Lizz Winstead Op-ed: Quit Trying To Get Crafty With Our Rights

“In this day of instantaneous mass communication?”

You assume too much of the US.

There is a restaurant that is less than a 30 minute drive from my house who forbids 'freaks,’ ‘f*ggots,’ the disabled and welfare recipients. They have been on the news. They’re still open. In fact, their business has gone up.

Now imagine that restaurant were the only one for a 2 hour drive. Would everyone just decide to drive to the next one, or would they ignore the bullshit and eat there?

What if the only major employer for 100 miles began engaging in horrific labor practices? Would all of the employees be able, magically, to afford to move to somewhere else?

Your comment demonstrates an understanding of labor and business that might work in a large city, but when applied to sparsely populated areas, where there aren’t choices available, a workers or customers can’t just vote with their feet.

I would contend that it doesn’t work in a large city either, but that’s another discussion.


Ok, lets explore a few scenarios:

  1. A straight white christian man take a pig to a kosher butcher. The butcher refuses on religious grounds- get sued.

  2. A straight white christian man attempts to employ a black lesbian printshop owner to produce material containing hateful, offensive material for his upcoming clan rally. The printshop owner refuses- get sued.

What is the groups opinion on these matters?

Hi Bobba Boosh, I’m Robulus and I’ll be handling your enquiry on behalf of the group, because that’s totally a thing that happens.

Is the Kosher butcher his boss? Does the law state that Kosher butchers must provide services involving pigs? Are you proposing it needs to in order to restore balance? Are you suggesting that example has any bearing whatsoever on the case at hand?

I’m pretty sure the craft shop could fire someone for promoting hate speech in the workplace, if they wanted to.


And fuck laws on fucking. That’s what I say.

Right on to that. I’m sick of sick fucks in congress, statehouses or boardrooms fucking with our right to fuck!

See also:


Key word being ‘considers’, which is not a legally binding scientific term because the MAP just interrupts the fertilization procedure, where conception hasn’t even happened yet.

And as far as I know Hobby Lobby sells coat hangers, which I consider to be much more of a harmful abortifacient (which has actually killed many desperate women), but I’m not going to ruin anybody’s job over that.


That would be quite a touchy situation



Exactly. It is a struggle over derivative, but more fundamental rights. It looks like a struggle between freedom of religion and freedom of self expression, but freedom of expression is inclusive, whereas freedom of religion is exclusive by nature. And, therefore, the struggle is over supremacy of these doctrines. Do we enshrine exclusion, or do we enshrine inclusion?

Right now, we are, on the balance, favoring exclusion in the short term and inclusion in the long game. We have to face exclusivity for a while, realize its lack of merit, and then overturn it at great struggle. We are doing this over and over: slavery, women’s suffrage, labor law, civil rights, disabled rights, gay rights.

You would think we’d see this and wake up.

You’d think we’d see it in Citizens United and this hoopla over the ACA. But the pattern remains unbroken. One group vies for supremacy over another. Their wrath is felt for an uncomfortable time, and then they are overthrown at great cost. Wouldn’t it be easier to just see it in the first place and act from that basis?


Does the Green family cover vasectomies or penis pumps or Viagra or is it only healthcare for women that they worry about? The morning after pill and ella do not cause abortions, they merely prevent conception from taking place, because a fertilized egg is unable to implant on the wall of the uterus. Pregnancy begins once the fertilized egg is implanted on the wall of the uterus, according to both federal law and medical terms. If I cross my legs and prevent penetration, or hold an aspirin between my knees, I’m preventing conception, not causing an abortion. The abortion drug RU-486 or Mifeprexare are not covered under the new healthcare laws. Hobby Lobby is putting forth a straw man to a Supreme Court majority that favors corporate rights over the rights of the citizen. Religious liberty wasn’t intended for a corporation to inflict upon its employees as if they were serfs.


A woman can be legally required to participate in a three-way with her boss.

I am fascinated by your blogsite. Please tell me more.

Kosher laws are very well-known and established in the Jewish community. It’s also written down in plain english black and white in the old testament. Don’t Eat Pigs. They’re very strict about ALL of them, so it’s something to be taken quite seriously.
By comparison, the “christian” rules that corporations are standing behind to avoid doing business with gay people, or covering women’s health care, aren’t really rules. I don’t think there’s a bible passage that says “Don’t Abort Babies” or “Don’t Marry Someone of Your Own Gender.” And anyway, they don’t follow all the rules they have to begin with, so they’re arbitrarily picking and choosing which ones to get in a tizzy about. You don’t see any Christian Clothing shops refusing to sell cotton/poly blend clothes.

It’s funny that you mention this, because as a gay man who has worked in several print shops as a graphic designer, machine op and pressman, I’ve dealt with this first-hand. In copy shops we would tell the person to go use the self-service machine, but we wouldn’t reproduce the material ourselves. In print shops where we didn’t have the self-service machines we would refuse the service on the grounds that it was offensive material.

The bottom line is that the laws we have in place are there to protect the minorities from being overrun by the majority. The Straight White Christian Man is clearly in the vast majority and thus doesn’t need the protections those laws provide, and in fact, is the reason most of those laws were created in the first place.


