Comments about ‘In our opinion: In Hobby Lobby case, freedom is under threat’

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Published: Sunday, March 23 2014 12:00 a.m. MDT

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American Fork, UT

That's because, in hobby lobby, all you can see is a christian victim. Let's fix that. No employer should even be offered the opportunity to interfere with the health care choices of their employees. That's why we need a single payer health care system. These are choices for individuals, not some religious holier than thou boss. Let's move forward, and relieve employers of this gripe entirely.

Mister J
Salt Lake City, UT

re: Hutterite

Interesting. We all hear about the employer being a martyr. Yet, you wonder how many employees are being repressed?

Kearns, UT

What happens when religious freedoms come in direct conflict with individual freedoms? Who wins? As an employer, do my religious convictions control the benefits my employees receive, or do I allow them their own religious freedoms to choose what they do in their own lives?

I believe everyone should be free to live according to their religious convictions, but this threat to religious freedom has been manufactured to create a fear of change. Let's move on and learn to get along with people who don't believe the same as we do, please.

David Mohr
Victoria/BC/Canada, 00

Hobby Lobby should be able to make the choice it wants. Its employees are not forced to work for them. If it could not get employees willing to work under its benefits package then where would they be. It is time we stop asking government to impose rules on businesses and return to common sense. When government decides where people work and for whom, then they have the right and duty to impose rules on the employer dictating benefits. God is central to many people's beliefs and that means that there are employers who will not believe in contraceptives. If you feel that that is against your beliefs then choose a different employer. For the Supreme Court to allow this to be imposed on Hobby Lobby is a step closer to making the USA (or any other country) into a dictatorship.

Laura Bilington
Maple Valley, WA

So a company owned by a Jehovah's Witness should be able to offer a heath care policy to its employees that refuses to pay for blood transfusions--because it finds these objectionable? Remember that the Catholic church does not recognize as valid any marriage involving at least one Catholic person, unless the officiant was a Catholic priest. So a Catholic-owned company should be able to refuse coverage to the civilly married Mormon spouse of a Catholic employee, because their religion says that the couple isn't "really" married? And a Christian Science business owner should be able to offer health care that only pays for Christian Science healers?

LDS Liberal
Farmington, UT

Perhaps we should ask the Hobby Lobby employees what they need?

They are the one's using the Healthcare,
They are the one's paying the majority of the Costs,
They are the one's who should be heard.

IMHO -- This is just another example of Corporations controlling the Government, calling the shots of America's Citizens.

IMHO II -- It used to be UNIONS negotiated the needs of Employees to the Corporations.
Since the GOP destroyed the Unions, People are turning more and more to the Government for Justice.

So, the GOP is creating it's very own "Monster".

t-ville, UT

I'm starting to get the sneaking suspicion that the conservative movement in the US isn't actually interested in personal freedom but rather invokes the term to attract low-information voters to their cause. This case is riddled with contradictions including the non-sensical argument that an organization possesses the inalienable right to determine what is and isn't in the best interest of its' employees. If I snort ground-up xanax to dispel thetons from my body and can convince my insurance company to pay for the pills, then that's my prerogative and none of my employer's business.

Kirk R Graves
West Jordan, UT

Employer supplied health care is an invention of the last 50 years. People have forgotten that there was a time when we each took responsibility for our own health care, when we were free to make whatever health care choices we wanted.

Well, guess what? I stand today to proclaim to each American that we still are! We are still free to purchase whatever health care products and services we desire! Even if they are not covered by our employer provided health care plan. Shocking, I know.

Hobby Lobby's choice to not provide certain services and products under the health care plan they provide in no way impacts their employees ability to purchase those products and services. In no way at all. Period. End of discussion. La fin.

Stalwart Sentinel
San Jose, CA

It is apparent that the DesNews does not want to understand how to explain the "paradox" they mention in this article. Rather, they prefer to side with "Christians" as opposed to deal with truth. Does the DesNews not recognize the harm they do to our Church's reputation when they ignore reality in order to side with preconceived biases?

Conservatives like simplicity so let's be painfully simple: Hobby Lobby is not a person and was not baptized into any Christian faith. It matters not whether their owners (ie not Hobby Lobby itself) are Christian. As individuals, they are free to continue to practice their religion as they see fit. What they cannot do, however, is utilize the channels of power inherent within the company they own (to repeat, Hobby Lobby is an entity, not a human being) in order to force other people to live by the owners' religious precepts - this is particularly true when said action would clearly violate duly executed law, such as the ACA.

