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It's peculiar how a group of individuals who are so devoted to their religious beliefs that they demand the very laws of the nation be rewritten to accommodate them can be so lax about those same religious beliefs if ignoring them will net them a little dough.
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).

Several of the mutual funds in Hobby Lobby's retirement plan have holdings in companies that manufacture the specific drugs and devices that the Green family, which owns Hobby Lobby, is fighting to keep out of Hobby Lobby's health care policies: the emergency contraceptive pills Plan B and Ella, and copper and hormonal intrauterine devices.

So the company demands it not have to pay for any employee insurance that might purchase such things, but investing in their manufacture? Not a problem.

Oh, but it gets worse. The assertion from Sharia Lobby is that whether or not those contraceptives actually cause abortions, the company owners have a religious belief that they do, so the law must not only be rewritten to eliminate the possibility of the company spending money on abortifacients but rewritten to allow the company to deny insurance for anything that the company feels is an abortifacient. What's still all right, at least from the investor side of things, is actual abortions.

The companies Hobby Lobby invests in include Teva [...], as well as Pfizer, the maker of the abortion-inducing drugs Cytotec and Prostin E2. Hobby Lobby's mutual funds also invest in two health insurance companies that cover surgical abortions, abortion drugs, and emergency contraception in their health care policies.

So providing workers with health insurance that might provide certain contraceptives is right out, but making a little dough from companies that make actual abortion drugs does not run afoul of those self-same Deeply Held Religious Beliefs, nor investing in the very insurance companies whose original naughtiness was the thing Hobby Horse could not put up with.

I think we all understand each other here. Businesses must be able to lodge religious objections to the medical decisions of their employees, but don't be surprised if that happens to be the one and only Deeply Held Religious Belief a given company might have. And we won't even get into the Made In China part.

Originally posted to Hunter on Tue Apr 01, 2014 at 11:10 AM PDT.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Rude Pundit (29+ / 0-)

    Made In China...

    All the poor Christian Oligarchs that are soooo put upon by actually having to do something for their employees... distasteful that, it leaves an icky taste in their spoon-fed mouths.

    Hypocritical assholes I say.  Maybe we should picket Hobby Lobby and pass out fliers and brochures that point out these very things.

    It is better to light a candle than curse the darkness- Unknown -7.50, -5.03

    by dawgflyer13 on Tue Apr 01, 2014 at 11:17:29 AM PDT

    •  Please forward this to SCOTUS..... (7+ / 0-)

      I think it would affect their decision.

      •  I was about to make the same suggestion. n/t (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Rusty44, nellgwen
      •  This is irrelevant to the SCOTUS decision (7+ / 0-)

        The only way this would be relevant if there was some question about whether the religious beliefs of Hobby Lobby's owners against the four types of contraception was a "sincerely held religious belief."  Where the government challenges whether the objection to the requirements of a law really is a religions objection, or is just some invention because they don't want to comply with the law, evidence about whether those owners adhere to their stated religious beliefs prior to the law becoming an issue might be relevant.  See discussion at pdf here

        However, the government has stipulated that the objections of the owners of Hobby Lobby to these four types of contraception is a sincerely held religious belief.  They admitted it in the brief, and they admitted it again at oral argument.  (See page 76.)  Those kinds of admissions are not "off the cuff."  The government made a considered admission that the owners of Hobby Lobby have a sincerely held religions belief against the four types of contraception.  

        Therefore, the SCOTUS will not even consider the issue of whether the religious beliefs of the owners are sincerely held.  Even if this information had been introduced into the record at the trial court level (which it was not), it would not be part of the consideration of the SCOTUS.  (And, as a general matter, the SCOTUS cannot consider facts about the parties that were not put into evidence at the trial court, where both sides have a chance to introduce evidence and dispute the other side's evidence.)

        Given that stipulation by the government, if this business were organized as a sole proprietorship or a nonprofit corporation, the government would not have questioned the right of the employer to object to the regulation mandating that they include those four types of contraception in employee health insurance coverage.  The issue raised by the government in the Hobby Lobby case is whether, when the employer is a for-profit corporation, the employer can raise those religious objections (the same religious objections where the Administration granted waivers to non-profit corporations as employers.)  

        •  You sound like a lawyer..... (11+ / 0-)

          but to me, it sounds like Hobby is cherry picking their religious sensitivities.  Put differently, hypocrisy.  

          How can you claim contraceptives violate your religious beliefs and then invest in contraceptive companies?   To an non-lawyer, it is baffling.

          •  I am a lawyer which is why I commented when (5+ / 0-)

            someone talked about sending it to the SCOTUS as if it could make a difference to the SCOTUS.  Legally, it cannot be considered by the SCOTUS.  

            •  That's okay, I have a vagina and I say it is (8+ / 0-)

              relevant to the case. And that HL is cherry picking lots of crap to try and pull one over the eyes of American women and their allies.

              "It were a thousand times better for the land if all Witches, but especially the blessing Witch, might suffer death." qtd by Ehrenreich & English. For Her Own Good, Two Centuries of Expert's Advice to Women pp 40

              by GreenMother on Tue Apr 01, 2014 at 06:28:32 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  GM - it's relevant to you but not the Court (3+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                kkkkate, coffeetalk, Phoenix Woman

                The rules of evidence are very technical.

                Plus the diary author doesn't seem to understand that in 401K plans the employees make the investment decisions, not the company.

                "let's talk about that"

                by VClib on Tue Apr 01, 2014 at 07:59:02 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Yes, but (3+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Phoenix Woman, Mostserene1, Tonedevil

                  the company chooses the investments and provides the list that the employees may pick from.

                •  The Hell YOu say--They are deciding things that (3+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Phoenix Woman, Mostserene1, Tonedevil

                  are relevant to Female Citizens.

                  SCOTUS doesn't exist in a vacuum, they are supposed to be issuing rulings that adhere to our laws of our land, in a way that recognize the rights of the citizens.

                  Saying that it's relevant to me/Women, but not the MY /Our SUPREME COURT ???

                  What alternate Universe did I wake up in?

                  What are you saying? Is it time for me to get my passport?

                  "It were a thousand times better for the land if all Witches, but especially the blessing Witch, might suffer death." qtd by Ehrenreich & English. For Her Own Good, Two Centuries of Expert's Advice to Women pp 40

                  by GreenMother on Wed Apr 02, 2014 at 04:56:29 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Actually, no (2+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    Phoenix Woman, VClib

                    The Supreme Court is supposed to interpret the constitution and the law -- in this case, the Supreme Court is looking at a specific regulation associated with the ACA, and determining whether a law passed by Congress, RFRA, allows a for-profit corporation to make a religious-based objection to that regulation.  

                    Legally, the only "rights" that are at issue here are the rights of the people who are parties to the case.  The parties are several employers who are making religious objections, and the government seeking enforcement of its regulation.  

                    There's no discussion of the "rights" of employees, because those are not at issue.  Neither the ACA, nor the regulation, gives every female employee in this country a "right" to have her employer provide health insurance coverage that includes contraception.  Millions of employees aren't affected by the employer mandate (because they work for a company with less than 50 employees or they work part time); others will have employers decline to offer insurance and instead pay a penalty; others work for corporations that have been granted a waiver (non-profit corporations have been granted the exact same waiver that Hobby Lobby seeks).  

