringing up the fact that in this case, there would be other options.

ETA: I just read this in an article

This blatantly sexist travesty was compounded this morning when SCOTUS clarified that the decision is not limited to the four types of contraception specified in the Hobby Lobby case, but extends to ALL methods of birth control.

Now I have not confirmed if its true by finding any other sources yet...but if it is true, then i see no point in trying to talk about how Hobby Lobby is only limiting some. This ruling would allow someone to not provide ANY.

I think it is the opposite it would be a much more compelling interest for the government for Hobby Lobby to continue to pay for healthcare coverage for their employees, which if they were required to pay for these types of contraception they would have just dropped their coverage completely and taken the fine. (Which actually would have been cheaper for them than fighting it in court) This would have just put more people on the public dime.

This to me is just a cause and effect thing...not an argument about why something is right or wrong to do. "Saving money" doesn't make something ethically correct.

KimPossible's picture
Joined: 05/24/06
Posts: 3312

"GloriaInTX" wrote:

So it wouldn't be appropriate for a corporation to give employees a tab at a restaurant and not allow them to buy alcohol with it?

A tab at a restaurant...for a work related event or meeting? Totally within their rights.

A gift card or someting for them to use on their own personal time outside of work. Not okay.

Are you asking me if I would support a companies right to forbid buying birth control as a work related expense?? Because thats the only way this analogy works. Anyway...yeah, I'm okay with that.

KimPossible's picture
Joined: 05/24/06
Posts: 3312

"AlyssaEimers" wrote:

I must have missed the example you are talking about. Can you tell me again?

I asked:

Here is a question for the supporters.

What is the defining difference between what laws corporations should be able to ignore by claiming religion...and what laws they can't ignore?

If a religious organization believes that its sinful for women who are pregnant or mothers to work because they are obligated to be home with their kids according to 'Gods plan'...should they be able to fire them? Should they be allowed to ask their potential employees if they are pregnant or planning on getting pregnant?

ETA: If the answer is "yes, they should be allowed to do those things"...well then at least you are consistent. If the answer is no, I would like to know what the defining factor is that makes my example different. It would need to be very clear and obvious so it could withstand a court trial.

And I'm interested in hearing the actual answers to my last question, regardless of if they are yes or no answers.

To which you responded:

In my opinion the line comes in the form of common sense safety issues. A company should not be able to say it is a condition of working somewhere that someone must have sex with their boss. A company should not be able to put rat poison in their food. Those are good Government regulations. Saying that an employer should have to provide this, this, and this above their pay is not.

To which i responded:

So what about my example. Are you saying yes to that scenario? That a corporation should be allowed to do that?

AlyssaEimers's picture
Joined: 08/22/06
Posts: 6560

"KimPossible" wrote:

Plus I also want to know...would you feel different if they refused ALL forms of contraception? Do you feel that a corporation would be prevented from doing that after this case? If you don't think it would be okay, what do you believe will prevent that from happening now? And how would that be all right in your eyes, to refuse a corporation their ability to 'practice their religion'. If you think it would be okay to refuse all forms of contraception (Catholicism teaches that no form of medical contraception is okay, as an example)...then whats the point in bringing up the fact that in this case, there would be other options.

I do not believe employers should have to provide birth control any more than they should have to provide a late term abortion. There is no universal right to free birth control. The fact that you have a job should not change that.

KimPossible's picture
Joined: 05/24/06
Posts: 3312

"AlyssaEimers" wrote:

I do not believe employers should have to provide birth control any more than they should have to provide a late term abortion. There is no universal right to free birth control. The fact that you have a job should not change that.

The ACA declared that birth control coverage was a requirement. I don't know what you mean by "universal right", nor do i see how that is relavent to my question. Gloria tried to bring up the idea that its okay because Hobby Lobby's employees have other types available to them. I'm questioning her sincerity on this point...if it really matters to her if they have other alternatives or not.

