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In our opinion: In Hobby Lobby case, freedom is under threat

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  • Hutterite American Fork, UT
    March 23, 2014 12:10 a.m.

    That's because, in hobby lobby, all you can see is a christian victim. Let's fix that. No employer should even be offered the opportunity to interfere with the health care choices of their employees. That's why we need a single payer health care system. These are choices for individuals, not some religious holier than thou boss. Let's move forward, and relieve employers of this gripe entirely.

  • Mister J Salt Lake City, UT
    March 23, 2014 9:15 a.m.

    re: Hutterite

    Interesting. We all hear about the employer being a martyr. Yet, you wonder how many employees are being repressed?

  • Really??? Kearns, UT
    March 23, 2014 9:28 a.m.

    What happens when religious freedoms come in direct conflict with individual freedoms? Who wins? As an employer, do my religious convictions control the benefits my employees receive, or do I allow them their own religious freedoms to choose what they do in their own lives?

    I believe everyone should be free to live according to their religious convictions, but this threat to religious freedom has been manufactured to create a fear of change. Let's move on and learn to get along with people who don't believe the same as we do, please.

  • David Mohr Victoria/BC/Canada, 00
    March 23, 2014 9:33 a.m.

    Hobby Lobby should be able to make the choice it wants. Its employees are not forced to work for them. If it could not get employees willing to work under its benefits package then where would they be. It is time we stop asking government to impose rules on businesses and return to common sense. When government decides where people work and for whom, then they have the right and duty to impose rules on the employer dictating benefits. God is central to many people's beliefs and that means that there are employers who will not believe in contraceptives. If you feel that that is against your beliefs then choose a different employer. For the Supreme Court to allow this to be imposed on Hobby Lobby is a step closer to making the USA (or any other country) into a dictatorship.

  • Laura Bilington Maple Valley, WA
    March 23, 2014 9:55 a.m.

    So a company owned by a Jehovah's Witness should be able to offer a heath care policy to its employees that refuses to pay for blood transfusions--because it finds these objectionable? Remember that the Catholic church does not recognize as valid any marriage involving at least one Catholic person, unless the officiant was a Catholic priest. So a Catholic-owned company should be able to refuse coverage to the civilly married Mormon spouse of a Catholic employee, because their religion says that the couple isn't "really" married? And a Christian Science business owner should be able to offer health care that only pays for Christian Science healers?

  • LDS Liberal Farmington, UT
    March 23, 2014 10:02 a.m.

    Perhaps we should ask the Hobby Lobby employees what they need?

    They are the one's using the Healthcare,
    They are the one's paying the majority of the Costs,
    They are the one's who should be heard.

    IMHO -- This is just another example of Corporations controlling the Government, calling the shots of America's Citizens.

    IMHO II -- It used to be UNIONS negotiated the needs of Employees to the Corporations.
    Since the GOP destroyed the Unions, People are turning more and more to the Government for Justice.

    So, the GOP is creating it's very own "Monster".

  • slcdenizen t-ville, UT
    March 23, 2014 10:05 a.m.

    I'm starting to get the sneaking suspicion that the conservative movement in the US isn't actually interested in personal freedom but rather invokes the term to attract low-information voters to their cause. This case is riddled with contradictions including the non-sensical argument that an organization possesses the inalienable right to determine what is and isn't in the best interest of its' employees. If I snort ground-up xanax to dispel thetons from my body and can convince my insurance company to pay for the pills, then that's my prerogative and none of my employer's business.

  • Kirk R Graves West Jordan, UT
    March 23, 2014 10:12 a.m.

    Employer supplied health care is an invention of the last 50 years. People have forgotten that there was a time when we each took responsibility for our own health care, when we were free to make whatever health care choices we wanted.

    Well, guess what? I stand today to proclaim to each American that we still are! We are still free to purchase whatever health care products and services we desire! Even if they are not covered by our employer provided health care plan. Shocking, I know.

    Hobby Lobby's choice to not provide certain services and products under the health care plan they provide in no way impacts their employees ability to purchase those products and services. In no way at all. Period. End of discussion. La fin.

  • Stalwart Sentinel San Jose, CA
    March 23, 2014 10:14 a.m.

    It is apparent that the DesNews does not want to understand how to explain the "paradox" they mention in this article. Rather, they prefer to side with "Christians" as opposed to deal with truth. Does the DesNews not recognize the harm they do to our Church's reputation when they ignore reality in order to side with preconceived biases?

    Conservatives like simplicity so let's be painfully simple: Hobby Lobby is not a person and was not baptized into any Christian faith. It matters not whether their owners (ie not Hobby Lobby itself) are Christian. As individuals, they are free to continue to practice their religion as they see fit. What they cannot do, however, is utilize the channels of power inherent within the company they own (to repeat, Hobby Lobby is an entity, not a human being) in order to force other people to live by the owners' religious precepts - this is particularly true when said action would clearly violate duly executed law, such as the ACA.

    The reason some Christians believe they are under attack is because they refuse to see the world as it is, opting instead to see the world as they wish it to be.

  • Mark B Eureka, CA
    March 23, 2014 10:17 a.m.

