The following comes from a Mar. 24 story on The Federalist.
This week, the Supreme Court will consider whether businesses and their owners must choose between paying millions of dollars in fines and violating their religious beliefs. The outcome of the combined cases, popularly styled Sebelius v. Hobby Lobby, will shape how government interacts with religious Americans for decades to come. It is no overstatement to say that an adverse outcome would banish from public life many Americans who wish to go on operating their businesses in accordance with their religious beliefs, as they have for decades.
But a funny thing happens if you pick up a newspaper covering these cases. The leftist papers do not mention the substantial monetary burden put on religious business owners to violate their consciences. The papers do not mention that contraception was both inexpensive and widely available before the contraception mandate, and still is. The papers omit to mention that it isn’t the businesses who have radically changed, but the mandates from government.
Quite simply, if you read a newspaper to find out about the contraception mandate cases, you will read lies. Here are the top six.
Lie 1. The contraception mandate cases are about women’s rights.
The New York Times’ Adam Liptak puts it right there in the first sentence: “The Supreme Court on Tuesday will hear arguments in a case that pits religious liberty against women’s rights.” This could not be further from the truth. Women will have the same constitutional rights to acquire and use contraception regardless of whether Hobby Lobby wins or loses. More than that, they’ll have the exact same rights as they had before the contraception mandate was a gleam in Sec. Sebelius’ eye. What women won’t have is the right to force other people to pay for their contraception, but that has never been a right recognized by the Supreme Court….
Lie 2. The contraception mandate cases are about gay rights.
In USA Today, Human Rights Campaign’s Chad Griffin and Planned Parenthood’s Cecile Richards paint a picture of a world where a decision in favor of religious owners’ decision not to provide contraception coverage unleashes numerous horrors unrelated to contraception coverage, including the possibility that businesses could turn away gay customers. Setting aside the fact that it is already legal for businesses to turn away gay customers in more states than not, this is the classic reductio ad absurdum, wherein letting businesses continue to operate as they have for decades will somehow unleash an apocalypse of discrimination heretofore avoided….
Lie 3. The contraception mandate cases are about for-profit corporate rights.
Let’s flip back to the New York Times. Liptak repeatedly emphasizes that this case involves for-profit corporations seeking special treatment. This is a red herring. The beliefs of Hobby Lobby’s owners are just the same as the beliefs of thousands of owners of non-profit corporations who Sec. Sebelius exempted from the mandate. Importantly, the First Amendment’s free exercise clause and RFRA protection of religious belief does not carve out people who organize in certain corporate forms. Indeed, the corporate form goes unmentioned in both the free exercise clause and RFRA….
Lie 4. Corporations cannot exercise religion.
This Sunday’s New York Times took a particularly harsh tone when criticizing businesses that operate according to their owners’ religious beliefs, claiming: “for-profit corporations are not ‘persons’ capable of prayer or other religious behavior, which is a quintessentially human activity.” Again, note the emphasis on “for-profit,” because it is indisputable that non-profit corporations are capable of “religious behavior….”
Lie 5. Corporations are asking for dangerous new rights.
When all else fails, expect leftists to portray something they don’t like as harmful and new, even if it’s really old and innocuous. That’s just what Talking Points Memo’s Sahil Kapur did when he suggested that a ruling in favor of religious liberty would be “a slippery slope to lawlessness.” In fact, the plaintiffs in these cases are simply asking for things to go back to the way they were in 2009, when they weren’t compelled by law to violate their religious consciences….
Lie 6. Government has a compelling interest in forcing companies to provide birth control.
To survive a challenge under RFRA, the government must demonstrate a “compelling governmental interest” and employ the “least restrictive means” of furthering that interest. That’s why a great deal of coverage, and indeed the government’s own briefing, is devoted to claiming that birth control is an unmitigated good and direly needed by women who will somehow be unable to get it if religious businesses aren’t forced to provide it.
This claim is complete bunk. First, the vast majority of businesses provided contraception coverage for their employees before the mandate became effective and continue to do so now that it has. Only a small number of businesses, most of which are not very large, are seeking an exemption based on their religious belief. Second, Sec. Sebelius has already exempted 190 million people from the contraception mandate, either because they work for non-profit corporations or because their plans were “grandfathered” when Obamacare became effective….
To read the entire story, click here.
Compilation of items regarding arguments presented at the Supreme Court yesterday in the “Hobby Lobby” Religious Freedom case:
Transcript of Oral Arguments
Rep. Diane Black Holds Press Conference on HHS Mandate
Rep. James Lankford Joins Hobby Lobby at Supreme Court to Stand for Religious Freedom
Rep. Randy Forbes: HHS Mandate Threatens Freedom
Senator McConnell Statement on Religious Liberty Cases Before the Supreme Court
Rep. Joe Pitts on Supreme Court Hobby Lobby and Conestoga Woods Case
Rep. Jeff Fortenberry Attends Supreme Court Proceedings
Reuters: Supreme Court signals support for corporate religious claims
AP: Birth Control Rule Seems To Divide Supreme Court
McClatchy: Expect a Close Ruling as Supreme Court Weights Contraception Coverage
USA Today: Supreme Court seeks compromise in contraception case
New York Times: Justices Seem Divided on Health Law’s Contraceptive Rule
Washington Post: Supreme Court Divided as it Hears Argument on Contraceptive Coverage
Baltimore Sun: Protestors Mark Supreme Court Hearing on Contraceptives
Wall Street Journal: Live Blog, Contraception Cases at the Supreme Court
CNN: Court Majority Harshly Critical of Obamacare Contraception Mandate
NPR: Justices Divide By Gender in Hobby Lobby Contraception Case
PBS News Hour: Can Corporations Exercise Religious Rights?
FoxNews: High Court Clash Over Obamacare Contraceptive Mandate
International Business Times: Hobby Lobby Supreme Court Case Sparks Fierce Battle
Newsweek: In Hobby Lobby Case, Kennedy Looks Like the Swing Vote
Religion News Service: Supreme Court Takes Up Hobby Lobby’s Challenge to Contraception Mandate
Daily Caller: Hobby Lobby counsel: ‘The general tenor of the questions was in our favor’
The Hill: High Court Split on Birth Control Mandate
National Journal: SCOTUS Skeptical of Birth-Control Mandate
Politico: Takeaways from the Hobby Lobby Arguments
Politico: Justices Skeptical of White House Position
Politico: 9 Justices to Watch
SCOTUS Blog: Argument Recap, One Hearing, Two Dramas
Rich Lowry: The War on Hobby Lobby
Carrie Severino in National Review: Kennedy the Swing Vote, But Breyer Wavers Too
Fox News, Christian Medical Association: Two Courageous Families Fight for our Freedoms at Supreme Court
Kathleen Parker: Hobby Lobby case creates unexpected allies in Dershowitz and Starr
Jon Healy, LA Times: Contraception exemptions may help Hobby Lobby win Obamacare battle