Hobby Lobby’s Hypocrisy, “Religious Freedom,” the Supreme Court and Why This Ruling Should Worry People

supreme-court-corporate-interestsBy now it’s not exactly breaking news that the Supreme Court sided with Hobby Lobby earlier today in saying that corporations have some sort of religious rights. It’s a decision that really shouldn’t be a shock to anyone considering this is the same Supreme Court that ruled corporations are human beings during the Citizens United case.

Now I’ll be honest, this isn’t the doomsday ruling some are making it out to be – at least not yet (we’ll get to that shortly).  Odds are President Obama will simply make a few administrative adjustments and contraceptives will be covered more on the government side of the Affordable Care Act than the employer side.

And naturally some are shaping this ruling as “an attack on women’s health.”  I can understand why some might be making that argument, but to me that’s the smaller issue at hand here.  While contraceptives often do pertain to women’s health, this is much more about allowing a corporation to force their religious views on people who might not share those same beliefs.

But that’s the line these conservative justices on the Supreme Court have drawn when it comes to corporations – they’re people too.

So what that tells me is that the CEO of Hobby Lobby, David Green, doesn’t only enjoy his own individual Constitutional rights, but the entity he created has those rights as well.

The question I ask to these folks who believe that corporations are people is pretty simple, “Then why don’t we prosecute corporations the same way we do individuals?”

Oh, I know why.  Because corporations aren’t human beings.

GM has admitted to knowing about an issue with some of their cars that led to the deaths of 13 people.  Guess how many people who knew about this issue, yet ignored it, will face murder/manslaughter charges?  Here’s a hint: It’s between zero and zero.

But I think what really floors me about Hobby Lobby’s claim that they’re this beacon of religious purity is the fact that I’d venture to say around 98% of the stuff they sell is made overseas, most likely in sweatshops.

Especially in a country like China where their one-child policy led to millions of forced abortions.  But I guess it’s okay for Hobby Lobby to benefit from the cheap labor in China (endorsing a communist country which has forced women to have abortions) because they’re making a lot of money exploiting Chinese sweatshops.

Oh, and for the record, Hobby Lobby’s CEO David Green is worth $4.9 billion.  Because nothing says “I’m a man of God” quite like accumulating a massive fortune while exploiting borderline slave labor overseas to maximize revenue.

I always find it fascinating to see some of these very wealthy individuals claim “religious beliefs” on issues such as homosexuality or birth control, yet ignore the numerous instances where the Bible sternly warns against greed.

And while some are claiming the ruling was very limited and won’t open the floodgates for other corporations claiming “religious freedom” to discriminate, I don’t buy that.  Because what’s the difference between saying that a corporation like Hobby Lobby can deny access to birth control for employees based on religious beliefs and a corporation claiming that it doesn’t hire homosexuals because of their religious beliefs?

Or is it the argument of the Supreme Court that some religious beliefs are more valid than others?

Because that’s what this case really says to me.  Either corporations are given “religious freedom” and are now allowed to break laws by simply citing “it’s my freedom of religion,” or they just ruled that some religions are more valid than others.

I just don’t see how you’d say it’s okay to claim religious freedom in one instance but then deny it in another.  That doesn’t make any sense.

And that’s why this ruling worries me.  We’ve already seen this Supreme Court prove that at least five of its members are nothing more than shills for corporate America.  But now it’s given corporations the right to force their religious views on employees?

Because couldn’t Hobby Lobby now argue that they’re within their rights to deny homosexuals employment, or promotions, because they don’t want to endorse “that lifestyle”?

What about same-sex marriage?  What if a homosexual is getting benefits for them and their spouse?  Couldn’t Hobby Lobby then say that they shouldn’t have to provide health care to gay couples because they don’t recognize same-sex marriage?

Some people believe that racism is justified by religion.  We saw this decades ago with individuals who supported segregation.  Can’t someone now say they should be legally allowed to discriminate against minorities because that’s their religious beliefs?

There are seemingly an endless list of possibilities now opened up for corporations to claim “religious freedom” and violate our laws.

Because this ruling wasn’t a subjective stance on Constitutional rights that just happened to include religion in a certain context.  This case was specifically about religion, the ability for a corporation to hold certain religious beliefs, and legally be allowed to ignore laws because of those beliefs.

So it goes back to what I said earlier.  Either all religious beliefs must be recognized by this ruling or the Supreme Court just determined that some religious beliefs are more valid than others.

And if that’s the case, we should all be very worried.


Allen Clifton

Allen Clifton is a native Texan who now lives in the Austin area. He has a degree in Political Science from Sam Houston State University. Allen is a co-founder of Forward Progressives and creator of the popular Right Off A Cliff column and Facebook page. Be sure to follow Allen on Twitter and Facebook, and subscribe to his channel on YouTube as well.

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