I’m an old, retired labor attorney who did some crazy-assed things when I was practicing. I am engaging in serious penance for my naive decisions and for allowing myself to be manipulated by clients and executives whose true motivation was greed.
We shifted paradigms and argued precedent-setting cases. When we had a case we knew we couldn’t win, we had Scotch-fueled brain-storming sessions on Friday nights and decided on Monday morning which crazy-assed idea might actually fly. We knew how to spin straw into gold.
I wonder how much Scotch was consumed before the majority on the U.S. Supreme Court (SCOTUS) found a way to decide that for-profit corporations have religious liberty.
I haven’t seen Hobby Lobby’s mission statement in their corporate charter, but I’m fairly certain they are in business to sell crafts at a profit. Their stores don’t have steeples. They don’t advertise a “Christian” mission. [Update: Apparently they commit to “Honoring the Lord” on their website.] Since I’ve never been in a Hobby Lobby, I have no idea whether the walls are adorned with crosses, the religious symbol of Christians, like corporations whose missions are religion.
[Update: Salon reported that Hobby Lobby is a primary funder of the National Christian Charitable Foundation which substantially funds the Alliance Defending Freedom which pushed for intrusive ultrasounds for women seeking abortions in Arizona. The purpose of this complex web of organizations?
. . .donors are shielded from public scrutiny. . ,
National Christian Charitable’s outgoing grants reveal a series of disbursements to groups that have offered legal services to Hobby Lobby or signed on to amicus [friend of the court] briefs supporting the lawsuit. In 2012, the NCF contributed $94,340 to the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, the D.C.-based legal group representing Hobby Lobby in the upcoming Supreme Court case. . .contributed to at least 40 of the groups that signed on to amicus briefs supporting Hobby Lobby’s case. . .
The Alliance Defending Freedom itself is the organization behind McCullen v. Coakley, a case its lawyers argued in front of the Suprreme Court in January challenging the constitutionality of a Massachusetts law that creates a “censorship zone” for antiabortion protestors. [they won]
My ancestors were right behind Martin Luther when he started the Protestant Reformation. Sir Francis Drake was irate over the Spanish Inquisition. My ancestors were among the first who sailed to America for religious freedom. I get pretty worked up when MY religious freedom is infringed upon by people seeking to impose their religious beliefs on me. I’m also an unwanted child who gets passionate about birth control. Every child deserves to be a wanted and unconditionally loved child.
I would have never dreamed in a million years of Scotch-fueled brain-storming sessions that religious liberty could be argued as a way to avoid providing health insurance benefits. Yet, Anita Hill warned us about Justice Clarence Thomas’ fondness for his “long dong Silver.” Dude sexually harassed her while he was in charge of the EEOC which was supposed to put a stop to sexual harassment in the work place. Still got himself appointed to a lifetime seat on SCOTUS.
We knew SCOTUS was corrupt as hell when they anointed Shrub (Pres. George W. Bush) president despite the fact that Al Gore got more votes. Mr. Gore, quite frankly, didn’t have enough fire in his belly to win the White House.
We have a corrupt SCOTUS. We have a do-nothing Congress. And, we have a president who finally found the balls to issue executive orders. I don’t think the solution is going to come from D.C.
My sense is that the Hobby Lobby decision probably has absolutely nothing to do with religious liberty. I know how paradigms are shifted. Big corporations have been looking for a way to ditch employee health plans for over three decades. They ditched pension funds when Congress told them that they couldn’t raid the assets. The Hobby Lobby decision is another step toward the goal of fattening CEO wallets at the expense of employees who bring the cash in the door.
The absolute irony in this story is that Hobby Lobby has invested pension fund money in the manufacturers of the birth control devices they refuse ~ for hypocritical religious reasons ~ to provide to their employees.
So, what can we do?
Picketing and boycotting are popular ways to express our angst. Both take organization and time. It’s hot. It’s summer. The beach is calling our names. If we’ve never shopped at Hobby Lobby, they aren’t going to miss our business.
I think it would be grand fun to shop at Hobby Lobby. Fill up our carts. Let the cashier check us out. When the cashier announces our tab, tell her to void the sale because we refuse to do business with an organization which imposes its religious beliefs on employees. Walk out. A pile of voided sales will send a powerful message to these greedy, hypocritical bastards who have no problem buying their merchandise from China which holds the world’s record on abortions.
It’s actually what Jesus would do. Y’all remember the parable about Jesus having a meltdown with the money changers in Matthew 21:12-17. If you are feeling especially passionate, you can leave verse 13 with the cashier:
My house shall be called a house of prayer; but you are making it a den of robbers.
Hobby Lobby Invests In Abortion Pill Manufacturers, by Laura Bassett, Huffington Post, 4/1/14
Justice Ginsberg’s dissent in Burwell vs. Hobby Lobby, 6/30/14
Hobby Lobby’s Secret Agenda: How It’s Quietly Funding a Vast Right-Wing Movement, by Eli Clifton, Salon, 3/27/14