                    So, yes, as a matter of POLICY it may be a good thing for employers to provide health insurance that includes coverage of every time of contraception, even the ones Hobby Lobby objects to.  But the SCOTUS is not supposed to decide things based on what is good policy.  If RFRA is terrible policy, that's not the business of the SCOTUS.    And legally, I, as a woman, have no "right" to that, under the Constitution or the ACA or the regulation.  The regulation provides that CERTAIN employers have to provide that, certain employers don't, and certain employers get a waiver, on religious grounds and other grounds. The issue is which category Hobby Lobby (and the other companies) as an employer will fall under.  

                    I am not saying that your feelings are not legitimate.  But I am trying to remind people that what you believe is "right" or "wrong" or "good" or "bad" may well be completely irrelevant to the narrow issue the SCOTUS has to decide.  

                    •  So undermining established rules like (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      Tonedevil

                      Griswold v. Connecticut and Eisentstadt v. Baird, and Roe v. Wade, which are premised on Equal protection and equal access--

                      Come again?

                      "It were a thousand times better for the land if all Witches, but especially the blessing Witch, might suffer death." qtd by Ehrenreich & English. For Her Own Good, Two Centuries of Expert's Advice to Women pp 40

                      by GreenMother on Wed Apr 02, 2014 at 07:23:36 AM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  There's a huge legal difference (0+ / 0-)

                        those cases were about whether government can STOP people from doing things -- obtaining contraception, obtaining abortions -- on their own.  Those were based on rights we do have for the government NOT to act to stop us from doing something.  

                        This decision in no way undermines those.  No one is STOPPING women from, on their own, getting whatever type of contraception they want.  But none of those cases even suggested that women have a right to have someone else provide the means to pay for any of those things.  

                        It's like the First Amendment. I have the right that the government cannot STOP me from speaking based on the content of my speech.  I don't have the right to have someone else provide me an outlet for what I want to say.  I don't have the right to say, I want people to hear my thoughts on this proposed legislation - the newspaper must provide me ad space to do that, or the TV channel must provide me air time to do that.  

                        We have the right to have the government refrain from interfering in our exercise of our rights by our own means.  We don't have the right to have the government -- or anyone else -- provide the means for us to exercise our rights.  

                        •  So Hobby Lobby's religious beliefs... (1+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:
                          GreenMother

                          allow them to self insure the health insurance needs of their employees and by that choice they may provide "health insurance" that does not meet the requirements as stipulated under the law? Does anyone else see where there might be a problem with that position?

                          This makes about as much sense as Mike Huckabee on mescaline. - Prodigal 2-6-2008

                          by Tonedevil on Wed Apr 02, 2014 at 11:44:20 AM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

                          •  All I see in this whole case is Blah Blah SEXISM (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            Tonedevil

                            Blah Blah Blah MISOGYNY, blah blah MANSPLAIN blah blah CHURCHSPLAIN ad nauseum.

                            Apparently you can skirt the law of the land cuz JEEZUZ or something.

                            "It were a thousand times better for the land if all Witches, but especially the blessing Witch, might suffer death." qtd by Ehrenreich & English. For Her Own Good, Two Centuries of Expert's Advice to Women pp 40

                            by GreenMother on Wed Apr 02, 2014 at 01:22:56 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  coffetalk often takes (0+ / 0-)

                            repubs sides, in fact I never saw the contrary

                          •  What coffeetalk has laid out in the posts here, (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            Tonedevil

                            is neither "repub" or anything else.  It is simple, plain fact.

                            What Hobby Lobby and it's ilk are attempting to do here is assign a right reserved to individuals to their corporations.  It's worth noting that not only is that clearly unconstitutional to virtually all constitutional scholars, but it invites all sorts of trouble for corporations if SCOTUS is dumb enough to fall for their argument.

                            The whole point of a corporation is to isolate the founders from personal liabilities; the corporation takes those on, and the rules for corporations are distinct from those governing people.  It's noteworthy that virtually NO major corporations filed amicus briefs in support of Hobby Lobby's position, because they all recognize the enormous danger that a decision in Lobby's favor would place the corporate officers as individuals.

                            Hobby Lobby's Mr. Green is an idiot, and hypocrite, of the highest order.  Were Jesus Christ to walk up to Green today, there would be one serious public smackdown rebuking.

                    •  coffeetalk (0+ / 0-)

                      You may or may not be a lawyer.  However, what you have neglected to mention is that (1) the justices can set whatever parameters they want in considering the case and (2) even when something appears to be outside the parameters, they can make a decision based on this issue and rationalize it in various ways.  I've read many court cases in which this has happened, not only in the SP but also in cases in lower courts.  Judges are not as constrained as you might believe, though when they argue their decision, they often use those constraints as rationalization.

                  •  Passport? (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    reasonshouldrule

                    It is ironic that you should mention getting a passport. That is exactly what I am doing; with the full intent to move to Israel. The America that I was raised to believe in is gone. I am 68 and I am tired of fighting an increasingly corrupt government.

              •  Nicely put. (4+ / 0-)

                It seems to me that though coffeetalk may be right about the law, you are right as to the justice of the matter. Which raises a question: when the particularities of the law are out of sync with the common sense of justice, what then?

                I for one will be very interested to see how the Justices construct their opinions on this - particularly those three who, we might presume, share your concern for analogous reasons.

                •  That's for the legislative branch. (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Phoenix Woman, nextstep
                  when the particularities of the law are out of sync with the common sense of justice, what then?
                  The SCOTUS can say when the particularities of the law are "out of sync" with the Constitution.  Or, in this case, the SCOTUS can say whether a regulation (the mandate) is superseded at least as to this employer by the law, RFRA.  

                  Constitutionally, the SCOTUS is not supposed to decide whether laws are in sync with the common sense of justice.  That's a policy determination, for the legislature.  

                  •  Ha! Very funny, and spoken like a lawyer (2+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    Mostserene1, Tonedevil

                    I mean that as a compliment.  But I wasn't asking for a civics lesson: I was thinking rather about historical episodes of great social strife that seem to result from the condition; I was wondering aloud whether we are verging on such an episode in our time, and whether these particular cases are contributing to it.

                    As for civics: as you no doubt know, the textbook perfection of your answer is belied in practice.  For one thing, "constitutionally" speaking the SCOTUS was not granted any power of deciding constitutionality, but granted that power to itself in Marbury v Madison (1803). (I do not regard that as necessarily a bad thing.) And in practice, decisions about constitutionality in the 'landmark' cases are often - perhaps always - aimed at bringing the law in sync with 'the common sense of justice' (or at least the Justices' sense of it). I might be tempted to say that the best of those cases are the result of searching efforts of the Justices to rectify the discord; the worst of them are the result of the Justices' imposition of their own private (or factional or sectional) standards onto the law in contradiction to the 'common sense' of the people - but that is speculative, and I wouldn't want to argue it forcefully without looking into it more deeply.

                    My nagging suspicion is that the civics textbook distinction between the role of the court and that of the legislature is an afterthought, a ritual we perform to try and convince ourselves that the court is not political, when we know damned well it is - at least in the cases that really matter.

              •  What is the legal relevance of your vagina (0+ / 0-)

                to this case?

                Does your vagina have any legal experience?

                •  It denotes gender and means that ruling in favor (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Mostserene1

                  of Hobby Snobby means that the courts will be discriminating against women by making them second class citizens via undermining their right to freedom of and freedom from religion, equal protection from the law, their right to privacy (including medical privacy) and putting them at the mercy of religious extremists that seek to force women back into the dark ages where we were not citizens, but property and breeding chattel.

                  WHERE HAVE YOU BEEN? IN A CAVE?

