My Business, My Fiefdom

Modern capitalism might not have much in common with Medieval feudalism when it comes to economics, but it hasn’t erased the basic human desire to control the private lives of those one perceives to be one’s  inferiors. The Daily Oklahoman knows those peasants just don’t know what’s best for them, and wants to let business owners know that they stand by their right to poke their noses in other people’s vaginas whether they like it or not. In case you ever doubted that quite a few corporations view their employees as their property, just check out Hobby Lobby in Oklahoma City:

Wednesday, leaders in the Oklahoma Christian faith community shared their views concerning Hobby Lobby’s lawsuit against the U.S. Health and Human Services mandate requiring businesses to pay for contraception and abortion-inducing drugs for their employees.

The Christian Faith Community™ would like you to know that if you’ve got a job and a twat, the former tells you what you can do with the latter. Because the owner of a store that sells glitter and super glue believes he’ll burn in hell for eternity if he doesn’t make every employee follow his own personal superstitions.

The lawsuit claims the federal Health and Human Services mandate, part of the so-called Affordable Care Act adopted in 2010, violates the business owners’ freedoms of religion and speech.

The “so-called” Affordable Care Act. I wonder if the Daily Oklahoman shows the same skepticism towards, say, Bush’s Clean Air Act or Patriot Act or No Child Left Behind Act. I guess the crack journalists at the Oklahoman are only skeptical when the “freedom” to control other people’s private lives is at stake.

Loren Gresham, president of Southern Nazarene University in Bethany, said he was not surprised that the Green family of Hobby Lobby decided to take their opposition to the mandate to court.

“I know that company and the family that owns it,” Gresham said.

“They are people of deep faith, they respect life and I think they are representative of millions of people across the country who are deeply offended by this mandate.”

You know, sometimes I wish there were some disease that just affected Christians, so that I could oppose its prevention because it “offends” me.  And I could say that I refuse to allow Christian strangers to get certain medical treatments because I “respect life”. ‘Cause that makes sense.

Meanwhile, the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops has arguably been the most vocal faith organization to express outrage over the mandate and an ongoing commitment to see it quashed. The Most Rev. Paul S. Coakley, archbishop of the Archdiocese of Oklahoma City, a USCCB member, gave his views about Hobby Lobby’s legal news Wednesday, though he said he had not seen the lawsuit’s specifics.

“I have not read the pleadings associated with the Hobby Lobby lawsuit involving the HHS mandate,” Coakley said. “However, I am pleased to see that Christian business leaders are joining the USCCB and many of our Catholic institutions throughout the United States in opposing the HHS mandate’s unprecedented assault on conscience rights and religious liberty.”

Will any publication in the United States ever challenge these bozos on the difference between  rights and powers? Seriously, it’s not that hard to understand. What you get to do to yourself is your right. What you do to others without their say is power over them.

And how exactly is this an “unprecedented assault”? Jehovah’s Witnesses oppose blood transfusions, but insurance is still required to cover them. Scientologists are vehemently opposed to psychiatry. And yet, Scientology is no excuse for an employer’s health plan not to cover psychiatric care. Christian Scientists are opposed to all forms of physical medicine. But if they own a business, they gotta follow the same rules as everyone else.

Oh, but these are utterly powerless minority groups. So fuck their beliefs!

The Rev. Anthony Jordan, executive director-treasurer of the Baptist General Convention of Oklahoma, also shared his comments.

“I wholeheartedly support the action taken by Hobby Lobby,” Jordan said in a statement.

Ah, so it’s going to be one of those kinds of articles. You know the type. “Look, a person has a political opinion. Here’s another person with the same opinion! And another! And another! This is news!”

“No person or organization should be forced to violate deeply held religious convictions in order to uphold an unjust government regulation, especially one that so clearly threatens the rights to life and religious liberty,” Jordan said. “We applaud and stand with the Green family, whom I know to be people of deep faith.”

So the right wing godbots are all in lock step in repeating the same vapid, misleading boilerplate catchphrases. I don’t need a fucking news article to point this out to me.  Unless this isn’t meant to be conveying news, and this article was published solely to assure the Jesus-strokers that there are plenty of other bigots out there who non-think just like they do!

So does the Daily Oklahoman even want to pretend that they’re a real news organization, or that this article is intended to serve any journalistic purpose other than crass, childish back-patting? Let’s see how the article ends:

The Rev. Frank Cargill, superintendent of the Oklahoma District Council of the Assemblies of God, said he also applauded Hobby Lobby for taking a stand against a mandate that he feels exceeds legislative authority.

“No act of human governance should be respected if it attempts to redefine or to restrict the moral issue associated with our basic right to life — from conception to natural death,” Cargill said.

He said he believes that the nation appears to have forgotten its foundational cornerstones.

“Anytime that our government attempts to legislate morality, such action violates our reason for existence,” Cargill said. “God defines morality — not government.”

No, of course not! But that’s not a problem. Given the target audience, there’s absolutely no danger in publishing an article full of nothing but vomit-inducing pandering without even the semblance of conveying information. It’s not like they read the news to learn something new or have their view of the world expanded. Hell, they’d probably be pissed if that happened. They want someone to stroke that raging bigot boner they’ve been sporting since the Reagan administration.  And the right wing media at the Daily Strokelahoman has plenty of lotion to go around.

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