Hobby Lobby decision a sign of worse to come

July 12, 2014 

Supreme Court Birth Control

This photo taken June 30, 2014, shows demonstrators reacting outside the Supreme Court in Washington after hearing the court's decision on the Hobby Lobby case. The next difficult question likely to be resolved by the court: how much distance from an immoral act is enough? Religious-oriented nonprofit groups already could opt out of covering the contraceptives. But they say the accommodation provided by the Obama administration still does not go far enough because, though not on the hook financially, they remain complicit in the provision of some or all government-approved contraceptives to women covered by their plans. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

PABLO MARTINEZ MONSIVAIS — AP

Religious fundamentalists are praising the recent Supreme Court decision allowing Hobby Lobby to discriminate against its employees by imposing the company's religious convictions on them.

These are the same groups who in the 1960s argued that companies had the right to deny service to blacks or other minority group they disliked. In reality, fundamentalists love government intrusion that supports their own beliefs, like the War on Women laws.

But how will they feel when a company owned by a Muslim forces employees to follow Sharia law and pray to Mecca? Or a Christian Science boss who doesn't believe in medical care?

Government "intrusion" often protects citizens' rights that private parties would deny, as happened during the Civil Rights period. Companies dealing with the public, while availing themselves of government-financed infrastructure, have no right to discriminate against any taxpayers who pay for resources allowing them to operate.

Our founders explicitly created separation of church and state precisely to prevent religious bullying of citizens. We are not a Christian nation, whatever fundamentalists choose to think, and I don't want any religion dictating my civil rights.

Besides, fundamentalists are celebrating prematurely. Our Supreme Court, the most conservative in modern history, has found in favor of corporations and against individuals 88 percent of the time.

It has decreed that corporations are people, that money is free speech, and now, that corporations can have and act on their religious convictions.

Celebrants will soon realize that individuals have lost their civil rights to corporations. The celebrations will be over then.

Myra Jones

Bradenton

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