Hobby Lobby: Political Hypocrisy

 |  NCR Today

The Catholic bishops and right-wing Catholics might be cheering the ruling in the Hobby Lobby case on June 30 … but they should temper their rejoicing -- fast. (In this case, the Supreme Court -- in a 5-4 decision -- said that for-profit companies do not have to provide contraceptive coverage to which they object on religious grounds.) There are game-changing, under-reported facts about Hobby Lobby. 

According to Petula Dvorak in The Washington Post, and Mother Jones (April 1, 2014), “Documents filed with the Department of Labor and dated December 2012—three months after the company's owners filed their lawsuit—show that the Hobby Lobby 401(k) employee retirement plan held more than $73 million in mutual funds with investments in companies that produce emergency contraceptive pills, intrauterine devices, and drugs commonly used in abortions. Hobby Lobby makes large matching contributions to this company-sponsored 401(k).” 

These are some of the very contraceptives to which Hobby Lobby objected in this Supreme Court case.   

Talk about hypocrisy! There are plenty of investment firms that screen out such holdings, but apparently, Hobby Lobby did not choose to use them. Interestingly, the Vatican (which officially opposes all birth control) also did not screen investments to meet their own moral pronouncements, and it was found to have invested in contraceptive manufacturers in 2009.

So, we are left with the question: what’s the real reason for the Hobby Lobby suit? Was it financial? Did they not want to pay for contraceptives?  Was it political? Did they want to “score one” against Obamacare? Was it patriarchal? Did they want to put up obstacles to women making their own reproductive decisions? (Incidentally, Hobby Lobby’s health plans will continue to cover vasectomies and Viagra!)

Web of Life.jpgExplore the rich biodiversity of Panama in a special eco-series from Global Sisters Report.

When you think about it, this was a ridiculous Supreme Court decision. Since when can profit-making companies claim a religion? Or religious beliefs? Whatever the Supreme Court says, corporations are NOT persons! 

For the record, polling done on this question weeks before the decision shows that all segments of the U.S. population (except white Evangelicals) opposed the substance of this decision. That includes Catholics, especially Catholic women (who, as anyone who reads polls knows) use artificial contraceptives at the same level as women of other religious traditions.

And although Justice Alito (who wrote the majority opinion) tried to limit its scope, it raises questions about other medical procedures to which some people have religious objections: vaccines, blood transfusions, etc. This decision may have opened Pandora’s box for other lawsuits.

Support independent reporting on important issues.

 One family graphic_2016_250x103.jpg


NCR Comment code: (Comments can be found below)

Before you can post a comment, you must verify your email address at Disqus.com/verify.
Comments from unverified email addresses will be deleted.

  • Be respectful. Do not attack the writer. Take on the idea, not the messenger.
  • Don't use obscene, profane or vulgar language.
  • Stay on point. Comments that stray from the original idea will be deleted. NCR reserves the right to close comment threads when discussions are no longer productive.

We are not able to monitor every comment that comes through. If you see something objectionable, please click the "Report abuse" button. Once a comment has been flagged, an NCR staff member will investigate.

For more detailed guidelines, visit our User Guidelines page.

For help on how to post a comment, visit our reference page.

Commenting is available during business hours, Central time, USA. Commenting is not available in the evenings, over weekends and on holidays. More details are available here. Comments are open on NCR's Facebook page.



NCR Email Alerts


In This Issue

June 16-29, 2017