    So, not only are corporations considered people, my friend, but they are people with religious beliefs who will not hesitate to exercise leverage on their employees, whatever beliefs THEY may hold. Unless a certain level of religious devotion is a requirement of employment, the bosses should leave their personal lives alone.

  • Kirk R Graves West Jordan, UT
    March 23, 2014 10:18 a.m.

    @Hutterite,

    the most shocking thing about your comment is that there are people who agree with you.

    Clearly, neither you are any of those liking your comment have ever lived in a country which actually implemented a single payer system.

    I lived in England for 2 years (that's code talk for "I served a mission in...") and while there I found out what a government run health care system looked like. I have been opposed to the idea ever since. Its ugly (no really it is actually ugly, and dirty, and overcrowded). It was so bad in fact, that the church paid for a private health plan for each of the missionaries serving there so we wouldn't have to use the public option if we had problems.

  • Kalindra Salt Lake City, Utah
    March 23, 2014 10:24 a.m.

    @ David: Contrary to Conservative talking points, individuals do not really have a lot of choice in employment - if the choice is work for Hobby Lobby and feed my family or continue looking for a job while my family goes hungry, people are going to choose to work at Hobby Lobby.

    Hobby Lobby receives tax benefits related to offering insurance to their employees. They are also able to attract a higher quality of employee by making insurance part of the pay package for employees.

    Employees work for their insurance - just as employers cannot tell employees how to use the money they earn, employers should not control how employees use their insurance.

    As long as employers receive a benefit from the government for providing insurance, the government should be allowed to require certain elements to that insurance coverage.

  • PP Eagle Mountain, UT
    March 23, 2014 10:46 a.m.

    Its funny that so many posters here post opinion based misinformation about an article criticizing the opinion based misinformation that is our there. It is also alarming how many posters here thing that a company should be forced to provide certain things for their employees. They forget that it is not a companies duty to provide healthcare - it is a benefit. It is something that companies do to encourage people to work there. All that is (or should be) required is that the company provides remuneration for the service provided by the employee. This is between the employee and the company. People should find a place that they fit - not force others to meet their singular demands. One way is reasonable, the other is selfishness. Just like I would be a bad fit at a tattoo shop the tattoo shop employee would probably be a bad fit working at a clinic that specializes in tattoo removal.

    Go where you fit. Don't force others to accede to your choices.

  • Paddycakes South Jordan, UT
    March 23, 2014 10:50 a.m.

    While Hobby Lobby used to be one of my favor places to shop, now they are off the list completely. I refuse to shop there any long. Reason: Price gouging their customers, jamey, me. I wrote to them and they neglected to reply with explanation or to fix the wrong. Proves to me that Christianity is just a name and too difficult to put into practice by businesses.

  • Laura Bilington Maple Valley, WA
    March 23, 2014 10:52 a.m.

    To David Mohr:

    By your logic, someone whose religion teaches that believes that blacks and whites should not mix should be able to deny employment to anyone with more melanin than they are comfortable with. Or refuse employment to a Mormon because their religion teaches that Mormons are evil. It doesn't matter how specious the reasoning is. Because, after all, nobody is forcing the black / Mormon / whoever to work there, right?

  • xert Santa Monica, CA
    March 23, 2014 10:59 a.m.

    This is an excellent article and the responses are simply better. I don't know if this will be printed, because the Des News doesn't seem to like it when it's pointed out that the readers and posters make a better case than the editorial author, but that's certainly what I see here. Good argument, Des News, but you lose this one. Better argument, readers! And I do think this whole thing will be no argument at all when we move to single payer.

  • delightfullyDeAnne Orem, UT
    March 23, 2014 11:00 a.m.

    If Hobby Lobby is so against "paying" for birth control and abortion, then WHY do they buy their products from birth control mandated China, the capitol of the legal abortion world? Put your real business decisions where you SAY your heart is, Hobby Lobby!

  • jasonhardy salt lake city, UT
    March 23, 2014 11:32 a.m.

    Contrary to the editorial claim, the administration is not "hostile to religion." The bill was passed by the congress, and the Department of Justice typically defends government action of all sorts.
    Citizens benefit from the DoJ. Here, we may learn how the Court the law as well as the U.S. Constitution. That's good for everyone.

  • Julie gluten free mother SALT LAKE CITY, UT
    March 23, 2014 11:51 a.m.

    People make some interesting comments arguing companies shouldn't have the right to deny certain coverages if it's against the owner's religion. No one is forced to work for any certain coverage.They can find a place with coverage they like. An employer shouldn't have to pay for a coverage that is against their belief system.

  • jasonhardy salt lake city, UT
    March 23, 2014 12:17 p.m.

    @Really?? has the best sentiment. Political folks are trying to hijack the legal system for headlines.

    1) The law is applied neutrally, and doesn't have the intent or effect of hurting particular religious groups.
    2) Giving exemptions would require the government to delve into religious issues -- e.g., "are these 'it's against my religion' claims valid?" -- which the First Amendment forbids.

    Today's NYTimes editorial on this issue is a more well-reasoned editorial than this one, in my opinion.

  • Bendana 99352, WA
    March 23, 2014 12:23 p.m.

