Monday, August 12, 2013

Yet another reason to defund Obamacare

I read this editorial in the New York Times and it made my blood boil. It supports the decision of the U.S. Court of Appeals in ruling that a Mennonite-owned business cannot refuse contraceptive coverage to its employees on religious grounds. 

The ruling hinged on the perceived distinction between a business owner and the business itself. 
There is nothing to support the notion that the “personal right” of free exercise of religion protected by the First Amendment applies to artificial creations like corporations, says the NYT.
Artificial creations, huh? Tell any entrepreneur who built his dream company from the ground up and by the sweat of his brow that his business isn't personal. I dare you. People's livelihoods, well being, and self-worth are intricately connected with their abilities to provide for their families and bring home the bacon. 

Speaking of bacon, can you imagine if an orthodox Jew was forced to pass out ham sandwiches at his business lunches? Why cause so grave an offense to garner such a trivial [perceived] benefit? The court has now established precedent for future ridiculousness.

This ruling eviscerates the right of Americans to do business and create jobs in ways that are compatible with their consciousnesses. It is a perfect example of the trend whereby religious freedom is restricted to the dining room table. We've long been told to not bring faith to school, now you'd better not bring it to work either. Oh, it's your own company? No difference. And never mind that your employees are always free to leave and work for another business that offers benefit packages more to their liking. Or pay for contraception with their own earned wages. 

Reading further, the true colors of the New York Times editorial board shines forth in this little quip:
The fact is that almost all women of childbearing age use some form of contraception, as a matter of independent choice, whatever their religious identity. In that sense, the legal assault against the contraception mandate amounts to an attempt by religious groups and individuals to hijack the courts to fight a social reality they do not like, brandishing overwrought claims of religious infringement. The Third Circuit was right not to go along.
Translation: Everybody Else is Doing It. Get Over it Already.

Did the writers have mothers? I'm inclined to think not, because I'm pretty sure that kind of playground moral logic is usually debunked by third grade or so.

Besides, their conclusion is not compatible with the general public consciousness on what we expect prefer in our commerce habits. It's very posh right now to support ethical business models. Americans buy Fair Trade coffee, shampoo not tested on animals, GAP's RED brand t-shirts, and yogurt with little pink cancer-awareness ribbons on the containers. They get engaged and shop for ethically sourced diamonds and drink Starbucks' lattes from recycled paper cups. 

I suppose the problem is that being pro-life isn't cool enough to warrant equal protection under the law.

Meanwhile, the irony is that Obama's administration picks and chooses what parts of the Affordable Care Act are convenient enough for it to enforce. If only Conestoga Wood Specialties was as lucky.


  1. "can you imagine if an orthodox Jew was forced to pass out ham sandwiches at his business lunches" But everyone else is eating ham sandwiches! Those orthodox Jews had better not "hijack" any court to fight a social reality they do not like!


  2. Not really related, but the Jews and ham made me think of this. At TASIS last year, at the cardboard boat race, the counsellors discovered to their horror that, to protect the boats against water, the children were not using crysco, but pork lard (somebody got it wrong on the supply run). One image: sobbing Saudi Arabian children covered up to their shoulders in pork lard. Not pretty. Reflects what will be happening in a few months?