Is the United States devolving into an intolerant Christian Caliphate nation? Last week’s 5-4 Supreme Court decision claimed that our government is not able to require corporations owned by religious people to provide contraceptive health care for their workers (but providing dudes with viagra is just fine). This ruling that gives Hobby Lobby and other corporations the right to refuse women birth control smacks of religious extremism and rampant discrimination in a land that is allegedly founded on the belief that church and state should remain separate.
Female Justice’s Blistering Dissents
In a scathing 35 page dissent, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg concluded that the Obamacare contraception mandate absolutely did not impose a substantial burden on these companies, and therefore did not violate the law; the Justice wrote that the Hobby Lobby ruling was based on a misinterpretation of the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, and would open the floodgates for a plethora of religious extremist challenges to civil rights:
“Little doubt that RFRA claims will proliferate, for the Court’s expansive notion of corporate personhood — combined with its other errors in construing RFRA — invites for-profit entities to seek religion-based exemptions from regulations they deem offensive to their faith.”
And proliferation is exactly what happened; just a few days later, late last Thursday, the six male Justices ruled that an Illinois Christian college could also choose to ignore the Affordable Care Act’s birth control requirement. The Wheaton College ruling also drew a ferocious dissent from the three female justices on the court; Justice Sotomayor explained that just because someone misguidedly thinks that their religious freedoms are being threatened, does not meant that they actually are:
“After expressly relying on the availability of the religious-nonprofit accommodation to hold that the contraceptive coverage requirement violates [the Religious Freedom Restoration Act] as applied to closely held for-profit corporations, the Court now, as the dissent in Hobby Lobby feared it might, retreats from that position. That action evinces disregard for even the newest of this Court’s precedents and undermines confidence in this institution.
Let me be absolutely clear: I do not doubt that Wheaton genuinely believes that signing the self-certification form is contrary to its religious beliefs. But thinking one’s religious beliefs are substantially burdened … does not make it so.”
The twisted logic behind objecting to providing basic birth control access because you mistakenly think that it is somehow akin to abortion, which will inevitably result in more unwanted pregnancies and abortions, is incomprehensible. This irrational Supreme Court Hobby Lobby birth control madness is utterly terrifying.
My friend the comic artist Keith Knight brilliantly captured my inconceivable frustration and revolting disgust with these rulings in his medically accurate Supreme Court human centipede cartoon, which you can view in its entirety at the Medium.com. To see more of Keith Knight’s excellent artwork, please check out his website at KChronicles.com.