Collins Expresses Support for Sharia, Fiqh

This is a Constitutional pronouncement that my Congressman, Chris Collins, Tweeted Tuesday afternoon: 

That’s an interesting take on liberty. 

Hobby Lobby sued the government to preserve some sort of religious right to require that its predominately female workforce not have insurance coverage for certain types of contraceptives, including IUDs and the morning after pill. 

Hobby Lobby argues that requiring it to subsidize insurance plans that cover what it considers to be abortifacients violates its 1st Amendment right to freely exercise its religion. 

I’m not sure which church Hobby Lobby attends. I suppose the Chapel at Crosspoint might be large enough to accommodate an entire Hobby Lobby store, but only one. I haven’t seen a Hobby Lobby store transport itself to and from a place of worship, as I suspect that would cause an epic traffic headache every week. 

So, assuming the corporation has some form of fictional personhood involving fictional church membership and make-believe church attendance, we’re talking about a new precedent whereby a corporation can assign to itself a faith. For instance, Chik-fil-A is famously Christian and notoriously homophobic. Amazing to note that In-N-Out Burger is also run by devout Christians – flip the cup over and there’ll be scripture printed there – but they’re neither homophobic nor trying to limit their employees’ contract rights. 

When an employer provides health insurance as part of its benefits scheme, it helps to subsidize the plans. The insurance plans themselves, however, are individual contracts between the employee and the insurer. So, Chris Collins thinks that an entity that possesses fictional legal personhood should be able to come between a woman and her doctor. 

What if a company decides that its religion dictates that it be exempt from child labor laws, or from sex discrimination laws, or from prohibitions on racial discrimination? Chris Collins would support that, based on his jejune, ignorant pronouncement. 

Who is Hobby Lobby to interfere with a female employee’s medication or health care scheme? People like Collins demonized Obamacare as being a “government takeover” of healthcare, putting the government between a person and their care. But when it comes to women – true to type – corporations and conservative patriarchal government flip the script and maintain control and shame, inserting themselves between a woman and her doctor. 

Does Hobby Lobby oppose artificial dick-hardening drugs as part of its employee health plans? Are we saying #prayersforED in a Christian, Godly way to ensure that the impotent can impregnate women who then,  in turn, find their contraceptive options artificially limited? 

But I suppose we should look on the bright side. Our multicultural-embracing Chris Collins has come out strongly in favor of Sharia law. Under his logic, a corporation can declare itself to be an adherent of Islam. If a craft store decided to close on Fridays and forbid any employee health plans from offering, say, treatment for alcohol or drug addiction, Collins would apparently support that. If an employee of a Muslim craft store decided to bring a ham sandwich to lunch, the company could fire her on the spot; intoxicants and pork are haram under Sharia law and Fiqh. Collins would support, evidently, a company requiring its female employees to wear a hijab or chador, because to him, the free expression of the employer trumps the free expression of the employee. Long live our new, two-tiered Constitution!

The liberty-ish way to handle this is to say that the owners of a business have a right to practice their religion in whatever way they deem fit. However, they should not have a right to impose their religion upon their employees, who are also free to exercise (or to be free from) whatever religion they choose. The American way would be for businesses to let their employees be free to take whatever medicines their doctors prescribe, without interference. Freedom and liberty would dictate that craft stores not interject themselves into contractional relationships between their employees and those employees’ health insurance companies and physicians. 

But when it comes to big business and the role of so-called “job creators”, people like Chris Collins believe that the rights of the employer trump those of the employee. To Chris Collins, Hobby Lobby, and the new tea party plutocracy, employees are mere chair-moistening chattel. If their employer wants to impose Islamic law on them, they are free to contract for their labor elsewhere because the job market is so great thanks to the Republican jobs plan of “repeal Obamacare for the 51st time“. 

I wonder how that’ll play out in Wyoming County. 

23 comments

  • If you’re working for a company run by Christian Scientists, and you don’t share their faith, this might be a good time to be polishing your resume.

    • And you are a woman. According to HL, that automatically qualifies you for 1/4th of the rights of your coworkers.

      • “HL”? I’m not in any way an expert, but the founder of Christian Science was a woman, Mary Baker Eddy, so that sort of misogyny would seem a bit surprising.

  • Let them close their stores and move back to the bible belt. They have a good business model and offer an excellent selection of products, I’m sure someone else can fill the void quite easily.

