Today the US Supreme Court ruled that business owners may cite religious beliefs to be exempt from federal law that requires private companies to provide health insurance that covers birth control. The decision means employees of such such companies will have to obtain certain forms of birth control from other sources.
The Supreme Court ruled 5-4 along partisan lines in favor of two plaintiffs. One was arts-and-crafts retailer Hobby Lobby, which is owned and operated by evangelical Christians David and Barbara Green. The other was Conestoga Wood Specialties Corp., which is owned and operated by Norman and Elizabeth Hahn, who are Mennonites.
Ironically, while the Supreme Court has just allowed for-profit corporations to restrict women's reproductive health care for superstitious reasons, they are not allowed to restrict men's reproductive health care, including coverage for Viagra.
Their pay scale is a bit higher than their competitors as well. I think it's $14 full-tmers and $9.50 for part-timers.
This personhood attribute that has been attached to corporate identity, and defended by the U.S. court system, reinforces the stranglehold that capitalist America holds on the citizenry. This decision is in line with other nefarious rulings by our courts; finding no grounds to implement campaign finance reform is another example. Money rules, get used to it.
Catchy name, "Citizens United". Was that sponsored by the Ministry of Truth or the Ministry of Love?
On the one hand, I hope so. On the other, I'm not holding my breath.
Yes, Ed. And it follows that religious interests would glom onto corporations. Religion has always enjoyed a symbiotic relationship with governments and heads of state since their interest is the same - control of the people. Now that corporations are emerging as the new ruling class, and the lines between corporate and government are more and more fuzzy, it stands to reason that religion would seize this opportunity to grab some ground.
Now that corporations are emerging as the new ruling class, and the lines between corporate and government are more and more fuzzy, it stands to reason that religion would seize this opportunity to grab some ground.
And they're already grabbing for more and more.
On Wednesday, a group of religious leaders asked the Obama administration for a religious exemption from federal law which bars federal contractors from discriminating against LGBT people.
Contempt for women's reproductive health care is just the opening act. Now the same religious crackpots are claiming supernatural backing as a reason not to hire Those People.
I've sadly come to expect that old, conservative men in politics will make decisions that discriminate against women. And in fact, they often do this in the name of protecting our right to religious freedom. What scares me the most though is that corporations have now been given this same right. Heads of companies are gaining more and more power to impose personal beliefs upon others, all while sitting behind a corporate shield and accepting no personal responsibility. I am equally saddened that it now seems that lower courts are left with the decision to discriminate similar cases based on religion (because the evidence is all equally absent) or uphold the decision equally and allow for exemptions to other medical care that is in violation of someone's religious belief. I guess we'll see which path they take...
Before this ruling it would have been unlawful for an employer to impose his religious beliefs on a woman employee. Not anymore.
There is an extensive list of federal and state laws which allow religion as a defense for various crimes (including murder). I doubt this is a slippery slope, but given that corporate personhood has just been granted religious belief through judicial activism, it's disturbing to think of how this might juxtapose.