The Hobby Lobby verdict came out recently… and all hell went loose on the internet.
You think I’m joking? Just search the case on Twitter or Google+. Read the comments and be amused (or depressed).
I’d like to say conservatives and libertarians handled it well, but then I’d be lying. And mama don’t like it when her son lies (neither does Jesus, by the way).
To make up for lost time, I decided I should write a post for you. Just some basic concepts, but concepts that matter the most.
Like your uncle use to say whenever he was late to your birthday party, “better late than never.”
Let’s jump into it, shall we?
This Isn’t About Religious Freedom
It’s easy to see this case as a battle between Christians and the secular forces of leftist humanism (or, post-modernism. I’ve forgotten which one is blamed these days).
“It’s religious freedom” the pundits proclaim. Hobby Lobby is a Christian company. They shouldn’t be forced to provide something that’s against their beliefs.
But, here’s the problem with that argument. Other companies can be forced to provide something as long as they don’t object to it from a religious standpoint.
That means that non-religious individuals will be forced (by the government) to provide products and services against their will.
Mom and pop shops will be forced to provide health insurance to their employees. They’ve only got a handful of employees. They’re paid well for what they do, but this extra health insurance will change that. Mom and pop will have to lay off a few of their employees to cover the new insurance. Those few employees were like family to them. Jobs are lost. People are hurt.
Or how about…
Gus, a 37 year old business owner. He’s built his trucking company up from the ground. He has dozens of trucks and over a hundred employees. He cares about his employees, which is why he’s been growing the company’s funds to provide an all-encompassing employee plan. Paid sick days, maternity care, benefits, and superb health insurance. But, the government is forcing him to give his employees a health insurance plan that his company isn’t ready to cover. The plan doesn’t even fit his specific company and its needs. Gus won’t be able to provide the best for his employees.
So, what happens to these people? What happens to the mom and pops, and Gus’s of the business world?
Are you going to ignore them because their problem doesn’t fit under the umbrella of “religious freedom”?
This issue is bigger than “religious freedom.” It’s a private property issue.
What do You Mean by “Private Property?”
The Free Dictionary defines it as “land or belongings owned by a person or group and kept for their exclusive use.”
In general, private property is the ownership of property by non-government individuals. That couch you’re sitting on while watching TV? That’s your private property. So is your house, car, furniture, books, and anything thing else you paid (or worked) for.
Private property covers a multitude of things.
Private property also covers businesses. The buildings, equipment, products, and services are all owned by the individual (or individuals) who own the company.
That’s their property, which means they can use it however they like (as long as it doesn’t violate another person’s life or liberty. For instance, slave labor is a violation). It’s called personal responsibility. You can do almost anything you want with your property, but if something goes wrong, you take responsibility for it.
Private Property and Hobby Lobby
Hobby Lobby is private property.
The owners of the company have the right to do whatever they like with their property.
When it comes to health insurance, Hobby Lobby is providing their employees’ health insurance. That means they’re paying for it. Paying for it with their own money. That means they dictate the terms.
Here’s an example…
When you rent out rooms in your house you dictate the terms. If a guest is renting a room in your house they have to follow your guidelines. They’re staying in your house, which is your property. Whoever owns the property has responsibility over it. Your house, your rules.
The same is true with Hobby Lobby.
Forget the Contraceptive Ranting
Who cares if this one contraceptive can make you have abortions. Who cares if it’s a necessary medical drug.
I know it’s tempting to argue the contraceptive issue, but it’s a side issue. (Click to Tweet)
It’s pointless. Feminists and Liberals support it, conservatives and pro-lifers attack it.
You might as well fight a brick wall. Like I said, it’s a waste of time.
Focus on the private property and religious freedom. That’s what it’s really about, and that’s where you’ll have success.
Hobby Lobby Isn’t Being selfish, You Are
A company refusing not to provide one drug? Or, an individual thinking that company should provide for them?
Hobby Lobby already provides health insurance and 16 (out of twenty FDA approved) forms of contraceptives to their employees. Hobby Lobby won’t fire you if they find out you’ve used a contraceptive they don’t agree with. They just won’t pay for it.
Remember, Hobby Lobby is paying for the insurance. They dictate the terms. (Click to Tweet)
Now, look at yourself (hypothetically). You work at Hobby Lobby. You receive health insurance, but you’re ticked off that they won’t provide this one contraceptive.
What do you do? You run to the government. If Congress passes a law then your employer has to provide the contraceptive you want. “That’s the answer,” you say.
You’re using the government to force your employer (who has provided you with a job and health insurance) to provide a drug against their will. Yet, you have the audacity to say Hobby Lobby is the selfish one? (Click to Tweet)
Now that I’ve thrown out a few thoughts on the topic, keep a few things in mind…
- A court case might change federal policy, but it won’t change social norms
- Please, don’t focus on the “businesses have a right to do whatever they want” argument
- Don’t get cocky
The “people owe me” mentality is still prevalent in America.
Despite all the young people rallying for freedom, many young men and women believe that others should provide for them.
Hobby Lobby winning this court case won’t change that. It can’t.
Secondly, it’s easy to yell “no one owes you anything in life.” It ticks liberals off, and frankly, it’s a correct statement.
But, does it work? Is that the best way to communicate why Hobby Lobby is in the right? I’ve realized over the past few months that honey works better than vinegar. Saying someone doesn’t owe you anything is harsh, especially when it’s a liberal you’re talking to.
Instead, focus on the employers who will be harmed. Better yet, focus on the negative effects of government intervention in the market. Remember the two scenarios I mentioned above?
Make people feel sorry for the employers and employees. These people are being forced to provide and accept things that they don’t want to.
And lastly, don’t let it get to your head. This is a win, but like any judicial decision, things can get screwy fast.
One day you’re jumping for joy, the next you’re ticked off.
Keep fighting… that’s all I beg of you. Oh, and don’t be a jerk about it.