A favorite tactic of this Administration is to engage in outrageous behavior, and then – with the support of its allies – put its opponents on the defensive by accusing them of engaging in the conduct of which it is in fact guilty.
So, for example, the Obama Administration takes far-out positions on social issues— then labels as “extreme” anyone who stands up for mainstream values. The White House promotes monetary policies that destroy jobs– and then attacks the business community for driving “income inequality.”
The latest example of this “jujitsu” maneuver involves the Health and Human Services contraceptive mandate under the Affordable Care Act. The mandate tramples on the religious freedom of religiously-affiliated organizations like the Little Sisters of the Poor and model employers like Hobby Lobby and Conestoga Wood, by attempting to force them, under the threat of crippling IRS fines, to participate in the provision of potentially life terminating drugs that violate their deeply held religious beliefs.
Yet several opinion pieces over recent weeks have – incredibly – charged these entities with “discriminating” against workers on religious grounds based on their legal challenges of the regulation.
The absurdity of the “discrimination” accusation is evident. The Little Sisters devote their lives to provide nursing, assisted living and hospice services to the low-income elderly, accepting all comers with no hint of prejudice. As one of them puts it, the order cares “for the neediest elderly of all faiths and cultures. Not because they are Catholic, but because we are.”
The owners of Hobby Lobby, David and Barbara Green, their children and their grandchildren, are committed – in writing and in their actions– to living out their faith in all aspects of their family business. That commitment includes generous treatment of their nearly 28,000 employees.
The Greens offer pay far above the minimum wage and offer a free health care clinic to their employees on their main campus in Oklahoma City. Hobby Lobby stores also keep shorter hours than most retailers, and are closed altogether on Sunday, so that employees can have a better work-life balance and more time with their families.
Moreover, of the 20 FDA-approved contraceptives that are part of the mandate, the Greens only object to 4 with the potential to terminate life – they willingly provide them as part of a robust health care plan, and employees are free to purchase any drugs or devices they choose to on their own.