The Road to Progressive Dhimmitude

Barack Obama Sworn In As U.S. President For A Second TermIn the recent Hobby Lobby Case, Justices Elana Kagan and Sonia Sotomayor said that corporations that don’t want to pay for abortions should simply not provide any health insurance: “But isn’t there another choice nobody talks about, which is paying the tax, which is a lot less than a penalty and a lot less than — than the cost of health insurance at all?” Dissenters from the official line must pay a tax. That sounds familiar.

Muslim lands used to practice Dhimmitude–the practice of allowing non-Muslims who subscribed to other “Abrahamic” faiths, to practice their religion freely, provided they pay a tax. For most of the centuries since Muhammed, Jews have been, as a rule, better off in Muslim lands, compared with Christian lands. But that does not mean Muslims treated Jews (or Christians) as equals. Recall that Moses Maimonides, one of the great Rabbis of the “golden age” of Medieval Islam, had to flee Islamic prosecution. Dhimmitude reflected the idea that non-Muslim monotheists were allowed to live in Muslim lands (note that term), provided they paid a tax as a badge of inferiority and, implicitly, submission. America was, is, supposed to be different, and not just for Jews.

In colonial America and in England in the first two centuries of colonial settlement, most colonies had established churches. Depending upon the year and the exact location, those who were non-Anglican (in Virginia) or non-Congregationalist (in Massachusetts), to take two signal examples, were either officially barred from living in the colony, or allowed to live there, but subjected to disabilities. In Virginia until the eve of the American Revolution non-Anglicans could not, officially, be married in the colony, as Anglicanism was the only recognized faith, and, therefore, no non-Anglican ministers had legal standing to perform marriages. (The Puritans believing that marriage was a civil affair left marriages to the Justice of the Peace. But Quakers, Baptists, and others lived under various disabilities there, too, once they were admitted to the colony legally. In the seventeenth century, Quakers who refused to leave the colony were executed). In England the story was similar. The United States removed most such disabilities, in most states, in the wake of the American revolution. In England, disabilities on Catholics were ended in 1829. It took longer for Jews to receive the right to vote and to sit in the House of Commons.

Are we heading back in the direction of religious disabilities? I hope not, but the Hobby Lobby case, and some other recent developments and comments suggest that we might be. Not long ago, Joyce Appleby, a leading scholar of the American Revolution, and a past President of both the American Historical Association and the Organization of American Historians, asked if Catholic judges should recuse themselves from cases where Catholic doctrine takes a position. That certainly sounds like religious disability, and a religious test for office, to me. And if Catholic Justices should recuse themselves from cases involving gay marriage, as Professor Appleby suggests, the same logic would certainly apply to many religiously observant Muslims and Jews. (But would it not, also, apply equally to “Progressive” Christian, Jews, and Muslims who support gay marriage as a matter of what they take to be religious principle?)

Dhimmitude also required non-Muslims to minimize public expressions of faith. The Air Force recently required a Cadet to erase a verse from Galatians from his own white board. He can only write such things in the privacy of his own room, the officials say. Is that different from the old disability? Would a message supporting gay marriage or legal abortion be treated differently?

To be sure, some say that the Hobby Lobby case involves the rights of a corporation, and not an individual. In practice, however, that is a distinction without difference. Since before the founding era, corporations have enjoyed civil rights at law. Moreover, the American tradition is one of allowing the creators and owners of corporations to infuse them with their religious and ethical ideals. A corporation owned by Jews is allowed to insist that employees do not put ham sandwiches in the refrigerator. Similarly, a Christian businessman is allowed to put up a cross at his place of business, to close on Sundays, and to post Biblical phrases on the walls–at least I hope that’s still the case. All that was always understood to be perfectly compatible with the reality that a business corporation is a separate entity than the owners of the business. A business corporation is, in some ways, merely a form of civil association. In this sense, there is little difference between, say, the Boy Scouts of America and Hobby Lobby.

The back story here is worth pondering. Americans of all stripes, most of them at least, consider religious liberty to be one of the signal achievements of the era of the American revolution. Why, then, are “Progressives” so hostile to the religious pluralism that inevitably results from religious liberty?

There are, it seems, two (or at least two) models of religious liberty. Progressives historicize their reading of religious liberty. In the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, religious liberty was a step “forward” in “history.” Today, “progress” should move on from there. Recall, in this context, Jefferson’s belief that, thanks to religious liberty, “I trust there is not a young man now living in the United States who will not die a Unitarian.” Like some men of the Enlightenment, Jefferson believed that religion, as it had often been known in history, was an historical accident or, at least, a phase that could be outgrown, or overcome. In time, thanks to the end of religious establishments, men would turn to more rational and more moderate “religious” ideas.

Jump to the start of the twenty-first century, and the Progressive side of American culture thinks that project should be largely completed. Hence religion, as it used to be known, may be relegated to very small areas of our lives–our homes, our church buildings, and the like. In the Age of Jackson, perhaps, there was robust, open argument among religious sects, and between religious and secular (recall the great debate between Campbell and Owen). But that’s long ago. Religion, from this “progressives” perspective, should not shape our doings in civil society, and certainly not our public policies.

