By: Kevin Mack
My turn. I’m sorry I’m not sorry. I just couldn’t hold back anymore.
This impacts of the SCOTUS decision are yet to be seen, but even before thinking about those, the issue itself is composed of 12 issues (that I can see): gender discrimination, the education system, the health care system, insurance costs, separation of church and state, income inequality, the working poor, plutocracy, religious freedom, corporate greed, corporate entity, and the (corrupted) judicial system (and appointee process).
It’s nearly impossible to talk about one of these without talking about the other 11, and I probably missed some issues. What I’ve seen from most Republicans (I’ll just generalize for the rest and say Republicans) on this issue and most other issues, is that they refuse to discuss the other 11 and refuse to acknowledge their privileged status in society. Not everyone in this country is white. Not everyone in this country in Christian. Not everyone in this country can afford health insurance. Not everyone in this country can just “get another job.” I stopped identifying as a Republican when I finally saw this hypocrisy in the party, and I realized no other Republicans stood for the things I did anyways…that’s another story. So now on the other side, I still see good-minded and good-hearted people (as I have many R friends) not looking at the effects of their actions and of this decision. I’ll try to break it down as I see it, and as I’ve read article after article about it.
Most R’s think this is a win for religious freedom. No, it actually impairs religious freedom, because R’s tend to forget about the religions in this country besides Christianity. This decision says, your employer’s religion is more important than the employee’s religion. Also, what if your boss was Muslim and wanted to enforce Sharia Law? (Muslim friends please chime in there, I’m not that versed in Sharia Law or what Muslims even believe about it these days.) The point is, your employer could be of any religion and decide his/her religion is better than yours and enforce that belief system on you. Exactly how is this a win for religious freedom?
As I mentioned above, health care costs and insurance costs are part of the backstory to this issue. Both are skyrocketing and no one seems to know the answer. How about we just get rid of the insurance companies altogether and have actual nationalized healthcare? ACA was a poor attempt at that as it tried to satisfy the masses and ended up pissing off everyone. And this also brings us to income inequality and the working poor. R’s complain so much about how much is being spent on entitlements but fail to realize that most of the beneficiaries of these benefits have jobs, they just don’t make enough to be out of poverty. A classic example is the Wal-Mart employees, who have more people on Medicare/food stamps than any other company. Why? So the rich can get richer and the companies can have more power and influence in DC. You know how much the prices would go up at Wal-Mart for their employees to earn a living wage and their precious C-levels to maintain their millions? LESS THAN ONE PERCENT. Meaning a $1.00 item would now cost $1.01, yet it doesn’t happen and the American people are left to foot the bill through taxes and entitlements. What would happen if, dare I say it, the government put a cap on how much C-level’s can actually make as a percentage of their lowest earning employees? I bet you’d see a quick rise in the minimum wage then, which would mean the middle/lower classes are earning more, therefore spending more, therefore the rich would still be getting richer but the middle and lower classes would actually be able to afford to live and everyone would pay less in taxes.
So what? Why don’t they just get another job or pay for it themselves? BECAUSE THEY CAN’T. Not everyone has a college degree that works at Wal-Mart. They have mouths to feed and bills to pay like everybody else. The R’s want them to get another job? Great! Because I bet they want another job. How about the R’s pay for those people to get training/education in something else so they can actually go get another job? What if education was free? What if education is low-income areas was actually quality education? What if the kids in those areas could actually focus on their homework and studies for a day instead of worrying about their dad in jail, or their parents on drugs, or their dead sister because she got shot in a drive-by, or having to take care of their baby brother because mom didn’t come home last night, or wondering where their parents are because they live with grandma? Ya, it’s a little more complicated than “go to school.” Hhmm, and if we gave access to free higher education wouldn’t that mean we’d have a more educated workforce and overall a better educated society and maybe the cycle of poverty would finally have a way to be sustainably broken? Ya, it’s gonna cost more taxpayer money. But would you rather have your tax dollars going towards entitlements and prison costs? I’ll let the R’s choose.
But since none of that happens, Wal-Mart stays rich, the poor stay poor, and Christians decide to pick a fight on who can or can’t wear a condom? Oh wait, that’s right, the decision said NOTHING about male contraceptives. It only said women have no right to them. The men at Hobby Lobby are still able to get Viagra and have vasectomies. Explain to me again how this isn’t gender discrimination? Why aren’t more women screaming this from the rooftops? 5 males just decided that their bodies are more important than yours.
Hobby Lobby claims to do this for religious reasons? Horseshit. Tell me again where in the Bible it says no contraceptive? Because I can tell you where it talks about unicorns NINE TIMES. (Do a google search for “unicorn king james bible.”) What about how they buy their products from China, the country with the most abortions? Or what about how they invested in companies that sell contraceptives? They’re pissed off because Obama won again and this is their tantrum…and their way to make more money, while still paying their employees minimum wage. You know, if they really wanted to make a religious stand, what if they paid their employees more than minimum wage? What if they went far and beyond what the federal requirements were and gave 401K benefits to everyone, more PTO to single mom’s, didn’t buy products from China but bought only American-made products…and respected the faiths of all their employees? What if they fought for the injustices being done to women and minorities? What if when people heard the name Hobby Lobby, they immediately think of, oh ya, that’s that company that fought for those poor people and they pay their employees really well. See, I just said nothing about Christianity yet everything about what a Christian should be fighting for.
I’m tired of Christians taking a stand for everything that doesn’t matter. Who cares if that girl is taking the pill? Who cares if that gay couple just got married? How exactly does that affect YOUR relationship with Christ? How does that affect how you love those people? How you love God? How you love your children? If you believe they’re living a life of sin what does the Bible say? Oh right, it says check out that plank in your eye before you try to go judging others. It also says clothe the naked, feed the hungry, nurture the sick, visit the prisoners, take care of the widows and orphans, take in the immigrants. What was the main commandment of Christ? LOVE AS I HAVE LOVED YOU. Why doesn’t society think of this when they think of Christians? And that’s the sad part. Shoot, I don’t even think of that when I think of Christians and I am a Christian. Main stream R’s have decided what the talking points are going to be for all Christians, so that’s what society sees. They see the GOD HATES FAGS signs and hear R’s saying “we’d never say that, but you still can’t get married and it’s still a sin.” Exactly what is the difference between Westboro and that talking point again?
You want to be known as a Christian nation? You want your religious freedoms in the workplace? Go pick up your cross, and start walking.