I was thrilled to read a ruling on a lawsuit claiming that mandatory contraceptive coverage by insurers violated the Religious Liberty of Employers.
I wrote, a few weeks back, in this post,
But let us expose the absurdity of this “I don’t want MY money funding things I disagree with!” logic from one more angle: Imagine you are an employer. To keep the numbers simple (if not 100% realistic) let’s assume you pay an employee $1,000 dollars for the services she has rendered to you, and you submit $1,000 in tax money to the government for services they are (ostensibly) rendering. If you believe your “conscience” allows you to demand that the government not use that $1,000 for making contraception more available, what stops you from insisting that your female employee not be allowed to spend “your” money on contraception herself? In both cases you are a party to a contract. One is a labor agreement, the other is a social compact, and in NEITHER case do you have control over what is done with the money you agree to pay to these entities.
Focusing on RFRA, the court held (Read about the whole ruling here):
the challenged regulations do not demand that plaintiffs alter their behavior in a manner that will directly and inevitably prevent plaintiffs from acting in accordance with their religious beliefs…. [P]laintiffs remain free to exercise their religion, by not using contraceptives and by discouraging employees from using contraceptives. The burden of which plaintiffs complain is that funds, which plaintiffs will contribute to a group health plan, might, after a series of independent decisions by health care providers and patients covered by OIH’s plan, subsidize someone else’s participation in an activity that is condemned by plaintiffs’ religion. This Court rejects the proposition that requiring indirect financial support of a practice, from which plaintiff himself abstains according to his religious principles, constitutes a substantial burden on plaintiff’s religious exercise….
… [T]he health care plan will offend plaintiffs’ religious beliefs only if an OIH employee (or covered family member) makes an independent decision to use the plan to cover counseling related to or the purchase of contraceptives. Already, OIH and Frank O’Brien pay salaries to their employees—money the employees may use to purchase contraceptives or to contribute to a religious organization. By comparison, the contribution to a health care plan has no more than a de minimus impact on the plaintiff’s religious beliefs than paying salaries and other benefits to employees.
I’d love to believe that the justices involved read my blog before making the decision, but Occam’s Razor forces me to draw a much simpler, more parsimonious and less egomaniacal conclusion: Coming to this conclusion is not rocket science, and the plaintiffs’ position is so weak that it is likely ANY decent judicial mind would arrive at these very same conclusions.
Nonetheless…I was glad to see I dreamed it up independently, prior to the court ruling. “Even a blind squirrel finds an acorn once in a while.”