SCOTUS Decision Fans Flames of Massive Debate: Rights vs. Responsibility

Posted: July 7, 2014 in Freedom, We-the-People
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On June 30, 2014 the Supreme Court handed down its long awaited Burwell vs. Hobby Lobby decision. The decision is a win for religious freedom and owners of closely held businesses opening and operating on their religious convictions. After all, if you don’t have your convictions, what do you have?   As expected, it also immediately fueled the fire of debates across the country as both pro- and con-decision comments made their way into nearly every level of communication. Many are pushing personal rights, but what seems to be missing from one side of the debate is personal responsibility. Many have the notion the responsibility for their own actions should lay with someone else…in this case, their boss. How did so many people who seem to relish their “personal rights” come to the conclusion they are free to do what they want, screw the consequences, handing the tab off to someone else?

What dissenting Justice Ginsburg and most of the mainstream media outlets continue to promulgate is that all three companies the decision affects are refusing to offer birth control of any kind. It needs to be clarified that there are sixteen contraceptives and four abortifacients required by the Affordable Healthcare Act and it’s the four abortifacients to which the three companies object. Justice Ginsburg FINALLY mentions this on page 24 of her 35-page dissent. Also in her dissent, Justice Ginsburg agrees, “that the Green and Hahn families’ religious convictions regarding contraception are sincerely held.” AND, she cites case law that the courts cannot question the lines drawn “defining which practices run afoul of [an individual’s] religious beliefs.” What the media ignores is the belief against abortion, NOT birth control. This case isn’t talking about whether or not these companies are insuring a broken leg; it is talking about whether these companies should provide drugs that stop a human life. There’s a huge difference!

That brings me to the overused phrase, “It’s my body, it’s my choice.” If it’s your body, why not TAKE RESPONSIBILITY FOR IT! If it’s your body, why is anyone else liable for YOUR choices? My grandfather always said, “When you play adult games, you pay adult prices.” If you’ve taken biology you know when you make the decision to consummate your relationship, the potential consequence is pregnancy. Also, as many well know, birth control is NOT 100%, so there is always a possibility of pregnancy when engaging in sexual intercourse. Why should someone else shoulder the burden of your choice? You played the game; it should be your responsibility to pay for the consequences of the game you played.

Another major point of contention is, “My boss shouldn’t have a say in what I do.” If you don’t want your boss in your bedroom, why should your boss pay for the decisions you make there? Again, take responsibility for your own actions! In this, the SCOTUS decision falls far short. It should not be your boss’s job to pay for your birth control OR abortifacients…PERIOD! How does this become your boss’s (OR the tax-payer’s?) responsibility, especially if you aren’t willing to pay for them yourself? When did women give up responsibility for their body?

It’s quite interesting that, during the arguments for this decision, the subject of alternative ways to pay for the offensive abortifacients arose. Justice Sotomayor seemed rather incensed that the alternative payments included either the government (taxpayers) or the individual, but not the business owner. Again, since when did the burden of an individual’s decision or a government mandate become someone else’s problem? It’s easy to make decisions when someone else has to pick up the tab! I bet we’d ALL do things differently if someone else were paying for it!

While Justice Ginsburg whines on about what’s fair and right regarding the government mandating and spelling out what FDA Approved drugs must be covered, she fails to see the egregious nature of forcing businesses to provide treatments that are against their beliefs. She bellyaches about the burden on the government of paying for the mandates it so brazenly passed on to business owners, but fails to see the burden the mandate creates for said business owners. She flat out ignores the mental burden of providing abortifacients when a business owner believes abortion is murder. The government even goes so far as to argue that the business owner is NOT providing the abortion, that the insurance company is. But, if the business owner is paying for even a portion of the insurance coverage, which they all do, they are paying for that abortion! I guess that never crossed their little legal brains, did it? And, if it did and they are ignoring it, that’s even worse!

These arguments remind me of a quote from a particularly gut-wrenching scene from Star Trek, “The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few.” According to “the many,” their “need” is for someone else to pay for their contraception/abortifacient while they enjoy their “personal right” to live their lives. No one is saying you can’t exercise your personal rights regarding your life. Far from it! What they ARE saying, however, is they don’t want the responsibility of paying for your decision regarding your choices. If you can make the choice, you can pay the price for the choice…PERIOD!

Regarding a similar notion, don’t others have a personal right to live their lives? So, where are their rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, to enjoy the fruits of their labor when they are made to pay for someone else’s decision/mistakes? You have inalienable rights given by your creator…with those rights comes the responsibility to do the right thing, by your beliefs. I have the same inalienable rights, and the same responsibility, by my beliefs. Why is this always a one-sided argument…you get to shove what you believe down my throat while you do what you want, with no consequences, while someone else picks up the tab but has no say? Not fair and insane!

Ironically, the Honorable Justice Ginsburg cited in her dissent, “In sum, with respect to free exercise claims no less than free speech claims, ’[y]our right to swing your arms ends just where the other man’s nose begins.’” Doesn’t this make the argument that your rights end where mine begin? Doesn’t this very statement express personal responsibility regarding personal freedom? I believe it does. What do people, including the dissenting Justices, see when they read that?

Will people ever get it through their heads that with personal freedoms come personal responsibilities? Isn’t that the whole purpose of being an adult? Better yet, I’d like for someone to point out where in Article 1 Section 8 of our Constitution it says our government has the authority to decide away our personal responsibilities. There are lots of things listed in there that our government can do, but relieving us of personal responsibility is not one of them.

SCOTUS Decision & Dissent

Hobby Lobby Case



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