This ain’t the victory the religious right thinks it is!

Whoever said, “be careful what you wish for because you just might get it,” was on to something.

And the best example of this oft quoted proverb’s efficacy I can think of is today’s U.S. Supreme Court ruling upholding Hobby Lobby’s aversion to paying for employee contraception.  reglious freedom

What amazes me is the vast capacity of conservatives, especially those of the religious variety, to willingly engage in a battle in which a victory means losing the war. Just ask Napoleon about Borodino. He’ll tell you exactly what a pyrrhic victory is.

So let’s move on to our examination of this decision:

1. Is it really a victory? The SCOTUS ruling only absolves closely held corporations like Hobby Lobby from covering assumed abortifacients like Plan B. They still have to cover the Pill, diaphragms, the Patch and all major contraceptives the Affordable Care Act originally intended.

Thus, this ruling is actually a massive loss for the Catholic Church which forbids contraception in any form. Since they’ve got nowhere left to go, they will be paying for the Pill.

One has to wonder if such a narrow win is worth the inevitable backlash evangelicals will now face from legions of aggravated women who may not otherwise have picked up that pitchfork and torch.

2. Plan B is not an abortifacient. When you hang your religious hat on an untruth, people will doubt you from here on out.

Back in my newspaper days, I spoke with a Princeton scientist on this very subject and he assured me that Plan B and similar pharmaceuticals PREVENT conception which takes place 24 to 72 hours after sexual intercourse.

Once conception has occurred, Plan B is utterly useless.

Thus, this decision may be pointless in the sense that it opens the door to determining exactly how these drugs work and, when the truth comes out, companies will have to cover them anyway.

3. We limit religion all the time. Religious practice is and always has been free only within the limits and boundaries of the law.

Sikhs, sworn to defend their faith at a moment’s notice, can’t carry their “Kirpans,” or daggers on airplanes. Mormon men can’t marry more than one woman. Despite faith-based opposition, same-sex marriage is a foregone conclusion. Church and state are still separate. Human sacrifice is frowned upon. Church buildings can’t simply spring up anywhere and they can’t hold services that would disrupt the surrounding neighborhood.

Your religious freedom ends at the very tip of my rather pronounced nose and if you truly believe that foisting your beliefs upon me will benefit you in the long-run then, as Judas Priest once intoned – “you’ve got another thing coming!”

The odds of a conservative president being elected in 2016 weren’t all that good before this decision came down.

4. It opens the door to other religious minority exceptions. And this is the real conservative killing irony here because the religious minorities that Christians love to hate now have license to do exactly what Hobby Lobby just did.

It could be something as simple and semi-innocuous as a Jehovah’s Witness run business balking at covering a blood transfusion. Perhaps a Buddhist based organization will refuse to pay for antibiotics, or a Christian Scientist outfit won’t cover anything at all.

But it could get worse – much worse!

The following companies have been or are currently owned or controlled by Saudis, Kuwaitis, and other oil rich Arabs; Saks Fifth Avenue, Carvel Ice Cream, Gucci, AT&T, Chrysler, Dow Chemicals, Atlantic Richfield, Church’s Chicken, the Chrysler Building and Santa Fe International.

And I can only imagine the ensuing tumult if any of these concerns had the temerity to ask for the kind of exemption that Hobby Lobby just did. The shrieks and howls of the blatant imposition of Sharia Law would make conservatives’ heads explode and deafen the rest of us.

We limit religion because it’s propensity for abuse is unlimited.

To wit, my good friend (and probably the best writer I know) Paul Dailing and I are forming our own faith (and corporation) right here in the Chicago area. We’re planning on trading off the pope and vice-pope roles every other year.

The key facet of our creed is a firm belief in a deity that frowns upon and forbids the remittance of taxes to any entity that would have the nerve to levy them. And for some strange reason, our god has ordained that anyone named Steve has to do whatever we ask them. We’ll soon be heading to Washington to plead our case.

So with Pandora’s box thrust wide open, I will once again warn conservatives; be careful what you wish for because you might just get it.

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