December 9 2013
Recently, I debated a representative from Emily’s List about the Hobby Lobby and Conestoga challenges to the HHS mandate that would force companies such as these two to pay for coverage of contraception, sterilization, and abortafacients, regardless of their religious convictions. Both cases are now before the Supreme Court.
I could not explain to the Emily’s List woman that the issue at hand is religious freedom, not contraception, and that not buying something for somebody is not the same as restricting their ability to get that product--especially not in the case of contraception, which is readily and inexpensively available.
I don’t think I could have said anything to change her mind, but for what it is worth, former congressman Ron Paul nails what I was trying to say (hat tip to Kathryn Lopez who spotted Paul’s article):
Forcing Hobby Lobby to pay for abortion services is especially offensive because Hobby Lobby’s owners consider abortion a form of murder. Those who, like me, agree that abortion is an act of violence against an innocent person, will side with Hobby Lobby.
However, this case is not about the legality of abortion. It is about whether someone can have a “right” to force someone else to provide him with a good or service. Therefore, even those who support legal abortion should at least support a business’s right to choose to not subsidize it. …
The hypothetical example above shows just how radical and dangerous are arguments in support of the Obamacare abortion and contraception mandate. If Hobby Lobby loses, the US Supreme Court will have endorsed the idea that the federal government can force individuals to violate their most sacred religious principles to satisfy any government demands. The central question of the Hobby Lobby case, then, is whether religious liberty will continue to be meaningful in this country.
For what good is a religious liberty that protects your rights to attend a worship service, but allows the government to force you to live in opposition to the values preached at those services? This is why all supporters of liberty and limited government—regardless of their views on the morality of contraception—should be on the side of Hobby Lobby.
The left will not be persuaded by logic. There are two reasons for this: one, the contraception “issue” is so valuable to them; by erroneously characterizing the issue as one about contraception and portraying Republicans as coming after contraception, they frighten many women.
Second, as Jonah Goldberg points out it is the left that is the aggressor in the culture war. The left cannot agree to live and let live: they must impose their views and values, even if religious liberty is trampled upon.