                  "It were a thousand times better for the land if all Witches, but especially the blessing Witch, might suffer death." qtd by Ehrenreich & English. For Her Own Good, Two Centuries of Expert's Advice to Women pp 40

                  by GreenMother on Wed Apr 02, 2014 at 04:59:13 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  In short, your vagina is irrelevant to this case (0+ / 0-)

                    Your vagina gives you no special legal insight into the correct ruling on this case.

                    As for all the other issues you have raised, they are also not relevant to this case.  The Religious Freedom Restoration Act, which was overwhelmingly supported by Democrats and by liberal groups such as the ACLU, requires the Court to only consider:

                    o Whether the burden on the religious belief is substantial
                    o Whether there is a compelling government interest
                    o Whether the government is using the least restrictive means of furthering its compelling interest

                    On those tests I think the government loses.

                    Interestingly enough, one of the only senators to oppose the RFRA was Jesse Helms.  Interesting company you keep.

          •  Because (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            drmah

            the Green's are not making the investment.  The 401(k) plan invests employee money, at the employee's direction.

            "Well, I'm sure I'd feel much worse if I weren't under such heavy sedation..."--David St. Hubbins

            by Old Left Good Left on Tue Apr 01, 2014 at 04:30:36 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  It's actually a savvy move on the gov't's part... (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Kathy S, Mostserene1

            ...for this reason.  There's an old joke where a guy asks a woman if she'd sleep with him for a million bucks. She says yes, and he asks if she'd sleep with him for a buck. She indignantly asks "What kind of woman do you think I am?" To which he retorts, "We've already established that. Now we're arguing about price."

            The government wants the argument to be that the religious beliefs of a corporation's owners can not be the basis for granting the corporation an exemption to the law. If they consider arguments on whether the stated religious belief is sincerely held, then they've tacitly established that a corporation can make a religious objection to a law and made it an argument about degree of belief.

            •  Thank you Chameo. I was thinking that the gov't (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              raspberryberet

              lawyers should not have stipulated sincerity, but you explained why they did not.  To me all this nonsense just demonstrates the need for a single payer health insurance from an agency that does not claim religious beliefs - an agency that has the only objective of covering health care costs.  

        •  But relevant to the plain fact . . . (5+ / 0-)

          that Hobby Lobby's "sincerely held religious belief" is a steaming pile of horse manure.

          I know it's a pile of horse manure that you like, but it's horse manure nonetheless.

          "Ça c'est une chanson que j'aurais vraiment aimé ne pas avoir écrite." -- Barbara

          by FogCityJohn on Tue Apr 01, 2014 at 04:09:16 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  When the government stipulates that (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            BMScott, kkkkate, Phoenix Woman

            the belief is a sincerely held religious belief, as they did, facts like this are legally irrelevant.  It's not a matter of "liking" the facts or not.  

            That is even aside from the fact that the SCOTUS can't consider "facts" that are not put into evidence as part of the adversarial proceeding (subject to dispute and cross examination) and not made part of the record made in the trial court.  

            •  Sheesh. (8+ / 0-)

              You're like a broken record.  I know the government stipulated.  I don't care whether or not they stipulated.  See, I'm not the Supreme Court.  I'm not limited in what evidence I can consider.  I can look at all kinds of facts and make a decision about whether the owners of Hobby Lobby are sincere, religiously motivated people or are just stalking horses for the Tea Party Taliban.

              The actual facts reported in the diary, whether or not they're in the record on appeal in this case, strongly support the latter view.  And if you weren't so desperate to find ways to support whatever right-wing fantasy some fundamentalist nut case comes up with, you'd be able to see that.

              "Ça c'est une chanson que j'aurais vraiment aimé ne pas avoir écrite." -- Barbara

              by FogCityJohn on Tue Apr 01, 2014 at 04:43:23 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Strongly seconded. /nt (1+ / 0-)

                "How can we know the dancer from the dance?" (Yeats)

                by Remediator on Tue Apr 01, 2014 at 05:51:38 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

              •  FCJ - but other readers don't know it's a (0+ / 0-)

                stipulated fact.

                "let's talk about that"

                by VClib on Tue Apr 01, 2014 at 08:04:06 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Thank God for experts like you ... (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  GrafZeppelin127, Tonedevil

                  and your BFF coffeetalk who are willing to enlighten all of us benighted mortals about this case.

                  As I explained above, I really don't give a shit that the government stipulated to something in the Supreme Court case.  I'm not limited to what the government does or doesn't stipulate to, and I can look at other information beyond the record in the Hobby Lobby case.  And what do you know?  That's exactly what we're doing here in this diary, which is about Hobby Lobby's investments, not its bogus claims in the Supreme Court.

                  So thanks so much for the information, counselor.  I don't know what I'd do without you.

                  "Ça c'est une chanson que j'aurais vraiment aimé ne pas avoir écrite." -- Barbara

                  by FogCityJohn on Tue Apr 01, 2014 at 08:52:48 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  FCJ - but Hobby Lobby is making no money off (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    coffeetalk

                    the investments by their employees through their 401K accounts. I don't understand the entire premise of the diary. However, it is very popular.

                    "let's talk about that"

                    by VClib on Tue Apr 01, 2014 at 09:40:15 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  You're not really this obtuse, are you? (2+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      Phoenix Woman, Tonedevil

                      Because it's really very simple.  Hobby Lobby selects the investments for its 401(k) plan.  If its owners were so vehemently opposed to abortion (both the real kind, in which they invest, and the imaginary kind, about which they're litigating), then presumably they would choose investment vehicles that don't involve companies that manufacture abortifacients.

                      But see, that's not what Hobby Lobby does.  It actually chooses to put its employees money -- and its own through matching -- into companies that do the very things that Hobby Lobby's owners claim to find so, so, so abhorrent.

                      Now, does that help you understand what's going on here?

                      "Ça c'est une chanson que j'aurais vraiment aimé ne pas avoir écrite." -- Barbara

                      by FogCityJohn on Tue Apr 01, 2014 at 10:18:25 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  Your position is (1+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        nextstep

                        that an employer must pursue every possible way to restrict abortion, or they can't take any?

                        That is really, truly stupid.

                        "Well, I'm sure I'd feel much worse if I weren't under such heavy sedation..."--David St. Hubbins

                        by Old Left Good Left on Wed Apr 02, 2014 at 08:04:33 AM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  No, my position is . . . (1+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:
                          Tonedevil

                          that it's none of the employer's business to begin with.  But that aside, when one claims to be so adamantly opposed to abortion that one will claim a religious objection to things that, medically speaking, aren't abortion, it's kind of hypocritical to then choose investments in companies that manufacture honest to goodness abortifacients.

                          That is, you know, if your religious beliefs are truly sincere and all that.

                          "Ça c'est une chanson que j'aurais vraiment aimé ne pas avoir écrite." -- Barbara

                          by FogCityJohn on Wed Apr 02, 2014 at 09:25:40 AM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

                          •  That is incoherent (0+ / 0-)

                            1.  HL doesn't want to, itself, pay for certain things.

                            2.  HL doesn't care if other people pay for those things, do those things, or profit from those things.

                            There is no inconsistency or hypocrisy between those two things.  To claim otherwise is logically incoherent.

                            "Well, I'm sure I'd feel much worse if I weren't under such heavy sedation..."--David St. Hubbins

                            by Old Left Good Left on Wed Apr 02, 2014 at 11:29:29 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  HL wants... (2+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            FogCityJohn, MHB

                            to self insure the health care insurance they provide their employees and use their religious convictions to provide health care insurance that doesn't meet the criteria set forth in the law.

