I’ve been reading with awe all day about the Hobby Lobby SCOTUS decision (while I was really waiting for the Harris v Quinn decision that was bad, but not as bad as it could have been). My right wing friends whooping and high fiving that their personal religious freedom was protected from those liberal Obama-care loving sluts who want free birth control (ok, I wish I was exaggerating at the nastiness of some of the posts I’ve read today, such as: “Skanky, ugly, flat-chested democrat women can pay for their own abortions.” or ” Wake up and smell the roses and be responsible for your actions and quit expecting the government to take care of you.” or ” Ha ha ha ha ha ha! Screw you obama lovers!” or “What’s sad is the 4 liberal supreme court justices who voted against this. Religious liberty means nothing to them or any other LIBERAL, FOR THAT MATTER.” or “It’s almost time to play cowboys and liberals.” or “Congratulations to Hobby Lobby. Thank you for standing up to Obama and his heathen friends.” or “There’s also a type of birth control called ‘keep your legs closed’… And it’s free.”) And I’ve also lamentably seen some pretty nasty remarks from the liberal side as well denouncing the Republican appointees to the SCOTUS and their step toward theocracy and corporate personhood along with the conservatives who’ve championed HL’s cause de celebre (such as: “Christians like you are what turn people away from God… because Jesus didn’t spew hatred but did everything in love.” or “It never will be a good day for women in this country so long as old male farts are holding the reigns of control.”). But overall, I have seen much respectful, even if misguided, discussion on this Pandora’s Box of a ruling.
Of all the pieces I read today on this issue, Sandra Fluke’s stood out as the most informative, even-headed explanation of what this ruling is and what it means. Sandra is not new to this issue, as she was unwillingly thrust in the spotlight two years ago when she was denied the ability to speak before a house committee hearing about the contraceptive coverage issue on the ACA and then slut-shamed by Rush Limbaugh and other conservative pundits. Limbaugh’s attacks were so vicious that advertisers fled his show and talk radio all together. Sandra has long been an advocate on women’s issues, and that is one reason I’m supporting her in her bid for Califoria’s 26th State Senate seat. The other piece that I think most effectively describes why this ruling gets it wrong on so many levels is the eloquent and passionate 35 page dissent authored by Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who has long been a hero of mine. So now that we are working on being educated about the issue, and while we are clearly already agitated about the issue, the question now remains: What are we going to do? How are we going to escalate this issue and move toward change that restores religious freedom for employees and restores health care decisions to women and their doctors and restores the belief that a benefit is earned compensation rather than someone giving you something for free. If everyday is the opportunity to make a difference, then today is the day to take that opportunity. What are you going to do?