As if the rhetoric wasn't hot enough and the divide deep enough, this past week's Hobby Lobby decision added one more straw to the camel named E Pluribus Unum. The decision created a sexual apocalypse on the left, but is actually quite narrow, pertaining only to closely-held corporations and only to the administration's birth-control mandate. Nevertheless, it is not inconceivable that this judgement will prove precedent for much mischief to the whims of any purported religious belief. If it does, the blame lies not with the Supremes but rather the White House who was willing to trash the First Amendment for a pack of pills whose cost is equivalent to three Frappuccinos.
As per usual, Doug Wilson sharpened his keyboard at Blog & Mablog coming up with insightful comment on how the two sides view political rights:
"The left tends to think of political rights in terms of stuff — the right to affordable housing, the right to health care, the right to contraception, and so on. Conservatives tend to think of political rights in terms of non-interference — the right to free speech, the right to assemble, the right to worship God freely, and so forth.
Now rights always imply corresponding obligations. If I have a right to life, others have an obligation not to shoot me. If I have a right to keep and bear arms, others have a responsibility not to take those arms away from me. If I have a right to peaceably assemble, then others have the obligation not to disrupt my peaceful assembly, and so on.
In a similar — yet strikingly different — way, if I have a right to free chocolate milk, then somebody has an obligation to provide it for me. If I have a right to free health care, then someone has an obligation to provide free health care. If I have a right to free contraception, then someone must buy it for me."
The rational way out of this dilemma was not the Hobby Lobby decision but rather disconnecting the link between employement and health insurance. Then the employer pays the employee who makes her own decision on how to spend her health care dollars. Couple that with high-deductible health care plans where patients spend cash rather than insurance on the low-cost, everyday needs of primary care and you have the beginning of a system that will control costs without health care rationing. We do this everywhere else but our medical costs. Imagine what milk would cost if we insured our groceries, or gasoline if we insured our fuel needs! And as Wilson later put it, it's not only a good idea to keep the government out of our bedrooms, but also our employer.