By Winnie Eke
There has to be something I am missing. There appears to be many ambiguities when it comes to protecting and helping the poor in our society.
Let us consider the debates on contraception and abortion on one hand and the legislation to help the children they claim deserve to be born. See Congressman Paul Ryan’s 2014 budget. A new controversy in the name of religious freedom appears to be the focal point for those who do not like the Affordable Care Act (ACA).
Why would Hobby Lobby, a company that has previously provided insurance to its workers, suddenly sue for its religious freedom?
Does it mean the workers do not have their own religion or must they relinquish their beliefs for the company owners? The Religious Freedom Restoration Act of 1993 (Act 42 U.S. Code 21B, ) protects free exercise of religion of individuals. Under Oregon v. Smith the RFRA insists that government no longer has to justify burdens as they are incidental.
Hobby Lobby’s argument that the ACA violates its religious freedom appears to be political in view of the Smith ruling. How can a for profit company that employs thousands of people justify depriving them of health care, knowing fully well that their decision or goal will bring an undue burden to their workers?
It is also ironic, if not comical, that Hobby Lobby invests in the companies that make the products that they now object to. I am wondering if they are feeling guilty for not adhering to their own beliefs, or if they want to make a political statement and at the same time make sure that those who could benefit under the ACA will be penalized.
What do you think?