Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Law Of The Land

It goes without saying, no matter your political views, that when the Supreme Court predictably decides controversial cases by 5 - 4 votes, and when the five and the four are just as predictable, it's not about "originalism" or "calling balls and strikes," but about ideology. The law is what those supremely powerful people say it is. And what they say is based, among other things, on how they see the world. In the case of the Hobby Lobby ruling, it's undeniably about the religious filters through which they see it. It's not about the law.

Except that they won't, you'd think people of all religions would be frightened by what the court did. What they did, without even trying to hide it, is to declare that certain religious beliefs are more worthy of legal deference than others. And who'd have guessed: it's the beliefs of certain Roman Catholics to which they genuflected. Christian Scientists? Outta luck. Jehovah's Witnesses? Keep on doorbelling, but your claims are unworthy. And on it goes. My man Charlie, as usual, sees it clearly:

... Right up through the Court's decision today, in practice, the RFRA has been repurposed to establish a privileged position within the law to a certain set of religious beliefs—those beliefs curiously coinciding with the political movement in which several of the Justices were formed. And, again, it's not like nobody saw this coming, either. In his Memorial And Remonstrance Against Religious Assessments, Mr. Madison warned against privileging one set of religious beliefs over the other:
... Who does not see that the same authority which can establish Christianity, in exclusion of all other Religions, may establish with the same ease any particular sect of Christians, in exclusion of all other Sects? ... 
In their ruling, as explained by Justice "I make no effort to hide it" Alito, the court specified, as examples, religious beliefs that don't deserve the exclusions granted by the court. He's a smart guy (one assumes.) Can't he see what he did? There's people, and there's women. There's Catholicism, and there's everyone else. No holy enterprise like Hobby "Who us? Hypocrites?" Lobby should have to pay for certain women's health needs, because, well, first, they're women and, second, certain Supremes don't believe in it. Nor the science of it. Paying for blood transfusions, though, even if some Christians consider it against god's will? What a silly belief. Overruled. Underprivileged.

I won't argue that liberal judges have no history of bending the law to fit their beliefs and preferred outcomes. But the Supreme Court of today is clearly in the hands of hard-core religious conservatives who make noises about impartial interpretations of the law, while doing anything but.

Meanwhile, Christians are under attack.

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