U.S. Supreme Court delivers 5--4 decisions for Hobby Lobby; and against mandated union dues for in-home care
U.S. Supreme Court justices might have found themselves able to deliver unanimous decisions last week (i.e., warrants needed for cellphones), but today, the Justices reverted to their usual 5-4 ideological split.
The justices ruled Hobby Lobby CAN deny contraception coverage on religious grounds; this ruling is apparently limited to closely held, family-owned firms, not publicly traded companies. It's a narrow ruling: Regular publicly traded corporations not affected; religious objections to other components of health-care coverage - such as against vaccinations or blood transfusions - would not carry similar weight, which some would see as a different kind of double-standard.
Have the majority justices now opened a Pandora's box for religiously motivated lawsuits? For example, a family-owned business in a state with legal gay marriage not wanting to subsidize the health-care insurance for the partner. Looking two or three chess moves ahead, one could see the high court ruling 5-4 in the OTHER direction, which would then mean such businesses would shelve spousal health-care coverage entirely.
At least one of the three branches of government seems to be following the Constitution...both the Executive and Legislative branches appear to ignore that "silly old document" while the SCOTUS decisions are following the laws of the land...below is how the system is supposed to work:
Mon, Jun 30, 2014 1:15pm
Thank GOD Reagan and the Bush's were president; otherwise conservatives would have no defense left.
Mike from Delaware
Mon, Jun 30, 2014 1:25pm
I believe the Supremes made the correct decision.
This makes sense, the owners of Hobby Lobby are using THEIR personal money so in essence they were being forced to use THEIR own money to purchsase something that goes against their religous beliefs. Whereas with a DuPont, Exxon, Sears, etc, the CEO's of those companies do not use THEIR money to run the business. So even if those CEO's had a religious belief against birth control or abortion, they are just like any of us who work for a corporation. It's not our personal money any more than it is the CEO's personal money, thus the difference between Hobby Lobby and IBM. So IBM, DuPont, Exxon, or Sears won't be able to use a religious objection to paying for those Obamacare services, whereas companies like Hobby Lobby and Conestoga Wood Specialties Corporation can.
That is protecting a citizens religious beliefs and is the correct path.
Mon, Jun 30, 2014 1:38pm
I understand their concern with not providing coverage for contraceptives based on religious beliefs, but based on financial issues, I would think you'd want your employees NOT getting knocked up and having kids that will raise rates and costs.
Mike from Delaware
Mon, Jun 30, 2014 3:30pm
Arthur: The owners of Hobby Lobby might answer you by saying, we believe that society is to be living in accordance with God's laws, in other words, no sex until marriage [I don't know of any Christian denomination that would not agree with that statement]. Yea, kind of a quaint idea, a bit old-fashioned and basically ignored today by the secular world which prefers to do everything their way.
So if folks choose to have their own standards outside of God's, why should Mr. and Mrs. Lobby, who are trying to follow those standards, have to buy birth-control pills and provide abortions for those folks who blow off those beliefs?
So if not wanting those standards from God and doing it THEIR way, then those employees should face the consequences of THEIR actions on their own, that should not be the problem for Mr. and Mrs. Lobby to solve. So to avoid such consequences those employees should provide their own sexual "protection". They want to play, then they need to take responsibility for THEIR actions.
Part of God's plan is for families to have children, so my guess is Mr. and Mrs. Lobby don't mind spending their money to help folks with the maternity bills, and suffer the lost work time due to pregnancy, etc., because having families with children is part of God's design.
It's a spiritual issue for them, not a financial issue.
Mon, Jun 30, 2014 3:42pm
Uh, Mike, married people also use birth control - even Christians! God forbid.
Mon, Jun 30, 2014 6:40pm
Arthur: We recognize that married people, even Christians, use birth control. That isn't what's being debated here. The issue of whether birth control is right or wrong has been debated amongst the denominations for decades. The bottom line here is the convictions of the business owners, not the convictions of their employees. If they want their birth control paid for by their employer, then they need to go find another employer that does that, not use the legal system to force their current employer whose wishes differ.
It's free enterprise, my friend.
