The Affordable Care Act, known mostly as Obamacare, has been in the news a lot lately, probably because it’s a large piece of legislation causing sweeping changes throughout the country as it changes how health insurance is handled at a federal level, affecting nearly everyone.
While most people are content to mock the terrible website problems as the most visible failure of the program, the most nefarious part of this new law is the flagrant violation of religious freedom of this nation’s voiceless: our corporations.
Lawsuits have been filed on behalf of corporations protesting this travesty. Perhaps the largest is that filed by the owners of craft superstore Hobby Lobby, which may go to the Supreme Court. These titans of consumerism have run their stores with a Christian flair, going so far as to close on Sundays, and possibly some other things too, but I’m not about to research it. They take issue with a specific part of Obamacare that mandates employers provide coverage that contains certain criteria or face a steep fine, with one criterion being that FDA-approved contraceptives be provided free of charge to employees.
As Baptists, the owners of Hobby Lobby–like many Christians–believe that contraceptives are sinful. After all, life doesn’t begin at conception; it begins before it. A few years ago, I read the Bible and looked at the story of Onan, where the idea of masturbation and trying to prevent conception being wrong was born. I came away less than convinced with the arguments.
But even if you reach those same conclusions, there is a more onerous provision of the contraceptive portion of Obamacare. The so-called ‘Plan B’ or ‘Morning After’ pill is one of the FDA-approved contraceptives, and it’s used after sex to prevent pregnancy. As the pill must be used the day after sexual congress, it’s too early to tell if the woman is pregnant. At that point, the pregnancy can be likened to the thought experiment known as Schrodinger’s Cat, with the Morning After Pill likened to a flame thrower that you use to engulf the box in fire before you look inside. The cat may have already been dead, but now you’re sure.
Since this represents a form of super-early abortion, the Hobby Lobby owners feel that being forced to pay for coverage of it enables its use and is a sin, thus encroaching on their religious freedom. Or, rather, their company’s religious freedom, since it’s the company that would be providing the health insurance to its workers. They also claim their company, coincidentally, has the same religious beliefs they do. And since the Supreme Court already ruled in the Citizens United case that corporations are people with the right to free speech as provided in the First Amendment, it only makes sense that they would have the freedom of religion guaranteed to all citizens also.
But corporations, despite being people, can’t actually speak in a court of law, so they designate others to do it on their behalf. And thankfully, they have. Because without these lawsuits, one of the most cherished parts of our Constitution would be trampled upon. At least, even moreso than it is now.
Hopefully this case is decided quickly and in favor of the corporations’ freedom, so they can move on to securing the rest of their religious freedom when it comes to providing insurance for their employees. It’s not just contraceptives that go against the beliefs of these Christian corporations. There are a host of insurance benefits that go against the will of God.
Similar to the contraceptive issue, Christians believe that sex outside of wedlock–whether through affairs or premarital relations–is sinful. This is their religious belief. Thus, anyone who gets pregnant while not married has sinned. Christian corporations should not be forced to condone that behavior through insurance benefits for unwed pregnant women.
Forcing a Christian corporation to pay for hospital visits, ultrasounds, neonatal care, and any other medical fees related to pregnancy for an unmarried women is asking the corporation to pay for and condone a sinful lifestyle. It is wrong and a violation of religious freedom. Maternity leave for those women is also right out.
But it’s not just unmarried people having sex who are leading a life of sin. Anyone who has not accepted Jesus as their Lord and savior is also leading a life of sin. Providing them any benefits whatsoever condones their lifestyle. Forcing a Christian corporation to provide any sort of benefits to a non-Christian means you might as well put the Constitution in the box with Schrodinger’s cat before you set it on fire. You are destroying everything it stands for and saying it no longer has value in this country.
The foundation of this country is at risk. Corporations must be free to exercise their religious freedom. They are just following these words of Jesus Christ: “Render unto Caesar what is Caesar’s, unless you don’t like what it’s for.”