Vail Daily column: ‘Lobbying’ now a religious Hobby |

Vail Daily column: ‘Lobbying’ now a religious Hobby

Richard Carnes
My View
Richard Carnes

“My religion, my rules!”

According to the Supreme Court, this now appears to be our new government mantra for U.S. citizens, aka corporations.

Let’s call it the “Corporate Freedom of Religion Act of 2014.”

Funny, but ignorant little me always thought religious liberty meant the freedom to practice your own religious principles, not impose them upon others.

In this latest episode of people who want to shove their prejudices and ignorance down the throats of others behind the guise of “religious freedom,” Hobby Lobby and any other privately held corporation with 50 or more employees can now decide what should and should not be covered by the federally mandated parameters known as Obamacare.

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But in this case, religious freedom itself is being ostracized, as allowing the beliefs of one to dictate the actions of many they are setting themselves up for the ultimate blowback, which will come in the form of even further intolerance as more and more realize how they are directly affected by the corporatization of our religious liberties.

Yet the surprising part is I don’t really blame the Supreme Court, as all they did was re-confirm the asinine law from 1993’s Religious Freedom Restoration Act, which shredded the First Amendment by bestowing special rights for specific groups based upon religious beliefs.

Can you imagine if the Hobby Lobby owners were Muslim and this entire ordeal had to do with pork-based medicines?

Anyway, the court could have allowed common sense to rule and reversed that particular act, but it would have required courage and the actual ability to listen to the majority of the American people.

Never mind that Hobby Lobby employees simply want access to all medical care options as mandated by Congress.

Ignore that a large percentage of birth control is prescribed for various medical conditions, not just contraception.

Overlook the public knowledge that Hobby Lobby has invested in multiple companies that manufacture abortion drugs and birth control and that a large portion of their inventory comes from China, where overpopulation has led to mandatory abortions and sterilizations for women who try to have more than one child.

If you don’t call it hypocrisy, then it’s not hypocritical, right?

So as it stands, we can now look forward to a company owned by Scientologists detailing their health care plan to not cover anti-depressants, Christian Scientists detailing their health care plan to not cover medicine in general, Jehovah’s Witnesses not covering blood transfusions, Hindus not covering medicines made from cow products, etc.

And for the millionth time, I don’t care if you want to believe in unicorns, talking snakes and donkeys, virgin births, the inferiority of women, the positives of slavery, etc. We tolerate it (just as you pretend to tolerate those who believe differently), but that doesn’t mean we have to give it any value.

The U.S. Constitution is better than any tax-free, multi-billion dollar industry religious doctrine ever conceived, and besides, all were written by men but the Constitution is the only one we’re legally bound to follow.

Richard Carnes, of Edwards, writes weekly. He can be reached at

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