prolifeThe recent Supreme Court decision in the Hobby Lobby case was supposed to be a narrow ruling. Religious liberty would only allow for disregarding laws as they applied to a mandate for employers to provide coverage for contraception. It was never supposed to open a Pandora’s box for a variety of similar requests according to Justice Alito, though he could not really explain why not.

If you don’t know the specifics of the case, you can brush up on it here. Justice Ginsburg in her dissent warned that the rationale for allowing people to ignore the law if it went against their sincere beliefs could be applied to countless laws. These words were largely ignored by pro-lifers, who counted the ruling as a victory for their cause.

Just as Ginsburg predicted, other groups have asked to be exempted from other laws, including one that fires a salvo back at the pro-life moment. Currently, in 35 states there are laws governing abortion practices known as informed consent laws. Often, these laws are worded to enhance a pro-life view by trying to link abortion to higher numbers of cancers or mental conditions, provide information on available adoption programs, force women to undergo medically unnecessary ultrasounds, or make dubious claims about supposed “fetal pain”.

The complaint against these informed consent laws is relevantly similar to that raised by Hobby Lobby in their case. A law is offending the free expression of sincerely held religious beliefs, and in the case of the abortion law issue, the complaint is being raised by Satanists. Two of the religion’s Seven Fundamental Tenets seem to be at issue. The first is that “one’s body is inviolable, subject to one’s own will alone,” and the second is that “beliefs should conform to our best scientific understanding of the world.” Given the purely political nature of these laws and their lack of a scientific basis, these laws don’t just violate the beliefs of Satanists, but any religious body with a similar official position.

What Can Be Done About the Consent Laws?

Of course there are some women seeking abortion for which these laws are merely an annoyance, depending on how invasive the local version gets. Some would never want to even loosely affiliate with Satanists even if they disagree strongly with the informed consent laws. But for those women that are offended by laws there is apparently a new option according to the Temple website.

An increasing number of states have passed “informed consent” laws, requiring that women seeking abortions be subjected to state-mandated informational materials that are often false or misleading. We believe that personal decisions should be made with reference to only the best available, scientifically valid information. If you are a woman seeking an abortion who shares these deeply held beliefs, please print the letter…to present to your care-provider, informing him/her that you are to be exempted from receiving “informed consent” materials.

We have no doubt that this twist will not be the last in the ever-changing Hobby Lobby tale. It’s tough to justify the Hobby Lobby pro-life outcome without doing so for the pro-choice consequence. As ministers of the Universal Life Church, we sincerely believe anyone should have a path to get ordained and be able to perform a wedding. The State of Virginia doesn’t agree. Might there be a new path to get around their laws? Tell us what you think.

Sources:

NY Times

Seattle Stranger

The Daily Kos

57 comments

  1. joe gardner says:

    If people from both sides would learn what the ruling was, both sides really won. HL does not have to pay for post conception control, yet still has to pay for something like 13 methods of pre conception control. Who loses? The person who does not consider control before acting. We all have responsibilities. Some times you have to say no.

    1. ruth sjostrom says:

      Post conception control is often needed because a woman did say no and some man didn’t listen.

  2. Stan Simpson says:

    As far as Hobby Lobby, I feel that they have the right to allow or not allow certain items on their insurance. If their belief & feelings against birth control is something that they do not stand for, then they have the right not to have it in Insurance. Since Obama Care, our Insurance has dropped several items from the previous policy. If I don’t like it, I can chose an additional policy through another company, or go to work else where that provides the birth control. Or simply drive over to the Health Department & get free stuff! You are given a job to earn a living, health care is a benefit, you just don’t always get everything that you want.

    1. Mike Jones says:

      I agree. What ever happened to personal accountability?? No company should be forced to go against their beliefs or convictions. For many years, health care was a benefit not supplied by all companies and now, being forced to provide. What about the Catholics who do not believe in contraception?? Nothing in life is free and someone is paying the bill.