Stay tuned for some messages from Hobby Lobby’s lawyers.


Thank you for shutting down the argument that requiring businesses to follow the law is “slavery”.

I wish I was making that up, but, since crying “socialism!” has failed the argument du jour I’ve encountered is that some laws–usually non-discrimination ordinances or requirements to provide health insurance for employees–are “slavery”. Let me be clear: the people who use this argument are not saying the laws are like slavery. They’re saying the laws are slavery.

The argument falls apart when the people using it start adding qualifiers that things like safety regulations are okay, and somehow inexplicably different. Oh, and for some odd reason they get touchy when told that using the term “slavery” so loosely is offensive. Go figure.


This argument is a fallacy. As a business person I can refuse to do business with whomever I choose, except that I cannot discriminate against a particular (protected) class of people. I can refuse, for instance, to do business with a jerk, but I cannot refuse to do business with someone because of the color of their skin, their religion, their gender, etc because I consider all people with that skin color, religion or gender to be jerks. This is the answer to the issue you’re bringing up, but again, this is a fallacy because it’s a different question than the one in front of the court.

The argument in front of the court is whether a private business can assert that it, as a business, has a particular religious position and can refuse to obey certain laws because of that religion. This is not about the religious freedom of the owners of the business, who are in no way infringed in the practice of their religion, it’s about the supposed “personhood” of the business and whether a private business can have a religion and therefore religious protections.

Better examples, as others have brought up, would be to question whether the owner of a business can assert their religion over their employees. To follow the pattern of your examples, could a Jewish butcher prohibit their employees from eating pork for dinner, or refuse to cover medical treatment resulting from eating pork? Or could a black lesbian printshop owner forbid her employees from engaging in heterosexual relationships, or refuse to pay for insurance that covers pregnancy and birth? Those are better analogies, and I think we can all say that it would be wrong in both cases, just as it’s wrong for Hobby Lobby to impose it’s religion and beliefs on its employees by refusing to pay for legal medical treatments they don’t agree with.


I assume we are using a your idea of what is reasonable for this?

Vigilante justice has never run into any problems in the past with false accusations or anything like that.


Nobody is forcing Hobby Lobby to provide health care insurance for its employees. Hobby Lobby does it because it reduces the company’s taxes. Now, it is in the nature of tax credits that the government stipulates certain eligibility requirements and in this case it means providing health insurance that meet certain standards. So while Hobby Lobby paints this as a religious freedom issue it’s really just politics and greed behind it all.


Where to start…Ah, yes, here we go:

  1. Your freedom of religion ends where mine begins, bub.
  2. Hormonal birth control pills do not work in any way that you believe them to.
  3. Health insurance is part of an employees compensation (ie- their pay). No employer anywhere, ever, has a right to control how their employees spend their pay (to the extent that minor exceptions such as drugs the government says are “dangerous” exist but that’s a discussion for another day).
  4. The only reason single-payer isn’t included in Obamacare is precisely because the GOP said they would filibuster it to death if the provision had been included.
  5. Liz has been covering this and other BS lawsuits since they started up. Her writing is spot on and righteously snarky.
  6. BC pills are a medication, not simply sexy-funtime-don’t-get-me-pregnant pills, Rush. Some women need to take them to control endometriosis or cysts, others need to take it to have periods on a regular basis. Whether you can accept it or not, it’s important for a woman’s health that she have regular periods after reaching menarche.
  7. Any business open to the public at large agrees to abide by the law by accepting a corporate charter from the government. Corporations are fictional “people,” and therefore cannot hold human beliefs if they wish to seek filthy lucre from the public.
  8. While you see this case as a violation of the 1st (it’s not, that’s a BS smokescreen), in reality, this is a violation of the 14th. By attempting to control only the medications women can have access to, an inequality is created. Tangentially, they think they have a winning 1st argument, but their attempts to impose their religious beliefs (not actually supported by their chosen text) violates the 1st Amendment rights of their employees.

As a person this case could effect eventually, I’ve been paying attention. And all the ignorance that has fallen out of the mouths of (mostly) males about it is frustrating and infuriating. Thanks for being a piñata in the thread.



The most important takeaway from yesterday’s Hobby Lobby arguments is
thank God women sit on the Supreme Court. Had there been no female
justices, these fundamentals would have gone unchallenged:

a. A corporation is a person.

b. An emulsion of sexy fun time fluids is a person.

c. Birth control is an abortion

d. A woman can be legally required to participate in a three-way with her boss.

Is it really so inconceivable beyond the realm of possibility that had there been no female justices, there might have been men who would challenge these fundamentals? Or conversely, who is to say there can’t be women who subscribe to these views?

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I firmly believe that instead of arguing abortion rights, gay rights, drug policy, et al, we should instead be fighting for the overall right of body autonomy.

You are the only person with any right to your body. No one else should have any authority over what you do with it. Period. It shouldn’t be such a difficult concept to grasp.

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Thank you for saying that.

Now statism doesn’t sound as bad as it did five minutes ago.

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Take a closer look at item d) then review your last question.