Joined: 04/12/03
Posts: 1686

"AlyssaEimers" wrote:

I do not see where any of the definitions you gave go against someone who decides to add jobs to the economy by starting up as small business or for that business to become successful and incorporate. Businesses are owned by people. To not allow them rights is the same as not allowing their owners to have rights.

Exactly! Businesses are owned by people the business itself is not a person and should not be selectively treated as such.

AlyssaEimers's picture
Joined: 08/22/06
Posts: 6560

"KimPossible" wrote:

The ACA declared that birth control coverage was a requirement. I don't know what you mean by "universal right", nor do i see how that is relavent to my question. Gloria tried to bring up the idea that its okay because Hobby Lobby's employees have other types available to them. I'm questioning her sincerity on this point...if it really matters to her if they have other alternatives or not.

Not everyone has insurance. There is no law anywhere saying that every single girl and woman everywhere is entitled to birth control free of charge.

"ethanwinfield" wrote:

Exactly! Businesses are owned by people the business itself is not a person and should not be selectively treated as such.

There is no way to strip a business of religious freedom without also stripping the owners of their religious freedoms.

KimPossible's picture
Joined: 05/24/06
Posts: 3312

"AlyssaEimers" wrote:

Not everyone has insurance.

Well it is required to have insurance now, or face penalties.[/quote]

There is no law anywhere saying that every single girl and woman everywhere is entitled to birth control free of charge.

No, the laws say that everyone is supposed to get insurance, and if the individual chooses not to, they face penalties. And the laws mandate that the contraception be covered by health insurance plans. So....what exactly are you arguing?? That the laws don't say these things?

KimPossible's picture
Joined: 05/24/06
Posts: 3312

I have one more question for the supporters.

A huge part of the argument for those justices who sided with Hobby Lobby is that there are alternative 'less restrictive' means that could be used to provide Hobby Lobby's employees access to whichever contraception they want. They are referring to the same accommodation provision that the White House approved for religious non-profits.

This provision allows employees of religious non-profits to obtain stand-alone coverage for contraception directly from insurers at no cost.

Do you know why its no cost...because the government uses your tax money to help provide it.

Taken from an old article about the provision:

The White House’s contraceptives compromise - The Washington Post

Under the policy proposed Friday, self-insured plans opting out of contraceptive coverage would notify the company that administers their health benefits. That third-party administrator would then be responsible for arranging "separate individual health insurance policies for contraceptive coverage from an issuer providing such polices."

Insurers who create these plans for self-insured companies will receive an offset from the federal government: Lower fees to sell plans on the new health exchanges run by the Obama administration.

So, now Hobby Lobby has released themselves of the burden of helping to pay for someone else's birth control...only to pass it on to you, the tax payer. At least that is the explanation the justices gave....that the accommodation provision is a less restrictive means and can be used to provide insurance coverage for contraceptives to employees of large corporation who claim religious objection.

I would like to know how those of you support the decision feel about that. Does that make you the one that carries the burden of this sin now? If not....why do you not carry the burden when forced to pay for it....but Hobby Lobby does carry it? If you do carry the burden, do you think you should be allowed to refuse to pay taxes?

See, i don't think the justices actually said there is no government interest in this issue, Gloria...that of women's health care rights. What they said is that there is an interest but there is a less restrictive means to achieving its goals. That less restrictive means, takes money out of your pockets...and uses it to help provide birth control insurance coverage to others.

GloriaInTX's picture
Joined: 07/29/08
Posts: 4116

"KimPossible" wrote:

So, now Hobby Lobby has released themselves of the burden of helping to pay for someone else's birth control...only to pass it on to you, the tax payer. At least that is the explanation the justices gave....that the accommodation provision is a less restrictive means and can be used to provide insurance coverage for contraceptives to employees of large corporation who claim religious objection.

I would like to know how those of you support the decision feel about that. Does that make you the one that carries the burden of this sin now? If not....why do you not carry the burden when forced to pay for it....but Hobby Lobby does carry it? If you do carry the burden, do you think you should be allowed to refuse to pay taxes?

