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Hobby Lobby and Religion’s
Assassination of Common Sense

| July 11, 2014

When men embarrass civilization: the Clarence Thomas-Anita Hill hearings of 1991 by the 14 men of the Senate Judiciary Committee.

When men embarrass civilization: the Clarence Thomas-Anita Hill hearings of 1991 by the 14 men of the Senate Judiciary Committee.

Almost two weeks ago the U.S. Supreme Court ruled by the most chauvinist margin that certain company owners have the right to stick their business where it absolutely doesn’t belong: in a woman’s uterus. Five justices, all of them men, all of them Catholic, none of them with a uterus that we know of, ruled that companies may deny employees contraceptive coverage on allegedly religious grounds. It’s the first time in Western civilization that a majority of Supreme Court justices is actually more Catholic than the reigning pope.

pierre tristam column flaglerlive The decision reminded me of another low point in the history of American government. It goes back to 1991 when the 14 men who made up the Senate Judiciary Committee leered down at Anita Hill and ridiculed her claims that Clarence Thomas was not the upstanding judge they thought he was, but a lecher who didn’t know his bounds with women anymore than he knew not to speak of “Long Dong Silver” and pubic hair-laced Coke at work.

Most of those 14 senators—who included such stalwarts of feminism as Strom Thurmond, Orrin Hatch, Alan Simpson, Howell Heflin and Ted Kennedy—were so clueless in matters of sexual harassment that they considered it a workplace pastime. So obviously Thomas was confirmed, albeit barely, and became unsurprisingly one of the most callous justices in the high court’s history. He still sits there, giving his vote to women-bashing decisions as in the Hobby Lobby decision two weeks ago, that sad echo of the Judiciary Committee’s misogyny 23 years before.

The five so expanded the already nauseating notion of corporate personhood as to eliminate the line between a corporation and its individual employees, making those employees subservient to their employers not just as workers, but as individuals, private, sexual freedoms included. It isn’t enough that employers already hold near-tyrannical powers over their workers, especially when job-hopping is no longer possible. Now employers can meddle in sex lives.

The religious claim is a mask, and an ugly one, considering that we’re in the 21st century, not the 19th. A business has no more right to deny an employee contraception on religious grounds than it has the right to bar blacks or Jews or women from employment on similar grounds. Otherwise we could pretend the 14th Amendment doesn’t exist and still apply the 19th century rationale that the Bible justified segregation and the subservience of women, or the exclusion of Jews on similarly outdated bigotries. Why it’s no longer OK to exercise that sort of discrimination but it’s perfectly OK to discriminate against women’s sex lives, equal protection be damned, is clearly not a question our cardinal-envying justices wanted to address.

Defenders of the decision claim the justices were merely granting businesses the right not to approve of contraception that induces abortion. But that argument is rubbish, because it’s based on the sort of bunk science, or anti-science, that places religious assumptions ahead of empirical evidence. There are no such things as contraceptives that induce abortion. There are contraceptives that prevent a fertilized egg from attaching itself to the uterus immediately after conception. But to equate that with an abortion would then make every woman  who’s ever experienced a miscarriage, sometimes weeks and months into pregnancy, guilty of abortion. That would be nuts, since a third of all pregnancies end in miscarriage, in which case we should be taking all our womenfolk to the International Court of Justice in the Hague for perpetrating genocide.

But never underestimate the power of religion to assassinate common sense. Or the growing power of reactionary Americans who think that because a couple of Fox-trotting crackpots manage to contradict what ought to be irrefutable majorities of scientists, then the science on everything from global warming to stem cells, vaccines, evolution, sex education, health regulations and of course contraception is declared “unsettled” and mere “opinion,” on equal footing with the crackpots’ own fantasies. Facts mean nothing. Science means nothing. Ideology and its evil twin—“beliefs”— is all. And men like David Green, the owner of Hobby Lobby who should be enjoying his billions to his heart’s content, but without molesting America’s privates, suddenly manage to graduate their Pentecostal screeds to controlling legal precedent. We most certainly are in Kansas, Toto.