  • Hobby Lobby doesn’t want to come between a woman and her doctor, they just don’t want to be complicit with what they religiously perceive as illicit behavior. As far as I know, purchasing condoms has always been an individual responsibility, as it should be. Women have always had the right to purchase contraceptives, just not the right to have someone else pay.

    Here’s a stupid comment by Justice Sotomayor on the subject – “Those employers could choose not to give health insurance [to all their
    employees] and pay not that high a penalty – not that high a tax,”
    Sotomayor said. … “And in that case Hobby Lobby [plaintiff] would pay
    $2,000 per employee, which is less that Hobby Lobby probably pays to
    provide insurance to its employees,” Kagan said. “So there is a choice
    here. It’s not even a penalty by – in the language of the statute. It’s a
    payment or a tax. There’s a choice.”

    According to her thinking, paying a penalty (yes, a penalty) and denying insurance coverage to all male and female employees is preferable to stripping contraceptive coverage out of the plans.

    • Hormonal birth control is prescribed to women with ovarian cysts to prevent ovarian cancer. It is no different than blood pressure medication prescribed to prevent a heart attack.

      • I don’t have a problem with insurance covering hormonal birth control for a legitimate medical reason, other than birth control. Insurance also covers implandts, IUDs, the ring and diaphragms.Those should not be covered. In fact, most of those methods should be made available over the counter, in which case insurance wouldn’t kick in. Condoms are not covered by insurance.

    • Here’s the thing….once Hobby Lobby pays its monthly health insurance premium, the coverage ceases to be “theirs” (not that it ever was). It belongs to the employee as part of their compensation. Hobby Lobby is not being forced to pay for services with which they don’t believe, any more than they are forced to pay a wage to their female employees which could, conceivably, be used to purchase contraception.

      • Any way you spin it, employers with religious objections are being forced to pay for something that violates their beliefs. Their negative liberty is being violated by someone else’s positive liberty. That is wrong.

        • Hobby Lobby is not a person. An inanimate corporation cannot have a religious objection.

          • Inanimate objects don’t pay the bills, people (the owners) do. Forcing them to violate their religious beliefs would be no different than forcing you to let Jehovah’s Witnesses into your living room to preach every week.

          • Lamont Cranston

            It’ll be fun once all this religious freedom shit is sorted out. We’ll have Baptists in the south refusing service to black people once again – it’ll be conservative paradise!

          • The real question is; When will humans finally outgrow the need for that mental security blanket known as “religion”?

          • Actually corporate entities do have personhood to buy and sell goods, and “pay bills”. Because their personhood is a fiction, they do not have the mental wherewithall to form close personal relationships with any deity.

            The Jehovah’s Witness analogy is not accurate because no one is forcing Hobby Lobby to do anything. The health plan will likely cost the same with the contraceptives covered as it would without.

          • It will likely cost more, because pregnancy is fucking expensive.

          • One of the more notorious characteristics of the oft-conservative-invoked “Sharia law”, is it’s neglect of, and contempt for women.

            Whether it is in defending Rush Limbaugh for his outrageous and misplaced allegations against a woman testifying before congress, or the advocating of the denial of a woman’s coverage for contraception—while embracing coverage for male “enhancement”, it’s not a stretch to see how Alan draws a connection between Collin’s (and conservatives) stance on the Hobby Lobby case and support for elements of Sharia law.

            As usual, conservatives fail to see the similarities between themselves and those countries in the middle east that they want us to melt into glass.

          • From Wiki – Corporations can exercise human rights against real individuals and the state, and they can themselves be responsible for human rights violations.

          • Likely, the health plan cost will increase since having a child carries a much larger cost than contraception.

          • Just the way you started this post tells me you are an ass.

        • Insurance coverage is part of an employee’s compensation, just as a paycheck is. Would you suggest that Hobby Lobby employees also be forbidden from using their paycheck money to buy contraceptives? After all, Hobby Lobby is giving a woman money that she may use not only to get contraception, but maybe an actual full-on abortion. She may even save up enough of her Hobby Lobby pay to treat her entire block to abortions.

          Of course just like with Chik-Fil-A, I’m sure lots of neanderthal conservatives will flock to give them business, so much so, that they’ll consider changing their name from Hobby Lobby to Slobby Blobby.

          • A paycheck is the result of a voluntary agreement between 2 parties. Neither party is forced, under those circumstances, to do anything that could be considered violative of their religious beliefs.

    • “Women have always had the right to purchase contraceptives, just not the right to have someone else pay.”

      I am not sure you understand how insurance works.

  • “Corporations are people my friend” and may have been denied for too long their right to vote. Power to the legal entity!

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