"The Hobby Lobby: More Than Just Another Craft Store"

“Supreme Court Rules in favor of Hobby Lobby.”

“The court, I fear, has ventured into a minefield.” Justice Ginsberg  

140701162208-hobby-lobby-small-biz-620xaNever in my wildest dreams did I ever think that the words “Hobby Lobby” would be associated with one of the most controversial Supreme Court decisions ever. Thanks to the Supreme’s the name Hobby Lobby will forever be synonymous with religious freedom,birth control and women’s rights, Go figure.

When I hear the name “Hobby Lobby” on the news I don’t envision nine black robed Justices, huddled together, debating religious freedom issues and women’s rights, instead my mind is filled with images of a store full of model cars, trains, planes and ships, sports trading cards, slot cars, build it yourself electronic projects, telescopes and so much more. When I was a kid growing up in Azusa we had a hobby shop downtown. I believe it was called “Azusa Craft Center” or something like that, we always referred to it as simply “The Hobby Shop.” It was an incredible place where you could let your imaginations run wild. I used to love to go in and just look around, what an adventure, they had everything! Everything but controversy. Ahh the good old days.

The Hobby Lobby ruling  came as quite a surprise to many people especially since the three issues involved, abortion, religious rights and women’s rights are already a hotbed of controversy. The ruling allows companies like Hobby Lobby to stop paying for some types of birth control as part of its employees’ health insurance coverage, even though the coverage is included by law in Obamacare. So how can this happen you ask? Well Hobby Lobby claims that providing these particular contraceptive methods goes against their religious beliefs because these methods constitute abortion. Apparently the Supreme’s agree with them.

While Republicans and the religious right dance in the streets in celebration of what they see as a victory for personal freedom, Democrats, pro choice advocates and civil liberties groups are up in arms about the ruling, calling it a travesty and a slap in the face of women’s rights.  They worry that not only is the ruling a setback for women’s rights but sets a dangerous precedent regarding religious beliefs and the law. The Hobby Lobby ruling’s only requirement is that a business demonstrate ‘sincere religious beliefs’ to exempt itself from the healthcare law. The lingering question is will this court ruling which upholds the notion that companies and corporations have some of the same rights as individuals, undermine the law as more closely held businesses like Hobby Lobby begin objecting to certain laws and declaring their ‘sincere religious beliefs? It should be interesting.

So I ask you, is the high courts decision really a victory for personal freedom or have the Supreme’s pulled the lid off Pandora’s Box?  Guess we’ll have to wait and see…


Just a Thought…

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