    Funny how it's always the 'religious liberty' of Christians that's in danger. Are all of you hair shirt wearing martyrs going to come to the defense of the Muslim business owner who forces his religious beliefs on his employees? This has just reached a point of ridiculous, you are aware that many of these business's including Hobby Lobby had insurance that covered birth control, right? And it was not until it was required by Obamacare that you people lost your minds over it. And what is your problem with birth control? It is a proven fact that low cost or free access to birth control drastically reduces unplanned pregnancies, thereby drastically reducing abortion rates, which is a good thing, right? (Plan B is NOT an abortion inducing drug, by the way, just stop with that lie.) What really has you people in a twist? The thought that you can't control the private lives of everyone any longer just too upsetting?

  • Liberty For All Cedar, UT
    March 23, 2014 1:00 p.m.

    Thank you Hobby Lobby for standing up to the liberals and letting the Lord have his say. Only righteousness should prevail.

  • marxist Salt Lake City, UT
    March 23, 2014 1:19 p.m.

    So any discrimination or restriction may be justified by asserting that practice is a religious observance? That is opening Pandora's box.

  • Counter Intelligence Salt Lake City, UT
    March 23, 2014 2:01 p.m.

    Really???

    "What happens when religious freedoms come in direct conflict with individual freedoms?"

    I didn't realize it was an individual freedom to force others to pay for something that you can cheaply and easily get yourself.

    If that is the case: please provide your bank account number so I can bill you for my Arizona trip next winter when the air is bad and I need to rest my lungs.

    According to you logic; I want it - therefore it is a violation of my individual freedom if you don't provide it.

  • anotherview SLO, CA
    March 23, 2014 2:16 p.m.

    The Catholic Health Assoc. finds the religious accommodations in the ACA satisfactory.

    Which religion, which denomination gets to write the rules?
    The U.S. has been an example of religious freedom because it has guarded the public square.
    When religion becomes intertwined with political and secular organizations it damages both the public sphere and itself.

    Religious organizations, those that employ or serve adherents are exempt.

    Additionally, any religiously-affiliated organization (such as Catholic hospitals or universities) are not obligated to pay for or cost-share coverage of contraceptives. Neither is the religious organization required to administer the plan.

    If organizations are opposed merely because there is still a way employees can obtain contraceptives could it not also be argued that providing paychecks which employees use to purchase contraceptives is also "aiding and abetting sin?"

    re:Stalwart Sentinel
    "Does the DesNews not recognize the harm they do?"

    Amen
    As churches become battle participants engaged in political issues rather than peacemakers I find less value in what they have to offer. It is rather confusing that one can claim political neutrality yet own a publication that not only is not politically neutral but doesn't even offer any political balance.

  • Phil Allred New Rochelle, NY
    March 23, 2014 2:22 p.m.

    Hobby Lobby is privately owned by people whose religious values are as sincerely held as any of those who seem to think they should be forced to provide abortions for their employees. It is an affront to logic to claim that since they are successful at running their business they should have to give up their religious beliefs. The solution here is to enforce the Constitution as written instead of using activist judges and the picking and choosing of which federal regulations to enforce to make America ever more socialist.

  • Schnee Salt Lake City, UT
    March 23, 2014 2:29 p.m.

    Corporations aren't people, my friend.

  • Mike Richards South Jordan, Utah
    March 23, 2014 2:30 p.m.

    Where is "insurance" listed in the Constitution as a "duty" of government? Where is "insurance" listed in the Constitution as something for which the government can tax us? The Supreme Court danced around that by not ruling on whether the government can force us to buy insurance when they told us that ObamaCare was a TAX and that Congress had the right to tax us; however, because ObamaCare had not been implemented, the Supreme Court refused to rule on whether that "tax" was legal. In other words, the Court refused to do its duty.

    Congress is forbidden to legislate religion, but they have used the "back door approach" to rule against religious people who believe that life is sacred, that forbidding life to begin (through the use of contraceptives) is abhorrent, and that government cannot overrule God any more that a city court can overrule the Supreme Court.

    There will always be those who turn and twist things to make it look like "Hobby Lobby" is evil. All they're doing is fulling the prophecy of Isaiah when he told us about the "last days".

  • Counter Intelligence Salt Lake City, UT
    March 23, 2014 2:36 p.m.

    marxist

    "So any discrimination or restriction may be justified by asserting that practice is a religious observance? That is opening Pandora's box."

    How are you being restricted or discriminated against? You are not; you can still get birth control - you simply cant expect others to be forced to provide it against their faith.

    You are NOT a victim.

    anotherview

    "The U.S. has been an example of religious freedom because it has guarded the public square.
    When religion becomes intertwined with political and secular organizations it damages both the public sphere and itself."

    Fine - and therefore it follows that if government is telling a religion or religious person they must violate their conscience, when there are clearly alternatives that do not require it, then government it the problem, not the religion or religious person.

    The hallmark of politically correctness intolerance is to claim victimhood in order to divert attention from blatant perpetration. If Hobby Lobby doesn't buy your birth control - go buy it yourself for $9 at the local big box store - problem solved. You are the perpetrator, NOT the victim.

  • anotherview SLO, CA
    March 23, 2014 2:43 p.m.

    re:PhilAllred
    "forced to provide abortions"

    False

    Hobby Lobby is not being forced to provide abortions. There is no mandated coverage for abortions.
    Hobby Lobby is falsely mischaracterizing the morning-after pills as abortifacients. They are not classified as such by medical scientists as there is no evidence to date that they induce abortions or prevent implantation of a fertilized egg. They are designed to prevent ovulation.

