By Bryan Fischer
Follow me on Twitter: @BryanJFischer, on Facebook at “Focal Point”
The New York Times blithely and blindly
contradicts itself in its column arguing for a flatly immoral and
unconstitutional ruling from the Supreme Court against Hobby Lobby. Oral
arguments will be heard tomorrow on whether Hobby Lobby’s owners, against their
will, their conscience and their religious convictions, can be forced to
provide abortion-causing drugs to their employees at their own expense.
It’s worth noting at the outset
that no one who works for Hobby Lobby is being denied their “right” to buy abortion-inducing contraceptives. They
can still do it, on their own time and on their own dime. Nothing, absolutely
nothing, that Hobby Lobby is doing here endangers that “right.” Hobby Lobby
simply does not want its corporate resources used to kill babies. If some
corporations want their assets used to protect the environment, it certainly
should be permissible for other corporations to use their assets to protect
The Times argues that it is
wrong for Hobby Lobby’s owners to “impose their religious views on their
employees.” But they apparently believe it’s perfectly fine for the justices on
the Supreme Court to “impose their religious views” on employers. This is a
spectacularly disingenuous position for the Times to take.
If imposing religious and moral
values on others is wrong, as the Times contends, then it’s wrong when anybody
does it to anybody. The Court, if the Times is right, has no more ethical
authority to do this than anyone else. But that’s exactly what the Times want
the Supremes to do - to impose their own moral views of the sanctity of life on
the owners of a private business.
So the Times is blind to the
plain fact that, according to its own value system, it wants to allow the
Supremes to do something grossly immoral and unethical on the grounds of
morality and ethics. Not only is this nauseatingly hypocritical, it is nothing
less than an argument for abject tyranny. It reveals a staggering level of
obtuseness on the part of the Times, whose editors are apparently unable even
to see the double-standard and self-contradiction manifest in their own
The Times also trivializes the
financial impact of an adverse Supreme Court decision. “[E]mployers,” says the Times, “are not
actually required to offer employee health plans. They could instead pay a tax
to help support the government subsidies that are available to those using a
health insurance exchange.” Well, that “tax” in Hobby Lobby’s case would amount
to $1.2 million per day, which would bankrupt them in a matter of weeks. Easy
for the Times to say. It’s not their money or their jobs which are at risk.
The Times condescendingly sneers
at the views of Hobby Lobby’s owners by dismissing them as nothing more than a
matter of their “personal disappro(val”) of certain contraceptives. But this is
not a matter of “personal disapproval.” It is a matter of the deeply-held
conviction that God himself disapproves of the termination of the lives
innocent human beings, even in their earliest stages of development.
The Times tries to hide behind
the ruse that Hobby Lobby is not a “person” but a corporation. “[F]or-profit corporations are not ‘persons’
capable of prayer or other religious behavior.” Then why is every store in the
Hobby Lobby chain closed every Sunday? Since they are closed because Sunday is
the Lord’s Day, that certainly sounds like “religious behavior” to any
The manifest problem here is
that the owners of Hobby Lobby are, in fact, persons, who have deeply held
religious views on the nature of life in the womb, and possess a constitutional
right to exercise those religious views in every part of their lives, including
the way they run their business.
This right to the free exercise
of religion does not belong to organizations, it belongs to individuals.
Organizations have them because the individuals who make them up have them. The
Court has already affirmed this view of First Amendment rights in its Citizens United ruling. Every right in
the Bill of Rights is an individual right; not one is a group or organizational
right. Churches, for example, have religious liberty and assembly rights
because every individual who attends has them.
In point of fact, every American
has an individual right to the free exercise of religion, and he does not have
to check that right at the door when he walks into his office on Monday
The Times argues that no one is
depriving the owners of Hobby Lobby of their freedom of “worship.” Says the
companies’ owners remain free to worship as they choose.” But the Constitution does not guarantee
freedom of “worship,” it guarantees the “free exercise” of religion. The
“exercise” of religion cannot be boxed into the four walls of church buildings
on Sundays from 11 am to noon. It is a constitutional right, that, like every
other single right in the Constitution, is in effect 24 hours a day, 7 days a
The position of the Times’
editors on the extent of the Constitution’s protection of First Amendment
rights is manifestly absurd. Would they ever accept the proposition that the
Times itself possesses freedom of the press only one hour a week, or only inside
the Times’ building, or only when the Supreme Court says it does?
Or, to pick another example,
would they accept the view that freedom of speech is a right that can only be
exercised one hour a week, say on Fridays from 11 am to noon, inside particular
buildings, but verboten in public the rest of the week?
The Times essentially is saying
that the constitutional right to freedom of religion is not being infringed as
long as Christians are allowed an hour a week of liberty. That doesn’t sound
like liberty, it sounds like solitary confinement with 23 hours in a cell and
an hour a day in the yard.
The Times’ view is fundamentally
no different than arguing that Americans can still have slaves 167 hours a week
and not be in violation of the 13th Amendment as long as they give those slaves
that one hour a week to do anything they want.
Bottom line: either freedom and
liberty belong to us all every second of every day or they do not belong to us
(Unless otherwise noted, the opinions expressed are the author’s and do
not necessarily reflect the views of the American Family Association or
American Family Radio.)