Arguments have begun before the Supreme Court today to determine whether religious freedom in America, under the First Amendment, is guaranteed or not. At the heart of this trial is the mandate by Obamacare requiring businesses that employ 50 employees or more to provide all levels of birth control to its employees and pay for this coverage. This includes not just traditional birth control such as pills and shots to prevent impregnation. It also includes abortifacient drugs, such as the ‘Morning After pill’ that induce abortions after impregnation has occurred.
The suit was brought forth by Hobby Lobby, the arts and crafts store owned by the Green family. The family does not hide their devout Christianity. In fact, service to the Lord by serving others is a part of the identity of Hobby Lobby. In honor of the Lord’s day, every store is closed on Sundays. In addition, their commitment and gratitude to the God is listed on their website.
At Hobby Lobby, we value our customers and employees and are committed to:
- Honoring the Lord in all we do by operating the company in a manner consistent with biblical principles.
- Offering our customers exceptional selection and value in the crafts and home decor market.
- Serving our employees and their families by establishing a work environment and company policies that build character, strengthen individuals and nurture families.
- Providing a return on the owner’s investment, sharing the Lord’s blessings with our employees, and investing in our community.
We believe that it is by God’s grace and provision that Hobby Lobby has endured. He has been faithful in the past, and we trust Him for our future.
A visit to the ‘Our Company’ section of their website reveals just how ingrained their religious convictions are within all aspects of their business model. Their donations and ministry projects all have one thing in common – a commitment to God and spreading his Word. Organizations such as Oral Roberts University, One Hope, and Every Home for Christ are but some of the organizations to which Hobby Lobby donates and supports.
The company was grown from a $600 start up to a multi-billion dollar corporate entity by David Green who openly gives thanks to God for His blessings and uses Hobby Lobby to spread God’s love and word with a focus on ‘operating the company in a manner consistent with biblical principles.
This strong commitment to God as a company is not something new from Hobby Lobby. They didn’t suddenly shift their business model to be biblically based following the partisan vote by the Democrat party to make Obamacare law. It is, and always has been, a part of who they are.
So, it should come as no surprise that the Green family and the Hobby Lobby corporation would see the Obamacare mandate forcing the company to cover abortion inducing drugs as an attack on their religious freedom. One of their attorneys, Lori Windham with the Becket Fund, had this to say about this case now being argued before the Supreme Court.
This is unquestionably a religious exercise, refusing to pay for something that could take a human life. And so the question here is not whether it’s the Green family or the corporation, both of whom are part of this case. The question is, is this a sincere religious exercise. The answer to that question is yes. So, it ought to be protected.
The left and the leftist media have gone out of their way to distort the reality of Hobby Lobby’s argument framing it as a direct attack on women’s rights in being able to access birth control. However, as previously stated, the objection at the heart of Hobby Lobby’s argument is the company being forced to fund abortions and abortion inducing drugs.
On FOX News with Martha MacCallum this morning, Judge Andrew Napolitano had much to say about this case, including placing blame squarely on the Supreme Court, and Chief Justice John Roberts, for allowing the entire Obamacare plan to go forward based upon the decision that the entire health care plan would levy a tax on you if you did not subscribe to it, rather than a fine. To this, Judge Napolitano said the following:
It really is a bizarre decision in this respect; the government argued it wasn’t a tax and the challengers argued it wasn’t a tax. Yet, the Supreme Court rejected all the arguments before it and found that it was a tax. It’s obvious that this was just a cobbled together compromise by people who otherwise disagree with each other on fundamental jurisprudential views, in order to salvage this legislation. As a result, we have these challenges coming back.
Judge Napolitano also talked about what is at stake with this Supreme Court decision. With government being able to tax whatever it wants, even failure to buy a mandated product or service according to the Supreme Court, can Congress pick and choose to whom or to which entities the constitutionally guaranteed freedom of religious applies.
This is about religious liberty and whether or not Congress can compel corporations to violate religious liberty of the shareholders of those corporations. There are a lot of subsidiary issues. Do corporations have religious liberty or just individuals. Can the owners of the corporation impose their own religious standards on the corporation itself? And, the big picture, can Congress do this to anybody; make you buy a product, contraceptive health care coverage, that goes against the very teaching of your religion from your heart.
This is not just traditional contraception. This is also euthanasia and abortion. It comes in one package in the federal government’s mind that orders the entities that employ 50 or more people to make this available to employees. Now, this is not to say that women are not entitled under the law to choose on their own to have this protection. It’s the flip-side. It’s, are employers free to choose not to pay for this protection if they find it morally and religiously repugnant?
Another favorite argument of the left is that individuals should not be subjected to certain denied coverage simply due to their place of employment. MacCallum played devil’s advocate with this argument. Judge Napolitano had a response to that argument which is, not surprisingly, based on the Constitution.
Martha MacCallum: An employee who exists and works in the United States of America under this law that says that everybody must be covered by a plan that is up to their (government’s) definition of what’s good enough for them should say, “If this is where I want to work, why shouldn’t I be covered by the same description of these plans that everyone else who works in places is covered under?”
Judge Napolitano: And, I’ll give that employee an answer. Because your wish to be covered by contraceptive coverage paid for by your employer is a good that the employer purchases for you. But, the employer’s wish to serve his or her heart and to follow his or her religious beliefs is a right that comes from our humanity and it is expressly given by the First Amendment.
MacCallum: So, you’ve gotta work somewhere else.
Judge: Yes! Or, go out and pay for it yourself or get the federal government, which subsidizes billions in these policies, to pay for it which is probably what will happen if the Supreme Court rules against the federal government. The federal government will offer to subsidize it which means we as taxpayers, you and I and our religious beliefs, with our tax dollars will be subsidizing these policies.
He again placed blame squarely on the Supreme Court for allowing Obamacare, now officially known as the Affordable Care Act, to move forward.
This is an unforeseen consequence of the Supreme Court’s ill-advised decision a year and a half ago, finding all of this constitutional on the grounds that, if you don’t do it, we can tax you and the government can tax anything it wants.
Will religious freedom, constitutionally protected in America by the First Amendment, prevail in America or will the assault on our liberty by an over-bloated big government win? This Supreme Court case will have wide-reaching ramifications on freedom in America if the court once again sides with the federal government and against the Constitution and rights of Americans.