SCOTUS Doubles Down; The Right Uglies Up


WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court on Tuesday confirmed that its decision a day earlier extending religious rights to closely held corporations applies broadly to the contraceptive coverage requirement in the new health care law, not just the handful of methods the justices considered in their ruling.

The justices did not comment in leaving in place lower court rulings in favor of businesses that object to covering all 20 methods of government-approved contraception.

I find Ben Domenech’s opinion deeply offensive. Just make the pill over the counter, he says.

There are a number of objections to this, but I find them to largely amount to unconvincing paternalism. The chief argument advanced is that standard oral contraceptives mess with hormones and have all sorts of side effects. This is, of course, true! But: dangerous side effects are rampant within all sorts of other over the counter drugs. Women can think for themselves and make decisions with their doctor and pharmacist about what drugs they want to take – and the evidence shows they are good at self-screening. In fact, it would actually increase the ability to mitigate and respond to unanticipated side effects, since changing tracks will no longer require a doctor’s visit and getting a new prescription. Assuming that women won’t or can’t take responsibility for themselves to consult with a doctor unless required to by arbitrary government policy is absurd.

Some of those side effects are life threatening, and women with certain medical conditions shouldn’t take them. Most women would be okay, of course. But Domenech’s attitude send a big flashing neon message that he doesn’t value women. We are some alien Other that should just take care of our lady parts and not bother him about it.

There’s an argument for making birth control pills OTC, and maybe it’s a reasonable thing to do. But if you look at this map (scroll down), it seems to me that there’s a strong correlation between prescription requirement and the status of women in those countries — the lower the status, the lower the requirement to see a doctor. It does not comfort me a lot to be told that the pill is OTC in “most countries” when in most of those “most countries” women are second-class citizens. In some of them they’re still wearing head baskets.

This is my favorite:

EchoLight Studios, run by former presidential candidate Rick Santorum, said Monday it will release a movie Sep. 1 that explores the Hobby Lobby Supreme Court decision that was handed down Monday.

The film, a documentary called One Generation Away: The Erosion of Religious Liberty, has been in the works for several months. The movie makes the case that the free expression of Christianity has lately been taking a backseat to free speech, government expansion and political correctness, and the Hobby Lobby case is one example from the film.

It’s the golden age of Christian persecution porn, I tell you. The fundies eat this up.

23 thoughts on “SCOTUS Doubles Down; The Right Uglies Up

  1. So according to Santorum, free speech is a bad thing, because Jeebus.

    Who is waging a culture war on whom, again?

  2. Here’s the deal. I’m not going to dissect the nuances of a flawed decision. Nor do I expect this court will reverse itself. There are two options – The first is a Constitutional Amendment which states corporations are not people. The objective is to nullify Citizens United, but it would nullify this obscene decision as well. Second option – A different USSC where ONE conservative justice is replaced with a sane one who understands LAW.

    Antonin Scalia Age: 78
    Anthony Kennedy Age: 77
    Clarence Thomas Age: 66
    John G. Roberts Age: 59
    Samuel A. Alito, Jr Age: 64

    I’m gonna dissect one point. (Ok, I lied in the second sentence.)There was/is no basis in LAW to give a corporation standing in a suit based on moral or religious objections. None. A sole proprietorship, yes. I can see how the USSC could hear the case – but no corporation has standing. Make this a principle of the US Constitution – Corporations are not people – money is not speech. The driving force behind democracy is not wealth but the numeric majority, the popular will, not the will of the wealthy. Flip ONE justice on the list above and that can happen.

    A question – If the Senate refuses to confirm ANY appointment to the left of Scalia (assuming he retires or croaks) where are we constitutionally? It is likely that a democrat will replace Obama – it’s not sci-fi to think he/she will get two terms. Think 10 years. Scalia and Kennedy can’t go on til they are 90. Republicans won’t confirm a moderate justice. The potential impasse of obtaining a liberal majority on the USSC makes a Constitutional Amendment preferable. That’s also a better dynamic because dis-empowering money will weaken the polar extremes – publicly funded elections (it will happen) will shift political power to the center.