  • OlderGreg USA, CA
    March 23, 2014 2:59 p.m.

    I find it curious that the Feds are putting HL in this position. HL has historically paid its employees above-market wages and has provided them with a benefits package that included health insurance. You know, things that Obama says our businesses should be doing.

    What has changed? ACA bureaucracy (i.e. not law, but a bureaucrat decision) deciding to require abortificants as birth control.

    Will the HL owners be pushed into paying for what they honestly believe is murder? -- Or pushed into dumping their employees into "the pool" and paying an annual fine for doing it (which the media would further demonize them for).

  • marxist Salt Lake City, UT
    March 23, 2014 3:21 p.m.

    Re: Phil Allred "It is an affront to logic to claim that since they are successful at running their business they should have to give up their religious beliefs."

    Nobody is asking them to give up their religious beliefs. We're talking about an employer-employee relationship through health insurance. Requiring birth control through health insurance does not require Hobby Lobby to give up their religious beliefs.

    If government requiring birth control is an affront to God, Hobby Lobby will bear no responsibility on Judgement Day (if such ever occurs). The authors and supporters of the ACA would be held accountable, so Hobby Lobby is home free.

  • marxist Salt Lake City, UT
    March 23, 2014 3:41 p.m.

    There is another dimension not yet discussed - is Hobby Lobby's refusal to grant birth control through health insurance reasonable or rational? To the Deseret News, it makes no difference - religious "liberty" above and over all. But it does make a big difference.

  • The Real Maverick Orem, UT
    March 23, 2014 3:46 p.m.

    I have a suggestion, why not get businesses out of the health care business altogether?

    If HL wants to force it's religious beliefs on us, great! With a single payer system, no one suffers or dies because of HL's decisions.

  • Furry1993 Ogden, UT
    March 23, 2014 4:12 p.m.

    @OlderGreg 2:59 p.m. March 23, 2014

    None of the required contraceptives are "abortificants." None of them terminate a pregnancy. All any of them do is prevent a pregnancy from starting. The only thing that is changed is the fact that Hobby Lobby's owners are trying to deny their employees basic preventative health care (and impose their belief system on their employees). If they wish to participate in interstate commerce, they need to follow the law concerning health care.

  • freedomingood provo, Utah
    March 23, 2014 4:27 p.m.

    As others have posted, we'd be better off separating employment and healthcare.

    My boss shouldn't be my death panel.

  • cjb Bountiful, UT
    March 23, 2014 4:41 p.m.

    The Hobby lobby case is about the right is an employer to push their religious beliefs on their employees. The owners of Hobby lobby are and will always be free to refrain from the use of birth control.

  • Phil Allred New Rochelle, NY
    March 23, 2014 5:18 p.m.

    @anotherview: You are incorrect. For Hobby Lobby it is all about abortions. Since when is Hobby Lobby required to accept some scientists' opinions about what are abortifacients and what are not? That certainly is not freedom of religion. Also, since individual health care providers and health care facilities may not be discriminated against because of a willingness or unwillingness to provide, pay for, provide coverage of, or refer for abortions, Hobby Lobby would in fact required to pay for insurance chosen by their employees that allow their employees access to abortions on Hobby Lobbby's dime.

  • Phil Allred New Rochelle, NY
    March 23, 2014 5:21 p.m.

    @Schnee: Corporations ARE persons in the eyes of the law. The Supreme Court has even ruled that corporate entities have free speech rights. Why should Hobby Lobby's owners, who control all the stock, not be allowed to take advantage of the same business organization laws as anyone else, without compromising their religious beliefs?

  • bandersen Saint George, UT
    March 23, 2014 5:32 p.m.

    is it any wonder that many young people are turning away from the control freaks in our society, Republicans (tax advantages to corporations) and Democrats (liberty and freedom only to those who think and act my way)! True patriots and liberty lovers are drawn to the Constitution and God, without the aid of government except as defined in the constitution, something both parties and their followers don't support!

  • jrgl CEDAR CITY, UT
    March 23, 2014 5:46 p.m.

    It's my freedom not to shop at Hobby Lobby. A freedom issue? It's a birth control issue and women have the right to birth control wherever they work. Whining about it being a religious freedom issue is nonsensical.

  • U-tar Woodland Hills, UT
    March 23, 2014 5:59 p.m.

    The Government just needs to get completely out of the Heath Care Business. People should pay for their own care, or not.

  • bandersen Saint George, UT
    March 23, 2014 6:08 p.m.

    I don't understand how all these "single payer" citizens who otherwise consider themselves so independent justify giving to their God (government) their liberty and any dictator that comes along to control their lives! Tell me how American is it to give away your liberty for a few moments of pleasure (Obamacare)? At least be consistent! you either believe in Socialism or you don't? there is no in between!

  • Esquire Springville, UT
    March 23, 2014 7:15 p.m.

    This is about the right of institutions to impose their will on individuals, not about individual freedom. I am growing weary of this paper and the others on the right asserting that institutional interests prevail. Follow your path and our freedoms as Americans under the Constitution will be gone.