Mike from Delaware
Mon, Jun 30, 2014 8:24pm
Arthur: Yes, birth control is only considered a sin by the Roman Catholic Church. So for us Lutherans, etc., it is not a sin to use birth control while all Christian Churches do consider having sex outside marriage to be sinful.
Mon, Jun 30, 2014 9:59pm
The health-care law mandates coverage of 20 forms of birth control, but the owners of Hobby-Lobby had strongly objected to two kinds of emergency contraception and two types of intrauterine devices - both of which prevent fertilization and implantation of an egg in females.
So, the truth is Hobby-Lobby allowed 16 of the 20 forms of birth control.
As usual, the liberal drive-by media spread false propaganda, in this case, not telling the entire story.
And as usual, the "Fox News" type conservative media come along and sets the record straight.
May Andrew Breitbart rest in peace.
Tue, Jul 1, 2014 5:58am
With all due respect, Mr. Pizza and Mr. Grey, I discussed Hobby Lobby's specific objection to abortifacients with several guests, and I heard references in the "mainstream" media to that distinction. Granted, that distinction typically didn't come up in the lead paragraphs.
But, the Supreme Court's ruling would appear to allow family-owned businesses - whose owners have profound religious objections - to exclude all forms of contraception from their health plans, whether abortifacients or not.
One of these days, Mr. Pizza - when I can find the time - I'll explain why many in media consider the term, "liberal drive-by media" so offensive...
Tue, Jul 1, 2014 8:22am
Allan: I hope you understand I wasn't referring to you or WDEL. My main peeves are CNN and MSNBC. CBS is somewhat more conservative and ABC I'm not sure of.
Tue, Jul 1, 2014 8:55am
Mr. Loudell...I was responding to posts from Mike and Arthur. Both seemed to believe Hobby Lobby had refused to offer any forms of birth control...the reality is they were fine with providing/covering 16 forms of birth control. Hobby Lobby's issue was with the "abortifacients" you discussed...so family-owned businesses can refuse to provide them but larger corporations can't.
I also agree with what mrpizza had to say...the main rant/outcry I heard on various other "news" outlets yesterday was that the SCOTUS has declared a "war on women"...as Hillary's coronation grows closer I'm sure we will hear even more about this supposed war.
Interesting that a recent poll has SCOTUS's approval rating higher than the numbers for Congress or the President...
Mike from Delaware
Tue, Jul 1, 2014 10:41am
EarlGrey: I didn't even realize there were 20 different forms of birth control, so yes I assumed, from the articles I read, that Hobby Lobby wasn't allowing any. Thanks for the clarification.
If there are that many types of birth control available and Obamacare is providing all that for FREE to any woman [other than those few small companies like Hobby Lobby] than there should be a major drop to almost zero of women seeking abortions.
Maybe its time for the adult women in the US to step up to the plate and take responsibility for their bodies and take or use one of the 20 birth control things available for FREE courtesy of the US Tax Payer via Obamacare. Far better for the woman both physically and emotionally to prevent a pregnancy than to end a viable baby via an abortion.
There is almost NO reason for an adult woman to have an unwanted pregnancy, other than rape or incest. Even then there's the morning after pill, which I'd assume is also FREE via Obamacare.
Sadly we live in a society where sex is viewed as something to do. Hey Susie, let's go out Friday night. We can go bowling, have a pizza, and then go have some sex. However that's a topic for a different day.
Tue, Jul 1, 2014 7:09pm
I guess the silver lining to homosexual marriage is that at least they can't PRODUCE children, but they can still adopt and corrupt them.
Mike from Delaware
Wed, Jul 2, 2014 9:14am
Mrpizza: I believe that being a homosexual is not a sin, but I believe practicing homosexual sex is sinful.
Science is proving more and more that its genetic. If you have the gene that would make you homosexual then you probably will become homosexual, just as for others who are heterosexual their genes made them heterosexual. So what you're saying is wrong. Homosexuality isn't taught, learned, or evangelized. Now granted there are some folks who have maybe a lesser dose of the homosexual gene and maybe they can go both ways so for them it could be a choice, but maybe the desire ebbs and flows from day to day, we don't yet know the answer [Bill Smith appears to fall into that group based on his comments here in the past]. But folks like Bill are a true minority, for most folks you're either one way or the other.