                            This makes about as much sense as Mike Huckabee on mescaline. - Prodigal 2-6-2008

                            by Tonedevil on Wed Apr 02, 2014 at 12:40:33 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  So . . . (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            Tonedevil

                            if I'm really, really, really opposed to abortion, there's nothing hypocritical about putting money into companies that manufacture abortifacients?

                            Sorry, which position is logically incoherent?

                            "Ça c'est une chanson que j'aurais vraiment aimé ne pas avoir écrite." -- Barbara

                            by FogCityJohn on Wed Apr 02, 2014 at 02:40:05 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  You're assuming something that is not in evidence (0+ / 0-)

                            If you were a mouth-breathing, Operation Rescue kind of person, perhaps that would be the case.  But on the actual facts, no, you're completely wrong.

                            "Well, I'm sure I'd feel much worse if I weren't under such heavy sedation..."--David St. Hubbins

                            by Old Left Good Left on Wed Apr 02, 2014 at 04:22:22 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  So what's the assumption? (0+ / 0-)

                            Because the Hobby Lobby folks have selected for 401(k) investments funds including companies that manufacture abortifacient drugs.

                            And at least if their Supreme Court charade is to be believed, they're really, really, really opposed to abortion.

                            "Ça c'est une chanson que j'aurais vraiment aimé ne pas avoir écrite." -- Barbara

                            by FogCityJohn on Wed Apr 02, 2014 at 08:15:59 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  No (0+ / 0-)

                            They are opposed to having to pay for abortions (or what they incorrectly believe to be abortions) from their self-insured medical plan.  That does not imply that they are "really, really, really" opposed to abortion.  They don't care if their employees get abortions, and they don't care where their employees invest their 401(k) money in companies.

                            As I've mentioned, my opinion is that there should be no exemptions for any employers, whether religious, non-profit, whatever.  I think the ACA regulations should apply to everyone.

                            But mischaracterization and willful stupidity don't help.

                            "Well, I'm sure I'd feel much worse if I weren't under such heavy sedation..."--David St. Hubbins

                            by Old Left Good Left on Thu Apr 03, 2014 at 10:02:15 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  You haven't read the article. (0+ / 0-)

                            Hobby Lobby chooses the 401(k) investments its employees can invest in. It doesn't need to pick funds that include companies that make abortifacients. It could choose others, as the article notes.

                            And if they aren't opposed to abortion, somebody had better tell Paul Clement, because he's going to have to withdraw his brief and argument in their case, which is built entirely on their alleged opposition to abortion.

                            "Ça c'est une chanson que j'aurais vraiment aimé ne pas avoir écrite." -- Barbara

                            by FogCityJohn on Thu Apr 03, 2014 at 10:52:29 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

            •  Actually this investment scheme would (6+ / 0-)

              seem to point to the fact that their religious beliefs are not sincere.

              So would their continuous purchase and sale of cheap Chinese goods--because China forces abortion and persecutes Christians.

              "It were a thousand times better for the land if all Witches, but especially the blessing Witch, might suffer death." qtd by Ehrenreich & English. For Her Own Good, Two Centuries of Expert's Advice to Women pp 40

              by GreenMother on Tue Apr 01, 2014 at 06:30:26 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

          •  No (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            VClib

            HL's owners object to the requirement that HL fund a health plan that they claim conflicts with their religious beliefs.

            The 401(k) money is employee money.  The Green's do not assert that they have the right to tell employees what to do with their compensation--despite widespread mischaracterization otherwise.

            If anything, the fact that the Green's do not try to apply their beliefs to the 401(k) investment options strengthens their claims regarding the health plan.

            "Well, I'm sure I'd feel much worse if I weren't under such heavy sedation..."--David St. Hubbins

            by Old Left Good Left on Tue Apr 01, 2014 at 04:29:23 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Huh? (3+ / 0-)
              The Green's do not assert that they have the right to tell employees what to do with their compensation--despite widespread mischaracterization otherwise.
              Health insurance is part of compensation, despite widespread mischaracterization otherwise.

              "Ça c'est une chanson que j'aurais vraiment aimé ne pas avoir écrite." -- Barbara

              by FogCityJohn on Tue Apr 01, 2014 at 04:38:33 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  This ground has been plowed (0+ / 0-)

                I don't know how to link to comments, but Coffeetalk's comments in the diary "Why libertarians have it totally wrong on the contraceptive mandate" will explain the difference to you.

                "Well, I'm sure I'd feel much worse if I weren't under such heavy sedation..."--David St. Hubbins

                by Old Left Good Left on Tue Apr 01, 2014 at 04:46:07 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  If your authority is this: (3+ / 0-)
                  Coffeetalk's comments in the diary
                  I can pretty much guarantee it's off base.

                  "Ça c'est une chanson que j'aurais vraiment aimé ne pas avoir écrite." -- Barbara

                  by FogCityJohn on Tue Apr 01, 2014 at 04:53:03 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Then let me try to explain it to you (4+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    BMScott, nextstep, VClib, coffeetalk

                    Assume that you're my employee, and I pay you $5,000 per month.  I also make available to you a health plan, under which I agree to pay your medical expenses.  I give you a plan benefit book that says that under no circumstances will any benefits be paid for cosmetic surgery.

                    Your compensation is thus $5,000 plus the legally binding right to require me to pay your medical expenses.  There is no way for you to "spend" that legally binding right except by incurring a medical expense.

                    Now assume you have some cosmetic surgery done and submit the bill.  I will not pay it because, as the plan benefit booklet says, the plan does not cover cosmetic surgery.

                    Have I spent your money?  Of course not.  You had no right to a reimbursement for cosmetic surgery under the plan in the first place.  Did I prevent you from spending your money on cosmetic surgery?  Again, no.  That was your decision.

                    A 401(k) plan, or at least a typical one, is different.  The money in your 401(k) account is yours.  Even if I provide a match, the match is yours (although I could impose a vesting condition on the match, such as you have to work for three years to retain the match).  I could restrict the investments in the 401(k) plan, but why should I?  It's your money to invest as you choose.

                    "Well, I'm sure I'd feel much worse if I weren't under such heavy sedation..."--David St. Hubbins

                    by Old Left Good Left on Tue Apr 01, 2014 at 05:17:26 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  Cosmetic surgery? (4+ / 0-)

                      I'm not really following your analogy here, since the whole issue for Hobby Lobby's owners seems to be that they have to provide contraceptive coverage under the ACA.  Since the statute doesn't require that anyone cover cosmetic procedures, I don't see what that gets you.

                      As for their 401(k) plan, I'd be mighty surprised if HL didn't choose the investment options available to its employees.  A typical 401(k) plan does not include an unlimited universe of investment vehicles, but rather has only a certain basket of possibilities selected by the employer.

                      So again, I'm not sure where any of this gets you in terms of the argument being made in the diary.  Which, as I'll remind you, is that HL's owners are stinking hypocrites because they claim to be in a religiously motivated lather about having to provide coverage for "abortifacients" (that medical science says aren't abortifacients), while at the same time investing in companies that make -- wait for it -- actual, bona fide abortifacients.

                      "Ça c'est une chanson que j'aurais vraiment aimé ne pas avoir écrite." -- Barbara

                      by FogCityJohn on Tue Apr 01, 2014 at 05:39:36 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  Ah, I see your problem (2+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        VClib, coffeetalk

                        You have to substitute "certain contraceptives" for the words "cosmetic surgery."  Also, in the second paragraph, substitute "pay for certain contraceptives not covered by the plan" for "have some cosmetic surgery done."

                        Is that clearer?

                        Now let's think about the last part of your comment, in which you say that HL's owners' are "investing in companies that make -- wait for it -- actual, bona fide abortifacients."  You see, that part is wrong.  HL is allowing its employees to use their money to invest in those companies.  It is not HL's money.