We might have expected a little more from five relatively bright and seasoned justices. But those are the same five who gave us just a few weeks ago that other decision to please the mullahs among us—the ruling that made it legal to pray to an explicitly Christian God at government meetings. Who needs the First Amendment anyway. Our local governments are not so contemptuous of their diverse constituents to do that, except one—Bunnell, where they have the city commissioners themselves  pray at every meeting. Look how well it worked. The city is facing bankruptcy. Let’s just pray they don’t cut their employees’ contraceptive coverage next, assuming they even provide it.

Pierre Tristam is FlaglerLive’s editor. Reach him by email here. A version of this piece was broadcast on WNZF.

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46 Responses for “Hobby Lobby and Religion’s
Assassination of Common Sense”

  1. Gunther says:

    Seriously ? Why don’t you report on missiles being fired from Lebanon into Israel today ? I didn’t think so !

    • Pierre Tristam says:

      You mean the latest Israeli war crimes, the 125 Palestinians killed (to one Israeli, by heart attack, not by shelling), the murdered patients in that clinic today, the bombing of the mosque, the certain usual Israeli atrocities that we can always count on in its disproportionate collective punishments, and the way you and I, assuming you’re an American taxpayer, are helping to pay for the defense of those who allegedly murdered that Palestinian teen? Certainly. It’s my next column. Funny how Hobby Lobby gets to exempt itself from a moral responsibility to provide equal access to contraception (yes Steve, even for “recreational sex”–what else is there?) but no one is up in arms over American taxes subsidizing Israeli massacres: that aid to the alleged murderers’ defense pales compared to the $3 million a year we pump into the Israeli military. Where do I get my tax exemption from that immorality?

      • Tom Jacks says:

        Perhaps if the Palistinians did not shield their rockets with their citizens, then only combatants would be killed. Do not blame the Israelis for how the cowardly Palistinians treat their people and their criminal disregard for their own citizens lives.

      • Steve Wolfe says:

        “Moral responsibility to provide equal access to contraception?” Has everyone lost all sense of personal responsibility? What are we to become, a nation of crying, demanding children who know nothing about taking care of ourselves?

  2. Steve Wolfe says:

    Hi Pierre! My wife told me not to spend all night on this, and it really shouldn’t take too long.

    First, I am surprised that with all the really important things happening in the world right now, this topic rubs you raw. Women aren’t being denied anything in the Hobby Lobby Ruling. All the contraceptives that were available three weeks ago are still on the shelves and still legal. The concept of employer-provided contraceptive coverage is really what’s wrong here. The answer to all of it is, contraception is nobody’s business but the ones who want it. They should procure it themselves. If they have a job with health care benefits, they are saving enough to buy their own stuff. There is no reason to force employers to provide anything to people for the sake of their recreational sex. Yeah, that’s what it is, recreational sex. Sex with contraceptives is meant to prevent the essential purpose of sex, which is procreation. The only other kinds are “recreational” and “unwanted.” The really unreasonable part is in the ACA’s requirement for any employer to include coverage for contraceptives. Isn’t there any personal responsibility for anything?

    There is plenty of precedent for religious exemption, too. I can think of conscientious objectors who sought to avoid conscription. Does that make Mohamed Ali wrong? There are parents who don’t want their children immunized because of their religious beliefs. Are they wrong? Then there’s tax-exempt status for religious organizations, even the fringe ones. Are the Scientologists wrong, too? Muslims don’t have to work a cash register if there is pork on the check-out belt. You gonna tell them they are wrong? And the list goes on.

    It just happens that I was thinking about the issue of abortion and still births today. (Maybe I “sensed” this article wrinkling my conscience.) There is, of course, no equivalence there. Still births happen spontaneously, while abortion is volitional. Rather than a “religious assumption,” I think that declaring life-at-conception is a moral position. A moral position is as real to the beholder as empirical evidence. How many times has science been wrong? Science began as no more than alchemy and voodoo. Science also uses assumption on many issues for which there is insufficient evidence. In a hundred years, scientists will laugh at what we thought we knew today. Morality pre-dates science and will still be here.

