Tomorrow is the official Hobby Lobby buycott day. I’m pretty sure everyone has heard at least something about what’s going on with Hobby Lobby and the federal government right now, but I’m also pretty sure there is some confusion as to what is really going on here.
Hobby Lobby is a private, family-owned business that also happens to be a nationwide chain. The family, the Greens, are conservative Christians who have a fundamental moral opposition to ending life via abortion. They also have a history of taking excellent care of their employees.
Along comes Obamacare, chock-full of all sorts of crap no one had any idea about because people were so concerned with getting free crap they didn’t care about the consequences of their free crap and told Congress to just pass it without reading it first. Sorry, was that harsh? I really hope so. (And yes, I’m breaking my “gracious” resolution. Time to upturn some tables.)
Part of the crap Obamacare contained was requiring employers to provide all sorts of medical (not necessarily “healthcare”) coverage, among which include abortifacients – such as chemical abortions in a pill specifically designed to be taken to terminate pregnancy, not prevent it, according to the FDA.
And thanks to Obamacare, employers are required to provide abortifacients (not just regular old birth control, that’s never been part of the issue) for their employees’ health insurance plans. The Greens are morally, religiously opposed to abortions. And here comes a new law requiring them to buy their employees chemical abortions. Or else be fined $1.3 million dollars a day. Essentially being driven into bankruptcy by the federal government.
And the Supreme Court has – astonishingly, ridiculously – said this A-OK, denying Hobby Lobby an Obamacare exemption that has already been extended to plenty of other companies. And before anyone talks about Hobby Lobby “forcing their beliefs on others,” Hobby Lobby isn’t trying to ban their employees from using any kind of medication. Their employees can do whatever they want. The Greens just don’t want to be required to pay for it. That’s not “forcing their beliefs on others,” that’s trying to protect their own beliefs and express those beliefs under the protection of the First Amendment.
Regardless of whether or not you think abortion is right, regardless of whether or not you think abortion actually is some form of “healthcare” like chemotherapy, abortion and abortion-inducing drugs and devices aren’t the issue here. The issue is, does the federal government have the right to force private companies, owned by individuals, to violate their consciences with their own money, or go out of business.
This is why I spoke out last year against Sandra Fluke and her media circus attacks on Catholic educational and healthcare institutions last year, even though I use birth control. She tried to sue to get the government to force them to provide birth control in violation of their religious convictions. It wasn’t my fight, and yet it was. Even then I and many other people of all (and no) faiths stood in solidarity with Catholic-affiliated institutions. Because if the government could force Catholics to provide birth control, the government can force any of us to pay for anything in violation of our consciences. It’s not about the single issue at hand. It’s about the bigger picture. Or, as Denny Burk put it on his blog:
When the controversy over the abortion mandate erupted earlier this year, the American public by and large got the impression that this was about conservatives who wanted to ban contraception. Nothing could be further from the truth. No one wants to outlaw contraception. This controversy is about the fact that the government is forcing pro-life business owners to pay for chemical abortions. If the federal government can force citizens to purchase items that they believe to be immoral, where will this end?
If this story is a bore to you right now, try to imagine for a moment what it would be like to be in Hobby Lobby’s position. You don’t have to agree with Hobby Lobby’s opposition to abortion to do this. Would you have a problem if the federal government required you to purchase goods or services that you believe to be immoral and against your most deeply held beliefs? That is precisely what is happening to Hobby Lobby right now. If this stands, what will keep this from happening to you?
I’m shopping at Hobby Lobby tomorrow. Care to join me?