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Hobby Lobby sets a precedent for religious liberty

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  • cindyacre Shelley, ID
    July 6, 2014 8:49 p.m.

    The rights of women were not hampered at all:

    Bill Hatley: "Hobby lobby did not encroach upon anyone's right to chose abortion. They merely resisted be forced into participating in that choice." They have a right to choice, too. Women have the choice to not work for them.

  • Patrick Henry West Jordan, UT
    July 5, 2014 11:27 p.m.

    So now a Muslim owned business could refuse to pay for insurance that covers medications that use pig gelatin or other parts of pig.

    So now a Jehovah Witness owned business could refuse to pay for insurance that covers blood transfusions.

    This Supreme Court ruling is not a win for the people, but now opens a serious can of worms. Any business can refuse any medical procedure or medication now on the basis of religious belief.

    I imagine a lot of small business owners businesses will suddenly find religion if it means healthcare will be cheaper for their organization.

  • Dr. Thom Long Beach, CA
    July 3, 2014 6:57 p.m.

    When Congress passes a law and then the Supreme Court over turns part or in whole of that law, its not regression, it is called a "legal review."

    Congress has passed many laws that the Supreme Court has later overruled or struck down completely, it just part of the legal process. With Hobby Lobby, SCOTUS said that a corporation could decide what types of brith control they would support and which they would not, just as some companies decide what types of insurance they will provide or not. Companies also discriminate against men when they don't provide medical services for Viagra for those with diagnosed with ED. Women can choose a wide variety of BC including condoms, but what type of BC do men get to choose under their healthcare plan?

  • Happy Valley Heretic Orem, UT
    July 3, 2014 8:53 a.m.

    Just a couple questions.
    Did the Greens change religions in 2012, because before the ACA they paid for the birth control they just sued over?
    If you make money by investing in the Pham. Company that makes these birth controls that's within your morals?
    When you stock your store with goods made in China, whom has such a great record on abortion and human rights to increase your profit, that's alright.

    But to allow your employees to choose for themselves what is right, is absolutely unacceptable, and an infringement on Corporate Religion that has no soul to save, no body to incarcerate, and is immortal.

  • Cletus from Coalville Coalville, UT
    July 3, 2014 8:34 a.m.

    @Lagomorph

    "The government has a clear and compelling interest in protecting the health and safety of its citizens. Enabling women to control their fertility is one way to accomplish this."

    That's the unfortunate misinformation being advanced by you and others who simply don't understand the facts of the POTUS decision – that women no longer have control over their fertility.

    This kind of misinformation about women's fertility and health rights is staggering.

    Women are still free to choose what they want to do with their bodies, what means of contraception they want to use, and work with their doctor to make fertility and any other health decisions that are in the best interest of the female patient.

    SCOTUS simply removed the government mandate that employers MUST provide contraception coverage in their insurance plans under threat of government penalty.

    The irony here is that most corporations will still offer all kinds of contraception and fertility coverage for employees; they just won't be forced to do so under threat of government penalty.

  • Karen R. Houston, TX
    July 3, 2014 6:57 a.m.

    @ TRUTH

    Does it count if I have on occasion voted for a member of the GOP? Does this make me pure enough? Please let me know. I don't want to fly the flag unless you think I'm entitled to do so.

    Let freedom ring!

  • Bob K Davis, CA
    July 3, 2014 1:46 a.m.

    TRUTH
    Salt Lake City, UT
    Hey GaryO....have you seen the latest gallup and pew polls showing the POTUS as the worst since WWII and Reagan as the best? ......
    Didn't think so....
    The fourth of July belongs to the GOP and those who fought and died for our freedom......not the Bill Ayers/Obama types who saddle us with tyranny and escaping to Canada and cut off their trigger fingers to avoid serving in the armed services!

    A-- It was a right winger poll, not a Gallup
    B-- Bush did a "phone in" enlistment, and Romney suffered by having French people laugh in his face, rather than either one going to Vietnam, when Obama was in grade school

    The worst President? The one who cost us our economy, gained us the hatred of the Muslim world, and started a war so his rich oil friends should get richer? Or maybe Nixon?