    Don’t we want morality still? Didn’t you just post an article on capital punishment expecting the usual moral diatribes against it? Isn’t the call for equality a moral one? Isn’t the law itself merely morality codified? Morality is a necessary ingredient of people’s minds for a stable society. It is often codified within religion, but exists outside as well. When we meet and share coffee, we will treat each other decently because of our shared morality. When Obama calls for tolerance, peace, or forgiveness for America’s sins, he is making a plea based on his morality.

    Finally, it’s rather absurd to forward the idea of David Green “molesting” anyone’s privates by seeking to be excluded from a requirement of a hobbled-together law. He wants no role in women’s sex lives and choices, but most of all, he does not wish to be forced to pay for anything remotely resembling life-ending (or in this case, life-averting) technology. I don’t either. I think that the most highly evolved moral position is one which honors life at every stage. Some “believe” otherwise.

    • NortonSmitty says:

      You should have listened to your wife. She probably just didn’t want you to embarrass yourself.

      • Steve Wolfe says:

        That’s funny, Norton. I like you too. Everyone’s comments help me to sharpen my positions. One day I will be able to make the quintessential inarguable argument. At least that’s the goal.

    • ken says:

      Thanks you for your thoughts Steve.
      Please tell your wife that this was time well spent.

    • Outsider says:

      Great points, Steve. I was going to point out that a miscarriage occurs naturally for unknown reasons, and abortion is intentional, and the idea of equating one to the other is ridiculous, and I’m surprised Pierre connected the two. Pierre also states that David Green is the owner/founder of Hobby Lobby, presumably to reinforce the notion that this is a male attacking females thing. He seems to forget that the other owner/founder is MRS. Barbara Green, who, presumably did in fact have or has a uterus, and she was party to the court action. It seems the court believed her right to the free exercise of religion deserved to be upheld as well, in spite of the fact they are just trying wage war on women. The author refers to the plaintiffs’ motivation as “allegedly religious.” I’ve included a biographical link to the Greens that makes it quite apparent they didn’t don the cloth last week simply to avoid paying for four types of birth control; they have been steadfastly religious for some times, doing many great things for the community and the people that work for them. Finally, I’d like to educate those who have zero knowledge about how the business world works: incorporating is a formality for any type of business that exposes the owner to potential liability resulting from said business. I ran a one man business twenty plus years ago and the first thing I did was incorporate, and I did not check my values and beliefs at the door every time I walked into my office, nor do I expect anyone else to do so. It’s obvious that the Greens are genuine, kind, caring people who did not want to be thrust in the limelight, but were only forced to do so because of our current, overreaching fumbler in chief.

    • Robert H says:


      Let’s say I work for Tom Cruise’s or John Travolta’s company (two, well known “Scientologists”.)

      Wouldn’t the logical extension of your argument enable these “Scientologist” companies to prevent me from procuring painkillers or anti-depressants or other duly prescribed drugs to treat my medical conditions due to their religious objections?

      The slippery slope is that none of these people in power making the decisions are healthcare professionals–they are older men, and hypocrites at that, as has already been noted with the ongoing coverage of Viagra (though perhaps the Viagra consumption is for non-recreational use???).

      Interesting how on many social issues (LGBT rights, pot legalization) the country–and even the younger Republican generation– is trending more liberal. But when it comes to the Supreme Court, these fossilized octogenarians are becoming more and more disconnected from society at large.

      • Steve Wolfe says:

        OK, let’s examine your position. To answer your first question, yes. That would be equivalent in my mind, but I am not a paid attorney spokesman.

        Your slippery slope argument is based upon a sham to begin with. None of the bozo’s in congress who created the ACA are doctors, either. Neither are the bureaucrats who will make the decisions about your coverage under the ACA, or the IRS goons who will be making decisions about your honesty in your selections. These guys can throw you in jail for an honest mistake!

