Saturday, July 5, 2014

Thank You Hobby Lobby

So the nightmare scenarios unfold.

I like the Scientologist not covering antidepressants, the Jehovah’s Witness not paying for blood transfusions and the Christian Scientists not paying for anything. But my personal favorite is the one that could happen to me: my employer hires a new administrator who decides my three interracial children should not be covered for anything because the Bible says miscegenation is immoral and any illness would be God’s just punishment for my sin. Hard to say what’s worse: All the terrible things that religious zealots have now been empowered to do to the rest of us or listening to them preening and crowing about their victory for religious freedom. There’s more blowback on the way too here and here. The slippery slope is now in the rear view mirror folks. We’re in the shit.

But when you really think about it, maybe this isn’t going to pan out the way everybody thinks. I’m not so sure it’s as good as the Right thinks or as bad as the Left believes. Let’s speculate:

A furniture manufacturer in North Carolina won’t cover anybody who’s gay because they just lost their fight to fire them outright. A chicken processing plant won’t cover anybody who’s Catholic because they object to Papists. A Saudi Arabian consortium gains a controlling interest in GM. They instruct their insurance provider that any ailments traceable to alcohol or pork consumption will no longer be covered. Nobody covers Jews anywhere for anything. A group of Catholics in the chicken place sues in court for unfair discrimination. A group of Fundamentalist Protestants working at the furniture shop sue because they don’t think the Catholics should be covered by their employer. Muslim employees of GM sue because they don’t want anything covered for the Infidels. Jews start suing everybody.

The court system becomes paralyzed with suits and counter suits all alleging infringement on our constitutionally guaranteed religious right to exclude everybody we don't like from having anything we feel they shouldn't have. The courts have to choose which laws to ignore and which to follow, anti discrimination laws or pro religious bigotry statutes. These back their way up to the Supreme Court and Antonin Scalia has a stroke trying to read them all and untangle the legal knot he tied with his Hobby Lobby decision. He dies in the emergency waiting room while the hospital administrators are trying to determine if he’s excluded from coverage because he’s a Papist or because he's an Italian. President Paul declares the date of his death a National Health Care Free Holiday on which absolutely no American citizen connected to the Health Care Industrial Complex has to work and if you split your head open on a rusting factory gate you’re just shit out of luck.

Finally, the corporate CEOs get together and decide they’ve had enough and sue all their employees. In a unanimous decision, the Court agrees with the corporations that if their employees want religiously acceptable health care they should get it from their churches. “Let Dolan put it where his fucking mouth is,” Ruth Bader Ginsburg writes in her majority opinion. 

And why not? Why should employers be in the health care business in the first place? Who’s the genius that put those two together and where can we find him? Our religious leaders, the nation’s moral compass, when faced with the logistics of actually carrying out Christ’s call to heal the sick shit their pants and then do what all the rest of us less-holier-than-them do in an ethical conundrum. They blame the federal government for its ineptitude and inaction and call on it to fill the vacuum.

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