by Gary Schoichet
Five men who love their mothers have decided that companies that are for-profit do not have to follow the provisions of the Affordable Care Act if doing so conflicts with their owners’ religious convictions.
Five of the six Roman Catholics on the U.S. Supreme Court must actually be Jewish and see the Old Testament — where it says you cannot, you really cannot, spill your seed on the ground or God will strike you dead — as the God-awful truth, while the three Jewish justices and one Catholic colleague read between the lines, where the seed stains can be seen.
Justice Samuel Alito wrote in his opinion: “Contraception is a means of curbing productivity,and in this period of economic decline, whatever the U.S. can produce is better than nothing. If it has to be babies, so be it. There is a large market for them. We need women to reproduce, and it is a matter of faith in the Bible.”
Mary White, who works at a Hobby Lobby store and has counted on the company’s health plan to provide her with contraception, is reluctant to give up sex and is unable to afford contraceptives on her salary. She still saw the bright side of the decision, however: “I guess I will be having babies,” she said, “but I don’t have to worry about affording to raise them. With the Republicans in power, birth control is post-partum.”
“The ruling makes perfect sense,” said Chief Justice John Roberts. “Considering that corporations have the same rights as people, there is really no contradiction here. I have often called corporations that I’m friendly with to discuss both personal and faith matters. Much better than talk radio.”
In her dissent, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg wrote, “The court’s expansive notion of corporate personhood invites for-profit entities to seek religion-based exemption from regulations they deem offensive to their bottom lines.” To which Justice Clarence Thomas made a rare reply: “The Supreme Court was a much more collegial place before we had so many women as justices. I really don’t know why the women on the court are so pissed off.”
Gary Schoichet is a prize-winning labor journalist, editor, and photographer. He writes and photographs what he sees. He nevertheless still has a sense of humor.