  • RickH Blaine, WA
    July 2, 2014 11:45 p.m.

    I heard a rumour that the Church is going to add a new Official Declaration next conference entitled "Free agency and how to get the SCOTUS to enforce it."

  • There You Go Again Saint George, UT
    July 2, 2014 10:28 p.m.

    @TRUTH

    Thanks for your daily dose of humor.

  • Lagomorph Salt Lake City, UT
    July 2, 2014 6:35 p.m.

    @Cletus:
    The government has a clear and compelling interest in protecting the health and safety of its citizens. Enabling women to control their fertility is one way to accomplish this.

    Pacifists are compelled to pay for weapons and wars "despite their religious beliefs and under threat of government penalty," too, and the linkage of causality is much more direct and certain for them than what Hobby Lobby is facing with insurance policies. A sizable portion of a citizen's taxes will most definitely pay directly for arms and wars. Hobby Lobby might never pay for a contraceptive if its employees choose not to use them or not to pay for them with insurance.

    When it comes to conscience and sin, how far does the chain of culpability extend? As I noted, insurance premiums are pooled. Money is fungible. It would be difficult or impossible to trace a dollar spent on a contraceptive back to the books of Hobby Lobby. If Hobby Lobby can opt out of insurance based on a very tenuous indirect connection to contraception, then equity demands that pacifists be able to opt out of their much more substantial indirect connection to war through taxation.

  • OneWifeOnly San Diego, CA
    July 2, 2014 3:23 p.m.

    @TRUTH
    “The fourth of July belongs to the GOP…”
    Can I watch the fireworks and share a BBQ with my neighbors or do I need to change my voter registration first?

  • OneWifeOnly San Diego, CA
    July 2, 2014 3:23 p.m.

    In my opinion, this was not a ruling about birth control. It was a ruling about whether or not the owners of corporations can impose their religious belief upon their employees. There are many subject matters where religious belief and secular law collide as evidenced daily on the pages of this newspaper. It is my belief that SCOTUS has opened the door for corporations to claim religious objection to other secular laws they disagree with. Furthermore, while this particular ruling affected only 4 particular types of birth control the next case up will be brought by a Catholic organization and will be about all types of birth control. What might be next?

  • TRUTH Salt Lake City, UT
    July 2, 2014 2:41 p.m.

    Hey GaryO....have you seen the latest gallup and pew polls showing the POTUS as the worst since WWII and Reagan as the best? ......

    Didn't think so....

    The fourth of July belongs to the GOP and those who fought and died for our freedom......not the Bill Ayers/Obama types who saddle us with tyranny and escaping to Canada and cut off their trigger fingers to avoid serving in the armed services!

  • Cletus from Coalville Coalville, UT
    July 2, 2014 2:33 p.m.

    @Lagomorph

    The Court in no such way "established a state religion" and such a declaration is nothing more than hyperbole.

    Furthermore, your Amish and Jehovah witness example demonstrates unfamiliarity with the Court's decision.

    The Court held that the government cannot burden a person's exercise of religion unless the government demonstrates that the application of such a burden is in furtherance of a compelling governmental interest.

    Requiring a citizen to participate in the defense of our nation clearly demonstrates the furtherance of a compelling governmental interest--protection of both the pacifist and the non-pacifist citizen despite the religious belief of the pacifist.

    Pray tell--how does compelling an employer to pay for employee contraception despite their religious beliefs and under threat of government penalty demonstrate a furtherance of a "compelling" governmental interest?

    @Tyler D

    The employer still provides the insurance and employee contributions come nowhere near covering the cost incurred by the employer. Furthermore, customers don’t "pay" for employee insurance; they pay for a product that "cost" the employer to provide.

    Hey GaryO

    Typical liberal--throw in an ad hominem attack at the messenger (CATO) rather than address the message.

