Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Hobby Lobby's "Landmark victory for freedom" clarifies sides in Culture War

More positive fallout from the Hobby Lobby ruling are being noticed. Dennis Saffran, writing at City Journal calls it "a landmark victory for freedom" and notes that it may be used to defend "creative professionals" (read: bakers and photographers who do not want to be forced into supporting counterfeit "marriages").

Saffran writes:

"In sum, the immediate impact of Hobby Lobby—providing a religious accommodation to a handful of covered employers who object to a handful of covered contraceptives—will almost certainly be negligible. No hands will 'reach into a woman’s body,' and no one will be denied their free IUDs. Yet the decision may nonetheless prove a landmark victory for freedom, especially if it helps bring an end to other coercive efforts, such as the cases involving the creative professionals. At the least, Hobby Lobby carves out space for objections to modern political orthodoxy, thus infusing real meaning into the progressive mantras of 'tolerance' and 'diversity.'” 

Saffran seems to be correct--or at least some people are acting as if he is.

Yesterday's San Francisco Chronicle reported:

Alarmed by Hobby Lobby, LGBT groups dump job-rights bill

"Several leading gay advocacy groups said Tuesday they are abandoning the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, commonly known as ENDA, following the Supreme Court's Hobby Lobby decision last week."

Meanwhile, Senate Democrats are moving to pass a bill that would reverse the Supreme Court's ruling, according to Talking Points Memo:

The legislation will be sponsored by Sens. Patty Murray (D-WA) and Mark Udall (D-CO). According to a summary reviewed by TPM, it prohibits employers from refusing to provide health services, including contraception, to their employees if required by federal law. It clarifies that the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, the basis for the Supreme Court's ruling against the mandate, and all other federal laws don't permit businesses to opt out of the Obamacare requirement.

The legislation also puts the kibosh on legal challenges by religious nonprofits, like Wheaton College, instead declaring that the accommodation they're provided under the law is sufficient to respect their religious liberties. (It lets them pass the cost on to the insurer or third party administrator if they object.) Houses of worship are exempt from the mandate."

Catholics who support the Democratic Party face an irreconcilable conflict between being Catholic or a member of that party. In my opinion, that's been the case for a long time.

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