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Hullabaloo


Monday, June 30, 2014

 
QOTD: Justices Samuel Alito and Ruth Bader Ginsburg

by digby

Alito:
"According to their religious beliefs the four contraceptive methods at issue are abortifacients."
Fascinating. They aren't "abortifacients." That is simple scientific fact. But they say they believe they are and their "belief" trumps objective reality.

The Daily Beast asks some pertinent questions about why "morality" is found to be in the hands of the employer rather than the person who will be using the allegedly immoral birth control. After all, we don't hold gun stores culpable for the murders committed by people who buy guns there:
Justice Alito specifically refutes these questions later in his opinion. He writes:
The Hahns and Greens believe that providing the coverage demanded by the HHS regulations is connected to the destruction of an embryo in a way that is sufficient to make it immoral for them to provide the coverage. This belief implicates a difficult and important question of religion and moral philosophy, namely, the circumstances under which it is wrong for a person to perform an act that is innocent in itself but that has the effect of enabling or facilitating the commission of an immoral act by another.
Justice Alito angrily dismisses the notion that there can be a “binding national answer to this religious and philosophical question.” Thus, if the Hahns and Greens say that it’s so, it’s so.
How convenient. Morality only attaches to people who want to exempt themselves from scientific fact in ways that comport with what a majority of the Supreme Court in this particular moment  find compelling. Funny that he doesn't find the complicated religious and philosophical question of abortion to be equally beyond the scope of a "binding national answer." How odd.

Ginsburg:
"The court, I fear, has ventured into a minefield."
The minefield in question is the one that is, in essence, the Supreme Court choosing to privilege certain religious beliefs over others. It's very hard to see how they are going to thread a needle that says this logic can only apply to contraception. I'm sure they'd like it to  (along with abortion and perhaps gay rights and other socially conservative venues for excusing corporations from participating in government mandates.)  After all, these are the passions that move the political and religious constituency to whom this Court is catering. But there are a lot of religions in this world, some of which have some pretty unusual beliefs. It will be interesting to see how this conservative Christian Supreme Court majority ---  which is clearly trying to extend special dispensation to conservative Christians like themselves and corporations in general   --- deals with the "religious freedom" of those with whom they disagree.

Perhaps they should take a look at what's happening in Iraq for a clue as to what happens when government takes sides in religious disputes.

Meanwhile, women are out of luck if they expect to be treated as equal citizens under the law. When some religious people "believe" things that are not factual their equality is trumped by their employers' rights as "owners", religious or otherwise.

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