See, i don't think the justices actually said there is no government interest in this issue, Gloria...that of women's health care rights. What they said is that there is an interest but there is a less restrictive means to achieving its goals. That less restrictive means, takes money out of your pockets...and uses it to help provide birth control insurance coverage to others.

No I don't think taxpayers should be funding it because I don't think taxpayers should be funding Obamacare. That is the whole reason we are having this discussion. But if the government is going to mandate what coverage you have to provide than yes they should be responsible for paying for it. It is ridiculous in the first place for the government to be able to force you to have contraception coverage if you don't want it. Hobby Lobby is definitely not the type of company you should be complaining about, they treat their employees very well. I guarantee you their employees would be very upset if they lost their health insurance over this for a very very small minority of women who might want a morning after pill that up until a few months ago they were required to buy themselves over the counter anyway.

It’s safe to say that Hobby Lobby employees, who made 93% above the minimum wage paid at similar jobs would be able to afford to pay for the abortifacient drugs with the generous pay they receive should that need and desire arise for an individual. Arguably, Hobby Lobby gives their employees 93% more choices by providing them with stellar pay that they can spend as they choose.

Mad World NewsRead What Else Hobby Lobby Forces On Employees

GloriaInTX's picture
Joined: 07/29/08
Posts: 4116

What is CORPORATION?

An artificial person or legal entity created by or under the authority of the laws of a state or nation, composed, in some rare instances, of a single person and his successors, being the incumbents of a particular oltice, but ordinarily consisting of an association of numerous individuals, who subsist as a body politic under a special denomination, which is regarded In law as having a personality and existence distinct from that of its several members, and which is, by the same authority, vested with the capacity of continuous succession, irrespective of changes in its membership, either in perpetuity or for a limited term of years, and of acting as a unit or single individual in matters relating to the common purpose of the association, within the scope of the powers and authorities conferred upon such bodies by law.

Law Dictionary: What is CORPORATION? definition of CORPORATION (Black's Law Dictionary)

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Joined: 05/24/06
Posts: 3312

"GloriaInTX" wrote:

No I don't think taxpayers should be funding it because I don't think taxpayers should be funding Obamacare.

Okay, well this decision means more money for birth control will be coming out of your pocket than before. You support that? Is that a sin?

That is the whole reason we are having this discussion. But if the government is going to mandate what coverage you have to provide than yes they should be responsible for paying for it. It is ridiculous in the first place for the government to be able to force you to have contraception coverage if you don't want it.

If people take issue with mandated contraception coverage and they are thinking this is the way to fight it? Then you are going about it all wrong. This isn't going to repeal the mandate....this is simply going to open the door for all kinds of exemptions to laws, and some you may not be as happy about someday.

Hobby Lobby is definitely not the type of company you should be complaining about, they treat their employees very well.

Who cares. We are talking about this particular issue, in which I do NOT side with hobby lobby. "Jimmy's father is a great father in so many ways....except when he's verbally abusive"

I guarantee you their employees would be very upset if they lost their health insurance over this for a very very small minority of women who might want a morning after pill that up until a few months ago they were required to buy themselves over the counter anyway.

Because allowing this religious exemption is negative consequence free? Hardly. Like i said you now get to support more peoples use of birth control out of your own pocket. I assume you view that as a bad thing it makes you a sinner doesn't it? You carry the burden of that sin now, those Hobby Lobby employees using Plan B. I personally don't like it either, i'd rather hobby lobby foot the bill. And now we can look forward to the court dealing with all sorts of other religious exemption cases and you know....there will be a less restrictive means that they can fall back on, based on this decision "Hey, government can help pay for it instead!" I see way more danger in that than some disgruntled hobby lobby employees possibly needing to find insurance elsewhere. Mind you not all the employees would blame the government...some of them i know will blame Hobby Lobby. There is a Hobby Lobby up here by me....trust me, at least in the Northeast, not all those employees think the way you do.

And about the bold? Inconsequential, because thats not the way it works anymore. We are talking about whats going on now, not a year ago or a few months ago.

Oh and also small minority comment. Not really that small
5.8M women have used 'morning after' pill

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