Human Exceptionalism

Hobby Lobby Protects Another Company

Last year’s very limited Hobby Lobby ruling–the hysteria by those disagreeing was a wonder to behold–has protected the Catholic owners of a closely-held company from being forced to pay for contraceptive and sterilization coverage against their faith. From the story:

John Kennedy, CEO of the Michigan-based company, along with other family member owners of Autocam, have always held that the government has no right to require that Autocam purchase group insurance coverage, providing its employees with morally objectionable contraceptives, including abortifacients and sterilization.

Prior to the government’s implementation of the controversial mandate, Autocam had specifically designed a health insurance plan with Blue Cross/Blue Shield of Michigan to exclude contraception, sterilization, abortion, and abortion-inducing drugs, in keeping with its owners’ deeply held religious beliefs.

The Kennedys faithfully embrace the teachings of the Roman Catholic Church that contraception, abortion, and sterilization are serious wrongs. The Obamacare HHS mandate tried to force Autocam’s owners to flout their deeply held religious convictions and to operate their company in a manner that they sincerely held to be gravely wrong.

As I wrote at the time, the Hobby Lobby decision was a limited ruling involving statutory interpretation–that will not impact large, publicly-held corporations–and only protect the religious liberty of a relatively few business owners.

So why the angry reaction to the ruling among the usual suspects?

Obamacare isn’t only about guaranteeing access to insurance. Obamacarians want to use the centralized regulatory control imposed by Obamacare as a cudgel to impose their cultural values.

And here’s something to ponder: I doubt Congress would pass the Religious Freedom Restoration Act–the basis of the HL decision–today. If it did, I have no doubt that President Obama–unlike Bill Clinton–would veto it.

Many, particularly secularists and political liberals, want to reduce “freedom of religion” to “freedom of worship.”  Those are not the same things. You cant call yourself a civil libertarian if you don’t stand for freedoms about which you have no skin in the game.


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