Monday, June 30, 2014

Why Can’t We Force Companies Owned by Christians to Buy Contraceptives? :An Explanation for Hardcore Liberals


"Hey, Barb, can you hold my sign? They just marked the silk flowers half off..."



The Supreme Court has decided the Hobby Lobby case, and my Facebook feed is full of earnest (or perhaps very cynical) young (and rapidly approaching menopause) liberal women complaining about a war on woman, an attack on their sexual autonomy, and the coming of a world which previously only existed in Margaret Atwood novels.

So, why can’t the government just force those evil, plutocrat woman-hating Hobby Lobbyists to provide contraception like good upstanding corporate citizens?

Here’s a thought experiment to help you understand the problem.

I am Catholic. I am pro-life. In my younger (stupider, angrier) days, I thought that I could simultaneously be anti-abortion and pro-death penalty.  After much study, I discovered that I was wrong, and that the Church asks me to oppose both abortion and the death penalty. So I now oppose the death penalty.

Imagine I opened a chain of craft stores (almost unimaginable, I know, but bear with me here). I try to run my stores in accord with my religious principles. We don’t sell things made by prison labor, we don’t sell products made from inhumanely slaughtered animals, and we don’t donate to or in any way support groups that advocate for the death penalty or abortion.

So far, so good, right?  Except I live in a death penalty state.  One day, the Republican-controlled legislature passes the “Just Desserts Act for the Protection of Rape Victims.” From now on, all rapists will get the death penalty.  To pay for the increased electric chair and lethal injection costs, the state is instituting a new tax. For every female employee in a company (Hey, they’re obviously sexist Republicans!), the state will collect a portion of the profits for the purpose of taking these rapists out of society forever.  Hey, who can argue with that? Don’t we want to protect our flowers of Hoosier womanhood from defilement and despair?

Except, even though I’m a conservative woman, I have a problem with that. I can’t pay an ‘execution tax.’ That’s repugnant. I don’t think the state has a right to put people to death! As a Christian business owner, I am morally obligated to refuse to pay for execution.   “Fine,” says the state. “Then we’ll fine you a huge amount for every day you don’t pay the tax. You can lend direct, financial support to executions, or we’ll drive you out of business!”

Could the state do this? Should the state do this? Should support for the death penalty be required of all business owners, even when it violates their deeply held beliefs?

Of course not. (Unless you think that the morality of an action depends solely on what the legislature has to say about it. In which case, you are creepy and I hope you never get elected to anything!)

So, how is the contraception mandate OK?  

Because it’s ‘vital healthcare?’ 

But punishing criminals and preserving the public order is a MORE basic function of government than dispensing ‘health products.’ 

 Because of the ‘war on women?’ 

But the hypothetical legislation was about preventing and punishing crimes against women!

Because you and all the right-thinking folk you know hate the death penalty but love contraception? 

Would you really feel safe living in a country where whoever happened to have the best TV 
demeanor got to decide what constitutes ‘right-thinking?’ Hillary won’t be able to replicate the Obama magic….

And that is why you shouldn’t WANT to force Hobby Lobby to buy contraceptives…

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