  • GaryO Virginia Beach, VA
    July 2, 2014 2:08 p.m.

    Hey Red -

    " . . . the Government bullies who are taking our freedoms away . . . "

    And that's exactly what happened.

    Right Wing oppressors in black robes took our freedoms away.

    That's what we get for electing Republican Presidents.

    Anti-government "Conservatives" are right about the dangers of government.

    Ironically though, those dangers are only present when "Conservatives" get their way in government.

  • GaryO Virginia Beach, VA
    July 2, 2014 1:58 p.m.

    Hey Cletus –

    “As articulated by Julian Sanchez from the CATO Institute . . . “

    The Cato institute?

    The Cato institute is just one more phony think tank funded by the Koch brothers. And Julian Sanchez is just another Koch brother’s employee repeating Koch-Brothers’-approved rhetoric for the consumption of “Conservatives.”

    The ruling provokes concern from Americans who believe the principle of the Separation of Church and State should not have been tampered with, and the Constitution should not have been trampled by Right Wingers bent on taking away American freedoms.

  • Red San Antonia, TX
    July 2, 2014 1:46 p.m.

    Thank goodness we have companies willing to stand up to the Government bullies who are taking our freedoms away.

    Freedom to Choose baby!

    Celebrate the 4th of July. Let's get rid of the terrorists that are in our own country.

  • Tyler D Meridian, ID
    July 2, 2014 1:33 p.m.

    @Cletus from Coalville – “religious objections are underserving of respect when they are forced to act against their convictions…”

    Except this case had nothing to do with the owners of Hobby Lobby being forced to pay for anything (and the plaintiffs in the case tell us that paying for birth control was their motivation for filing, because they told the SC they have no problem facilitating the insurance policy that covers these products as long as they don’t have to share in the cost).

    Health insurance is a payroll expense deducted from revenue before profit (the part that accrues to the owners), therefore if anyone was paying for health insurance for the employees it was the customers of Hobby Lobby.

    This case was motivated by one thing only – a right wing attack on a liberal president’s main policy achievement. It had nothing to do with religion and everything to do with politics.

    All the rest is rhetorical smoke & mirrors… but it sure made for good theater.

    @Lagomorph

    Best summary I’ve seen yet!

  • Lagomorph Salt Lake City, UT
    July 2, 2014 1:10 p.m.

    liberty or ...?: "For years we have honored the beliefs of widely different opinions from Jehovah's witnesess stance on blood transfusions to Quakers and Ahmish pacifism to not be forced to military service."

    Quakers and the Amish are provided a conscience exemption from DIRECT action (i.e. military service) in opposition to their beliefs. The law does not allow them a waiver from INDIRECT action. They are still compelled by law to pay taxes for weapons and war against their moral principles. No one compelled Hobby Lobby, the Green family, or their employees to buy or use contraceptives. They were only required to pay premiums into an insurance pool, some of which MIGHT be used for contraceptives. If Quakers can be compelled to pay indirectly for wars, Hobby Lobby can pay indirectly for contraceptives.

    The tortured hairsplitting in the Hobby Lobby decision specifically limited the ruling to contraception and explicitly excluded blood transfusions from conscience protection. In doing this the majority established a state religion. It said, in effect, that if you are Catholic or evangelical Protestant, the court will honor your religious beliefs. But if you are Jehovah's Witness, your deeply held religious beliefs carry no weight.

  • lost in DC West Jordan, UT
    July 2, 2014 12:59 p.m.

    GaryO
    thanks for your daily dose of humor.

    business owners can, as a result of this ruling, NOT have the government dictate that they choose between feeding their families and abiding by their convictions. a FABULOUS re-affirmation of religious liberty and reinforcement of the separation of church and state

    Once in a while, the SCOTUS actually gets it right and protects freedom.

    Face it folks, the implementaiton of "liberal" ideology does no good for this nation or its citizens.

    BTW, did you see the Quinnipiac University survey published today that shows your hero BO as the worst president since WWII? Worse even than carter or bush?

