Fresh Wind of Liberty Blows Across the Land

Is anyone surprised that the left is hyperventilating and bouncing off the walls over the SCOTUS decision in the Hobby Lobby case? Planned Parenthood and others are decrying the “health risks” women face and the loss of “reproductive rights.”  You’d think the decision reversed Griswold v Connecticut and banned the sale of contraceptives completely.  The Guttmacher Institute e-mailed out a propaganda piece titled “After Supreme Court Ruling, Focus shifts to how Obama Administration and Congress will ensure Contraceptive Coverage for Affected Employees.”  All that the Hobby Lobby decision does is to merely allow “closely-held corporations” to not have to pay for four specific chemical abortion pills.  Those businesses will still be required to provide (and the companies did not ask for exemption from these) sixteen other contraceptive pills.

Put bluntly and simply: contraception is not banned.  Instead, insurance will have to pay – probably at exorbitant cost – for the pills that are readily available and inexpensive at every local drug store and provided free at many local clinics.

In fact, as Jennifer Rubin of the Washington Post points out, Congress passed a guaranteed religious accommodation exactly like the Hobby Lobby case, and the bill – the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA) in 1993 – was signed into law by Bill Clinton, a Democratic president.  Additionally, Rubin notes that the concept of “person” encompasses “corporations, companies, associations, firms, partnerships, societies, and joint stock companies, as well as individuals.”  So much for those complaining that they “didn’t mean” for the RFRA to include businesses.  In fact, throughout the nation’s history, religious freedom has been carefully protected as a fundamental principle of liberty.

It is patently ridiculous for the left to complain that women will be harmed in any way by the protection offered to businesses like Hobby Lobby.  Instead, it becomes even more obvious that a central purpose of ObamaCare was to provide public funding for abortion.  It is even more obvious that those who object to the SCOTUS ruling are looking for a campaign issue for the 2014 and 2016 elections.  The campaign rhetoric is already shaping up – Hillary Clinton, Sandra Fluke, and Nancy Pelosi are already using the decision to add fertilizer to the worn out “war on women” meme.  Likewise, the left-wing PACs are mobilizing their constituencies and raising funds with demagoguery and wild distortions about denying women contraceptives.  Other leftist groups are braying about dire consequences to women’s health, calling the decision “deeply troubling” and saying that it “sanctions discrimination,” “takes the country backward,” and “undermines women’s health.”  Others manufacture out of thin air the claim – ridiculously – that the ruling will enable companies to “ignore laws with impunity.”  The “irresponsible and divisive” political rhetoric must stop.

Let me repeat, so that the facts are clearly evident: the Hobby Lobby case focused on only four of the 20 drugs mandated through ObamaCare.  The Green family, owners of Hobby Lobby, did not object to providing sixteen of those drugs that are just contraceptives.  They did not – because of their religious views – want to pay for their employees to take four of the ObamaCare-designated contraception pills, because those four caused chemical abortions.  The Supreme Court ruled that those business owners who are “closely-held corporations” do not have to violate their consciences to provide the four abortifacient drugs.  Their case was based on the RFRA, which was passed – by a bipartisan majority – during the Clinton administration in 1993.  Indeed, many of those who are now protesting the loudest at its application in the Hobby Lobby case were among the ones who voted to pass the RFRA.

As the brilliant Robert P. George wrote in First Things, “Just as the for-profit company known as the New York Times enjoys the right to freedom of the press under the First Amendment, so Hobby Lobby enjoys the right to religious freedom protected by RFRA.”  The Christian Science Monitor accurately observed that the Hobby Lobby decision ensured that “[g]overnment must not force the employers to act against their faith, the court found, because that would be the same as judging their religious views to be ‘flawed.’”

Probably the most important side benefit of the Hobby Lobby case is that the decision brought some sanity back to the public square and reassured Americans that the country has not gone completely off the rails, but it still remains – despite the left’s unrelenting efforts to stamp out all religious expression – “One nation under God, with liberty and justice for all.”  For many of us, the decision sparks a renewal of hope that the nation can recover from the “transformations” that have been morphing us into a nation that we don’t recognize as America.

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