  3. I’m really tired of being called names for doing what I think God wants me to do, and particularly being told I’m not a woman because I disagree with you.

    Rick Santorum is my friend and has my vote if he decides to run. I appreciate his values. I share them.

    • LisaGras — Nobody is calling you names for doing what you think God wants you to do — with your own life and your own body. We are calling you names because you want to use the authority of government to force the rest of us to live the way you think God wants us to live, whether we agree or not. And Rick Santorum is a sick and twisted man who wouldn’t recognize genuine religious liberty if it bit his ass.

      Now, get lost before we get more annoyed with you and start calling you names.

  4. Lisa is pretty busy with her own version of name calling on her FB page. She evidently does not mind declaiming on how gays nauseate her. I’ll paste 2 paragraphs of her comments here, and you can delete them if you prefer not to give her the space, though the paragraphs are quite illuminating about her:

    I’ve often been told by “gay rights” activists that the fact that homosexuality nauseates me proves that I am “homophobic.” Though they won’t use the word “disorder,” they basically argue that it is “disordered” to be nauseated by homosexuality. There is, you see, something “wrong” with me if I think something is “wrong” with homosexuality, and if homosexual acts cause me nausea (they do) then the “wrongness” in me is, they claim, enormous indeed. This is an example of the wall we will continually run up against in this debate, that there is no way to get around the fact that intolerance of Christianity is inevitable in the arguments for tolerance of homosexuality.

    I wrote recently that St. Catherine of Siena was instructed by Jesus that even the demons are repulsed by homosexual acts, not because they are sin but because demons have angelic nature that is similar to human nature, so they share the same natural repulsion to such acts as human beings do. Though demons will tempt people to commit these acts because they want people to sin, they are repulsed by the acts themselves due to the demands of nature. One does not have to be Catholic, though, or even believe anything the saints taught, to understand that sin and disorder cause nausea. Scott Diekmann, a Lutheran, writes: Nausea and sin go together. It is perfectly natural for us to be nauseated by things that are offensive to God. It is a gift of God to have an aversion to horrific things, but as with any gift, we have the choice to throw it away. The more society accepts as “normal” those things which are offensive to God, the less offended and the less nauseated people will be. Just as a society can become more civilized, a society can also become more barbaric.

    • It is perfectly natural for us to be nauseated by things that are offensive to God.

      Just what I wrote in my book –people mistake their own culturally induced biases for the Voice of God. Then they use God as an excuse for acting out the ugly, nasty things infesting their psyches.

  5. And Rick Santorum is a sick and twisted man who wouldn’t recognize genuine religious liberty if it bit his ass.


  6. The studio will release the movie through its EchoLight Cinemas, which will show it first in churches before opening it in theaters. It will be the company’s debut release.

    Move over Cecil B DeMille! I can see Santorum now with his ascot, jodhpurs and megaphone shouting ..Ready on the set!

  7. So if you are ‘nauseated’ by the sight of a black man walking hand-in-hand with a white woman, your reaction (since it is ‘natural’) is validated by God. Their feelings of attraction, affection and love which they may feel are invalidated by your upset stomach. I’m not suggesting ding-bat is a bigot – there’s no evidence of that. I’m pointing out what should be obvious. Cultural norms change. What was once forbidden is now not even a matter of controversy. And make no mistake – slavery was historically validated by churches in the south as an institution ordained by the same God you think is driving ding-bat’s stomach. Racial tolerance doesn’t mandate interracial marriage – it simply requires you butt out of other peoples business. A mandate to provide health insurance is not an opportunity for the employer to impose his moral values on his employees.