                        So, the analogy is that, on the one hand, employees get to invest their own money as they see fit.  They also get to spend their own money on medical care as they see fit.  But when HL excludes something from their agreement to reimburse for medical care, that is neither spending nor investing the employee's money, and when employee's invest their 401(k) money they aren't spending or investing HL's money.

                        To be clear--and you can check my comments in the other diary referred to above--I think HL's case is bogus.  But the claim that the Greens' are hypocrites because they don't impose their beliefs on the investment decisions of their employees is stupid.

                        "Well, I'm sure I'd feel much worse if I weren't under such heavy sedation..."--David St. Hubbins

                        by Old Left Good Left on Tue Apr 01, 2014 at 05:53:47 PM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

            •  That would go to the issue of whether this (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              VClib, drmah, Phoenix Woman

              is a sincerely held religious belief or not.  As I said (and linked to) the government has not disputed whether the Greens' objections to these four types of contraception are "sincerely held religious beliefs."  

              You seem to be making the argument that some have made that employer supplied health insurance is just like money so the employer has no business having any say as to what's included in that insurance.  The government is NOT making that argument. You can read for yourself here.  That argument simply would not fly.  That is for several reasons.  One, Hobby Lobby is self-insured so they are not simply paying some third party and that third party will pay for the products they object to.  But, more importantly, the government has effectively conceded that an employer CAN have a religious objection to including certain things in employer-provided health insurance.  The administration conceded that because they already have given waivers to employers who had a religious objection to contraception; the same regulatory scheme that mandated that certain contraception must be included in employer provided insurance ALSO provided that employers that had a religious objection to that contraception could be exempted from that requirement if they were a non-profit corporation that held those religious views.

              The issue before the SCOTUS is much narrower than that.  If you read the government's brief, the main issue before the SCOTUS is whether a for-profit corporation can make the same kind of religious objection as an employer that a non-profit corporation can make as an employer.  See pdf here.   See especially the second page -- the issue, as the government frames it, is whether a for-profit corporation to make that religious objection under RFRA.  

            •  So only the 401K is compensation? And not (3+ / 0-)

              Insurance Coverage?

              That makes absolutely NO sense whatsoever.

              People decide which jobs to chose based on compensatory health and dental.

              The fact that the government forced the issue so that cheap vulture-capitalist owned companies can no longer deny people health insurance by hiring them only as part time and temps--ooooh that had to hurt.

              Can't wait til we do that to Unemployment insurance on a federal level too.

              I am sure that will also make Jeebus cry.

              "It were a thousand times better for the land if all Witches, but especially the blessing Witch, might suffer death." qtd by Ehrenreich & English. For Her Own Good, Two Centuries of Expert's Advice to Women pp 40

              by GreenMother on Tue Apr 01, 2014 at 06:32:53 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

          •  Quite relevant indeed. And that is an (0+ / 0-)

            accurate assessment, too.  

            "How can we know the dancer from the dance?" (Yeats)

            by Remediator on Tue Apr 01, 2014 at 05:51:12 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  FCJ - The religious belief issue has been agreed (0+ / 0-)

            to by all parties, including the SG's office, so it is a stipulated fact for the purpose of this trial and outside of the Court's purview. The Court had no role in the decision by the parties.

            "let's talk about that"

            by VClib on Tue Apr 01, 2014 at 08:03:14 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Gee, and here I thought ... (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Tonedevil

              this diary was about Hobby Lobby's investments in companies that manufacture abortifacient drugs.

              Thank God for smart people like you who can tell me what I can't seem to figure out by reading words for myself.

              "Ça c'est une chanson que j'aurais vraiment aimé ne pas avoir écrite." -- Barbara

              by FogCityJohn on Tue Apr 01, 2014 at 09:04:30 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

        •  Hobby Lobby fake Christianity. (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          trkingmomoe, drmah

          When Koch money purchases 4 Supremes anything can happen.  Notice that 3 of them aren't the brightest stars in the sky?  A bobble head,a non-verbal Justice,and the Christian Pasta Man. Roberts has some brain power but he isn't using it for any good.  They all seemed creepy at their hearings and I still feel they are.  Ginknee Thomas should be told that her husband is the breadwinner and she should be sitting home making homemade meals and sewing her own clothes.  That's what good Cristian Women do.

        •  "You sound like a lawyer..." (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          BMScott, Phoenix Woman

          and being a lawyer myself I want to thank you for what looks to me to be a well informed and reasoned explanation of the case. I think it takes time and effort to write as you have here and I found your post very informative.

          The politics and optics of this are fun and interesting, but what SCOTUS would, can and should consider in its decision is worth knowing too and it looks to me like you hit the nail on the head.

        •  You rightly point this out: (0+ / 0-)

          The only way this would be relevant if there was some question about whether the religious beliefs of Hobby Lobby's owners against the four types of contraception was a "sincerely held religious belief."

          But the "sincerely held religious belief" part of it is crucial to the case presented to SCOTUS, no?

          That's one more thing to add to my long list of small problems. --my son, age 10

          by concernedamerican on Wed Apr 02, 2014 at 05:51:39 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  It would be if (0+ / 0-)

            the government had not agreed that the religious belief of Hobby Lobby's owners was a sincerely held religious belief.

            Because both parties agreed to that fact, the SCOTUS must accept that fact as true - that the religious beliefs of the owners of Hobby Lobby are "sincerely held religious beliefs."  That issue is no longer up for debate.  It's done and resolved as far as the SCOTUS is concerned.  

            That's how things always proceed in cases like this -- the parties (in this case the government and Hobby Lobby) tells the court (typically at the trial level) which facts they both agree to and which facts are disputed.  When they both agree to a fact, the Courts accept that fact as true.  Period.  

            •  Wow. The Right are being disingenuous and taking (0+ / 0-)

              advantage of the situation here, though.  Can you imagine the hyena-level wailing and gnashing of teeth that would have come from religious conservatives, if the government were to have made part of procedure a dispute over whether or not Hobby Lobby's beliefs were "sincere" in the first place?  You know it would have been so distorted by the Right to cast the government as a godless, tyrannical secular juggernaut.  The government was in a bit of a bind, no?  

              That's one more thing to add to my long list of small problems. --my son, age 10

              by concernedamerican on Wed Apr 02, 2014 at 01:35:45 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

        •  Thank you for the information from a legal point (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Tonedevil

          of view.  Does this imply that the government legal folks were not competent when they stipulated that HL owners are sincere about their claimed religious belief - at lease not before checking out their investments (and other behaviors - for example checking if any of them use contraceptives)?  

      •  Why would if impact anything? (0+ / 0-)

        In 401K plans all of the investment decisions are made by the plan participants (the employees), not the company. If it were a defined benefit plan, where the investments were company assets, the diary author might have an issue.

        "let's talk about that"

        by VClib on Tue Apr 01, 2014 at 07:56:14 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Guess you didn't read the article either: (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Phoenix Woman, Tonedevil
          These companies include Teva Pharmaceutical Industries, which makes Plan B and ParaGard, a copper IUD, and Actavis, which makes a generic version of Plan B and distributes Ella. Other holdings in the mutual funds selected by Hobby Lobby include Pfizer, the maker of Cytotec and Prostin E2, which are used to induce abortions; Bayer, which manufactures the hormonal IUDs Skyla and Mirena; AstraZeneca, which has an Indian subsidiary that manufactures Prostodin, Cerviprime, and Partocin, three drugs commonly used in abortions; and Forest Laboratories, which makes Cervidil, a drug used to induce abortions.
          The investment vehicles Hobby Lobby employees have to choose from are selected by Hobby Lobby itself, as is true of pretty much every 401(k) plan I've ever heard of.  Either the employer or a third-party plan administrator selects the actual funds that are available as employee investments.

