I agree with the courts, but with a caveat.
The simple fact is, if an employer can state that you must have a clean-shaven face, naturally-colored hair, and wear a particular outfit for work, then they also have every right to dictate the health insurance they provide.
But I do not agree with this modern concept of doing business.
Under the current political sphere, Hobby Lobby is absolutely right to choose what healthcare it will provide for its employees. This is because business as it is done today is a dictatorship. It’s done in the name of profitability and company culture, but the fact remains businesses are allowed to discriminate, even encouraged to do so.
But I have always felt that business, and politics at large, would be far better served to do things as we do them at home – as a family. (To clarify, I don’t feel every family operates as a family, rather continuing this dictatorial theme, but I’ll get to that in a moment.)
Which is to say dictatorships are just as wrong as democracies, and for the same reason; in the end, someone must compromise what they feel is right and be subject to someone else’s idea of what is right. Without explanation. Without question. Without any allowance for inserting our own two cents or coming to any kind of consensus.
Employee-Owned is Closer, But Imperfect
Employee-Owned companies like the now-defunct Kodak provide an idea of what I’m talking about, but it’s still not entirely on-par specifically for the same reasons why Kodak failed. In the end, there was still just one person directing the company. The employees had a large say, but when the man at the helm hesitated to introduce a new technology, the entire company suffered.
It was stolen right from beneath them, and Kodak was beaten to market. Millions on R&D went down the tubes, and it didn’t take but a few months for the company to drown.
The Profit Model Seeks the Wrong Profit
His business partner saw greener pastures in another company and brought the technology to them, secretly undermining every single employee at Kodak. The Employee-Owned model wasn’t moving fast enough for him – not for his idea of what longevity in this profit-based economy looks like, at least.
So once again, it came down to one person overruling everyone else for what he felt was right and best. You can thank this deserter for cheap digitized photography, if you wish – but I for one will forever wonder how Kodak would have raised the bar on it to make this technology inexpensive and accessible instead of cheap.
I will always wonder what we can do together if we stopped seeking to make everything cheap, and instead sought to make solutions. If instead of seeking profit for ourselves, we sought profit for humanity.
Business With Aloha
Being Hawaiian, family – Ohana – holds a special meaning to me, some of which perhaps not too distant from what you know. For instance, let’s say you had one sibling and mom came home with 10 apples. Business with Aloha says the kids get 2 apples each, and the grown-ups get 3 apples each. Not too foreign, right?
The part that may be foreign is the inclusiveness of this economy. In simpler terms – you’re expected to give one of your apples to someone else should you meet someone who doesn’t have any.
The reasoning behind this is quite straightforward in the Hawaiian perspective. The apple is not the profit. The apple is not the goal. Rather, there is a recognition of humanity’s original and most basic goal; perpetuation of the human race and life itself. To improve the life of another is the goal. The apple is how we improve the life of another.
The betterment of humanity is the profit.
“Other People’s Problems”
There are some who will say that other people’s problems are “not my problem”, so let me say this:
If the children are not educated, do you not have to deal with a world full of stupidity?
If the children are not fed, do you not put up gates and walls to protect your food?
If the children are not housed and clothed, do you not put spikes on your benches and cameras in your stores?
So long as there is inequity (note I did not say inequality) there will remain a sense of need to protect the things we have, never realizing that humanity and its perpetuation were all that we ever had in reality.
And until currency is radically changed to mean current information rather than a static, amoral, dead piece of a tree, we will never have true equity. In simpler terms – until we recognize humanity as the profit, we will all continue to suffer.