Freedom of Religion or
Abuse of Corporate Power?
Act Now to Stop Corporate Feudalism
Amazingly, the US Supreme Court has decided that an employer has the right to refuse health insurance coverage for birth control pills, due to "freedom of religion" - for the employer!
The heads of two large US employers, Hobby Lobby, an Oklahoma-based company, and Conestoga Wood Specialties of Pennsylvania, have decided that they want to run their corporations along their interpretation of biblical principles. Whatever. How a for-profit corporation can ever be considered religious is its own quagmire.
But, somehow, the over-bearing executives also decided that the company should also then be exempt from the laws of the nation when it comes to how rules are applied to their employees.
How does this make them any different from feudal lords overseeing their fiefdom with their own laws? Or, for that matter, from the Taliban, trying to impose their ideas of religious rules on others?
Regressives world-round trade in controlling behaviors to benefit their own interests, and the management from these two companies are no exception.
But what is truly appalling is that the Supreme Court allowed them to get away with it!
Perhaps not surprisingly, the deciding judges were all male. It was a 5-4 decision by the Chief Justices, and it has opened up a Pandora's Box of problems.
The decision rests on the idea that the corporations are closely held, and that the owners have the right to their religious beliefs.
Here's the news video... keep reading below for analysis and opinion...Supreme Court Backs Hobby Lobby On Contraception Exemption by NewsyVideos
But the religious freedom of the employees seems to have never been taken into account. Nor the fact that the employer is in fact a corporation, and a corporation, by definition, cannot practice a religion.
Once again, America has embarrassed itself internationally.
Where has the American ideal of Freedom gone?
Has the US truly become so automatically genuflecting towards Big Business that all other standards fall by the wayside?
Perhaps what the power-hungry Christian corporate overlords haven't taken into account is that the ruling may well be the thin edge of the wedge for other religious incursions by other groups, and for other reasons.
Will companies run by other restrictive religions then control their employees behavior in other ways as well - like clothing, wearing ceremonial swords, haircuts, and perhaps circumcision?
Or, will it be just a cynical way for more corporations to "save" money? Will Jewish run organizations refuse to pay for Christian based statutory holidays? Will Jehovah's Witness run companies refuse to pay for any health insurance at all? Will Islamic run organizations refuse to pay interest on loans?
And, given their obvious self-referential belief in the "rightness" of their own beliefs, it isn't too far a stretch to anticipate that these types of companies will find a way to restrict options for their suppliers and customers as well.
The American ideal of separation of church and state has been steadily eroding. Far too often, the Christian religion power-mongers have found ways to impose their beliefs on others.
But what shall Americans do about it?
At the very least, a boycott
of Hobby Lobby and Wood Specialties is in order.
I hope that employment conditions are such that all women can resign en masse
in protest from these controlling employers.
Smart, progressive companies should perhaps advertise their support of Obamacare and its coverage of birth control pills. It may well be a way to attract self-respecting and confident employees.
Regardless of how Americans feel about birth control pills, or even abortion, ALL Americans should be denouncing this power-grab by corporate leaders. No employee should have to abide by the religious dictates of corporate management.
I urge all Americans to contact their political representatives to plug this loophole and stop the corporate feudal system from taking hold, before it's too late.
Here are some of the reactions to the ruling.... don't let this opportunity to stand up for your freedoms pass!Jerry Seib: Political Impact of the Hobby Lobby Decision by WSJ Live