          So much for the idea that "all of the investment decisions are made by the plan participants (the employees), not the company."

          "Ça c'est une chanson que j'aurais vraiment aimé ne pas avoir écrite." -- Barbara

          by FogCityJohn on Tue Apr 01, 2014 at 10:32:38 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  Most of our coat hangers are now made China too (31+ / 0-)

    Maybe Hobby Lobby would like to invest them as well.

    Красота спасет мир --F. Dostoevsky

    by Wisper on Tue Apr 01, 2014 at 11:20:21 AM PDT

  •  But the ebil gummint (24+ / 0-)

    isn't forcing them to sinfully make money off abortificants.   They are doing so of their own sinful will, so Freedom!

    We do not forgive. We do not forget. The whole world is watching.

    by Tracker on Tue Apr 01, 2014 at 11:39:28 AM PDT

  •  If that lawsuit is upheld, I expect (19+ / 0-)

    a whole rash of new religions to pop up. The belief, for example, that God doesn't want disabled people to be able to mix with the able-bodied (that's why He made them disabled, people!) should allow a business to dispense with wheelchair access. Darn that ADA! It's about religious freedom. If religious folks have now lost the right to exclude and demean non-believers, then what is the point of even having religions at all?

    Voting is the means by which the public is distracted from the realities of power and its exercise.

    by Anne Elk on Tue Apr 01, 2014 at 11:41:37 AM PDT

  •  Is there any chance for this to come up in SCOTUS? (11+ / 0-)

    By anyone, amicus briefs, whatever?

  •  Remember Conservatism is Practiced More AT (20+ / 0-)

    one's enemies than for oneself, in all its forms whether it's the militarism, the finance, the justice, the culture or the business.

    So sure, contraception and abortion are fair game for rich conservatives' family planning and investment portfolios. Just so long as we can forbid them from use by the masses.

    No Amish integrity among conservatives, no sirree Bob. No matter what they philosophically "forbid," they demand that someone somewhere does for conservative pleasure and profit.

    They invest and profit from the carbon energy that can only be found using the old earth theories, they heal their own kind using vaccines and other medicines that can only be produced by employing evolutionary theory, they build family and church community that's only possible understanding our species as a social species and not one purely of the individual that, as one of their world leaders phrased it, has "no such thing as society."

    We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

    by Gooserock on Tue Apr 01, 2014 at 11:48:15 AM PDT

  •  I'm shocked, SHOCKED! (8+ / 0-)

    Ha, just kidding, April Fool's

    You better brace yourselves for a whole lotta ugly comin' at you from a neverending parade of stupid. - Motormouth Maybelle, Hairspray 2007 -

    by FlamingoGrrl on Tue Apr 01, 2014 at 11:57:39 AM PDT

  •  new products sold in Hobby Lobby (18+ / 0-)
    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.

    Warning - some snark may be above‽ (-9.50; -7.03)‽ eState4Column5©2013 "I’m not the strapping young Muslim socialist that I used to be" - Barack Obama 04/27/2013 (@eState4Column5).

    by annieli on Tue Apr 01, 2014 at 12:02:08 PM PDT

  •  Ach sooooooooooo......... (9+ / 0-)

    Nasssty fucking weasssssels, preciousssss, yes they are.

    Fight them to the end, until the children of the poor eat better than the dogs of the rich.

    by raincrow on Tue Apr 01, 2014 at 12:46:33 PM PDT

  •  I think it's not even about religion, it's about (20+ / 0-)

    trying to set a court precedent that a company's religious beliefs can allow them to be exempted from laws they don't like. Just another backdoor way around the labor and environmental laws, but this time it will be "God's Will".

    Where are all the jobs, Boehner?

    by Dirtandiron on Tue Apr 01, 2014 at 02:33:57 PM PDT

    •  I tend (6+ / 0-)

      to think the same thing DirtandIron

    •  Which is exactly why... (6+ / 0-)

      ...the state stipulated to the sincerely held religious belief. They don't want the argument to be about how sincere a religious belief has to be before a company can exempt itself from the law. They want it clear that a corporation can not claim a religious exemption to the law.

      •  Chameo - BINGO!! (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        concernedamerican

        "let's talk about that"

        by VClib on Tue Apr 01, 2014 at 08:17:23 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Legally, it's the path of least resistance. (0+ / 0-)

        I think both sides want to be able to get this case decided without asking the Court to evaluate the Greens', or Hobby Lobby's, sincerely-held medieval superstitions, viz., whether and to what extent those medieval superstitions are, in fact, sincerely held.

        The government also bypassed the "substantial burden" element of RFRA, which is my principal beef with the case, in that being made to feel uncomfortable about what your employees might elect to do with their compensation does not in any way prevent or forbid you from believing any particular thing, nor from going to church, reading the Bible, singing songs to your imaginary friend in the sky, performing rituals and observing holy days; you know, the actual exercise of medieval superstition.

        Moreover, the government is not in a position to argue that RFRA is unconstitutional under the Establishment Clause, as e.g. an impermissible preference for medieval superstition (and the superstitious) over the non-superstitious.

        Hence the clearest route for the government to win the case is essentially on standing grounds, viz., that even if the Greens' medieval superstitions are sincerely held, and even if the contraceptive mandate does impose a substantial burden on those medieval superstitions and/or their exercise of those medieval superstitions, nevertheless Hobby Lobby, Inc., the corporate entity, does not have standing to assert a claim under RFRA because it does not, indeed cannot, "believe" anything.

    •  That fits right into the Dominionist political (3+ / 0-)

      attitudes.

      I really don't give a damn about sincerity and cannot believe that the courts do either, given that its being used to discriminate against FEMALE US CITIZENS specifically by gender and alleged sexual activity.

      I am not a fucking Christian. And it shouldn't matter where I am gainfully employed. That won't change my non-membership in Christianity, nor should I have to pretend otherwise to get a job and keep it, nor should I have to pay lip service and receive substandard care in a doctor's office as a result.

      Because this is just ONE more attack on women's access to Reproductive Self Determination.

      Church belongs in Church.

      Hobby Snobby is not a goddamn church.

      "It were a thousand times better for the land if all Witches, but especially the blessing Witch, might suffer death." qtd by Ehrenreich & English. For Her Own Good, Two Centuries of Expert's Advice to Women pp 40

      by GreenMother on Tue Apr 01, 2014 at 06:44:30 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I would agree (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        GreenMother, Dirtandiron
        its being used to discriminate against FEMALE US CITIZENS specifically by gender
        I don't know if any of the lawyers are still reading (coffeetalk?), but just as a hypothetical: could not the state have argued that the SCOTUS should reject the suit on the grounds that granting it would be an effective violation of the equal protection clause, as GM suggests?
        •  Well lets not get too complicated, because we (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Dirtandiron

          haven't even decided whether women are legal adults apparently.

          I mean this whole equal protection thingy slipping their minds an all

          "It were a thousand times better for the land if all Witches, but especially the blessing Witch, might suffer death." qtd by Ehrenreich & English. For Her Own Good, Two Centuries of Expert's Advice to Women pp 40

          by GreenMother on Wed Apr 02, 2014 at 04:52:30 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  Typical "religious" hypocrisy (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Orlaine, Tonedevil, Rusty44, Chi, GreenMother

    "Onward through the fog!" - Oat Willie

    by rocksout on Tue Apr 01, 2014 at 02:43:01 PM PDT

  •  Hobby Lobby's Oligarch Owner Has Deeply Held (10+ / 0-)

    religious beliefs -- he worships money at the altar of GREED and Selfishness.

