The Supreme Court, driven by a couple of injudicious right wing zealots, has put the United States on the path of intolerance and punishment so beloved by repressive governments worldwide.
Building on the ludicrous premise that corporations are actually people, the Court has now decided that employers can decide what will be covered by your health care insurance. This came about because the Hobby Lobby owners believe that every one of a woman’s 300,000 eggs must become a baby, apparently, and therefore contraception goes against God’s will. But the ruling encourages the provincial narrowness of every owner, and applies to every employer opinion, as long as it can be claimed that their intolerance is based on religious belief. Your insurance no longer covers your health care, but only those elements that don’t offend religious sensibilities. And whose religious beliefs are they talking about? Certainly not those of the many millions of women whose freedoms and wellbeing are threatened.
One has to wonder just how far an employer can go in controlling your life. Certainly, it is girls and women of all ages who will be most immediately subjected to control by others with this opinion. They will be beholden to the owner’s religious beliefs, which may nullify their health care insurance, whereas it probably would not happen under a more normally tolerant employer. Certainly, no employee’s belief or need for health care will be given the same weight as the employer’s. The employer, in effect, now has the power to cancel parts of your health care coverage—or maybe all of it.
If the owners are followers of the so-called Christian Science faith, which believes God cures all, can they refuse to accept your desire for child vaccination, or ER treatment after an accident, or medical treatment of literally any kind? It sure sounds like it. As someone who had a relative die of a common cold under this type of idiocy, I can readily see the kinds of things that will happen when employers exercise their “freedom of religion” with complete disregard of other people’s freedoms.
In fact, it looks increasingly like any business owner or corporate director can limit employees’ lives in just about any way that suits his fancy. Don’t like the latest male hairstyle?: ban it. Hate gay people?: fire them. Believe your religion is the One True Religion?: fire everyone who doesn’t go to the same church. Hate abortion?: fire any employee who believes in the woman’s right. All those freaks violate your religious beliefs.
This religion seems to me to be the religion of control over other people’s lives, the religion of radical intolerance.
In other words, the Supreme Court has opened the floodgates that will make the most outrageous intolerance into mainstream practice as long as it is “religious”. There are countries that have ruled that abortion under any circumstance is illegal. But it’s clear that not aborting will cost the life of the mother as well as the fetus under some circumstances, in which no time can be wasted on debate. This type of state-and-church-sanctified murder happened in Ireland fairly recently, and pregnant poor women under similar circumstances have been forced to flee Nicaragua and other absolutist countries with great difficulty in order to obtain health care in more civilized places.
The Court has ruled that our health is not our own business, but the business of any religious nut who is our employer. The message to all of us is clear: your life is not as important as our religious fantasies.