Obama’s Freedom

From a person calling herself Jezebel comes this:

Ugh, you rubber cement-huffing nincompoop….

Anyway, I’m all for Hobby Lobby (and all other organizations that think birth control is totes gross) ignoring the law.  If they keep this up for long enough, we won’t have to worry about the fiscal cliff.

And I suppose that now’s as good a time as any to confess publicly that “Hobby Lobby” is the nickname I’ve given my vagina.

Name calling as pseudo-logic.  How very Progressive of her.

And this pseudo-argument from Think Progress, in their post misleading titled “Hobby Lobby To Deny Contraception To Employees, Ignoring Court Order:”

This ignores two obvious points—first, that Plan B is not an ‘abortion-inducing’ drug, as Hobby Lobby claims, and second, that the company may well end up paying more to avoid covering contraception than they would simply providing access.  It also takes a twisted view on the ‘Freedom of Religion’ argument; the company is actually forcing its owner’s religious beliefs on all employees, no matter their personal religious views.

I’ll ignore their first point as irrelevant (Look! Shiny!) and proceed to their second, which is blatantly cynical.  Think Progress actually is arguing in all seriousness that religious freedom—any freedom—is solely a pecuniary, fiscal thing, having nothing to do with principle or morality.  How little the Left understands individual liberties and duties.  How little the Left understands the threat to their own freedoms Big Government represents.

But their argument begins and ends with a disingenuously false premise.  Of course, the owners of Hobby Lobby are not at all denying contraception to their employees, nor are they imposing their own religious beliefs on anyone.  Those employees remain free to obtain birth control on their own, to obtain contraceptive “coverage” from other insurers, to engage in any other activity, all in accordance with their own religious beliefs.

Moreover, this refusal to participate in the HHS intrusion inflicts no other harm on their employees, either, including the costs of contraception now to be borne by those employees.  Sandra Fluke’s foolish remarks notwithstanding, contraception is freely available, and nearly free, for instance for $7/mo at any Walmart.  Condoms (the forgotten contraceptive) are just as cheap.

Hobby Lobby’s owners are simply exercising their 1st Amendment rights (that conveniently ignored clause that says, “Congress shall make no law…prohibiting the free exercise [of religion].”)  They’re simply declining to participate in a market for materials their religious beliefs hold to be immoral, while not at all impacting the ability of anyone else to participate in exactly that market.

But there’s another problem here.  When Supreme Court Justice Sonya Sotomayor refused a request from Hobby Lobby for a temporary injunction staying enforcement of HHS’ contraception insurance rule pending adjudication of the primary case, she continued the injustice rather than mitigated it.  In the balance was whether Hobby Lobby’s owners should be forced to suffer enormous economic damage or to violate their religious teachings, and so to suffer enormous moral damage, against whether Hobby Lobby’s employees should be required to go elsewhere for extremely low cost contraception and emergency contraception.  And this balance would have been purely temporary: resolution through the courts is in progress.

Sotomayor’s reasoning is instructive.

While the applicants allege they will face irreparable harm if they are forced to choose between complying with the contraception-coverage requirement and paying significant fines, they cannot show that an injunction is necessary or appropriate to aid our jurisdiction[.]

No.  $1.3 million in daily fines aren’t at all “irreparable harm.”  The moral damage of violating religious principles isn’t harmful at all.  After all, holding at bay that irreparable harm isn’t at all necessary or appropriate to aid the Court’s jurisdiction.  Never mind that it is the purpose of the Court to decide cases in accordance with the law—here the Constitution—and so to minimize overall damage.


Even without an injunction pending appeal, the applicants may continue their challenge to the regulations in the lower courts.

But pay, in the meantime, the frightful fiscal or moral cost that Sotomayor so casually dismisses.

Instead, Justice Sotomayor’s ruling said, “Kneel and bend your neck, sucker.  We already know the right answer.”  She carefully chose not to take the low cost—morally, fiscally, or legally—path.

But that’s freedom, Progressive style—Obama style.  Do it our way; we’ll take care of you.  But if you’re really so stupid as to disagree with us, we’ll vilify, demonize, you.  Because, in the first place, logic has no place in the discussion, and in the second place (yes, as in secondarily), your freedom is ours to determine.

Update: A Federal district judge appears to have a better understanding of relative costs and legal efficiency than does our Supreme Court Justice:

US District Judge Lawrence Zatkoff ruled Sunday in favor of Tom Monaghan and his Domino’s Farms Corp., near Ann Arbor.  Monaghan, a devout Roman Catholic, says contraception isn’t health care but a “gravely immoral” practice.

Zatkoff granted Monaghan’s emergency motion for a temporary restraining order until a final decision is made in the case.

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