  3. Stephen says:

    I have a deeply religious belief. The sermon on the mount says to love your enemy, to turn the other cheek. I do not want any of my taxes to go to the war machine, yet have to pay them anyway. How much money would I personally save if I didn’t have to pay this portion? How many people would be helped here, and abroad with that money saved? And above all, how many would be given the opportunity to love us?
    A woman’s choice is her own, not mine, or anyone else’s to make.

    1. Chuck says:

      A the choice is made the moment a sexual union begins. Sex is a choice made freely. Having sex comes with responsibility. When a child is created. Murdering that child is wrong!

  4. Nancy says:

    First and foremost, having sex is not granted for recreational use it is granted for those who desire to pro create. This being said, consider the result of having sex. Money, time, health and other factors do not control the outcome of being sexually active, Only the action . Consider the life you have helped create, consider your own.

    1. Don Potter says:

      “Having sex is not granted for recreational use…” Says who?? Sex is a lot of fun. It is pleasurable for people who cannot or do not wish to procreate. Pleasure is a good thing as a stand alone. It is not a sin to feel pleasure or to give pleasure. And it is not “granted”; it simply is. I, for one, am very glad of that. Don’t much care for anyone trying to interfere with that for any reason.

    2. Nedward Marbletoe says:

      Benjamin Franklin said “rarely use venery but for health of offspring.” Thus the motto, “For Health!”

      That said, there is no substitute for personal responsibility, as you said.

  5. Patricia Wileman says:

    I feel hobby lobby is doing the correct thing. They are allowing birth-control. But they don’t want to have abortion and the two are abortion they don’t want to cover. I think anyone who’s too lazy to take control of things before having sex should not have the right to kill a baby that is formed in the body. There’s plenty of birth control that that doesn’t happen in the first place. At 16 I did not get pregnant getting married I am now 65 years old. If there was birth-control that far back. There is no reason for someone to get pregnant and have to abort as a birth-control. So I agree with hobby lobby.

  6. Ed Cobb says:

    I don’t consider Corporations people unless one gets sentenced to death

    1. Nedward Marbletoe says:

      Ha, that’s funny! With a serious point, I assume — corporations should lose their charter if they misbehave too badly.

  7. SMS says:

    We should start at the beginning before the pregnancy takes place and ask learn ourselves about what is going on with teenagers and why so much promiscuity? Where are the parents, the churches, society, the extended family. Why so much emphasis on money, external things, competition? By the time these children get pregnant, it is too late to protect them, shelter them, give them quality love. All we can do at this time is to put a BAND-AID and find different alternatives for children having children. This issue is too controversial and as a spiritual person, girls and boys must be able to expand their ability to LOVE IN A TRANSCENDENTAL WAY. Meditation is a sure way for transcendantion as for transformation. May God bless you and all God’s family, and pray for me.

  8. Gus says:

    I agree with both the Hobby Lobby position and the Satanists position. Glad that the “Pandora’s Box” of freedom has been opened.

  9. Joyce Bonafield-Pierce, LICSW says:

    I am a psychotherapist and now educator, and worked in hospitals for 12 years as a social worker or Dir. of Social Work. I watched the changing atmosphere about abortion in hospitals, as well as religiously affiliated hospitals not wanting to provide either birth control (pay for it when insuring employees) or abortions on their premises.

    My view is: if you are providing health care services, your customer gets to decide what is right for their life, not the hospital and not the government. We had a Hmong woman who wanted an abortion (from a gang rape by her husband’s friends after becoming drunk) so desperate for an abortion, limited by her husband from coming to our clinic, but also by the clinic when she did try to come in for an abortion….in desperation, she killed her six existing children and attempted to kill herself, but she lived, and is spending the rest of her life in jail….all for wanting an abortion after a gang rape. The sad thing was: only 3 doctors at this former county medical center would do the procedure, so the wait was long, and she was coming clandestinely. It proved too long a wait for her.

    Hobby Lobby can provide health coverage for its workers, but needs to allow its workers to decide what they need, and it needs to cover the range of health care for women. We are not living in the 18th century! (In their next lifetime, the men will bear the children, and the policies will quickly change!)

