Free spaying for Stalinists
ILANA MERCER supports faith-based businesses
Today we celebrate the proclamation of the Declaration of Independence, on July 4, 1776. Just how little is left, in 2014, of the Declaration’s inalienable rights was demonstrated by the Supreme Court’s ruling, in the case of the Secretary of Health And Human Services versus three faith-based, family owned businesses.
Having found a way to affirm the constitutionality of the unconstitutional Obamacare in the first place, a scurrilous SCOTUS, a branch in a tripartite tyranny, agreed to allow Conestoga Wood Specialties Corp., Hobby Lobby Stores Inc. (arts-and-crafts), and Mardel (Christian books) a miniscule degree of freedom in the use of their property. The individuals who own and control these businesses had objected to paying for what they consider abortifacients. Instead of being compelled to cover 20 FDA-approved methods of contraception favored by their employees, the firms will be permitted to pay for only 16.
The obsequious are celebrating. The owners, the Hahn and Green families, were facing crippling fines of $475 million per year for Hobby Lobby, $33 million per year for Conestoga, as well as $15 million per year for Mardel. By dictate of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010 (ACA), a refusal to pay for employees’ healthcare all together would have resulted in hefty penalties, too.
The U.S. government – originally founded to uphold, not calibrate, the people’s leave-me-alone rights to life, liberty and property – had claimed that the free exercise of religion did not apply to for-profit corporations. The legal lodestar followed by government and Court alike is not the unequivocal Constitution – it instructs Congress to make no prohibition on the free exercise of religion – but rather the equivocating Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA).
Contra the Constitution, The Act which, it must be said – is commendably succinct and clear, implicitly recognizes that government can and does act to “burden a person’s exercise of religion,” that it “should not substantially burden religious exercise without compelling justification,” and that when it does, government ought to opt for the “least restrictive means of furthering that compelling governmental interest.” Still, Barack’s bureaucrats seem to have “forgotten” that since the RFRA protects nonprofit corporations, there is no reason in logic to deprive for-profit corporations of the same protection.
Another legalistic, semantic smack-down, in the case of the Secretary of Health And Human Services v. Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc., is the state’s contention that religious rights attach exclusively to individuals, and that corporations aren’t entitled to what are, ostensibly, the rights of persons.
But corporations are, in essence, individuals who convene voluntarily to cooperate for a common purpose. Or, as Justice Samuel Alito who delivered the opinion of the Court put it: “A corporation is simply a form of organization used by human beings to achieve desired ends.” Furthermore, and as the SCOTUS blog confirmed, “Another federal law – the Dictionary Act – specifically includes ‘corporations’ in its definition of ‘person.’”
Judging from their splenetic screeds, the ladies of the left and their male lap dogs begrudge bosses this small, sad victory. “Scalia Law is a lot like Sharia Law,” tweeted one histrionic. “What a hilarious caricature SCOTUS is. All 5 in Harris majority are, naturally, men. All 4 dissenting include the women justices,” screeched another. Hillary Clinton intimated that this petty permission – allowing a devout proprietor to opt out of funding certain abortifacients that offend “sincerely held religious beliefs” – is “a disturbing trend that you see in a lot of societies that are very unstable, antidemocratic, and frankly prone to extremism.”
But even the Clinton screech could not best Terry O’Neill, president of the National Organization for Women, who spoke in tongues:
I think it’s really important to remember apartheid in South Africa was justified on religious grounds; the Southern Baptist Convention justified slavery, and later Jim Crow and segregation, on religious grounds. There are some religious beliefs we no longer honour in our government, and the Supreme Court is simply wrong to honour gender bigotry that Hobby Lobby stores and Conestoga Wood are promoting.
Settle down “ladies.” You’ll get your free IUDs and morning-after-pills, if not from your employer or the insurers, then from the increasingly desperate taxpayer (who, by now, might even consider paying for a spaying, too).
ILANA MERCER is a paleolibertarian writer, based in the United States. She pens WND’s longest-standing, exclusive paleolibertarian column, “Return to Reason” and is a fellow at the Jerusalem Institute for Market Studies, an award-winning, independent, non-profit, free-market economic policy think tank. She is also a Quarterly Review Contributing Editor. Ilana’s latest book is Into the Cannibal’s Pot: Lessons For America From Post-Apartheid South Africa. Her website is www.IlanaMercer.com. She blogs at www.BarelyaBlog.com