Recently in Christianity Today, Kate Shellnutt wrote an article entitled Why Hobby Lobby Is This Year’s Supreme Court Case To Watch. Hobby Lobby objects to 4 of the 20 contraceptive methods required to be covered by the Affordable Care Act nicknamed “Obamacare.” The oral arguments have been heard and a decision from the high court is expected in June.
The issues at bar are simple. Can a for-profit corporation claim protection of its religious rights under the First Amendment, and have those rights been violated? The matter is easily stated; deciding it will be a little thornier. Supreme Court decisions have sweeping ramifications, like whose pictures you must take, or who you must bake a cake for.
The Establishment Clause of the First Amendment reads, “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.” Hobby Lobby believes it is being forced to provide services contrary to the religious beliefs of the Green family, owners of Hobby Lobby. They sell Christian merchandise and close their stores on Sundays so those employees who wish can attend worship services.
Hobby Lobby opposes providing 4 of the contraceptive methods which they assert is abortive. The company contends being forced to supply abortifacients to its employees is violating its “free exercise” of religion. Opponents claim a corporation is not a “person” guaranteed protection under the First Amendment and its refusal denies the rights of its employees to legally protected services.
Businesses may function as corporate entities, but they are made up of people. The employers and employees of a corporation are people. The argument that corporations are not people is asinine
Hobby Lobby is not denying any employee his or her constitutionally protected rights. Hobby Lobby is saying in essence it should not be required to pay for those rights, and the government should not force them to pay for those rights. The employees of Hobby Lobby have the right to drive cars, but Hobby Lobby should not have to buy cars for its employees, and the government should not make it buy cars for its employees.
This case is not a dispute between management and labor, the employer and the employees. Hobby Lobby employees seem for the most part to be satisfied with their treatment and job situation. This is a case where the federal government is forcing a company to do something contrary to its operating philosophy and beliefs. Every American should be concerned when our government tells us what we can or cannot do when no one is harmed by those actions.
Sadly, the biblical worldview has not had favorable outcomes in court recently. “Many seek the ruler’s favor, but justice for man comes from the Lord,” Proverbs 29:26. Justice ultimately comes from God, because the real Supreme Court does not meet down here.