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article imageOp-Ed: Why every American is wrong about the Hobby Lobby case

By Justin King     Jun 30, 2014 in Politics
Washington, D. C. - The Supreme Court handed down a 5-4 decision, stating that Hobby Lobby could not be forced to pay for contraceptives under the Affordable Care Act, otherwise known as Obamacare. Every American citizen lost this court case, even those that think they won.
This case was not about abortion. This case was not about reproductive rights. This case was not about Obamacare. This case was not about any of the talking points both sides used to make their arguments. The end result of this case is a loss of liberty for all, even the winners. The case set legal precedent for the Supreme Court to decide whose rights are more important. All rights are absolute — they cannot be trimmed or negotiated away. Unsurprisingly, the court decided in favor of the wealthier party.
This case was about religious freedom. On the surface it seems as though religious freedom won the day, and the family-owned company will not have to pay for procedures it finds morally objectionable. The employees of Hobby Lobby were not represented. Their religious rights were not considered. Even if they were, the current employees cannot make decisions or waive the rights of future employees. Those employees that do not want to abide by the religious values of their employers are left in a void. They are now forced into a religious belief system, and their religious rights are being suppressed. Meanwhile, it is equally repugnant to force people, even wealthy company owners, to engage in a practice against their religious beliefs. In short, both parties were attempting to suppress the religious beliefs of another person.
Supporters of employer-paid birth control rally in front of the Supreme Court before the decision in...
Supporters of employer-paid birth control rally in front of the Supreme Court before the decision in Burwell v. Hobby Lobby Stores on June 30, 2014 in Washington, DC
Chip Somodevilla, Getty/AFP
There is no winner when both sides are attempting to undermine fundamental human rights; there are only losers.
Reproductive rights were never in jeopardy. The only thing that changed from the Hobby Lobby victory is that the government will now pay the bill. A Hobby Lobby victory did not suddenly ban abortion or deny women access to birth control.
The Affordable Care Act was a poorly thought out law with a good intent. This is what happens when the American public knowingly elects people that are bought and paid for by special interests. This is what happens when legislators pass a bill without knowing what’s in it.
The Supreme Court was under the moral obligation to throw the law out. There is no way to implement it without depriving someone of inalienable rights. The court instead took the opportunity to further assert its power in deciding whose rights really matter.
Christians in support of Hobby Lobby and the other companies represented are celebrating their victory, claiming that religious freedom is born again. That celebratory dance occurs on the graves of the religious freedoms of others. Today the anti-abortion crowd won a victory, but the cost will end up being more than they are willing to pay. In courtrooms it’s often said that it doesn’t matter how you win, as long as you win. That failed logic brought the country to the point where people are claiming a victory for religious freedom from a decision that revokes the religious freedom of others.
A third of American adults want to declare Christianity the official US state religion.
A third of American adults want to declare Christianity the official US state religion.
Thomas M. Parsons/Flickr Creative Commons
This madness will not end until the American people realize that they cannot legislate morality. Every victory in the pursuit of doing so will inevitably be used to suppress the rights of others. When companies owned by families practicing other religions take a stand to suppress the religious rights of others, maybe Christians, it will be done using the legal precedent set by this case.
This case was played by the media to become as divisive as possible. People on both sides argued for one set of human rights while attempting to suppress another. The American people must realize that as long as one of us is chained by government overreach, none of us are free. Had both sides, which claim to be liberty-minded, stood up in unison and defended each other’s rights, this abomination of a law would have been gone. It could have been replaced with a healthcare reform bill that really does reform healthcare and provide real access to the American citizen.
Nobody should celebrate this ruling. Even if your side won, you lost. You will continue to lose your rights as long as you advocate the use of the firepower of government to enforce your moral beliefs on your neighbor.
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of
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