The Rude Pundit is not trying to deliberately act dumb here. He's not trying to play devil's advocate. And he sure as hell ain't being cute. But he simply doesn't see how the Supreme Court's decision in the Hobby Lobby case is a victory for "religious liberty" as a general concept. But that's how it's being spun by every evangelical and every craven politician who wants to get the evangelical vote before going home to smoke, drink, and watch GILF porn (also known as "A Boehner Thursday").
"The idea of religious liberty has been upheld, narrowly," writes Peter Roff at U.S. News and World Report (motto: "No, really, we still exist"), but he mourns that the decision is "based on a statute rather than on essential First Amendment grounds." Perhaps that's because it simply couldn't win on establishment clause grounds.
Over at Christianity Today, Ed Stetzer calls the ruling a "win" for religious liberty especially because "the Supreme Court is showing more concern about the potential loss of religious freedom than the average American (and some evangelicals)." His advice for declining belief in religion taking precedent over law? "Let's pray for President Obama and his administration, that they will embrace the cause of religious liberty for all Americans, including evangelicals like the Green family. Let's pray for our neighbors and friends who do not yet know Jesus, that the ruling will prompt discussion about morality and its source, the Jesus of the Bible." But, no, really, go on about the First Amendment.
On and on it goes. Predictable victory laps by the Family Research Council and the National Organization for Marriage and their crazed ilk. Mitch McConnell, Ted Cruz, John Boehner, and more congressional whores for Christ, all dancing a stiff jig, as if this is the beginning of the end for the Affordable Care Act. Oh, and, yeah, right, go religious liberty.
And the Rude Pundit just doesn’t get it. How is this a victory for “religious liberty” in general? Because unless each and every employee of Hobby Lobby gets to opt out of whatever laws offend their god, unless every citizen gets to do the same, picking and choosing the laws, every person a cult compound unto him or herself, then all this ruling does is say that if you’re wealthy and own a company, you can impose your religion on your employees, the laws be damned. That seems to be the opposite of liberty.
The Supreme Court says that rights exist only to serve those whose financial interest is greatest and it affirms that Congress, through the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, allows those "people" to establish religion, which seems pretty untenable if you believe in the actual First Amendment, not the fantasy one that the supposed lovers of “religious liberty” worship.
Let’s put this another way: Corporations may be people, but apparently people aren’t people unless they incorporate.