        I have no idea whether Viagra is covered. Not a fellow user.

        The younger Republican generation is naturally more socially liberal. That’s just a product of youth. I was too. Less so now. When they grow up and raise families they will become alarmed at the direction of society and generally push rightward.

        • Nancy N. says:

          “None of the bozo’s in congress who created the ACA are doctors, either.”

          Untrue. There are currently 20 members of Congress who are physicians: 16 House Members, 3 Senators, and 1 delegate.

          And why is it a problem for non-physicians to write a healthcare law? By your logic, Congress shouldn’t write crime bills, because none of them are police officers. Or nuclear energy bills, since none of them are nuclear scientists. Or budget bills, since most of them aren’t economists. Or weigh in on foreign policy, since most of them have no qualification in that area either.

          While it’s true that people generally become more conservative as they age, each generation does not necessarily return to become as conservative as the last as they age. For instance, this generation is growing up generally accepting of same-sex relationships in a way the previous generation was not. They will not, when they turn 65, suddenly decide that their gay friends are evil. We saw the same shift with racial attitudes over generations. Basically, they start with a more liberal attitude than the previous generation’s young people, and then as they age, they pull back a bit but never enough to retreat to the level of the previous generation’s conservatism. Change is registered. You only have to look at changing mores over the course of the 20th century to see that is true.

      • Outsider says:

        Robert H, please point out where anyone is attempting to prevent anyone from “procuring” anything in this debate. The issue is quite simply the Greens do not want to be forced to pay for four things that violates their well-documented religious beliefs. And why is it no one on the left seemed to have a problem with the fact that none of the justices who ruled in favor of Obamacare were medical professionals either??? And if A.S.F. bothered to read my link he/she would see that Hobby Lobby donates ten percent of it’s profits to charities, so surely some of that money goes to benefitting children, and you can start paying them more respect as you say you will.

    • Nancy N. says:

      Sorry, but I have a real problem with a man telling me what it is and isn’t proper for me to do with my body. Especially one who is obviously as uneducated about women’s health as you are.

      You are obviously completely unaware, for one, that many many women take birth control pills for reasons that are completely unrelated to pregnancy prevention. They provide relief from severe discomfort for women who have certain menstrual disorders. I myself took birth control pills for years before I was sexually active, for this very reason.

      You say:

      ‘Sex with contraceptives is meant to prevent the essential purpose of sex, which is procreation. The only other kinds are “recreational” and “unwanted.”’

      So what you are saying is that at the age of 33, when I was informed by my physician that due to a serious medical condition I would be putting my life at major risk if I became pregnant again, I should have just resigned myself to never allowing my husband to touch me again to avoid the possibility of dying as the result of being pregnant?

      And funny, I don’t hear you objecting to men being able to get Viagra. Given that most men who need it are married to women far past childbearing age, that is definitely a recreational drug.

      And if your god intended sex to be only for procreation, then why did he make sex so much fun? Sounds like a design flaw to me, and supposedly God doesn’t make mistakes….

      As for “If they have a job with health care benefits, they are saving enough to buy their own stuff” – wow, you really live in an elitist bubble. Do you really know any people working minimum wage jobs – or even being paid 2-3x that – that have a spare $1000 laying around? Because that is approximately what it costs to get an IUD, which is the most effective form of birth control for women, inserted.

      You’re very naive if you believe that David Green “wants no role in women’s sex lives and choices”. Of course he does. He is part of a far right religious movement that is bit by bit trying to impose a theocracy on this country. The ACA lawsuit was just one salvo in a larger war they are fighting to establish a society that reflects their values. They don’t actually believe in religious freedom. They believe in their freedom to impose their religion on the rest of the country.

    • joesmo says:

      Bravo Steve. Well said.

