Random Observations on the Hobby Lobby Decision

1. Everything you really need to know about the decision made a five-man majority on the Supreme Court in Burwell v. Hobby Lobby is in this paragraph on page 46 of Justice Samuel "Is my wife crying again?" Alito's opinion: "In any event, our decision in these cases is concerned solely with the contraceptive mandate. Our decision should not be understood to hold that an insurance- coverage mandate must necessarily fall if it conflicts with an employer’s religious beliefs. Other coverage require- ments, such as immunizations, may be supported by different interests (for example, the need to combat the spread of infectious diseases) and may involve different arguments about the least restrictive means of providing them."

In other words, the Supreme Court's majority was too punkass to do anything other than prevent women from having their insurance pay for contraception at roughly 90% of American corporations. However, the implication of its decision is, more or less, "Fuck, yeah, go crazy, you nutzoid religious freaks." (Oh, and they will. Floodgates open, motherfuckers.) The majority refused to say that because attacking women and icky women parts is totally cool. But immunizations? Shit, that means we might get diseases.

It even goes against the logic that the Court used to make its decision. As an example, Alito cites a case where a store with devout Jewish owners who closed on Saturday and wanted to open on Sunday, which, at the time, Pennsylvania law did not allow. Under the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, which the justices used to rule for Hobby Lobby and the rest, that store would have been able to open. So if that's cool, why do the justices even attempt to say that their decision can't be extended to other things? It's a fuckin' lie. Just go for it, assholes.

1a. The RFRA was a bullshit piece of legislation passed in a heated panic after the Supreme Court ruled in 1990 that it was fine to deny unemployment benefits to two Native Americans fired after they "ingested peyote" as part of a religious tribal ritual. Writing for the majority in the case, Antonin Scalia said ruling for the two men "would open the prospect of constitutionally required exemptions from civic obligations of almost every conceivable kind." Yes, you read that correctly. Yes, it's accurate.

In other words, one can assume now, they weren't Christians. And Antonin Scalia, who voted with the majority for Hobby Lobby, is a repulsive hypocrite. (Read the Smith decision. It's nauseating in contrast to today's.)

2. Probably the most breathtaking aspect of the majority's opinion is how it just doesn't give two shits about women. Alito's decision doesn't take into account, even for a line or two, how a ruling for "religious liberty" is a ruling against women, dismissing that notion outright, in fact. This is all about making sure that butthurt Christians can do what their specific sect believes will please an invisible sky wizard, which includes, for some, making sure that women have those goddamn babies. The majority just ignores that there's real women with real lives who this decision really affects.

It's up to Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg in her dissent to bring the noise, spending the first part demonstrating that this whole thing is about women and their bodies and their value as more than just baby carriers (Christ, are we really still talking about this? What the fuck is wrong with us?) and that contraception is used for more than stopping baby-making. Ginsburg notes, for instance, "the disproportionate burden women carried for comprehensive health services and the adverse health consequences of excluding contraception from preventive care available to employees without cost sharing." Obviously, though, making sure that rich people don't offend their great googly-moogly in the clouds is more important.

3. This is not just a victory for religious intolerance. It's also a victory for faith and politics over science. "The owners of the businesses have religious objections to abortion, and according to their religious beliefs the four contraceptive methods at issue are abortifacients," writes Alito. Well, fuck what your religion tells you about medicine. The contraceptive methods do not cause abortions. In fact, they would lower the rate of abortions if people would stop being such blind believers in the bullshit their religious leaders shoot into their brains with a cross-shaped hypodermic. The earth revolves around the sun, and your fucking pope ain't gonna change that.

Alito says that it would obviously be a "severe burden" because "If the owners comply with the HHS mandate, they believe they will be facilitating abortions." And that might be worth arguing if the belief wasn't based on a complete mountain of garbage, most of which has come from conservative political groups whose existence is predicated on tricking the shit-eating yahoos into thinking that "birth control" equals "abortion."

Waxing romantically about the plaintiffs, Alito writes, "Norman and Elizabeth Hahn and their three sons are devout members of the Mennonite Church, a Christian denomination. The Mennonite Church opposes abortion and believes that '[t]he fetus in its earliest stages . . . shares humanity with those who conceived it.'" Except now we're not arguing over whether life begins at conception. We're arguing over what "conception" is. You see, children, you aren't born just because a tiny sperm wants to makes sweet love with a big ol' egg. Oh, no. You need ovulation. You need implantation. That is, those lovers gotta have a uterus bed to lay in or nothing's happening. No pregnancy. Again, that shit's science. (And it's how pregnancy and conception are defined under federal law.)

You prevent ovulation, like the morning-after pill does, you prevent pregnancy. You prevent pregnancy, and you prevent abortion.

3. Substitute the word "Muslim" for "Christian" and see if it bugs you even a little, dear ignorant Jesus lovers. "The owners...have sincere Muslim beliefs" or "David and Barbara Green and their three children are Muslims who own and operate two family businesses." Or how about: "Hobby Lobby’s statement of purpose commits the Greens to '[h]onoring Allah in all [they] do by operating the company in a manner consistent with Quran-based principles'"? Maybe: "The businesses refuse to engage in profitable transactions that facilitate or promote alcohol use; they contribute profits to Muslim organizations; and they buy hundreds of full-page newspaper ads inviting people to say, 'Allahu akbar'"?

You're cool with that? Fuck you, you're lying.

4. The only positive way to read this decision is that the Court has opened the door for a justification for universal health care. The government can pay for this, the majority said, and we don't have problem with it. Says Alito, "The most straightforward way of doing this would be for the Government to assume the cost of providing the four contraceptives at issue to any women who are unable to obtain them under their health-insurance policies due to their employers’ religious objections."

Of course, don't worry. If that ever came before this court, they'd find a way to shut it down and then call it "justice."

(Note: This was updated to reflect what Plan B actually does. One of the IUDs in the Hobby Lobby quartet may prevent implantation if used as emergency contraception.)