  10. Steven McGhee says:

    Hobby Lobby has provided contraception for it’s employees for years. What they object too is the idea that they should be forced to pay for the murder of babies after conception.

    1. joseph says:

      can you show medical evidence that the methods they objected to do that?

  11. Warren Taylor says:

    With respect to Satanist claims, I think the old expression applies here: what’s sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander.

  12. Lynn Benge says:

    I, by no means, agree with killing babies, because that soul is here for a reason, but I don’t believe the Government should be able to tell me what to do with my body. I would not want to be forcefully inseminated, forcefully made to abort my child, or forcefully made to keep something I don’t want in my body. It’s my body, my soul and my life. It’s my choice!

  13. Ray Hayes says:

    I agree and support the ruling in favor of Hobby Lobby. Citizens should not have to pay for another’s birth control!!!

  14. harleyallen says:

    I am a pro-life supporter, for me the evidence is clear and supported clinically and scientifically, I believe abortion is in fact the taking of a human life.

  15. Buck Bell says:

    I find this article to be somewhat lacking in scope and significantly single sided (see Sources) in tone. Who cares if additional challenges are raised if the basis for them is valid? I’m aware of no legal theory that suggests that the volume of challenges should be a determinant in a decision. Yes, it might come back to bite those that supported the ruling, but again, that is not important to the decision.

    As to the question of validity, the ruling was indeed quite narrow, and since it does not address Constitutional issues, Alito, writing for the majority, has struck a brilliant compromise. Given that the majority ruled that the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (1997 law signed by President Clinton) prevents the Federal government from requiring closely-held corporations (51% owned by 5 or fewer family members) to provide employees employer-covered contraception that prevents the fertilization of an embryo, the remedy is quite simple: Congress can simply amend the law if the Federal government wishes to force corporations to comply.

    Also In 1997, the RFRA was found to be unconstitutional as applies to the States, so the ruling leaves open the question as to whether States can require employers to provide this specific type of contraception, or whether public companies must do so.

    Personally, I find any ruling that forces peaceful, non-agressive people who are engaged in voluntary employment to violate their closely held beliefs a bit outside of the kind of world I envision. The ULCM Statement reads, “The Universal Life Church Monastery will not stand between you and your God and we recognize that each minister and clergy member has the right to choose his or her own spiritual path. Each minister legally ordained by the ULC Monastery is at liberty to follow any religious path so long as it does not infringe upon the rights of others.” Agreed! ANd let’s extend that not just to ministers, but to all people. Let Hobby Lobby follow their religious path. They are violating no rights given the voluntary nature of employment agreements. If a majority disagrees, then in this case a legislative remedy is readily available.

  16. gwenn meltzer says:

    The Right to choose .. !!

  17. Ellis says:

    Life is God.

  18. Rev. Keith A. Neal says:

    I do not believe in abortion and feel that no employer should be forced to pay for birth control. I also feel that Roe V. Wade needs to be overthrown.
    In Mathew 19:14 Jesus says “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the Kingdom of Heaven belongs to such as these”.
    My sister has two small children and had a hard time. She had several miscarriages, but still tried until she had them. Thanks to the good Lord and our savior Jesus, answering our prayers she had them.

  19. Frances Porgal says:

    I am totally pro-choice. Hobby Lobby has, with the help of the 5 me of SCOTUS, stepped way over the line of separation of church and state and this has opened a Pandora’s box which I fear is going to be difficult to slam shut again.

    1. ERICK FREDERICKS says:

      I BELIEVE THAT NO MAN SHOULD TELL A WOMEN WHAT SHE SHOULD DO WITH HER BODY AS A JEUDEOCHRISTIAN I FEEL THAT CERTAIN TIMES CALL FOR CERTAIN ACTIONS ie. RAPE
      INCEST WHEN IT WILL CAUSE A WOMAN TO DIE DURING CHILD-BIRTH ! AND OTHER MITIGATING ITEMS ! N O M A N H A S
      THE RIGHT TO TELL A WOMAN WHAT TO DO WITH HER BODY !!!!
      I ALSO FEEL THAT ABORTION SHOULD NOT BE USED AS BIRTH-
      CONTROL.