  •  They won't be able to fade the heat of this. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Rusty44, drmah

    They will divest.

    Ted Cruz president? Pardon my Vietnamese, but Ngo Pho King Way.

    by ZedMont on Tue Apr 01, 2014 at 02:51:45 PM PDT

  •  GOPocrisy (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    a2nite, OldDragon, Rusty44, Remediator, Chi

    Hypocrisy is the only consistent policy position that the GOP has.

    Voters should select people to represent them in their government. People in government should not select people who may vote!

    by NM Ray on Tue Apr 01, 2014 at 02:53:15 PM PDT

  •  I am confused as always... (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Skyye, Munchkn, Rusty44, Chi

    Is this a case of a Pot calling a Pot a Pot or what?

    Another thought, maybe it is time to Picket there stores as purveyors of Abortions.

  •  If a corporation can have freedom of religion... (9+ / 0-)

    …then a corporation can also be a sinner.

    Hobby Lobby, it's time you came to Jesus for real.

    "No special skill, no standard attitude, no technology, and no organization - no matter how valuable - can safely replace thought itself."

    by xaxnar on Tue Apr 01, 2014 at 03:03:15 PM PDT

  •  Up the wrong tree? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Rusty44, drmah

    So the preferred solution would be to have HL force its employees to invest their 401k money only in HL-acceptable funds even if that potentially results in the employees getting a lower return on investment (perhaps via increased fund costs or missing out on investement returns)?


    My country, right or wrong; if right, to be kept right; and if wrong, to be set right.—Carl Schurz
    "Shared sacrifice!" said the spider to the fly.—Me

    by KingBolete on Tue Apr 01, 2014 at 03:36:29 PM PDT

  •  This is irrelevant (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    VClib

    The money in a 401(k) plan is the employee's money, not HL's money.  Employees choose how to invest their accounts.  HL has never claimed that it has the right to compel its employees to spend or invest their money in ways that contradict its owners' beliefs.

    I am completely unsympathetic to HL's claims regarding the ACA.  But to think that the choice of investments offered to employees under their 401(k) plan is legally significant, or even just hypocritical, is to misunderstand the issues that HL is litigating.

    "Well, I'm sure I'd feel much worse if I weren't under such heavy sedation..."--David St. Hubbins

    by Old Left Good Left on Tue Apr 01, 2014 at 03:48:24 PM PDT

    •  If these investments are offered in the (3+ / 0-)

      company sponsored plan, as opposed to self-directed options, then it is completely fair.

      I am the fiduciary of a 401(k) plan. I have the responsibility to set the investment policy for the basic available funds (those that are not "self-directed" accounts) and can use what ever policy I'd like, as long as it meets a few basic tests.

      •  That's not the point (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        VClib

        HL is litigating how it spends its money, not how its employees invest their money.  If anything, the fact that HL allows investments in mutual funds that hold positions in companies that HL's owners might object to strengthens its argument.

        "Well, I'm sure I'd feel much worse if I weren't under such heavy sedation..."--David St. Hubbins

        by Old Left Good Left on Tue Apr 01, 2014 at 04:22:19 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  And so it never occured to you that the premiums (2+ / 0-)

          that employees pay give them a say in their coverage? Because HL doesn't cover all of that. And because the program is federal at it's heart, then that makes it tax payer subsidized on a large scale anyhow.

          So explain to me why HL can claim that it is making this decision, and is participating in ACA in a vacuum?

          "It were a thousand times better for the land if all Witches, but especially the blessing Witch, might suffer death." qtd by Ehrenreich & English. For Her Own Good, Two Centuries of Expert's Advice to Women pp 40

          by GreenMother on Tue Apr 01, 2014 at 06:47:59 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  Hobby Lobby hires sinners? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Tonedevil

    Why does Hobby Lobby hire employees that are taking birth control, or have different religious beliefs?


    The next house I build will be a military industrial complex. It seems to be the only structure that is impervious to anything man, or nature, can throw at it.

    by glb3 on Tue Apr 01, 2014 at 03:57:18 PM PDT

  •  Because your religion only matters when you SPEND (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Remediator, drmah, Tonedevil

    your money, not when you invest...

  •  I stay away from the store. I like to sew and do (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Tonedevil

    needle arts but as far as I am concerned they don't need a dime of my money to do what they do.  If they win this case I am sure there will be a big effort to organize a boycott.  

  •  I'm not sure how HL could possibly profit from (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    VClib

    its employees' 401-K investments.
    Unless I've missed something here, the facts are that third-party investors--typically financial or insurance institutions--holding HL employees' retirement accounts invest in companies that produce abortifacients among other "objectionable" pharmaceuticals.
    Employers typically offer employees a number of third-party providers of investments; the employee then picks a provider and the employer directs employee contributions and matching funds (if any, not all employers do) to the fund.
    The employee has the option of discussing with the financial services provider how he/she wants his/her retirement funds invested. The employer has nothing to do with this, isn't part of the discussion, and doesn't profit from it.
    I'm inclined to say that we shouldn't make too much of a fuss about the way HL employees' 401-K funds are invested, lest HL decide it isn't going to match employee contributions any more.
    Althooough....it would be a VERY interesting court case if HL tried to control how employees &/or third party institutions invest their money. It might explode some SCOTUS heads--sex is dirty, money is clean?!
    On another point: regarding the point that HL thinks bar codes are the mark of the Beast--I used to be the neighbor of the man who developed and implemented the commercial use of barcodes. Apart from the fact that his house had a huge pink jacuzzi tub, this fellow was one of the nicest, most normal, generous, and kind gentlemen you would ever want to meet.

  •  In their public statements, Hobby Lobby (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    GreenMother, drmah, Tonedevil

    doesn't want the guvmint to interfere in their religious beliefs regarding contraception.  

    But on the sly, over in their accounting department, it looks like while they're pulling the wool over the heads of the public they're pulling a condom over their...

    investment portfolio.  

    I would love to see these folks lose decisively at the Supreme Court and remain jokes to their own employees henceforth.  

    What snakes.

    "How can we know the dancer from the dance?" (Yeats)

    by Remediator on Tue Apr 01, 2014 at 05:47:53 PM PDT

    •  The employees' 401(k) money (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      VClib

      is not HL's money and is not HL's investment portfolio.

      It would be interesting if HL had a nonqualified deferred compensation plan for executives that offered similar investment choices as the 401(k) plan, because the money in such plans is considered to be owned by the employer.

      "Well, I'm sure I'd feel much worse if I weren't under such heavy sedation..."--David St. Hubbins

      by Old Left Good Left on Tue Apr 01, 2014 at 06:00:36 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  The investments directly support (5+ / 0-)

        and intend to profit from contraceptive technologies which the corporate fathers at Hobby Lobby publicly oppose for their company and their workers.  

        The retirement plan is in fact HL's plan.  It is not imposed upon them by rival corporations and it is not imposed upon them by the government.  

        There is rank hypocrisy in the distance between commanding policy and procedure and the lateral investment in a 401(k).  

        The company's Board selects a retirement plan, just as any company would.  It can assume more than one form but it is driven by dividends from those investments.  

        These investments by this particular company are in part toward contraceptive technologies which HL has sued to protect them form coverage for their employees.  

        The hypocrisy of that is a powerful stench.  

