Obama Admin. violating 1st amendment?

It seems to me here that the Obama Administration is violating the first amendment by forcing Christian business owners to provide a medical benefit to employees that go against their faith(such as contraceptives) or face paying a hefty fine per day. All this leaves them with is the choice to violate their own religious beliefs to keep profiting or being fined into Oblivion. I’m an Atheist and this does not sit right with me as far as rights go.

If a Christian business owner believes that killing another person is wrong and the US government is killing people with drone attacks, wars, death penalties, etc, does that mean that they can be exempt from paying taxes based on the first amendment? No.

They’re certainly free to no longer be employers if operating under public laws and requirements is a problem for them.

We don’t grant religious exemptions for discrimination either, and some organizations still whine about that (although a lot less publicly than they whine about this one).

No; the First Amendment doesn’t give you the right to deny employees medical care out of bigotry.

Too bad for them; they shouldn’t be trying to inflict their religious persecution on women in the first place.

The employer currently decides whether an emplyee has children?

Religious freedom is not a blank check to oppress people just because you believe god told you to.

According to them, they have the right to tell you whether or not you can engage in sexual activities at all.

I have to admit I’m astonished there are still people in a 1st world country in the 21st century that have a problem with simple contraceptives. Do they really have a problem with it, or is it just something they are ginning up for political ammo?

Even without the ACA employers are forced to give money directly to their employees, even when they know said money is being used for activities against the employers beliefs. Should employers be allowed to dock this money from their pay?

The requirement that insurance company’s cover birth control is a neutral, generally applicable law that covers not just religious institutions and is not a motivated attack on religion. As such, it is likely not to be found to violate the Free Exercise Clause of the Constitution.

As the Supreme Court said in Employment Division v. Smith:

"Respondents urge us to hold, quite simply, that when otherwise prohibitable conduct is accompanied by religious convictions, not only the convictions but the conduct itself must be free from governmental regulation. We have never held that, and decline to do so now. "

Also, I find the entire uproar over this issue to be manufactured outrage more dependent on a misunderstand of how insurance works and a tenuous definition of causality than a principled stand for religious freedom.

It’s possible that the Supreme Court will extend the First Amendment to reach this conduct.

But under existing case law, I disagree with your conclusion that this violates the First Amendment.

While I sympathise with the owners of businesses such as Hobby Lobby, they are not intrinsically religious organizations, and so I doubt they have much standing to get exemptions from the HHS mandate. Religious educational institutions and media outlets however have a very solid case IMHO. And it’s not just contraception- there is a perception that the mandate includes implantation-prevention methods and morning-after medications that can be regarded as abortifacients.

Bullshit they do. Or would you be willing to forego blood transfusions if the company head was a Jehovah’s Witness? Should a company run by a Christian Scientist be allowed to forego healthcare entirely?

They don’t have a constitutional freedom to run a business contrary to US law. So they can either shut up or shut down.


This is the single most simple and cogent argument present here. The fact is that there are real sects of Christianity who have religious objections to various essential medical procedures. And what’s to stop someone from arbitrarily joining said religion to dodge the law? Or better yet, creating a new religion which, say, prohibits workplace safety laws? These laws aren’t built around restricting religious freedom. They’re built around ensuring that businesses are safe. Nobody is violating your religious freedom by preventing you from forcing it on others.

Not that.

No one is being forced to forego anything. The employees are free to purchase contraceptives if they want. The employer is asking that they not have to subsidize that purchase.

At any rate, this will have to play itself out in the courts, and I’m not really sure which way the cookie is going to crumble.

Seems like a pretty clearly cut case to me.

You do not get to impose your religious beliefs on others. Period. Not your friends, not your neighbors, not even your employees.

About the only people society has deemed you can mistreat in such a fashion is your own children.

Ummm, but in your example the employee is using money that they got from the employer to purchase the contraceptives, so the employer is still subsidizing that purchase.

Which highlights my earlier post about this being more manufactured outrage relying on a misunderstanding of insurance and the tenuousness of the causality.

In what way is anyone forcing their religious beliefs on someone?

The question before the courts is whether Obamacare infringes on the free exercise of the employer’s religion. The employer is being asked to subsidize something. The employee is not being forced to “forego” anything.

Wasn’t this rule altered so that the contraception coverage is actually being provided by the insurance company at no cost to the employer?