Saturday, July 5, 2014

George Takei's blistering response to HobbyLobby: Could a Muslim Corporation impose Sharia Law?

by Vyan
Daily Kos
 Jul 03, 2014

Some people just know how to say it, so I'm gonna shut up and let the former Mr. Sulu do so.
"The ruling elevates the rights of a FOR-PROFIT CORPORATION over those of its women employees and opens the door to all manner of claims that a company can refuse services based on its owner’s religion,” Takei wrote. (O)ne wonders,” he said, “whether the case would have come out differently if a Muslim-run chain business attempted to impose Sharia law on its employees.
“Hobby Lobby is not a church. It’s a business — and a big one at that,” he continued. “Businesses must and should be required to comply with neutrally crafted laws of general applicability. Your boss should not have a say over your healthcare. Once the law starts permitting exceptions based on ‘sincerely held religious beliefs’ there’s no end to the mischief and discrimination that will ensue.Indeed, this is the same logic that certain restaurants and hotels have been trying to deploy to allow proprietors to refuse service to gay couples.
Chillingly he's not even a slightly wrong on that last point, the religious push-back against granting LGBT rights by corporations has already begun... you'll find the details just beyond the Orange Squiggle of Mordor below.
Religious Organizations and companies are in fact already attempting to push back on President Obama's brand new rules requiring LGBT equality for Federal Contractors in the immediate aftermath of Hobby Lobby. 'Cuz clearly, They. Gots. Religion.
The day after the Supreme Court's Hobby Lobby ruling, a group of religious leaders sent a letter to President Barack Obama asking that he exempt them from a forthcoming executive order that would prohibit federal contractors from discriminating against LGBT people. "Without a robust religious exemption," they wrote, "this expansion of hiring rights will come at an unreasonable cost to the common good, national unity and religious freedom."
The letter didn't mention the Hobby Lobby decision directly. But one of the signees, Michael Wear, the Obama 2012 veteran, told The Atlantic that the court decision meant the administration would need to address such concerns.
"The administration does have a decision to make whether they want to recalibrate their approach to some of these issues," he said.
So just as Justice Ginsberg and Mr Takei have suggested, the Hyper-Religious are already attempting to capitalize on the SCOTUS new granting of the rights of an human individual to a corporate entity for the specific purpose of denying the rights of a human individual. One does wonder just how loudly they would squeal if a non-christian, or a Muslim, a Buddhist, a Ba'hai, a Sikh, a Jewish, a Wiccan, an Amish, an Athiest or a Satanic "closely-held" corporation were to proclaim they no longer had to abide by, respect, hire or provide services for -- Pro-Life Christians?
"Oh, no you don't - No 'Religious Freedom' for You!  Or you, or You!"
I understand that in this decision the SCOTUS Majority opinion claimed that they were not granting the equal legitimacy of such follow on requests, but they've sent up the flare signal, they've kicked open the door, and soon now the potential avalanche may follow.  I'm not really sure they can stop all that snow from crashing down with just one teeny, tiny little rhetorical umbrella of "Because, uh, no".
And why exactly would others - particularly on the hard right - not pile on?  It's not like we've seen anything resembling restraint, or tact, or reason coming from the them in the Hobby Lobby wake.
Not From Erick Erickson.
Not from Rush Limbaugh.
"Pregnancy is something that you have to do to cause. ... Yet we treat it as a great imposition that women need to be protected from. It's a sickness, it's a disease, it's whatever, and there's gotta be a pill for it," he said on his show. "Yet they wouldn't have the problem if they didn't do a certain thing. It's that simple."
Yes, that's right women who suffer from polycystic ovarian syndrome, are at a risk of ovarian cancer, Endomitriosis and heavy menstral bleeding don't need a pill, or a shot, or a patch or an IUD to help with that.  Or so the Wingnuts continue to believe.  [It does always amaze me that so many of these "Right-to-Lifers" repeatedly fail to recognize that without access to effective healthcare - regardless of cost - some of us post-embryonic-Americans Will. Not. Live.] And they also don't believe that both men an women have a civil right to enjoy sex with the (adult & consenting) person of their choosing either.
Not according to Rep Mike Lee who was asked....
"whether or not a person who runs a business should be forced to provide something that is largely for recreational behavior, if it goes against their religious beliefs." "Yea, that’s right, that’s right," Lee responded.
No, no - that's kinda wrong - because what you smell right there isn't "Recreation" - it's the very heart and soul of "Freedom, Baby, yeah!". But not Freedom for All because now we're not just having sex between Adam and Eve, or Adam and Steve, we're all having sex with Adam, Eve, Steve and Hobby Lobby.  Gee, is the Bath House is getting kinda crowded in here?  And who keeps putting all these cheesy paper-mache' flowers everywhere? Did we order these?
Takei - bless his soul - also pointed out the basic hypocrisy of Hobby Lobby's business practices in regards to religion.  Noting that...
...Hobby Lobby has invested in multiple companies that manufacture abortion drugs and birth control. The company receives most of its merchandise from China, a country where overpopulation has led to mandatory abortions and sterilizations for women who try to have more than one child.
You would think that in all the time since Hobby Lobby filed this suit in 2010 they might have considered divesting in the manufacture of the same types of drugs they now say are "intolerable" to their religious views, or that they might possibly consider cultivating a supply line that doesn't subsidize forced abortions and sterilization since one would think that might "shock the conscience" of those with such deeply "sincerely held" beliefs. Or apparently not.
The hypocrisy of this is so glaring, that even CNN took a few moments to drop their Malasyan Flight Search Goggles and take notice....
CNN host Ashleigh Banfield on Wednesday highlighted the “hypocrisy” of Hobby Lobby for investing in companies that made the same birth control products that it refused to provide to female employees.
“The critics are calling Hobby Lobby’s 401(k) investments hypocrisy at its finest,” Banfield emphasized on Wednesday, adding that CNN had not gotten an explanation from the company after giving it “plenty of time” to respond.
“I don’t even know where to begin on this one,” the CNN host remarked. “I kept thinking to myself, this had to be an accident. But then I thought, it’s no accident when you are in the middle of the biggest political storm — all the way to the Supreme Court — and, yet, your guys aren’t aware of what your investments are in your very, very large 401(k)?
Nope, no way, this was no boating accident, Ultimately Takei called for a Boycott of Hobby Lobby and another other company that attempts to impose it's religion on it's employee or anyone else.
“While we work to overturn this decision by legislation, people of good conscience should BOYCOTT any for-profit business, including Hobby Lobby, which chooses to impose its religious beliefs on its employees,” said Takei. “The only way such companies ever learn to treat people with decency and tolerance is to hit them where it counts — in their pocketbooks.”
One wonders - yet again- that if not only boycotters but picketers began to show up at Hobby lobby stores with meme signs that said "Corporation = Person, Blystocyst = Person, Woman = Meh!", or perhaps some giant xerox copies of their 401(k) earnings statements, or pictures of factories in china with women packed into dorms surrounded by suicide nets or maybe just a simple single bloody hanger... That Hobby Lobby would ask the Supreme Court to grant them a 35 Foot Buffer Zone? 

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