  • Tyler D Meridian, ID
    March 23, 2014 7:47 p.m.

    No matter what side you favor, I just don’t see how the SC rules in favor of Hobby Lobby without overturning decades of precedent including Scalia’s majority opinion in Employment Division v Smith.

    But assuming the five conservatives on the Court desperately want to side with Hobby Lobby, it will be entertaining to watch the twisted logic and mental gymnastics they employ to do so.

  • Jvkswm Rochester, NY
    March 23, 2014 8:20 p.m.

    I absolutely disagree, companies are not people. Corporations do not have the rift to impose their beliefs on the workers. Most women in the USA use contraception, not always as a birth control device. If I was a Muslim and owned this paper, could I forbid you to eat pork?

  • Wonder Provo, UT
    March 24, 2014 12:50 a.m.

    How is it my employer's business AT ALL what I discuss with my doctor or what medications I take. What's next, your employer gets a list of all your medications and decides which ones are acceptable and which aren't? This is absolutely ridiculous.

  • Schnee Salt Lake City, UT
    March 24, 2014 2:11 a.m.

    @banderson
    So you oppose Medicare and Social Security, correct? I'm just checking for you know... consistency.

  • LDS Liberal Farmington, UT
    March 24, 2014 7:27 a.m.

    @bandersen
    Saint George, UT

    At least be consistent! you either believe in Socialism or you don't? there is no in between!

    6:08 p.m. March 23, 2014

    =====

    And a Family is what?
    a Family is Socialist.

    ...you either believe in the Family (Socialism) or you don't? there is no in between!
    At least be consistent!

  • techpubs Sioux City, IA
    March 24, 2014 7:32 a.m.

    I think many people become confused on what level of health insurance an employer provides to the workers.
    Health Insurance is a benefit that can be added to the salary offered to entice someone to work for the company.
    Each company sets a certain level of health insurance services that it is willing to pay for in order to assist the employee in feeling that they are being well provided for.
    One of my first employers did not offer any health insurance packages and it was left to the individual to arrange for private coverage or not.

    Any other employer I have worked for always had a level of coverage that they felt was desirable and most prescription medicines including contraceptives required a co-pay based on a drug formulary from the insurance carrier.

    So this whole mess is dependent on one thing. Does the Gov't have the right to tell one business what type of health insurance coverage they must provide and exempt another business from having to provide any at all?

  • Badgerbadger Murray, UT
    March 24, 2014 7:54 a.m.

    "As others have posted, we'd be better off separating employment and healthcare.

    My boss shouldn't be my death panel."

    And may I add that the government shouldn't be my death panel either.

    Esquire - you realize that the biggest institution in the world is the United States Government. They ones who should not be pushing their special interests on us individuals.

    Follow your path and our freedoms as Americans under the Constitution will be gone.

  • Jamescmeyer Midwest City, USA, OK
    March 24, 2014 8:27 a.m.

    If Hobby Lobby decides it doesn't want to pay for you to obtain something you don't need them, as your employer to obtain, you will not die. Your life doesn't hang in the balance. The claim "they're forcing their religion on me!" is entirely void of merit.

    If I run a software development bit out of an office I construct, hire you, and provide you a healthcare option that doesn't include support for this or that, it has nothing to do with my religion, nor does anyone have the right to mandate that I give you such coverage-or healthcare at all.

    No one is having religion forced on them in this; if you want to argue against Hobby Lobby, you have to argue using the reality before is. It is people's freedom not to pay for something you want out of their pocket, it has nothing to do with life-saving healthcare that people would die of malaria without, or binding people to tables and forcing them to accept God.

  • Esquire Springville, UT
    March 24, 2014 8:35 a.m.

    @ Badgerbadger, the federal government isn't forcing you to have any sort of medical treatment. It is providing opportunities to you to choose. The Hobby Lobby approach is to limit choices, for someone else to decide what medical choices you may have and which may be denied. It is my choice to make my medical decisions, not some retail chain.

  • Really??? Kearns, UT
    March 24, 2014 8:57 a.m.

    "If that is the case: please provide your bank account number so I can bill you for my Arizona trip next winter when the air is bad and I need to rest my lungs."

    If we use the Hobby Lobby logic in this scenario you have presented, I get to choose where you spend your winter vacation. Arizona is too far away, so I allow you to spend your winter trip at the South Jordan Rec Center. Ridiculous argument, you say? Well, come back to me when you come up with a reasoned argument that is relevant to the issue we are discussing.

  • AZFarmBoy Goodyear, AZ
    March 24, 2014 10:25 a.m.

    jrgl:
    Women have a right to birth control (paid for by someone else) wherever they work? Really? Where in the constitution can I find this right?

    Wonder:
    It's your employer's business because they are paying for it. If you don't want them involved, pay for your own healthcare.

    Really???:
    If you were paying for my winter vacation, you would have every right to determine where I went.

  • a_voice_of_reason Woods Cross, UT
    March 24, 2014 10:26 a.m.