  3. A.S.F. says:

    @Steve Wolfe says–The point is that YOU believe that “the essential purpose of sex is procreation.” Not everybody does. And you have no right to tell me or anybody else what healthcare services we are entitled to receive based on your personal religious beliefs and preferences (some might say prejudices.) If you are my employer, I expect to have to perform my assigned job-related tasks in order to earn the paycheck I am then entitled to, as the contract between us states. That does not give my employer the right to foist their religious beliefs on me in any way, shape or form. By the way, Steve Wolfe..Given that part of your argument is based on your belief that sex is essentially intended for procreation, would Hobby Lobby (and other employers like them or YOU) have the right (and duty to their conscience) to likewise refuse coverage for Viagra and vasectomies for their male employees?

    • Steve Wolfe says:

      Not that I want a rematch, but why are you always so angry with me (YOU, YOU, YOU!) and baiting me into an argument that you make up? I wrote of a moral code that honors life at all stages, and that it is not necessarily religious-based. I also wrote that it is ridiculous for anyone to expect their employer to provide contraceptives, since they are mainly for recreational purposes. What about a little personal responsibility? Or do you want cradle-to-grave care from the government? That’s ludicrous. Some costs must be borne by the folks who want certain products. This is how I think. It isn’t a manifesto, and has no chance of becoming legislation. So I take it you just love to lecture downhill, and you have to make me your bad guy. You have no idea what a good neighbor I might be for you!

      The ACA is a real piece of junk. You just said I have no right to tell you what kind of products and services you are entitled to (not looking for that authority). How is the government so qualified then? Are you better acquainted with Harry Reid than you are with me? Is that guy qualified to determine what you should have provided for you? Do you think he is doing you a favor, or just trying to make the government more powerful?

      How in the world would you and I get along over coffee? BTW they often play jazz on the overhead at Stabux.

  4. Sherry Epley says:

    Excellent article Pierre! Please let us know when Hobby Lobby refuses to have Viagra type drugs on their policies.

  5. Tom Jacks says:

    My god, the decision only covers 4 yes 4 abortion inducing drugs. Any woman who works for Hobby Lobby can purchase these drugs on their own if they wish. Hobby Lobby still covers 16 yes 16 forms of birth control. This is not the disaster liberals claim. Remember it was also a courts of 9 men who unanimously voted for abortion in Roe vs Wade.

    • Nancy N. says:

      “the decision only covers 4 yes 4 abortion inducing drugs”

      Completely untrue, for two reasons.

      1) According to the ACOG, the disputed methods of birth control do not work by interfering with implantation and do NOT cause abortions. I’d trust the opinion of the governing body of our nation’s reproductive health specialists over the opinion of some people who own a craft store on that topic.

      2) The day after the ruling, the Supreme Court issued a clarification indicating that the ruling DID NOT only apply to the four methods of birth control that Hobby Lobby was disputing, but could be used as grounds for denying coverage for ANY form of birth control by any company who wished to claim a religious objection. The decision is now also already being cited as precedent in additional lawsuits requesting exemptions from from anti-LGBT discrimination laws, and also by inmates in Guantanamo Bay claiming they are being discriminated against.

      This lawsuit was NEVER about just four methods of birth control. It was a trojan designed to get companies personhood to exercise religious freedom so that they can be exempt from all sorts of laws on religious grounds.

  6. Flatsflyer says:

    Steve, Sounds like you and your wife are good upstanding Christians. No sex unless it’s expressly for the purpose of fostering children. I would strongly suggest that you, your wife, the five Catholics on the Supreme Court and the Pope himself tell all the Priest who have been sexually molesting everyone elses children that is also wrong regardless of the Christian doctrine that seems to support and encourage that practice. All the fools who support the equal treatment of people and corporations need to stand strong and finally help ensure that officers of corporations have the same pleasure of incarceration as do regular citizens.

    • Steve Wolfe says:

      I gave no such indication herein about our behavior, and hereby formally disagree. And I have no affiliation with the Catholic Church. Those problems stem from a religious culture that I would not partake of. But my goodness, must you be simply hateful, or can you add to the discussion?

      I agree that corporations should not get off any easier than regular people, but blame the government for establishing LLC’s and other such legal loopholes for their buddies. But that’s a different topic entirely.

