"An era can be said to end when its basic illusions are exhausted." - Arthur Miller

Monday, June 30, 2014

Supreme Court: Corporate Religious Rights Trump All

It continues to amaze me that in this day and age that birth control remains an issue. Not abortion (that will never go away), but the use of various medical means to avoid even needing to have an abortion. You would think encouraging people to not get pregnant and therefore not potentially want an abortion would be a good thing. So while abortion is bad, so is preventing the means that might lead to that decision. A contradiction and yet one that the Republican party is happy to live with. Why? Because the religious right thinks any form of birth control is bad. Not because of the bible (because that isn't in there) but because of religious tradition.

A tradition founded at a time when populations could easily be decimated by war and disease. Usually war. So it was to the best advantage of those in charge to encourage as much baby making as possible to not only keep the religious ranks (and thus Church coffers) full but also allow those in charge to go off and conquer as needed. Wars are expensive and costly in manpower and the only way to keep numbers up was more children. This constant need to have replenished populace was why the average age of marriage was 10 to 12, the average age of birth was around 13 to 14 and the average age of death was late 20s. This "tradition" is what is fueling the religious arguments of today.

Which brings us to today's Supreme Court decision. As expected the 5 part conservative part decided that a corporations "religious beliefs" trump all. Again because a corporation is a person too. The theory is because a corporation is made up of people, it should have the same rights as people. Except last I checked a corporation isn't run by the many and sure but run by the very very few. Usually less than a dozen and often just one or two. So with this decision a corporation can invoke its own religion in deciding how it will treat its employees. The case was forced by Hobby Lobby, owned by a family that didn't want to pay for insurance that would cover any kind of birth control claiming it was against their Christian belief system (see now that minor history lesson comes into play). So now the head of this family doesn't want to cover birth control and according to the Supreme Court now that one leader can decide for its tens of thousands of employees that they too should not be using birth control.

The problem isn't really just birth control, its the abuse into other areas this precedent will allow. The court claims their decision is limited only to the realm of contraception but as Justice Ruth Ginsburg points out in her minority decision, that will not be the case. As of now all a corporation has to do is claim religious belief to avoid doing something it doesn't like. Its just a matter of time before that gets tested further if it will save a corporation money. Nor does the law prevent non-Christian beliefs from being applied (amazing how Conservatives consistently forget there are in fact other religions in the United States). After all, what is to prevent a Christian Scientist owned company from deciding any form of healthcare coverage is wrong? Or a large corporation (say Mars) from deciding they are in fact Christian Scientists just so they can stop covering their 50k plus employees? Nothing as of now. The abuse this opens up for corporations is enormous and as of now completely legal.

So in the narrow view, a corporation's few leaders now have more power than ever before to decide if you as an employee should have babies or not. If you can't afford to have babies...well you shouldn't have had sex cause you shouldn't use condoms either. And that baby that was born, according to GOP principles, well you are a free loader that should have used birth control to prevent impregnation. So damned if you do, damned if you don't. In the long view, you now have to find out what the religious belief is of the corporation you are working for and hope that at some point it doesn't change its religious viewpoint to go along with either new leadership or disagreement with some law that is preventing even greater profits. As always, Conservatives have proven what the wiser of us already knew they believed - that corporations are the most important "people" and the rest of us can just go to hell for not being rich enough to be as "important."

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