    Seeing a lot of comments like "what about religious freedoms crossing paths with other rights?" My response - be careful what you define as a right. Here is the problem in this case, is free contraception coverage a right? No! That has nothing to do with our constitutional rights - however, freedom of religion is. In fact, health care in general is not a right - it is a product. We used to call them health insurance BENEFITS when employers provided them. We used to feel grateful for any coverage provided by our employers - no we have mandated it. If we allowed employers to make their own decisions, and employees to freely decide who they would and would not like to work for based on those offerings this discussion wouldn't be necessary. Then we could go back to trying to figure out why a baker should be compelled to bake a cake for a gay wedding in a "free society."

  • Darrel Eagle Mountain, UT
    March 24, 2014 10:45 a.m.

    @AZFarmBoy

    But is it any of his business how I use my pay or benefits? Once I get my paycheck is it any of his concern whether I decide to pay my mortgage or go to Vegas? Once the benefit of health insurance has been provided, is it their business how it is used?

    We, as a nation, through tradition, and now law have decided it is a responsibility of employers to provide health insurance. Whether or not that should be the case is an entirely different discussion.

    I do not agree with Hobby Lobby's stance, but I do have to admire their dedication. I believe they have said they would close their businesses if it came down to it.

  • LDS Liberal Farmington, UT
    March 24, 2014 12:02 p.m.

    @AZFarmBoy
    Goodyear, AZ

    It's your employer's business because they are paying for it. If you don't want them involved, pay for your own healthcare.

    =======

    Wrong!

    We pay for it.
    We pay $900 a month for the "priveldge" to enroll in a Company's Healthcare plan.

    We pay the Premiums,
    We pay the co-pays.
    We pay the deductibles.

    NOT the company.

    The "Company" chooses the plans to provide based on an Insurance Saleman,
    and sometimes contributes a portion towards those plan, but not all or always --
    the bulk of what is being paid for is by the employees themselves - NOT the Company.

  • AZFarmBoy Goodyear, AZ
    March 24, 2014 12:21 p.m.

    Darrel:
    If part of your compensation is health insurance, the employer has the right to decide the type of insurance provided. If you desire to have additional coverage, obtain it for it yourself.

    LDS Liberal:
    Generally speaking, employers pay a portion of the premiums for employer-provided insurance plans. Even if they don't contribute to the premium, the opportunity to participate in the employee-sponsored plan is part of your compensation, and the employer has every right to determine the type of plan offered.

  • Ultra Bob Cottonwood Heights, UT
    March 24, 2014 12:32 p.m.

    If Hobby Lobby and their fellow travelers are able to defeat the American creed for justice for all it may be the final nail in the coffin of the American people. And it may also be the nail that hits the primer cord that sends us all to glory.

    If a businessman can use his business as a powerful economic force to spread his religion the most likely consequence will be that businessmen can only spread the religion of organized churches. Otherwise, businessmen will be able to flaunt any civil law they find in the way of their agenda.

    Our government has given religious organizations an almost unlimited free hand to advertise and empower the spread of their message. We see this in their buildings, their clothing, jewelry, religious actions of individuals and even in their actions in the public square. Given the right to use the economic power of business to spread, enforce and force adherence to a particular religion is the same thing as if the political government did it.

  • Darrel Eagle Mountain, UT
    March 24, 2014 1:12 p.m.

    @AZFarmBoy

    "If part of your compensation is health insurance, the employer has the right to decide the type of insurance provided."

    ===========

    The ACA has stipulated that they no longer have that right. They must provide insurance, and it must meet certain requirements. In this case, the rights of the insured trump the rights business owner.

    I would love to have a discussion on how this can be remedied that wasn't just simply reduced to bumper stickers and sound bites. Government must protect rights to life, liberty and property. Healthcare can easily fit in each of those categories; so who gets to decide what an adequate level of healthcare is? Most would agree that healthcare decisions should be left between those cared for, and those administering said care. Anyone else that is part of this discussion, should be, and must be invited by those receiving the care. Why a certain medicine is needed, really is none of my concern.

    What would you propose instead?

  • AZFarmBoy Goodyear, AZ
    March 24, 2014 1:42 p.m.

    Darrel:

    There is no right to health care found in the constitution, but freedom of religion is protected. The solution is for the gov't to not dictate what type of health benefits employers provide.

  • 10CC Bountiful, UT
    March 24, 2014 1:49 p.m.

    The immediate issue is Hobby Lobby and health insurance.

    But expanding this Citizens United view that corporations are people, and have 1st Amendment rights, why could a corporation *not* decide that they would prefer to have employees who don't take an "we are in the end days" approach to things?

    I've met a few people who have kind of a "blasé" attitude about solving problems, ie, "we can only do what we can do, and Jesus will be returning soon anyway, so I'm not going to work that hard".

    If I'm a business owner / corporation, and I want people who believe *we* need to solve problems, and if we don't solve them, they won't get fixed - why could I not just go on a cleansing campaign and fire any Christians who work for me, and refuse to hire any more?

    Freedom, right?

  • airnaut Everett, 00
    March 24, 2014 2:01 p.m.

    Under the Constitution --

    You are protected to have a "Religion" which includes bigotry.
    You are not protected to run a "Business" which includes bigotry.

    I pitty those who can not / will not differentiate between --

    Religion,
    Politics,
    Government,
    and
    Business.

  • Darrel Eagle Mountain, UT
    March 24, 2014 2:02 p.m.