      BTW, what’s the source of your pen name? Just curious if you are a pilot or a postal worker.

    • joesmo says:

      Steve didn’t say you can’t do it. He said he doesn’t want to pay for it, and I do’t either.

  7. TeddyBallGame says:

    Tortuous reasoning pretending critical thought. A standard practice of extremist ideologues on both the far left and the far right.

  8. Bill Hazz says:

    Thank you, Steve Wolfe. And let’s give the Flyin’ Fickle Finger of Fate to (so far) both A.F.S. and Sherry. Pierre should get at least 5 of them.

    Tom successfully steals the thunder that A.F. S. and Sherry think they possess. Nicely done, Tom!

    • Steve Wolfe says:

      Well, thanks for the support, but I like both of them. I am here because I enjoy the discourse. What great mental exercise in pursuit of sharpening my own positions. I am ready to have coffee with ASF whenever she wants. If I was her neighbor I’d cut her grass and sit on the front porch sipping tea on hot summer evenings solving all the world’s problems together. There’s much I want to learn from her. I just wish she didn’t raise the axe towards me here. I don’t think it adds to the discussion. It’s colorful, but wasteful. She has lots of fine points to make.

  9. A.S.F. says:

    …and, you know what, by God, by golly, by gum, MEN can also go and buy their Viagra and pay for THEIR vasectomies on their own. Except, no one is asking them to do it, nor WOULD they ask them do it. And, that’s the point, Skippy. These measures always seem aimed at suppressing the rights and freedoms of women (eve though MY science teacher always taught me that it takes TWO to make a baby.) I’ll have a lot more respect for uptight upright Christians and entities like Hobby Lobby when they sart donating more of their time and resources towards helping children who are already here, living, breathing and suffering among us. Let me know, also, when Hobby Lobby, and employers like them, start putting programs in place to start garnishing the wages of their male employees who aren’t paying their child support. I would call THAT a moral lapse.

  10. Jim R. says:

    ” the essential propose of sex is procreation”
    That means every time I have sex I should be thinking about babies
    sounds perverted to me, I think I should be thinking how great the experience is and how lovely the woman I’m sharing the moment with is.
    I’m going to check with Oral Roberts and jimmy Swaggert on this If I can locate them.

    • Steve Wolfe says:

      Yeah, it’s all about our pleasure, and the babies are just an afterthought.

      Well of course it is pleasurable, but what is this, a Kinsey study? We’re getting out in the weeds here. This is all about an objection to paying for things that are not essential, are entirely personal, and there should be no law requiring anyone else to procure it for others. Are you going to pay to sharpen my lawn mower blades? What if it becomes law? I need them, too.

      Next you’ll want publicly funded pot once it is legalized. You all go ahead and rely on the good old government to provide. But keep in mind that in the end, when cost becomes an issue (as it has already started to), your “choices” will begin to thin out, then become one-size-fits-all, then become rationed. That is a natural consequence of the central planning action of big government. It is sloppy, inefficient and unreliable. Innovation disappears. Without the profit motive, services begin to suck, products disappear, and suffering follows. Count on it. Ask someone with an accent that came from a socialist country.


    This website, that of Planned Parenthood, negates your most basic point, that there is no pill that causes an abortion. It states clearly that Planned Parenthood can provide a bill that will end a pregnancy up to the 63rd day, thus disproving your “fact” that medication exists that only prevents conception.

    And if your basic premise is wrong, then how can we trust anything else you say?

    • Pierre Tristam says:

      Details: the abortion pill induces a miscarriage, if nature hasn’t induced it yet.

    • Nancy N. says:

      RU-486, which induces pregnancy terminations, is not the same as the “morning after pill” Plan B, which was the drug in dispute in the lawsuit.

  12. Sherry Epley says:

    Right ON ASF and Robert H!

    Since when is it ANY religion or man’s right to control what a woman does with her body??? When any of you fellas never touch any supplement to your manhood (you know exactly what I mean), and only have sex with any female/male/yourself to procreate (LOL! LOL! LOL!) . . . for that and NO other reason. . . then let us know. . . and we will happily let you out of the glass house. Until then, you are hypocrites by anyone’s definition!