  20. DA Bowie says:

    Abortion is, in fact, murder. It is a litmus test that can help determine the moral fabric of the abortionist and the patient. In simple terms, pregnancy often makes a woman decide whether their free time and entertainment options are worth more than one of Gods greatest creations – a soul.

  21. Wayne Gibbons says:

    God gave humans “free will” and the right to choose for themselves. Most often they choose poorly, however, they have that God given right. It is the decision of the person as to what they intend to do with their own body.
    Life is precious and should be protected as much as is possible. But, in these times, often life is cheap.
    In the end, it is up to each of us to do as God wishes us to do, but we still have the right to choose.
    When you force someone to do as you wish because you state is is “What God Wants” you assume that you are speaking for God. I don’t think God really appreciates people speaking for him. Forcing your beliefs opon others is not going to make them Godly. Forcing citizens to accept your faith and your beliefs, is not the Christian way. It is the way of The Evil one.
    Jesus said: “Go and spread the good news ‘to all who will listen’. Jesus did not say “go and spead the good news and make all of them listen, and force them to accept me” He knew some would accept the word, and some would not.
    If I keep God in my heart, everything else will follow. That is where God belongs, in the heart, not in the Government.
    Rev. Wayne

  22. Bella says:

    Hobby Lobby as a private company has every right to exercise their religious freedom and not to contribute to what they feel is the murder of a human life and some one who is an employee or a prospective employee can chose not to work at HL if they feel so strongly about IUD’s and Plan B.

    There are many who so support Planned Parenthood…..if Planned Parenthood takes tax payer money to provide access to abortion and protection from pregnacy, then why can’t female employees of Hobby Lobby get these things from Planned Parenthood?

    I’m not going to get into my own personal beliefs, but as a woman and an American citizen, I am thoroughly sick and tired of this debate! If HL doesn’t want to be a conduit to what they think is “murder”, then no one has the right to force them to; if you are so bothered by this, then do not work for HL. There are many ways to access the abortion pill, an IUD, and a diaphragm……inexpensive ways. This whole “War on Women” thing is making me sick. If a strong woman is able to do anything she wants to, then why must feminists act like women are victims? Why force companies to follow along against their beliefs? Why demand special legislation for women? If women are not victims and are as strong asmen, then we must stop the emotional victim hood and be strong and deal with life using logic, accountability, and resourcefulness without forcing political correctness out of victimhood! It is up to us as woman to be accountable for ourselves, not to train society like we train our husbands to cater after us!

  23. Rev. Gloria Cousar says:

    This decision was made by jurists who are not qualified to interpret spiritual law and who have decided that corporations are persons.. The case itself was brought on behalf of a corporate business that made an unsubstantiated claim of having a religious belief and being a “person”. The decision like others from this court, is very flawed.

  24. john shrum says:

    I continue to be amused by the pro life’s lobby’s tendency to pick and choose what science they choose to believe in. If a fetus is to be considered to be an act of the will of god and therefore inviolate, why is it acceptable for barren couples to attend fertility clinics to thwart the will of god? I expect there may be an unspoken agenda here.

  25. Lindsay laughlin says:

    Birth control should be available to all people. Men or women, for free, around the world at all times. Plain and simple.

  26. Chris Coulson says:

    I don’t believe that anybody including the government has the right to tell someone what to do with their own body. God has given all of us the freedom of choice and if we create another life by pregnancy then the father of that unborn child should be the one to get with the mother and decided what they are going to do NOT! the government. The more control we give the government over our lives the more they will take to where we turn out nothing but robots doing what the government says, when they say and how they say to don it. Think about it a min is that what we really want as people to be turned into robots!

  27. James A. Garrison II says:

    I think its Just Messed UP !!!

  28. Lee Feldman-Redick says:

    A woman’s body is hers! Women are not incubators! Contraception/abortion should be legal and free. People should rise above ignorant, prejudicial, fascist-minded thought. The Hobby Lobby ruling was made by old, right-wing men. Note: I’m an old man.

