If Not Now, When?

don't wait, do it now

To address today’s current “TOPIC OF THE DAY” on Facebook: SUPREME COURT DECISION allowing Hobby Lobby and three other plaintiffs to deny certain birth control coverage to their employees. To be clear, it is not ALL birth control that is being denied, but abortifacients and abortion related services. The “birth control pill” is not included.

I don’t agree with Hobby Lobby’s point of view, AND “they” are not the problem. Like it or not, they have the “right”, as do you and I and any other entity, to bring our grievances into the legal system. Just because the outcome doesn’t “go our way” doesn’t mean the system has failed us.

It worked exactly as WE HAVE DESIGNED IT TO BE**[see below]. It was our Supreme Court that made the decision. What we must continue to do is to express our willingness to include all beings in our sphere of acceptance, even those with whom we do not agree, and then take action to generate a different, more meaningful, and compassionate outcome. Otherwise, we are simply on the other side of the same proverbial coin. Just another voice talking into the wind.

This does not mean that we don’t express our outrage at what seems inappropriate, unjust, and inhumane. What we seek is effective communication about what is and is not working, and employ actions that might actually create an altered outcome to the benefit of all involved. Blowing off steam, using the language of hate, posting angry expletives only increases the distance within our culture. It’s an “us vs. them” mentality, and that has NEVER created lasting change that works for the good of all.

Boycotting Hobby Lobby won’t change the political leanings of the Supreme Court – and could bring undue harm to their employees. We should not choose to be part of that possible chain of events, if we are who we say we are. The women, and wives of the men, that work for Hobby Lobby have just been denied full access to health care–as will the employees of any other similarly structured corporation (I just want to note that this is NOT the fault of the ACA, aka “Obamacare”, as ALL insurance companies within the available health exchanges MUST cover birth control). Effective boycotting, truly effective boycotting, would cost the company money that could lead to a loss of jobs, denial of pay raises, and other benefits now provided to the employees. Are we willing, in our self-righteousness, to be a lynchpin for those possible ramifications? Would that be compassionate action for all concerned?

And, as important, it wouldn’t change a thing. It’s not up to Hobby Lobby to make the change, nor would it be in their interests. That lies solely within the purview of the Court, and that is where, if you really want to make a difference, you may have some power. Take action! Real action! Support causes that want to bring the decision up for appeal. It may take years to get the decision reviewed, but major decisions like this get reviewed all the time. Find the places on the Internet where this is happening, and get busy and spread the word! That is where Facebook (and other social media sites) can be a real tool for change The ruling leaves open the option for the Federal Government to pay for birth control if a woman’s health insurance will not. When that comes up for a vote, and it will, get involved. Be the change you wish to see (Gandhi). If you truly are invested in a different outcome, it will take a different course of action. Simply posting “I don’t like it” posting on Facebook is not likely to do any more than make you feel like they “did something” when actually nothing got handled. What’s your stake in this game, and what are you willing to do to make it different? Does it REALLY matter to you? Or, are you just pissed at the thought of the Court’s decision, you’ve voiced your annoyance on Facebook or Twitter, and now life goes on as usual?

Your call.

**One could argue this point in that the way the higher court is currently structured is far off center from the intentions of our Constitution’s designers. Originally the Supreme Court was to be free from political/partisan interpretations, and be a neutral “middle of the road” place where decisions were made according to the Constitution’s included clauses, amendments, and dictates. It was not intended to be “open to interpretation” by political influence. However, we are a nation of sentient human beings, and as such we are not exempt from our leanings and beliefs about how it “should be”, and the members of the Supreme Court have been selected accordingly. When someone is chosen to serve that reflects our particular political proclivities, we cheer. When s/he is from an opposing perspective, we jeer. Hence, the heavily divisive and partisan Court we now have. The question remains, “Is it working for us?”