        "How can we know the dancer from the dance?" (Yeats)

        by Remediator on Tue Apr 01, 2014 at 06:05:03 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I'm sorry (0+ / 0-)

          but you're not making sense.

          HL says they don't want to pay for certain contraceptives.  They don't tell their employees not to use them, and they don't tell their employees how to invest their money.

          HL is not compelled, either legally or morally, to be fanatical.  

          "Well, I'm sure I'd feel much worse if I weren't under such heavy sedation..."--David St. Hubbins

          by Old Left Good Left on Tue Apr 01, 2014 at 06:13:44 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  I really do not give a tinker's damn (3+ / 0-)

            about who is legally compelled in this case.

            It was an issue before the public a long time before that suit was filed.  

            A long time.  

            Your claim that HL "is not compelled... morally... to be fanatical" is baseless, particularly in light of the intention of their case.   They seek legal permission to hold their private moral beliefs over the very public members who comprise their workforce.  All of those people -- the HL Board, every manager they have, and all their very public employees drive on very public tax-support roads to work.  The entire infrastructure of that business is attributable to public access.  It is not a private corporation except for business purposes.  IMO it is more public than private, as its customer base is the public generally and not only those who share its narrowly held religious opinions.

            The Court may rule in HL's favor.  But HL has taken an enormous hit for their position initially, made dramatically worse with this revelation of the investment in contraceptive technologies.  

            You appear to not register the hypocrisy of that position.  

            But it's real clear to many others.  

            "How can we know the dancer from the dance?" (Yeats)

            by Remediator on Tue Apr 01, 2014 at 06:23:55 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

  •  They are willing to make money (5+ / 0-)

    off selling goods manufactured in state-run factories in a country worse government performs forced abortions, are willing o inst in companies that manufacture abortion drugs and the birth control devices they want to exclude form their coverage, but  their stand against birth control, if they won, would actually cost them more money in health care expenses, disability leave, etc.

    So, why would they be doing this?  Could it simply be just another attack on Obamacare?

  •  Fuck Hobby Lobby (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Tonedevil

    I would never step foot in that religious right shit hole.

    "The real wealth of a nation consists of the contributions of its people and nature." -- Riane Eisler

    by noofsh on Tue Apr 01, 2014 at 06:05:13 PM PDT

  •  "Making a little dough". (0+ / 0-)

    Isn't the bigger scandal that Hobby Lobby is profiting(stealing) from their employees' 401(k)?

  •  Are we Surprised (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Remediator, drmah

    They buy all their crap from China who has state forced family planning, not to mention, slave labor. What  hypocrites.

  •  Hobby Lobby? A joke from the beginning... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Remediator

    glad to see you all on the bandwagon. If you have shopped at this place you have been easily duped from the get-go.
    I have always found that those espousing to be "good Christian-based businesses" are the first to screw me out of any and everything I am stupid enough to relinquish. A close second is any business claiming to be patriotic in any way. All they (and any business) are after is your money. It's just that simple.

    "History does not repeat itself, but it does rhyme." - Mark Twain

    by SoonerG on Tue Apr 01, 2014 at 07:04:41 PM PDT

  •  And all their crap (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Tonedevil

    Is manufactured in China, where there are forced abortions. They are hypocrites of the first order.

    "Victory means exit strategy, and it's important for the president to explain to us what the exit strategy is." - George W Bush

    by jfern on Tue Apr 01, 2014 at 11:52:18 PM PDT

  •  Wow, hypocrisy masquerading (0+ / 0-)

    as religion.  How suprising.

    Time sets all things right. Error lives but a day. Truth is eternal. - General James Longstreet

    by kbrown2225 on Wed Apr 02, 2014 at 02:20:41 PM PDT

  •  Money - Money - Money... (0+ / 0-)

    I've said it once, I'll say it again, it's not about their personal beliefs, no matter what they say.  It's about the money, money, money.  Any corporation, private or public is about the bottom line.  That is the most important line.

    I hope they lose the case, but should they win, then all of corporate America has lost because it will be at that point that the 'Corporate Veil' will no longer exist, and corporations will find themselves being sued for any and everything under the sun.

    Maybe that's what it will take, to end all of this corporate non-sense.  What really needs to happen though is that the 5 (?Corporate Owned?) supreme court justices that keep writing this type of law will either all retire, or be impeached by the congress, but in any case, it is we Americans in the end that will suffer the most, so don't forget to go to the poles this fall and make some changes in our leadership - like voting the leaders that have some smarts and leadership qualities instead.

    Remember - being a politician is a 'TEMP' position unless we are stupid enough to keep putting the 'moron with the gift of gab' back into office.

  •  Hobby Lobby/OBAMA, ABORTION AND HITLER (0+ / 0-)

    I have been a lifelong FDR Progressive, who was hand chosen by JFK to work for his run for the presidency in my home town Oak Park Illinois, as I was coming out of the military and getting ready for graduate School
    I state my back ground because what I say below, is not in agreement with demonizing Hobby Lobby.

    I know several people who work for them and they say it is a very good place to work, and they are closed on Sunday and all religious Holidays, and they good have benefits, and they have been listed as one of the most employee oriented companies and one of the best companies for which to work.

    Further though I voted for Obama once, I voted Independent  in 2012. I am Catholic, and I see murdering the helpless unborn is an evil and a disgusting one at that. Murdering 56 million babies is a horrific thing for people to brag about. Abortion should not be a forced law, it should be a decision between a mother and her doctor.

    This president seems to hate Catholics, and is thus bigoted.  Any law of this sort aimed  at Christians or any religion is sickening and if it goes to the Supreme Court I believe Christians will win.

    Moreover, the Constitution, which this president ignores continuously, has condemned religious bigotry, but right now Catholics are his target, along with other Christians.

    What hypocrisy to destroy babies, children, women and the elderly and entire nations, including ours,  by a president that NEVER wore a Uniform in defense of his nation and goes about murdering at will, is not the fellow he pretended to be in 2008.

    He is responsible fort the deaths tens of thousands of non-combatants, spies not only on our people, but on other nations, and our elected officials, and many people  are still supporting Him? What does that tell you? Look around the world, and see all the damage he has done.

    Now when people say why did the people of Germany continue to follow Hitler, I say, Hypocrites. Hitler also wanted to force Jews, Catholics, blacks  to Abort. That is strong enough sign to make most peoiple wake up.

    In my eyes this president is trying to destabilize America, by the same methods he used in Syria, and other nations, by trying to splinter us by religion, gender, race, color, education, union affiliation, a man who favors the worlds richest Criminal Bankers by giving them more than $13 trillion buying their toxic bonds, and at the same time denying Americans Solid Interest on savings.

    Wake up America, and look around He is turning it into the New home of Neo-Nazism.

    •  "Lifelong" progressive? (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Old Queer Guy

      "I have been a lifelong FDR Progressive, who was hand chosen by JFK to work for his run for the presidency in my home town Oak Park Illinois, as I was coming out of the military and getting ready for graduate School."

      You may have been a progressive at one time, but like so many others, you're just another white liberal turned Tea Party Republican bigot.  Reading your diatribe about abortion and religion, I don't believe for one second that you were ever progressive to begin with, because a true progressive would ever go so low as to be so far-fetched in right-wing rhetoric.  You want to talk evil, position yourself in front of a mirror.

  •  well gee (0+ / 0-)

    My insurance covers a lot of things I hope to Christ I never have to use, and if I have 'sincerely held religious beliefs' I wouldn't use those things, even if they are offered. No body is forcing the use, just the coverage. Moreover, their beliefs apparently don't preclude them making a dollar or two profit. All is good with god.

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