Hobby Lobby decision is woeful

Published 9:21 am Friday, July 18, 2014


he Hobby Lobby decision handed down by the U.S. Supreme Court is likely to join the Dred Scott decision of 1857 as one of the worst in history.

The Dred decision, handed down by the court as it was comprised in 1857, with Roger Taney as chief justice, was one of the precursors to the American Civil War. In it, the Taney court ruled that Scott, a slave, was not a citizen of the United States and therefore could not bring suit to win his freedom. Actually, that was not even the worst part of the decision. In that decision, the court ruled that all residents of the United States of African decent, whether free or slave, were not, and could not become, citizens of the United States. The court further held that laws that barred slavery from certain states and territories of the United States were invalid and slavery could not be limited by Congress.

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That decision was a primary factor in the formation of the Republican Party by those determined to overturn the Dred Scott decision and declare slavery illegal.

The Roberts court has actually done something worse. It has set up a system whereby this nation is likely to be fractured not just into two parts, but into several parts, turning what is now a Republic into a country where anarchy rules, based on whatever system of beliefs a person, or group of people, establish for themselves in order that they can do whatever they want, possibly even to holding slaves.

By the logic that prevailed in the Hobby Lobby decision, a group could establish a church that declares the enslavement of others by its members based on a belief that cannot be overcome by any laws enacted by Congress. Yes, I am aware of the 13th amendment, but with this court who knows what will happen.

Also, there are already religions and sects of even the Christian religion that believe women are subservient to men. Business owners that have that belief may then declare that they don’t have to hire women, and if they hire them, they don’t have to pay them equally. Others may say their religious beliefs hold that women not only shouldn’t work, but they should be confined to the home and kept “barefoot and pregnant.” Others may hold that it is impossible for a man to rape a woman because a woman is simply a sexual object that can be used and abused by men. Those beliefs have already been espoused.

There are a great many religious beliefs that are degrading to women.

As a husband, father and son I know that contraception is not simply to allow women to have sex with no consequences. There are medical reasons other than avoiding pregnancy for prescribing birth control pills. Further, as it stands in law in most states, the only people for whom there are few or no consequences for recreational sex are men, not women.

This ruling is reprehensible on too many grounds to list them all and others are detailing some of them, and I’ll probably return to the subject.