U.S. Supreme Court Rockets Us Into The Past


More than 40 years in journalism have left me just a bit jaded.   However, some days continue to leave me speechless.  This is one of those days.  It is nearly inconceivable to me that the Supreme Court of the United States, or perhaps I should say, the five boneheaded, backward thinking, Neo-feudal justices that make up the conservative majority, could in their infinite stupidity rule that pregnancy is not a health issue and that public-sector unions have no real right to collect dues from their memberships.

So the five Neo-feudal justices mystical and ancient religious views on sex trump the reality of people actually having sex and needing to deal with it in the 21st Century?  Did the justices consider that their decision could be viewed as a refusal to separate church from state, and that it could also be interpreted as meaning that companies will now be allowed to order their employees to attend church services twice a day, or pray to Mecca regularly?  If a company owner can impose his will with regard to his workers sex lives based upon his personal religious beliefs, then why not other aspects of their lives as well?  It’s already happened.  Henry Ford, did it with workers on his first assembly lines.

Does this open the door for a Christian Scientist business owner to refuse offering any traditional healthcare at all?

Moreover, if a company owner can impose his religious belief system on his employees, then don’t his employees have a right to practice their system of beliefs while on the job, regardless of what their belief systems might be?   Shouldn’t Scientologists be able to take time off for regular auditing breaks?  Or is this whole freedom of religion thing a one-way street?   And if the Court is doing away with it, then why not our other freedoms as well?   Sadly, the boneheaded conservative five are working on it.

The other Neo-feudal ruling, limiting a union’s ability to collect dues, plays right into the hands of the masters and kings of big business who are destroying our middle-class and turning us into a two-class society with only the very wealthy at the top, hiding in their gate-guarded estates, and the rest of us on the bottom, trying to scratch out a living on whatever pittance the wealthiest 1% will allow.  “Gathering up the crumbs from their tables,” if you will.

We need to begin recognizing contemporary liberals and conservatives for what they actually are.  They are progressives and regressives.   Being a true conservative has little or no linkage with those on today’s far right who wish to take back us into the 19th Century.

Most frightening of all is the number of Americans who, with the assistance of an increasingly negligent news media,  do not understand or do not care, as they continue to believe somebody “up there” is going to take care of it all for them.  I’m convinced that many of these folks belong to the “pray the gay away” crowd.

This isn’t to condemn people of faith.  I was raised as an acolyte in the Episcopal Church, and went through years of Bible study.  We were people of faith.  But, we were also common sense Minnesotans who understood that “God helps those who help themselves.”  That too, was drummed into me to provide some balance between the value of blind faith the obvious need to deal with reality.   So often in life, balance is everything.

Those on the far-right in the United States are no better than the crazed and largely unschooled ISIS fighters marching across Iraq, who are willing to kill in their drive to make church (mosque) and state, one and the same.  Is there any difference between that kind of religious mania and the greed-driven promotion of carbon-based fuels that’s destroying the planet?

Ignorance is the tyrant’s friend and Fascism, his byproduct.

One thought on “U.S. Supreme Court Rockets Us Into The Past”

  1. Ron:

    You will not be surprised that I, who as shop steward led us out on a strike against Channel 2, agreed with you on the court’s decision. It sets a dangerous precedent and ignores the 1977 precedent, something that conservatives are supposed to respect.

    However, on the birth control decision I disagree, although I strongly support birth control. However it is the religions that are imposing this restriction and the court simply upheld the right of religious people to their beliefs, even if many of us think they’re wrong – it’s one of the reasons I left the Catholic church. Orthodox Jews have similar restrictions and Mormons discourage it but allow it.
    I’m an atheist, but as a liberal I think that believers have the right to live by those beliefs. Obviously the employees at these companies did not have birth control coverage before, so the Affordable Health Care law had the government forcing these companies to provide it – the same complaint you had about the denial of it. And these companies don’t have to provide any health insurance if they are willing to pay a fee, which costs a lot less than providing health insurance, the same as with individuals under this law.
    The ruling also made it clear that these employees could obtain such coverage outside of the company’s insurance plan, and that it did not apply to big public corporations, only the privately held ones. Could their religious beliefs also be used to deny other benefits? Sure, and it could also hurt their image and their sales. Either way if the employees don’t like it they can go work somewhere else.
    Also, birth control is only a health care issue in a limited number of cases; primarily it’s to prevent unwanted pregnancies or to guard against STD’s when you’re having sex for fun. Neither I, nor anyone I know ever had the government or our employers pay for our contraceptives.
    If you only have sex to reproduce (although Catholicism allows the rhythm system) there’s no need for birth control. That certainly is not how I’ve lived my life but, supposedly, it’s how the believers do, although many if not most Catholics practice birth control.
    Incidentally, the chief justice, John Roberts, voted with all the liberal justices to uphold the AFC act, and he did the same thing recently in limiting conservative attempts to end all limits on anti-abortion activists harassing women going to Planned Parenthood or other abortion clinics. So, although he’s conservative he’s not part of the extreme wing of Alito and Thomas.
    And for the head of Planned Parenthood to say that contraception is no longer controversial is really stupid, in light of the controversy over this ruling, on which she was commenting.

    And since you mentioned carbon destroying our planet, it’s ALL the greenhouse gases that these scientists claim are doing this, which other than methane, are never mentioned. Also, it’s never mentioned that some of the scientists who support the greenhouse gas theory don’t think it will have any negative effects, and may even be beneficial. And as for being settled science, 31,000 scientists signed a petition objecting to that theory – a minority, but not insignificant – including some of the scientists who were on that original UN panel. One had to go to court to get his name removed from that study.
    I’m not saying the greenhouse theory is wrong or that we didn’t have global warming, but as a reporter who always presented both sides of every story it bothers me that I have never seen one of the minority scientists interviewed on any network TV or in any newspaper. In fact, Scot Pelli said it would be irresponsible for him to talk to anyone who disagreed with the carbon theory.

    I have watched the documentary, The Great Global Warming Swindle, which all of my liberal friends have labeled bull shit, even though not one has watched it. It was done on Channel 4 in London, but has never been shown anywhere in this country, although you can now go online and download it. If you do decide to watch it the one thing you will have to admit is that not ALL scientists agree with the greenhouse theory, (it features some of the most prominent scientists in the world) and that while we worry about the buildings along our overbuilt coastlines, the poor blacks and other minorities of the world would never be able to have what the poorest Americans have – food, running water, shelter (there are emergency shelters for even those who live on the street) and electricity if we deny them fossil fuels.
    Also for the first time in more than 35 years my berries did not come in this year, not because of heat, but because of a record breaking cold winter. Two years ago China, which has perhaps the worst carbon induced pollution problem in the world, had its coldest winter in 28 years. And last year the ice in Alaska was the thickest in ten years, and they had to use ice cutters to get food to people in Anchorage.
    Global warming is the new religion and those of us who raise any doubt about it are considered ignorant heathens. I think Fox News is the most biased news operation ever, and I’m uncomfortable sharing some of their disbelief about global warming, but even Fox news is not always wrong and liberals, or progressives, as most now prefer to be called, and the opinions of any majority aren’t always right.
    Remember, there was only a minority of one scientist who said the earth was not the center of the universe, and he was punished terribly for his belief. But who was right, him or all the other scientists?

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