The reason some Christians believe they are under attack is because they refuse to see the world as it is, opting instead to see the world as they wish it to be.

Mark B
Eureka, CA

So, not only are corporations considered people, my friend, but they are people with religious beliefs who will not hesitate to exercise leverage on their employees, whatever beliefs THEY may hold. Unless a certain level of religious devotion is a requirement of employment, the bosses should leave their personal lives alone.

Kirk R Graves
West Jordan, UT


the most shocking thing about your comment is that there are people who agree with you.

Clearly, neither you are any of those liking your comment have ever lived in a country which actually implemented a single payer system.

I lived in England for 2 years (that's code talk for "I served a mission in...") and while there I found out what a government run health care system looked like. I have been opposed to the idea ever since. Its ugly (no really it is actually ugly, and dirty, and overcrowded). It was so bad in fact, that the church paid for a private health plan for each of the missionaries serving there so we wouldn't have to use the public option if we had problems.

Salt Lake City, Utah

@ David: Contrary to Conservative talking points, individuals do not really have a lot of choice in employment - if the choice is work for Hobby Lobby and feed my family or continue looking for a job while my family goes hungry, people are going to choose to work at Hobby Lobby.

Hobby Lobby receives tax benefits related to offering insurance to their employees. They are also able to attract a higher quality of employee by making insurance part of the pay package for employees.

Employees work for their insurance - just as employers cannot tell employees how to use the money they earn, employers should not control how employees use their insurance.

As long as employers receive a benefit from the government for providing insurance, the government should be allowed to require certain elements to that insurance coverage.

Eagle Mountain, UT

Its funny that so many posters here post opinion based misinformation about an article criticizing the opinion based misinformation that is our there. It is also alarming how many posters here thing that a company should be forced to provide certain things for their employees. They forget that it is not a companies duty to provide healthcare - it is a benefit. It is something that companies do to encourage people to work there. All that is (or should be) required is that the company provides remuneration for the service provided by the employee. This is between the employee and the company. People should find a place that they fit - not force others to meet their singular demands. One way is reasonable, the other is selfishness. Just like I would be a bad fit at a tattoo shop the tattoo shop employee would probably be a bad fit working at a clinic that specializes in tattoo removal.

Go where you fit. Don't force others to accede to your choices.

South Jordan, UT

While Hobby Lobby used to be one of my favor places to shop, now they are off the list completely. I refuse to shop there any long. Reason: Price gouging their customers, jamey, me. I wrote to them and they neglected to reply with explanation or to fix the wrong. Proves to me that Christianity is just a name and too difficult to put into practice by businesses.

Laura Bilington
Maple Valley, WA

To David Mohr:

By your logic, someone whose religion teaches that believes that blacks and whites should not mix should be able to deny employment to anyone with more melanin than they are comfortable with. Or refuse employment to a Mormon because their religion teaches that Mormons are evil. It doesn't matter how specious the reasoning is. Because, after all, nobody is forcing the black / Mormon / whoever to work there, right?

Santa Monica, CA

This is an excellent article and the responses are simply better. I don't know if this will be printed, because the Des News doesn't seem to like it when it's pointed out that the readers and posters make a better case than the editorial author, but that's certainly what I see here. Good argument, Des News, but you lose this one. Better argument, readers! And I do think this whole thing will be no argument at all when we move to single payer.

Orem, UT

If Hobby Lobby is so against "paying" for birth control and abortion, then WHY do they buy their products from birth control mandated China, the capitol of the legal abortion world? Put your real business decisions where you SAY your heart is, Hobby Lobby!

salt lake city, UT

Contrary to the editorial claim, the administration is not "hostile to religion." The bill was passed by the congress, and the Department of Justice typically defends government action of all sorts.
Citizens benefit from the DoJ. Here, we may learn how the Court the law as well as the U.S. Constitution. That's good for everyone.

Julie gluten free mother

People make some interesting comments arguing companies shouldn't have the right to deny certain coverages if it's against the owner's religion. No one is forced to work for any certain coverage.They can find a place with coverage they like. An employer shouldn't have to pay for a coverage that is against their belief system.

salt lake city, UT

@Really?? has the best sentiment. Political folks are trying to hijack the legal system for headlines.

1) The law is applied neutrally, and doesn't have the intent or effect of hurting particular religious groups.
2) Giving exemptions would require the government to delve into religious issues -- e.g., "are these 'it's against my religion' claims valid?" -- which the First Amendment forbids.

Today's NYTimes editorial on this issue is a more well-reasoned editorial than this one, in my opinion.

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