Hobby Lobby, a chain of 600 craft stores with 13,000 employees, has placed a full page ad in McClatchy newspapers, including The Olympian, offering Christians salvation by calling a 1-888 number. Mardel book stores with family ties to Hobby Lobby offer to download a free Bible for your phone. These corporations’ goal is to place a Bible-based academic curriculum in the nation’s public schools.
All this expensive proselytizing is made possible by a closely divided Supreme Court ruling which allows religious owners to avoid supporting the nation’s health care law – the Affordable Care Act. Female employees can be denied contraception health care insurance coverage in the name of employer religious liberty and HL is enriched by their new “profit center.” Without the exemption HL would have had to pay $475 million in fines or $26 million if it dropped its health care plan altogether.
Thousands of business firms have gotten religion and want to claim an exemption. Many others with well-established religious beliefs can now object to paying for blood transfusions, vaccinations, anti-depressants and other medications and procedures. This expansion of rights for corporations was certainly not needed to protect the free exercise of religion by anyone. The health care law requires only that the owners support a health insurance program in which each employee decides which services to choose.
Five old men in black robes imposing their religious and business beliefs on the female population of a secular and democratic nation should not be tolerated.
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