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Dave Ross

The Christian Caliphate?

Customers leave a Hobby Lobby store in Oklahoma City, Monday, June 30, 2014. The Supreme Court ruled Monday that employers can hold religious objections that allow them to opt out of the new health law requirement that they cover contraceptives for women. The Hobby Lobby chain of arts-and-crafts stores is by far the largest employer of any company that has gone to court to fight the birth control provision. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki)

The Hobby Lobby decision has the Internet in convulsions, so let me make a few neutral observations.

Despite the fears of liberals, it is unlikely to create a Christian Corporate Caliphate of employers forcing their female workers to have babies. If Microsoft and Apple were really itching to reorganize as religious corporations, they'd have become Amish long ago. The Amish have been exempt for 60 years not only from health insurance but from all payroll taxes.

On the other hand, despite the hopes of conservatives, it does not drive a stake through Obamacare. In fact, did you see what Justice Alito suggests to get around the problem of a Christian corporation not wanting to pay for birth control? Let the government subsidize it directly. In which case Hobby Lobby would still be paying for birth control, just doing it through their taxes. Do you suppose God is fooled?

Although - a footnote in the opinion says there's actually NO cost to covering birth control, because the pregnancies prevented by it more than pay for it.

Which would undermine the whole idea that it's possible for any company to argue they're being forced to pay for contraceptives, since it doesn't add to the cost of insurance.

The more important question, of course, is, does this turn back the clock on women? Judging from the women I know and work with and live with, not a chance!

I can't recall in 40 years of marriage my wife ever saying "Yes, Dear" except sarcastically. And if companies start targeting the insurance options of large numbers of working women? I don't want to be alarmist but that's why I still keep a list of fallout shelters handy.

Dave Ross on KIRO Radio 97.3 FM

Tune in to KIRO Radio weekdays at 5am for Dave Ross on Seattle's Morning News.

Dave Ross on KIRO Radio 97.3 FM

  • Dave Ross on KIRO Radio 97.3 FMTune in to KIRO Radio weekdays at 5am for Dave Ross on Seattle's Morning News.

About the Author

Dave Ross hosts the Morning News on KIRO Radio weekdays from 5-9 a.m. Dave has won the national Edward R. Murrow Award for writing five times since he started at KIRO Radio in 1978.


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