  8. “It is perfectly natural for us to be nauseated by things that are offensive to God”

    This person apparently hears voices in her head, she believes these voices are the sky wizard, she needs help:

    Schizophrenia: common symptoms include false beliefs, auditory hallucinations, confused or unclear thinking, inactivity, and reduced social engagement and emotional expression. Diagnosis is based on observed behavior and the person’s reported experiences.

  9. And Lisa,
    Please go back and read the New Testament with an open mind – or, read it for yourself for the first time – instead of listening to the (usually) men in front of the church.

  10. Shame on religious extremists. Shame. Except they do not understand the meaning of the word… they only apply it to everyone else.

  11. Whether any woman is taking birth control of any kind for any reason is something that only she and her doctor should be privy to. This a private record and should not be given to any employer for any reason. Lisa and her friend, Santorum, have no right to shove their God and their values down my throat and infringe on my own religious beliefs, which are different than theirs.

  12. I’m starting to have some deeply held beliefs try to manifest themselves all over some people.

    But will try to keep them to myself.

  13. St. Catherine of Siena

    In about 1368, aged twenty-one, Catherine experienced what she described in her letters as a “Mystical Marriage” with Jesus,[13] later a popular subject in art as the Mystic marriage of Saint Catherine. “Underlining the extent to which the marriage was a fusion with Christ’s physicality […] Catherine received, not the ring of gold and jewels that her biographer reports in his bowdlerized version, but the ring of Christ’s foreskin.”[14][15]

    What’s with the foreskins, Lisa?

  14. gulag …Did they sleep in separate rooms on their honeymoon?

    On a serious note…I’m really curious to understand why the Christian-Judeo culture is so fixated on foreskins. I just don’t get it.. Maybe if they were like runes and contained some magical powers it might make sense, but I haven’t uncovered a sound reason as to why they would venerate foreskins. I could see where Christ’s foreskin might be worthy of a little adoration, but only because of who the owner was and the rarity of its antiquity . I doubt it’s still kicking around, although you never know with all the Jesus items that show up on eBay.

  15. Swami,
    Even though she was rich, she insisted on a duplicate-manger, with two double-beds of straw for chastity.
    With a curtain down the center of the room, of course – ala, “It Happened One Night.”
    She stayed on one side – Jesus’ foreskin on the other!

  16. “although you never know with all the Jesus items that show up on eBay”

    Wow I thought the economy had recovered somewhat, I guess not when even Jesus is pawning his junk on ebay!

  17. uncledad..In what sense do you mean junk? Are you talking about his brother’s ossuary or his foreskin?

  18. Regarding Rick Santorum: I haven’t “walked in his shoes” as the saying goes, so I’ll try to avoid pointless ridicule. But, I think it is safe to say that he is not a scintillating intellect. To me, it seems, that in a serious discussion or debate, he generally flounders and then founders. He is above his pay grade to the extent that even a modicum of self reflection would send him packing off to start a dry cleaning business or some other small business rather than humiliate himself on the national stage. But, he’s got a remarkably good gig considering his talents, holding on to it for dear life, makes sense. That’s just my opinion and I freely admit that I am not the sharpest pencil in the box either.

    I regret that he has had the personal tragedy regarding two of his children. But, that leads me to something I find striking about his character. There is some consolation in the notion that suffering can help us to achieve compassion. But, I find Mr. Santorum’s lack of empathy and understanding astonishing, given his circumstances. It borders on sociopathy, and I use the term “borders on” with some charity. If he were not so very fortunate as to have the best healthcare that this country provides, either one of the tragic events might have sent him and his family to the poor house. He might have had to deal responsibly and soberly with the risk of financial ruin in the event of something like the trisomy that affected his daughter. He had the luxury of being able to avoid both the moral responsibility and the financial impact of the risk that he was taking. He had the resources to obtain the best genetic counseling and testing available. What he doesn’t have is the ability to put himself in the place of someone without his advantages and to ask himself what might have happened. In my opinion, this makes him wholly unsuited to comment on a woman’s decision to use birth control and a very poor choice as a political figure.

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