Let me ask you a question, had you been adopted by a pair of gay/lesbians [for this scenario say your folks were killed in an auto accident so you were placed in a gay/lesbian home by the state] are you saying that today you'd be gay? I know for myself that the answer would be NO. What has happened by gay/lesbians adopting kids is they are given a good home, they aren't prothletized into become gay/lesbian. Those kids tend to not see gay/lesbianism as sinful, because they've lived with such folks and see they have a "normal" lifestyle other than who they go to bed with.
I know some gay/lesbian folks and some have children. None of their kids be they natural born from a lesbian mother who had been married in a hetrosexual marriage prior or adopted kids of homosexuals have become gay/lesbian.
So while the Bible teaches that homosexuality is a sin, I believe its saying that the practice of homosexual sex is what's sinful, because a person can not control whether or not they are gay/lesbian or straight. I could never become gay. If someone put a gun up to my head and said have gay sex or die. They'd have to kill me, because that is not going to happen. Well it works the same way for gay/lesbians. So the homosexual act is sinful, not their genetics making desire homosexual sex.
At the Garden of Eden, a perfect world, no sin. So no illness, no birth defects, no pain, etc, etc. THEN entered sin via Adam and Eve disobeying God and getting kicked out of the Garden. Now there is sin, so illness, birth defects pain, etc. So just as children are born with all sorts of defects such as Type 1 Diabetes, deformed body parts, Autism, Downs Syndrome, etc. So couldn't they also have born with genetic defects such as homosexuality? We don't condemn a Downs Syndrome child, so why condemn a homosexual child. They can not help how their genetics were wired any more than a Downs Syndrome can. We live in a fallen world. So it is not a learned lifestyle.
As Galeleo famously said, "I think in the first place that it is very pious to say and prudent to affirm that the holy Bible can never speak untruth-whenever its true meaning is understood. But I believe nobody will deny that it is often very abstruse, and may say things which are quite different from what its bare words signify. Hence in expounding the Bible if one were always to confine oneself to the unadorned grammatical meaning, one might; fall into error. Not only contradictions and propositions far from true might thus be made to appear in the Bible, but even grave heresies and follies. "
As our knowledge of Science grows we'll interprete some things in the scriptures differently, like the Sun stopped moving in Joshua. We know the Earth is moving around the Sun, not the other way around. "The Bible tells us how to go heaven and Science tells us how the heavens go." That is another quote from Gailileo. The Bible is NOT a Science Book, but a book of faith telling us about God's plan for salavation of mankind.
Wed, Jul 2, 2014 11:43am
Mike: You are correct that the Bible is not a science book, but it does cover this topic (nothing is new under the sun).
Read over Romans 1:22-32 (main emphasis on verse 28).
Mike from Delaware
Wed, Jul 2, 2014 2:59pm
EarlGrey: I think what I said lines up with scripture. The act is what is sinful. You might see a pretty woman walking down the street who's dressed in a provocative manner and for a second, you might find yourself looking a little too intently at her. Suddenly you catch yourself and stop, realizing that is wrong, but you didn't act on a desire of the flesh, but given you're a heterosexual male your eye is going to be attracted to seeing women rather than men [it is how we're wired].
We are faced with temptations of all sorts [not just sexual] every day; as long as we don't act on those temptations, we've not sinned. Same with homosexuals. Science seems to prove they cannot change their orientation anymore than I could change mine, and become a homosexual. I believe that their "faulty genetics" that causes them to be homosexual is part of the sin nature and this fallen world due to the original sin via Adam and Eve, just as we all are sinful folks who without the saving grace of Jesus Christ, would be condemned to Hell. Law and Gospel. We can never follow the law to perfection so we can not ever qualify for Heaven and an eternity with God, due to us keeping the Law faithfully [Law]. Christ paid that price so that we are made clean by HIS blood so now we are forgiven and acceptable to God [Gospel].
