I am appalled to hear the Supreme Court decided to grant Hobby Lobby (Sibelius v. Hobby Lobby) the right to exercise their religious beliefs when deciding their company health care plan benefits. In writing for the court, Justice Samuel Alito wrote: “[W]e must decide whether the challenged HHS regulations substantially burden the exercise of religion, and we hold that they do.”

In basing the decision on whether the “regulations substantially burden the exercise of religion,” the court has also allowed all employers to use their religious beliefs to determine who they will hire and who they will accept as customers.

What this means is the owner of the company you work for can decide what health care benefits you are entitled to based on the owner’s religious beliefs. Work for someone whose religious beliefs do not support contraception and you will no longer have contraception coverage. Work for someone whose religious beliefs do not allow transfusions and will no longer have transfusion coverage. Work for someone who believes prayer is the answer and you may no longer have any health care benefits at all.

Work for someone who believes every word in the bible is God’s word and working women may be fired, because Titus 2.5 says that women need “to be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed.”

In other words, women should stay at home.

If employing gay people or serving them as customers is contrary to the company/hotel/motel/restaurant owners religious beliefs, you will be legally out of luck.

The court’s decision is about denying reproductive rights to women but because the decision is based on the employer being able to exercise their individual religious beliefs, all of the above can be done.

Tom Waddell

Litchfield


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