  29. Orlonda Rosenquist says:

    I’m pro choice. This decision was wrong, a woman has every right to make the choice for herself.The courts were wrong and I believe it’s going to cause a lot more trouble down the line.They stuck their nose where it doesn’t belong.

  30. Nedward Marbletoe says:

    I think you have something here! I think I agree with the Hobby Lobby decision, though it is a close argument.

  31. John Wilson says:

    The constitution and Jefferson’s subsequent letters clearly separate church and state. The concern, rightly so as we see today, is that religion would have too much influence on governance. The Hobby Lobby verdict was a violation of the Jeffersonian idea but it’s much worse than that. There was a secondary ruling that the form required for religious objection was also objectionable for religious reasons. The most onerous part of the Hobby Lobby ruling is that the Supreme Court has established a precedent that can referenced in future, similar rulings. Essentially, religion will have an increased impact on Supreme Court rulings and that will not be good for governance. Note that Christian leadership is intolerant of non-Christian religions……. Now where do I see activities based on intolerance in the world today? Just about everywhere.

  32. SassiJ says:

    The issue here is not BLACK & WHITE. There are more shades of gray that have to be addressed. First of all, would you want to be the young girl or any woman to carry her fathers child if she was forced to have sex with him? Also, the same goes with being forced by your brother, uncle, cousin, and the list goes on. Then there is the issue of RAPE! I was lucky enough to have aborted spontaneously. Yes I was raped, and my father abused me as a very young child. I didn’t have the choice back then nor did I know about the choices for abortion. Then, there is the fetus that will be born with serious defects. I won’t go into those because I’d have to write a book. I am pro life when it comes to having sex and getting an abortion as a birth control, This is NOT right. A man and woman have the right to discuss the issue at hand to find out what the safest decision is and mutually agree/or the woman has to agree. There are couples that want a child and would pay to have one. To carry a child is the most sacred experience a woman can have, and to abort it for “birth control sake” is just a shame. Give the other couples what they want and need. Way too much involved here to continue. So PRO-CHOICE is my answer, without the birth control aspect!

  33. Tom Cornfield says:

    The only thing I have to say is Why did I take the time to read all of these.. Most of the responders here can’t have an abortion.. I would like to see them get pregnate to understand..God forgives mistakes.. If the guy who gets the lady pregnant. should take responsibility as fathers (the first ones to suggest Abortion) and everyone wants to blame the lady.. The only thing that Hobby Lobby did was they don’t have to pay for it. Since Hobby Lobby is a store just may be people who disagree will not purchase products from them..will I don’t know. But I will say a small prayer for you judgmental people here so the Lord God Almighty will forgive you for this instead of striking your name from the book of life.. ya forgot that did ya..No were in any good book does it say finger pointing is ok.. I’ll say a prayer for myself also.. May the lord walk with you all today

  34. Tom Cornfield says:

    oh ya it’s 2014 not 1402

  35. Dawn says:

    I do not believe any government, religion or belief system should have the right to control or choose what is best for each individual. Having a choice is my divine right!

  36. Kat says:

    I think the only purpose for sex is to procreate, so abortion should not exist at all. If you don’t want to get pregnant don’t have sex. I totally support Hobby Lobby. Besides abortion should not be in any insurance requirement. Its not a health issue like needing glasses or your teeth clean. Its more like wanting your nose smaller or your breast larger.

  37. Rev. Dee says:

    Religious beliefs only apply to your own beliefs–NOT to forcing them on others. I say if you don’t believe in abortion, don’t have one. The sad and sick truth is that in most U.S. States, a woman cannot get an abortion. This is unconstitutional and needs to change. I will not shop at Hobby Lobby or any other store that seeks to deny women their rights under the Constitution of the United States.

  38. Minister Mike says:

    We Should not be forced to pay for abortion or Day after pill. Pray for exemption for Christ schools, charity, hospitals, . Also If I one day get my own company I should not be forced to pay for abortion

    1. Ben Mastro says:

      Your not paying for it. It’s not coming out of your wallet. The insurance is paying for it. Do unto others as you want done to you. ie: Don’t take away other people’s rights unless you want yours taken away. OR Don’t force your religion on others, unless you want others forced onto you.