    @AZFarmBoy

    The Constitution does not, and cannot grant rights; it only guarantees their protection. The Declaration of Independence at its heart claims that all men are endowed by their Creator with certain, unalienable rights; they are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness (none of which are found in the Constitution; should they be discarded too?)

    A fear that James Madison held in the ratification of a Bill of Rights was that their enumeration would be considered exhaustive, and any right now found therein would be "not a right"; which runs counter to the basis of our very government. We the people are the sovereign and hold the Supreme Power; we consent to give up some rights in order for the protection of the remainder of our rights and thus created a Constitution which then created a Government. Amendment IX is often overlooked, but perhaps the most important of the Bill of Rights; it states that because certain rights of have been defined, that should not in any way be used as a basis to claim others don't exist.

    Healthcare is a right if life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness are rights. You cannot separate them.

  • AZFarmBoy Goodyear, AZ
    March 24, 2014 2:39 p.m.

    Darrel:

    Where does the right to life end, as you define it? I'm going to die someday, so are my rights being violated? Your interpretation that the right to life includes healthcare is certainly not the consensus, and doesn't even match your own view that rights are not granted by the gov't, but only protected. If we have an unalienable right to healthcare, who pays for it?

    Do you not see how your "right to healthcare" is different from other rights contained in the constitution, or declaration of independence? Liberty, freedom of speech, freedom of religion, etc., are not a products that someone has to pay for. Healthcare is.

  • Darrel Eagle Mountain, UT
    March 24, 2014 3:21 p.m.

    @AZFarmBoy

    My right to life ends when I die. We are all mortal beings, and have a built in expiration date. There are things that man simply cannot prevent, but I believe we must do all in our power to protect that right to life. I believe we will be judged on how we as a society treated our infirm and sick.

    "Liberty, freedom of speech, freedom of religion, etc., are not a products that someone has to pay for."

    Who pays for that cop to come by when a stranger is trespassing on your property? Who pays for the military that secures your freedom from outside threats? Who pays the difference in property taxes that churches are exempt from? We all do.

    And if you want to break it down to dollars and cents (because simply being humane is not enough) a healthy society, is much more productive. Why, when we need a new missile to aim at North Korea is that fine to protect us, but a $20 dollar flu shot so a mother can continue to work and provide food for her kids is suddenly socialism? Do all threats have to be foreign?

  • equal protection Cedar, UT
    March 24, 2014 3:36 p.m.

    AZFarmBoy
    "Liberty, freedom of speech, freedom of religion, etc., are not a products that someone has to pay for. Healthcare is."

    This means a person walking into an emergency room without insurance can be refused service. If you can't pay for gas or a meal at a restaurant, you most likely won't get free gas or a meal.

    Who pays for health care? We all do, always have, if you pay taxes or have existing insurance. Taxpayer run hospitals etc.

    The only legitimate question is what is the best way to pay for it, if we are already paying for the uninsured now. Do you like the existing model if you don't like the ACA? Or do you think an ambulance should be able to refuse ER transport if someone does not have insurance?

  • Wonder Provo, UT
    March 24, 2014 4:55 p.m.

    @AZ Farm Boy -- Health insurance under our system is part of the wage that an employer pays. If they didn't provide health insurance they would pay a higher wage. So, since an employer cannot dictate how an employee spends wages in the form of money, how in the world do you think they should have a right to tell an employee how they spend the health insurance portion of their wages. It is too intrusive. Many women use birth control medications for things like irregular menstrual cycles, etc. Is the employer supposed to interview the employee and ask why they are taking a certain medication to find out if it is being used for birth control or for another medical reason? Of course anyone would think that would be ridiculously intrusive. Even if you are totally against people having sex unless it is for procreation, do you as an employer have the right to say I'll cover all of these medical conditions, but if you are woman and have a medical concern with your reproductive system, I won't cover it because it might mean you can have sex without getting pregnant? Ridiculous!

  • bandersen Saint George, UT
    March 24, 2014 10:15 p.m.

    Schnee and lds liberal: I am consistent because I am absolutely against Medicare and Social Security and as far as comparing Socialism to family does not follow at all. In my family kids are free to choose, but their are consequences to their choices, something that never happens in Socialism. The pretty much know that they have all sorts of opportunities and they are welcome to try them, but not on my dime! They do get free board and room for the most part, but there isn't any bureaucracy and God is looked to, rather than someone in an office 2,500 miles away! God is not a Socialist, nor was Jesus! I wouldn't call God a capitalist either, but in his absence, I am certain that freedom and liberty would be more important than government collusion and corruption, as evidenced by socialized medicine.

  • John T Scranton, PA
    March 25, 2014 10:00 a.m.

    The concept of a single-payer system of medical care is terrifying. Whom do you think will control all your medical care decisions, except the payor? I am reminded of an episode of "Star Trek, Next Generation" in which the Enterprise encountered a race which, although remarkably advanced and civilized in every other way, had decreed that all citizens would be ceremoniously put to death at age 60 - no exceptions. This, they argued, had eliminated the "burdens" of caring for the elderly, and allowed them to die a "dignified" death at the prime of their life. Fiction has many times become fact, in our world. The fact is, that some countries today have enabled parents to "put down" newborn children with defects, as we would an animal. If one follows the concept of a signal-payer system to its logical conclusion, the inevitable result will not be pleasant. Those of you who desperately want this, "Be careful what you wish for - you might get it."