Granted, many believe it's OK to practice a homosexual lifestyle as our nation is now embracing gay/lesbian marriage in a big way. That is exactly what that piece of scripture is discussing. That is very different from what I'm saying.
Wed, Jul 2, 2014 4:03pm
Mike: I think we are in agreement on the sin/sinner portion of this debate (love the sinner/hate sin), but differ on the root cause...my understanding from these verses is that the "cause" is not genetics, but instead the result of hearts/minds/souls rejecting/disowning God in the first place.
We are all sinners, and all deserve the penalty for our sins...only through grace/faith in Christ is anyone forgiven of the proper penalty.
Wed, Jul 2, 2014 9:40pm
Sorry Mike, but it sounds like "junk" science to me.
Mike from Delaware
Wed, Jul 2, 2014 10:04pm
EarlGrey: Many gay men said that when they were in Kindergarten they didn't know why, but they didn't want to play with guns, baseball, etc. They actually wanted to play with dolls like the girls. They knew something was wrong as all the other boys wanted to play ball & war, or cowboys and Indians.
Mrpizza: So were Copernicus & Galileo wrong? Does the sun go around the earth as the Bible says?
The Catholics certainly thought so, as they considered both men heretics.
I think we should be careful & not judge as none of us is God & may not know all we need to know to see clearly.
Thu, Jul 3, 2014 12:18am
Mike: I'm not judging...just saying I don't happen to believe the "scholars" who blame genetics... I am also skeptical of "scholars" who assure us global warming/global cooling/global climate change is caused by humans. Those who dare to question both of these theories just may face the next Inquisition.
...."nobody expects the Spanish Inquisition"~Monty Python
Thu, Jul 3, 2014 6:54am
MFD: I think you're a very confused Christian.
Thu, Jul 3, 2014 6:57am
MFD: I don't mean to sound like I'm putting you down, but you make about as much sense to me about this issue as Kavips.
Mike from Delaware
Fri, Jul 4, 2014 9:41am
EarlGrey and Mrpizza: I don't believe many preachers who didn't learn Greek or Hebrew in seminary [so they can ONLY read the Bible in English and miss being able to get the flavor of the original language with its nuances that we'd miss in reading the English version], as their knowledge may not be much better than yours or mine [many fundamentalist-type preachers fit this description]. They believe the entire Bible should be read literally [including Psalms and the Song of Salomon, or in Joshua where the Sun moved backward, are examples - that last one is what got Copernicus and Galileo into trouble with the medieval Catholic Church].
Many of these preachers believe the King James is the ONLY correct version of the Bible and many also only believe the organ is the only musical instrument that should be used in church even though there weren't any organs around in Jesus' time. I'm serious; I've met some preachers like this.
They want to read the Bible like they're reading a newspaper. Some parts that works, other parts no. As I've said before, Scripture is always correct; our understanding and interpretation of what it says may change as we grow and learn. The Galileo thing. God gave us a mind; he expects us to use it for His glory.
I understand your concern; you believe that these scholars will want to say gay/lesbian acts are not sinful, because they can't help themselves. I don't agree with such a view, because the Bible says homosexuality is a sin. However my understanding of that Scripture might change if science can prove that the person can't help having homosexual desires anymore than a person born with a birth defect can help that. Then how can they be born that way alone be a sin? So for me, it means them acting on that homosexuality would be the sin.
Remember in the ancient world of the Bible, hardship and sickness were thought to be caused by sin. If that's the case, then there should be some very sick people in the hospitals all around America, yet most of those folks who sin freely without a care in the world [many are the wealthiest folks on the planet] are living great lives. Again, the Bible is not a science or medical book.
An example: those men in Genesis who wanted Lot to hand over his two visitors to them. Had they gone home and done nothing when Lot begged them to, they would not have sinned and that Scriptural passage possibly would have ended differently than the town's destruction. Instead, Lot offers them his two daughters so they can do whatever they like with them. From where I'm sitting with my 21st century view, Lot sinned. Lot definitely isn't "Father of the Year" material [Funny, when this Scripture is preached, ONLY the homosexual acts are the focus, as if it's OK to give our daughters over as Lot wanted].