  • Cletus from Coalville Coalville, UT
    July 2, 2014 12:32 p.m.

    As articulated by Julian Sanchez from the CATO Institute, liberals are essentially claiming that believers with religious objections are underserving of respect when they are forced to act against their convictions, regardless of whether this makes any real difference to the outcome.

    "The ruling seems to provoke anger, not because it will result in women having to pay more for birth control (as it won't), but at least in part because it fails to send the appropriate cultural signal. Or, at any rate, because it allows religious employers to continue sending the wrong cultural signal—disapproval of certain forms of contraception—when sending that signal does not impede the achievement of the government's ends in any way."

    Liberals believe they have a "right" to employer compensated contraception, even though they are free to access it by other means (that doesn't matter to a liberal) and this entitlement should trump the religious views of the employer.

    Furthermore, liberals have invented an evil boogeyman called a corporation, labeled it as an inanimate object with no connection to people, and then ironically claim a hypocritical right to a corporation payback.

  • GaryO Virginia Beach, VA
    July 2, 2014 12:20 p.m.

    "Hobby Lobby sets a precedent for religious liberty"

    WRONG

    Hobby Lobby sets a precedent for religious oppression.

    In a landmark decision, the Supreme Court destroyed the Separation of Church and State, a long-standing principle designed by the Founders to help guarantee our freedoms.

    Once again, our Right/Wrong-leaning Supreme Court trampled on the Constitution and made a horrible decision that resulted in a reduction of our freedoms.

    Face it folks, the implementation of "Conservative" ideology does no good for this nation or its citizens.

  • Hutterite American Fork, UT
    July 2, 2014 12:10 p.m.

    It sets a precedent. A regressive one, as individuals lose a bit of religious freedom in order that it be given to a corporation. One which, if we had the proper national single payer system we should have, no corporation or employer should even have.
    Religious freedom was pushed back in this ruling. As for the issue at hand, birth control, I should imagine that it is an incredibly minute component of any health insurance plan, in terms of cost. An unwanted pregnancy, on the other hand, can present a burden on not just an insurer but society. Prevention is not only a far more sound idea, but more cost effective. It should not be denied to anyone based on mythology.

  • FT salt lake city, UT
    July 2, 2014 12:02 p.m.

    No reason why a business, non profit or religous organization should have to provide birth control. Why do we let them have tax exempt status as well? Let's be honest most of the religous organizations are run as a business, to generate wealth, acrue power and influence goverment. Why do I have to pay for their services? If they want to use our roads, be defended by our military, etc they can pay their own way as well. They need to stop infringing on my rights and expect me to pay for their well being.

  • liberty or ...? Ogden, UT
    July 2, 2014 12:00 p.m.

    It's pathetic that the very thing our original settlers fled to this wilderness country to obtain had to be re-validated by a 5-4 court ruling which should have been 9-0 vote with the same outcome. The idea that a person has the right to concience is core to the american ideal of freedom and our own government set up to protect that right now seeks to enforce its own definitions of morality on people you might as well have a state sponsered religion then. There is no difference wether it has a reiligous label or a secular one. For years we have honored the beliefs of widely different opinions from Jehovah's witnesess stance on blood transfusions to Quakers and Ahmish pacifism to not be forced to military service. If you work for an organization that has specific stated beliefs you accept that going in. If you don't you are not compelled to affiliate with them. I wonder how all atheists would feel if they were compelled through law and taxes to directly support churches as charity organizations by legal definition you might then understand how they feel about issues like abortion then. tolerance is a 2 way street.

  • Chris B Salt Lake City, UT
    July 2, 2014 11:50 a.m.

    This was a great ruling

    It's hard to even have rational conversations with liberals who insist on being disingenuous at best.

    No one is saying a woman shouldn't have access to birth control. Such is the lie we hear from the left.

    If you want to engage in sexual activity and you want to not get pregnant, that is your decision. I won't pay so you can do those things.

    You can pay for it.