  39. Rev. Brent D. Rees says:

    As a ULC Minister, An activist in the LGBT community, and as a human…NO person who has a business and employs hundreds of people, all from different walks of life, has I believe the right to impose their beliefs on ANYONE!! I am personally PRO-CHOICE and Hobby Lobby has I agree stepped over the line….Just as we believe in the Freedom to worship on this site, so should Hobby Lobby as an employer give that freedom to their employees….

  40. Joe says:

    Wow, after reading the comments on ths article, it appears the satanists are the most reasonable. I think the prudent thing to do now is become a satanist.

  41. Christ Gallet Sampu says:

    Repent and get baptize and show love…I will walk front of you…And I will show you my favor…..That’s writen….May God bless all of you

  42. Ben Mastro says:

    Hobby Lobby is a corporation and not a person. As such, HL can’t have religious beliefs.

    Freedom of religion is freedom for all religions:
    Consider these options based off of religious beliefs:
    * The Atheist who says that there is no god. So no religious items at work & no holidays off.
    * The Hindi extremist who feels everything is fated, so there is no need for ANY healthcare, as there is no avoiding your fate.
    * The Shinto extremist who requires ritual suicide if you do anything to shame the company,like his Samurai ancestors did.
    * Cultists would have the right to sacrifice pure-hearted employees in order to assuage the Dread Lord Cthulhu, Bringer of Madness.

    So again, corporations are not people.

  43. Chris says:

    I don’t agree with abortion. However, I do see that at times it might be a viable and preferred option, such as in the case of rape. My beliefs, however, are mine. I do not have the right to force my beliefs onto anyone else. I also do not believe corporations should be considered “people”, no matter how few individuals own them. Therefore I do not believe the religious beliefs of the owners should be considered in any way with regard to the company. or benefits. Individuals don’t get the luxury of picking and choosing what insurance benefits they can get. It’s all package deal. Why should corporations get that privilege?

    I can’t help but wonder how many good little “Christians” would cry foul when a Muslim-owned company requires all female employees to wear hijabs or burkhas to be in keeping with their religious beliefs?

  44. Ben Mastro says:

    How about a Scientologist boss? Scientologists are not permitted to take aspirins before auditing,{3} or “receive any `treatment’ `guidance’ or `help’ from anyone in the `healing arts’ i.e., physicians or dentists without consent,”{4} except in extreme emergencies when no one in the Church can be reached

  45. alan says:

    Someone is missing the point. Money is paid by the employer for abortion under commie care. POE,s pay the lions share of the premium (are forced to) and if abortion is part of the policy, the employer is, factually, paying at least part of the abortion fees. Religion or not, murder is murder, and an employer should not be forced into paying for ‘The Hitman’.

    1. joseph says:

      This issue isn’t about paying for abortion procedures, but rather covering certain kinds of contraceptives. Covering these kinds of contraceptives, according to Hobby Lobby, violates the corporation’s religious beliefs (insofar as that even makes sense). Part of the outrage is that Hobby Lobby makes millions of dollars in investments in companies that make these very same contraceptives to profit off of them. One would think that if these beliefs were sincerely held such that no company money should go towards these contraceptives, then indeed, no company money would go towards them, but that is simply not the case. As you say, Alan, “murder is murder” – if you honestly believe these pills constitute murder when provided to women, then according to those same beliefs they constitute murder when Hobby Lobby turns a profit from them.

  46. Lee says:

    Kat, I am a little offended your comment that sex is only for procreation. I am over 70 years old and I have three children from a previous marriage, after which I had a vasectomy. My wife passed away when my youngest child was five years old. I remarried and my current wife of almost forty years now has helped me to provide a stable home for my children. She knew at the time we were married that I was not in the market for procreation. Your belief appears to be that my wife and I should never have had sex and should not be having sex because procreation here is impossible. Though the subject of this particular thread is abortion and the rights of HL, your comment is directly related to those who have sex with no thought of procreation as being wrong. My wife and I do not see it that way, and I am glad that that we do not.

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