  13. U. T. Erus says:

    Perhaps all females born in the USA could have a hysterectomy done before being released. This would end all the headaches about that “pesky” pregnancy thing and having to buy contraceptives in the future. Happy now freemales ?

  14. barbie says:

    What I see here is a couple of guys, presuming to know everything there is about this issue. I’m so sick of the aping of Rush Limbaugh as a substitute for serious discussion. If you’re going to get it wrong on birth control, can you try doing it with actual, original thoughts, instead of what you’ve regurgitated of that man’s ignorance?

  15. ogrethetop says:

    nobody’s pointing out the fact as owners of hobby lobby, they also receive a 401k threw the company and hobby lobby’s 401k’s invest in these same company’s that make the drugs for abortions and morning after pills. it’s cool to make money on it, but hey the all might dollar is hobby lobby’s real belief.

    • Robin says:

      Exactly. It’s all about money and control over women, plain and as simple as many of the males who have commented here.

  16. rickg says:

    Simply put… thank you Pierre for putting things in perspective even if there are some among us who choose not to see it.

  17. Sherry Epley says:

    Thank you Nancy N and Barbie for your valuable input and original thoughts. The idea of men who are not doctors presuming to know anything about a woman’s contraception and other medical choices is outrageous!

    The important point is being missed here. NO employer should be manipulating or blocking the insurance coverage for their employees, for any legal services, for any reason!

    Again, Hobby Lobby is NOT paying for any medical services directly. They are telling the insurance company that covers their employees which services to provide. What’s next. . . no mental health services? No services for help with alcohol addiction, because employers may be teetotalers?

    For those who “poo poo” the slippery slope, this from Forbes:

    Earlier this year, a cashier filed suit against CVS for requiring a “wellness review” which required (among other things) personal health information about weight and sexual activity. Failure to participate resulted in a $600 annual premium penalty.

    Last year, Penn State withdrew their wellness program after a firestorm of protest by faculty. The program ‒ called “Take Care of Your Health” ‒ had similar questions around personal health and resulted in a $1,200 annual premium penalty for failure to participate (or $2,400 annually for employees with a covered spouse or domestic partner on the plan).

    What’s more, they argued, the online questionnaire required them to give intimate information about their medical history, finances, marital status and job-related stress to an outside company, WebMD Health Services, a health management firm that operates separately from the popular consumer site, On Campus, A Faculty Uprising Over Personal Data ‒ The New York Times ‒ September, 2013

  18. Sherry Epley says:

    For more of the slippery slope “poo poo”. . . check out the Eden Foods case. . . which intends to STOP insurance coverage for ALL contraception. This from

    In Eden Foods Inc. v. Kathleen Sebelius, filed in federal court in March of 2013, the company claimed its religious freedom was being violated by the Affordable Care Act’s mandate that employee health insurance cover birth control. The suit argued that “contraception or abortifacients … almost always involve immoral and unnatural practices.” In October, the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals decided against Eden Foods, ruling that a for-profit company cannot exercise religion.

    But then, on June 30, the Supreme Court ruled in the Hobby Lobby case that family-owned, “closely held” companies can use religion as an excuse to flout the birth control mandate. Eden Foods is one of a few dozen “closely held” for-profit companies that have filed suit over the Affordable Care Act’s contraceptive mandate. On July 1, the Supreme Court ordered the 6th Circuit Court to reconsider its decision against Eden Foods and another plaintiff with a similar case.

    • Robin says:

      Sad and true. I will boycott Eden Foods, as well as Hobby Lobby and every other company that attempts to control women’s access to healthcare, especially birth control. Contraception should be free and available to every person who wants it, and abortion should be freely available as well. The SCOTUS decision is Absolutely wrong, and will surely lead to many consequences. Just wait.

  19. farmer says:

    your statement [ employers hold near tryannical power over their workers ] must rate you in a marxist frame and is repugnant.

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