The American Vision: A Biblical Worldview Ministry

Asking and Answering the Wrong Questions in the Hobby Lobby Case

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Should business owners be forced to pay for contraceptives or pay a fine if they don’t in the new ever-changing Affordable Care Act? Wrong question.

The case before the Supreme Court “will determine whether Hobby Lobby, a Christian-owned craft store chain, and Conestoga Wood Specialties, a cabinet company, can be exempted from providing contraception coverage to female employees through federally mandated health insurance policies.”

Actually, religion shouldn’t have anything to do with this case. All business owners should be free to run their businesses the way they want.

Here’s the right question: Should the government force any business to pay for anything other than what was contracted when it hired an employee?

When I advertise for a job opening, I lay out what I’ll pay for a certain amount of work. The people who apply for the job decide if they want to work for me based on what I’m paying. Take it or leave it.

Jesus addresses this subject, albeit as an illustration:

For the kingdom of heaven is like a landowner who went out early in the morning to hire laborers for his vineyard. When he had agreed with the laborers for a denarius for the day, he sent them into his vineyard.  And he went out about the third hour and saw others standing idle in the market place; and to those he said, “You also go into the vineyard, and whatever is right I will give you.” And so they went. Again he went out about the sixth and the ninth hour, and did the same thing. And about the eleventh hour he went out and found others standing around; and he said to them, “Why have you been standing here idle all day long?” They say to him, “Because no one hired us.” He said to them, “You go into the vineyard too.” When evening came, the owner of the vineyard said to his foreman, “Call the laborers and pay them their wages, beginning with the last group to the first.” When those hired about the eleventh hour came, each one received a denarius. When those hired first came, they thought that they would receive more; but each of them also received a denarius. When they received it, they grumbled at the landowner, saying, “These last men have worked only one hour, and you have made them equal to us who have borne the burden and the scorching heat of the day.” But he answered and said to one of them, “Friend, I am doing you no wrong; did you not agree with me for a denarius? Take what is yours and go, but I wish to give to this last man the same as to you. Is it not lawful for me to do what I wish with what is my own? Or is your eye envious because I am generous? So the last shall be first, and the first last” (Matt. 20:1-16).

The Bible tells us that an employer is to pay what is owed (Deut. 24:14-15). Delaying payment is oppression (James 5:4; Lev. 19:13). But nothing is said about a “fair wage.” There is no such thing.

If I don’t want to pay health insurance, that’s my business. If a job applicant doesn’t like it, he or she can go elsewhere.

So now we have to go begging to nine unelected judges—four of whom are radical leftists who have never owned a business and have been on the government dole all their lives—to tell us what we can and can’t do with our businesses. “You will pay for this or you will pay a hefty fine. And if you don’t pay the fine and comply with our decision, we will shut down your company or put you in jail.”

Here comes United States Senator Patty Murray from the state of Washington who is upset that nine judges are going to decide this case:

Sitting in that court today, it was stunning to me to recognize that nine people are going to make that decision—and will decide for a long time to come—whether women have to question when they go to work every day what the shareholders of that company’s religious views could be.

Instead, she wants to be the person to make the decision for how business owners operate their businesses:

I’ve worked hard to make sure that women have access to the right kinds of health care, and it’s their choice, not their employer’s choice.

The employer is paying a salary. The employees are free to do what they want with the money they receive for the work they contracted to do. It’s their choice. It’s not Patty Murray’s choice to pass laws that mandate what employers are to pay.

At this moment every woman has access to healthcare. No one is stopping them from getting birth control pills. They even have the legal right to murder their unborn babies.

Justice Sotomayor asked the lawyers representing Hobby Lobby that if corporations can object on religious grounds to providing contraception coverage, could they also object to vaccinations or blood transfusions.

Wrong question. No one is stopping anyone from getting contraceptives, vaccinations, or blood transfusions.

No matter what treatment a person wants to get, a business owner should not be forced to pay for it—any of it! Businesses aren’t forced to pay for people’s food, clothing, housing, schooling, transportation or anything else. Food, clothing, and shelter are certainly more necessary on a daily basis than healthcare.

Some people might say that it’s not fair. Almost anything can be mandated under “fairness.” “Fairness” can mean anything to anyone and different things to everybody.

Rabbi Daniel Lapin of the American Alliance of Jews and Christians said . . . that, “For those seeking to increase tyranny and totalitarianism, fairness and equality [are great things] to work people up about, because you essentially get a population—particularly a docile population—to agree to almost anything in the name of equality and fairness. That’s one of the reasons that the word ‘fair’ doesn’t exist in the Hebrew language, the Lord’s language,” Lapin added. “The word simply isn’t there. So much so that when little Israeli youngsters want to whine ‘it’s not fair,’ they can’t use the Hebrew word; they have to resort to the English word.”

A business owner might say that it’s not fair to force him to pay for something he doesn’t want to pay for. Maybe there’s a business down the street that will pay what an employee wants for a job. If that’s the case, then the prospective employee should go there. No one is stopping him.

If people don’t like how a business is doing business, then let them start their own businesses and pay themselves and their employees what they want. No one is stopping anybody from doing this.

To get the best employees, companies pay more and often add health insurance as an incentive to employment. That’s their business.

Companies that don’t treat their employees well get crappy employees, their businesses suffer, and the better employees find employment elsewhere. If a company wants to keep good employees, the owner will have to pay more or his business will suffer.

The company where one of my sons works adds all types of perks to his employment package. They have the freedom to do that or not. It’s their business.

Justice Kagan commented that “women are ‘quite tangibly harmed’ when employers don’t provide contraceptive coverage.” Given this outrageous argument, a case could be made that a person is harmed if they are not provided with a home with central heating and air conditioning, private school education, an automobile, bus fare, organic food, grass fed beef. You name it, and some busy-body bureaucrat will argue that people are harmed if they don’t have it.

On a side note, if people paid for their health insurance directly, the price of insurance and the cost of medical care would drop like everything else does when the government isn’t involved.

The Hobby Lobby case is proving that Americans now have to make a case for economic freedom by appearing before an oligarchy of nine black-robed demi-gods.

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