  • Schnee Salt Lake City, UT
    March 25, 2014 12:07 p.m.

    @banderson
    "I am consistent because I am absolutely against Medicare and Social Security "

    While I of course am strongly in favor of Medicare and Social Security, I appreciate your consistency.

    @John T
    "Whom do you think will control all your medical care decisions, except the payor?"

    Right now it's controlled by insurance companies with a profit motive. Personally, I'd prefer influence from non-profit entities than for-profit entities.

    "If one follows the concept of a signal-payer system to its logical conclusion, the inevitable result will not be pleasant. "

    I find the idea of German or Canadian healthcare to be very pleasant compared to what we have now which works pretty well... only for people who can afford it.

  • There You Go Again Saint George, UT
    March 25, 2014 8:54 p.m.

    @banderson

    "...government collusion and corruption, as evidenced by socialized medicine...".

    President Eisenhower warned Americans about government collusion and corruption...

    It wasn't socialism...

    It was the military-industrial complex...

    So fondly loved by President Reagan.

  • GaryO Virginia Beach, VA
    March 26, 2014 9:06 a.m.

    Religious zealots have no right to limit health care services for the American people.

    You can voice your opinions according to the first amendment, but you have no right to compel Americans to share your regressive behaviors.

    Face it, religious zealotry is not America's boss, and nothing in the Constitution supports theocratic control.

    Just get used to it.

  • GaryO Virginia Beach, VA
    March 26, 2014 9:10 a.m.

    Hey Mike Richards - You say that "the government cannot overrule God."

    What makes you think YOU can speak for God?

    People who think they can speak for God should be kept far, far, far away from the reins of government.

  • SCfan clearfield, UT
    March 26, 2014 11:09 a.m.

    As things have been going in this country since 2008, things have been pretty bad for traditional conservative Americans. The 2010 midterm being the only bright spot in an otherwise bizarro world universe. I sure would like at least one big smile on my face before our next chance to correct this misguied path America has taken with the upcoming mid-term this November. But, don't count on it. We know that Justice Roberts is very intimidated by the Washington liberal establishment, (political and media). I doubt we can count on him for big decisions that will label him an extremist, right wing, woman hating, racist. So I predict a 5/4 with Roberts perserving his "A" list cocktail party invitations.

  • happy2bhere clearfield, UT
    March 26, 2014 11:16 a.m.

    GaryO
    I'd say that people who are hostile to religion should be kept far, far, far away from the reins of government, (particularly our government) too! Therefore I won't be voting for people like you.

  • CBAX Provo, UT
    March 26, 2014 11:54 a.m.

    Ok. The government will take care of you! I have just called the government and they will make hobby lobby do the right thing.
    Everyone else who doesn't want to depend on the government can go out and make it for themselves.

  • RFLASH Salt Lake City, UT
    March 26, 2014 5:51 p.m.

    Who could stand to be a part of some of these religions these days? There is no love in them! The main thing they do is pass judgment on everyone and pat themselves on the back for being good! It is enough to make anyone ill! Something just isn't right when people would go out of their way to hurt somebody and use their religion to condone it! My mom always said "Two wrongs don't make a right!" If my brother hit me, it didn't automatically give me the right to hit him back!
    These self righteous people are pointing out all the wrong that they see in people! Then, they allow themselves to do wrong back to these people! God doesn't do that! Remember what Jesus said when others were judging the woman who was speaking to him? He said that whosoever is without sin cast the first stone! They all walked away! Without love towards others, your self righteous beliefs mean nothing! Why don't people put out a hand in love to see if they can pull somebody up! There is something seriously wrong!

  • GaryO Virginia Beach, VA
    March 26, 2014 6:02 p.m.

    happy2bhere
    clearfield, UT

    Looks like what we have here is a failure to communicate. I'm not asking for your vote. And I am not hostile to religion.

    But I do oppose religious zealots who seek to make the nation conform to their prejudices, even at the great expense of the nation and its citizens.

    This nation is NOT a theocracy, no matter how much you may want it to be. And it's been that way for quite some time.

    Get used to it.

  • Wendall Hoop Salt Lake City, UT
    March 27, 2014 9:17 a.m.

    Hobby Lobby is NOT interfering with the health care choices of its employees. Those employees don't have to work there if they don't like the benefits package or health insurance (similar to every other company, which differs in health insurance benefits). OR employers can sign up for Obummer's Affordable Care Act Plan. Which is cheaper, right? right? right? At the expense of taxpayers, like Hobby Lobby. See, so if you want to stick it to Hobby Lobby go get OwebamaCare.

  • Furry1993 Ogden, UT
    March 27, 2014 12:17 p.m.

    It has long been understood that health insurance was one of the generally-offered benefits used to attract workers to a company. Hobby Lobby and companies like it are now saying that they are offering deficient insurance as an inducement for employment. One wonders what other benefits they are offering to offset this lack.

  • happy2bhere clearfield, UT
    March 27, 2014 1:43 p.m.

    GaryO

    And I resent liberal zealots who don't want any standards on society. The zealous left in America is much more aggressive in trying to impose their values on society than any mainstream religion is. This nation is not an athiest nation either. Get used to it!