There is some odd confusion regarding what’s at the heart of the Hobby Lobby case—resulting in part from [willful?] misleads by the liberal media (notice Bill calling out CBS Radio regarding blatant false reporting) and liberal politicians (for example, Hillary Clinton, the clear early frontrunner in the 2016 presidential race, proves in her response to the Supreme Court’s decision protecting Hobby Lobby from the Obama HHS mandate that she really has no fundamental understanding of what the case was about). It seems many on the left incorrectly think the case was in regard to “all” contraceptives (i.e. Hobby Lobby supposedly being exempted from paying for any contraception). Yet the Christian-owned company already pays for 16 of 20 contraceptives that the HHS mandate insists upon. Only the four that could cause the abortion of a fertilized embryo were contested. Even then, the case was not about blocking anyone’s “access” to those four abortifacients, but rather about preventing Obama’s HHS from compelling business owners to pay for the abortifacients in violation of the owners’ religious beliefs.
However, there is an underlying issue at stake, just as important as the obvious one.
Ever since America fell so far as to have many of its citizens think that only non-profit persons/entities can be permitted to hold religious convictions, this is the first time that such a bogus and dangerous notion has been tested and decided upon at the highest level. You only get one chance to have a legal “first impression” in the highest court of the land.
Punishing owners of for-profit businesses simply because they are unwilling to check their religious beliefs at the door is the edge of a legal razor blade that was bound to eventually strike at the judicial heart of our society. The precedent set here will have ramifications so far reaching that it’s practically beyond the description of words—and the timing is crucial, because the worldview of the SCOTUS justices serving at the given moment will determine where they come down on this, and likely will dictate pretty much forever afterward how related issues will be decided.
It is disturbing that four of the nine justices dissented in this case, discounting the hallowed American tradition of protecting our right to free exercise of religion. This judgment almost went the wrong way. By a margin of only one vote, freedom of religion was upheld. It is alarming that the decision was even close.
Had Kathleen Sabellius and her HHS minions not overreached at this point in history—if their challenge were to have occurred later, after additional moral decline and perhaps even the replacement of conservative justices with liberal justices, or perhaps just after gradual changing of the minds of some justices—the decision could have gone the other way. Thankfully, America got a 5-4 decision in favor of religious freedom.
The Obama Administration’s HHS department overreached so far that their unlawful demands resulted in threatening all closely-held corporations (e.g. family-owned, for-profit businesses) with massive punitive fines so steep it would bankrupt the businesses unless they comply and pay for abortifacient drugs. That forced the matter to be dealt with. Before the judgment was announced, I was quite concerned. In the end, I’m relieved that it was now and not at some later time. The forces of the left jumped the gun. At a later time the same overreach might have resulted in a bad decision instead. As it was, we got a good decision from the court.
The struggle for right is far from over, though. My friend and fellow author, John F. Harrison, summed things up powerfully when he said to me recently, “It irks me that people are so unclear on the issues, and the mainstream media is deliberately making them unclear. This was never about ‘access’ to contraceptives or anything else. Or have we become so infantalized by the nanny state that we believe we only have ‘access’ to something if it is provided free by the government or paid for by a third party?”
Exactly, my friend.