Thursday, January 10, 2013

Why Some People Are From Mars and Some From Venus On Religious Liberty and Hobby Lobby

This appears to be the typical conversation as to HHS Contraception mandate and how it affects people like Hobby Lobby and other companies.

Person X - Hobby Lobby has no right to impose their religious views on their employees !
Person Y - WTH !! Hobby Lobby is not imposing anything they just don't want to pay for abortion drugs

Person X- Health Care is a Right and Hobby Lobby must follow the Law
Person Y- But Forcing Hobby Lobby to go against their beliefs is oppression

Person X- Not giving women all forms of birth control is Oppression and a war on women .

And it goes on and on and on . It seems no matter how much we talk we get nowhere. Some folks are from Mars and some are from Venus as to this matter it appears

 What we have here basically is two different views of the world as to rights. That is negative liberty  on one side and the more recent tradition  of positive liberty on the other.

For example lets look at the line of cases where the Supreme Court said there was a right to birth control and later abortion. Those cases regarding birth control basically said Government is not competent in matters of the bedroom and such intimate matters. It is beyond its legitimate reach.

However we have gone in a relative short time from Government can't ban birth control ( negative liberty) to Government can now mandate people opposed to it pay for it ( positive liberty ) .

I was thinking of this again last night when I was reading this piece at Mirrors of Justice Gedicks on religious freedom and the HHS mandate .

Prof Gedicks makes an appearance in the comments and the back and forth got kinda of tense for a while. I thought this comment of his  pretty much summed up our dialouge problem.

My apologies to Mr. Bowman; I mistook a misspelling of my name in another comment as having been in his. As always, the brief pay-off of snarky humor is rarely worth the long run cost.

Thank you to Ms. Rogers. While we may not have a common starting point, it is helpful to define how our starting points differ. Much on this issue depends on whether one views liberty "negatively," as you do, or "positively," as I do, at least on some issues. Those supporting positive liberty view affirmative government action in a complex society as essential to the enjoyment of meaningful liberty--that is, the mere absence of government not enough. This basic disagreement about whether liberty is positive or negative defines many of the differences between the two political parties (although they sometimes switch places on negative/positive liberty, depending on the issue).

The mandate is an example of positive liberty in this sense. Freedom to purchase contraceptives--the absence of government obstacles guaranteed by Griswold and Eisenstadt--is of less value to women who cannot afford to purchase them, or cannot afford to purchase the ones that work best for them. It seeks to give women--especially low income women--greater control over their lives and a more equal footing with men in the workplace than would exist in the mere absence of government obstacles to purchasing contraception.

I think that pretty much it up pretty well and is why so many of us that are arguing this issues look at each other like we are from different planets.

Now it is true in the real world that people might are big negative liberty advocates might have some positive liberty ideas too . For instance what good is it that I have a right to an education by my public school sucks etc etc . Still I think it is fair that this division exists.

I am more tend toward the negative liberty than positive liberty as a viewpoint. Still I think one can be a good Christian and/or Catholic and hold either.

But I will say I am bothered that advocates of positive liberty both in the secular world and to a lesser degree in the religious don't see the necessity of Conscientious Objection rights  when positive liberty has won a battle over rights issue x. 

That is one other thing that has so many people baffled from my conservative political camp.

That is my gosh you got Obamacare , you even got birth control included and yet there is no  space for  conscientious obejction rights at all ?  This all seems strange since in the real world those that would have such claims validated would likely have no significant impact on the aggregate number of women that would have access to bith control in the big scheme of things.

I think some more progressive Christians and Catholics are are more in the positive liberty camp are waking up to these concerns.


SJ Reidhead said...

I have numerous problems with the money behind the Hobby Lobby action. If they want to fight this to the Supremes, fine. But - let's also remember, for those who don't comprehend that RU-468 is just a high dose of contraceptives, administered so that a woman doesn't get pregnant, let's look at another fact. Hobby Lobby gets almost all of its product from China. If they made it a point to advertise how well paid their workers were in China, how well treated, then I might be prepared to give them a break. Unfortunately, they do not. This good "Christian" business has its products manufactured in a setting where they out-source in order not to pay decent wages in this country. The Chinese workers who make their products live on little more than slave wages and a standard of living that makes a mockery out of the teachings of Christ. I gather people in China don't count as human. I also gather they don't make waves about the one child policy in China.

I'm a huge Hobby Lobby fan. I shop there when ever I get to civilization. I doubt if I ever will, again. I'll find something online. I'm starting to find the idea of purchasing items made by Chinese slave labor to be distasteful, especially when shopping in a setting where Christian hymns are constantly played.

Christian? It depends on your definition of the word. Looks to me like all the Green family happens to be is just another mega wealthy clan who thinks they are better than we the little people, simply because they have more money.

The Pink Flamingo

James H said...

I think as to the China issue they are likely to buy what products they see in the market on bulk and in no doubt the type of stuff they get a good bit from China from what they see.

I would say in their defense that they pay a great bit more to their employyess than lets say Wal Mart and other similar chains and have given their employees raises the last four years

Anonymous said...

It is not just that Chinese products are made with slave labor, the "employees" who make the products sold by HobbyLobby are under a "one child rule" and they are forced to have abortions if they, or the spouse, becomes pregnant with a second child. They have very selective "conscience" in their "consciencious objections", and I think the determining factor is that they object to anything that would require paying standard wages and benefits to the people who labor for them.