However, in Lot's world, just as in today's Arab world, women had no position or rights and were considered property, etc., etc. So it wasn't considered a sin in Lots' world to hand his daughters over to those men so they could have their way with them; they're just females. Of course, those men of the town refused Lot's offer and wanted to break down the door to get to those visitors as we all know. They wanted to act on their homosexuality.
As I'm a sinner too, who needs God's love, grace, and forgiveness, I feel like a hypocrite pointing the finger at these folks; who am I to do that?
This is why I'm less quick to say, homosexuals sin because they want to be homosexual. I'm not so sure and figure my job is to bring Christ to these homosexual folks. It's God's job to judge their hearts. There certainly could be some people who choose to be homosexuals, and others who didn't get that choice. ONLY God knows that for sure and who is making the choice vs. not getting the choice.
So I'd rather give folks the benefit of the doubt, especially if that would lower the barrier they have against coming to Christ. Their only hope, just as it is for you and me, is Christ. Our job is to help them discover that. So if that makes me a "confused Christian" in Mrpizza's view, it is what it is. I wish I saw things as clearly as he believes he does. Sadly I see through smoke-colored glass. Be at peace.
Fri, Jul 4, 2014 4:39pm
MFD: Thanks for the analysis. I'm not pointing my finger at these folks, but beware that we're presently living in a culture that wants to absolve personal responsibility for behavior and blame everything on an outside cause of some kind.
So while I'm not agreeing or disagreeing with you, I admonish you to be careful of those who would try to explain away things. There's an agenda behind much of this, and we as Christians need to "test the spirits" behind anything being said, particularly in this day of "new age" thought.
If I'm doing any finger pointing, it isn't at the "folks" as you refer to them, but at the government that continues to enable them. I find this whole "homosexual marriage" (an oxymoron, by the way)thing to be the equivalent of furnishing drunks with alcohol or people who want to commit suicide with guns or cyanide capsules. These practices also make these people more difficult for us to minister to because they've been convinced they don't have a problem in the first place.
Mike from Delaware
Fri, Jul 4, 2014 6:42pm
Mrpizza: I agree with you, our society does want to absolve personal responsibility for bad behavior [the ole Flip Wilson routine - where Geraldine would say: the Devil made me buy this dress]. Many parents today yell at a teacher saying, even when the child was caught "red handed": my child wouldn't do such a thing, etc.
As Christians we should definitely test the spirits, also read and learn from Science as it will give us answers that can help clarify some issues. What troubles me about many Christians is their fear of Science. They act like Science and Scripture are enemies. God created Science [the physical world - mother nature, all the various sciences like Biology, Physics, Chemistry, Nuclear Physics, Geology, etc, etc are all God's]. We need men and women who are Christians to go into these fields of study as used to be the case years ago where many scientists were Christians [Copernicus and Galileo are two examples]. If only non-believers study Science then The Church may miss out on better understanding God's Holy Word. Science and Scripture work hand in hand when both are used for God's glory.
The easiest way to get it is the Bible tells us how to go to heaven [God Plan for mankind's redemption - the spiritual world], and Science tells us how the heavens operate [how the physical world works, not the spiritual world].
The issue of folks not believing they're doing anything wrong is a problem as our society no longer wants to teach simply right and wrong, even from a secular view much less a religious view. So while the doing homosexual things is sinful, having that desire I don't believe is, as the evidence more and more is showing its genetic. I had no control over whether my eyes were brown or blue, so it doesn't make sense to say if you have brown eyes you've sinned. How I use those brown eyes could be sinful. That's my point.
Sat, Jul 5, 2014 4:32pm
Add your comment: Attention: In an attempt to promote a level of civility and personal
responsibility in blog discussions, we now require you to be a member of
the WDEL Members Only Group in order to post a comment. Your Members
Only Group username and password are required to process your post.
You can join the WDEL Members Only Group for free by clicking here.
If you are already a member but have forgotten your username or password, please
Please register your post with your WDEL Members Only Group username and password below.