Hence to suggest that Catholics, or Jews, or Muslims, must recuse themselves from certain cases, or to suggest that business owners who are religious should pay a tax in order to live their faith, is not seen as a return to the bad old days. On the contrary, allowing such “outdated” “values” to invade civil society in any great degree is seen as a step “backward.” This contrasts with the belief that religion is here to stay, and, therefore, disestablishment is not seen as merely a “step forward” in history, to be superceded by subsequent steps.

In previous ages, of course, America had a much smaller state, and fewer regulations. That’s the other side of the story. Were there no health care mandate, then, presumably, the owners of Hobby Lobby would be free to buy whatever form of insurance they choose. And the owners of Hobby Lobby, being religious, may believe it is their duty to provide health insurance for their employees. That may be inseparable, to them, from closing on Sundays.

The hyper-regulatory state, which Obamacare exemplifies, rejects such an approach. If they don’t like it, they can pay the tax. Justice Kagan noted that the tendency of Hobby Lobby’s argument is to break up the uniformity of national health insurance regulations: “everything would be piecemeal. Nothing would be uniform.” The spirit or health care reform (and I use the term “spirit” advisedly ) is one of uniformity rather than one that allows for diversity.

But why is that a good? Where is it written that in a large, diverse republic of over 300 million citizens, and with over 18 million business corporations there should be one, uniform, health care policy for all. Does one size fit all in a republic such as ours? Doubtful. Can a republic so large, diverse, and multifarious have a uniform health care policy without tyranny? Perhaps not. It may very well be that any such policy will require too much force and not enough local and personal variation.

In our discussion we keep hearing about the “American health care system.” Is there such a thing? Should there be? To be sure, we have a Veterans health care system. To a degree we have a system of health care payment for the poor (Medicaid) and another one for the aged (Medicare). But does the entire practice of medicine, and our use of health care as citizens really constitute a “system”? Are we to be, like Charlie Chaplain in Modern Times part of a giant health care machine? In a large, free, and diverse republic, do we want such uniformity and the conformity that goes with it? We do not have a national bakery system to produce bread for American citizens, and yet, somehow, most of us are able to buy bread. Why would the same kind of diversity be bad in medicine?

It is no coincidence that James Madison fought against “Consolidation” and held that the rights of conscience were fundamental.

More sparingly should this praise be allowed to a government, where a man’s religious rights are violated by penalties, or fettered by tests, or taxed by a hierarchy. Conscience is the most sacred of all property; other property depending in part on positive law, the exercise of that, being a natural and unalienable right. To guard a man’s house as his castle, to pay public and enforce private debts with the most exact faith, can give no title to invade a man’s conscience which is more sacred than his castle, or to withhold from it that debt of protection, for which the public faith is pledged, by the very nature and original conditions of the social pact.

Madison recognized that the right to use our property as we wish, and the right to manage our business affairs as we choose, was essential if we wish to protect the rights of conscience. A “consolidated” (ie: uniform) health care policy cannot, in other words, be reconciled with a regime that gives robust protection to the rights of conscience.

And that returns us to our point of departure. It may very well be that in order to have a “national health care system” we will have to make serious ethical choices about what is covered and what is not covered, and how it is or is not covered. Such choices are, I submit, inevitably religious. Recall that Thurman Arnold, a leading New Dealer spoke of a “religion of government.” Joseph Bottom’s new book suggests something similar. Progressivism has become a religion. To be sure it calls itself “secular” and it defines its beliefs as “reason,” but those are abuses of definition, for unless we can establish moral truth with the same certainty we can establish, for example, the pythagorean theorem, then ethics is based on faith–at least if one accepts that the scientific method is the standard for reason. If we follow Aristotle’s definition of reason, then we’re in a different discussion. Such a discussion, however, would have to consider Aquinas’ understanding of “natural law” to be reason, and not faith.

In our national health care system, if we have such a thing, we are not just talking about covering abortion and other such procedures. Deciding how much money it is worth spending on, for example, end of life care, or on children with Down syndrome is inevitably a religious question. (If, as some Progressives seem to think, it is irresponsible to have a child with Down syndrome, then, logic would suggest that people who make that choice should pay extra to cover some of the burden their choice will impose on their fellow tax payers. Note, again, absent nationalized payment for health care, that question does not arise).

Men of the radical Enlightenment, ancestors of the Progressives today, thought that there would be no real diversity of religion in the modern world, for we would all, ultimately, agree about the significant ethical questions. History has drawn that judgment into question. The idea that religion is dying out is a sad remnant of a bygone age. Moreover, the fewer things government does, and the fewer decisions it regulates, the more likely it is that public policy will be able to reflect a larger agreement. On the other hand, the more government is involved in our lives, the more likely it is that government and conscience will clash. If the state, and our thicket of regulations continue to grow, the idea that religious people should have to pay a special tax will be but a step on the road toward a post-modern form of religious establishment.

Richard A. Samuelson is Associate Professor of History at California State University, San Bernardino. He has held fellowships or teaching appointments at Princeton University, Claremont McKenna College, the University of Paris VIII, the National University of Ireland, Galway. Although he has published on a range of subjects, his principal works focus on the political and constitutional ideas of the American founding era. Dr. Samuelson is currently completing a book on John Adams’ political thought, "John Adams and the Republic of Laws". He received his Ph.D. in American history from the University of Virginia

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Comments

  1. gabe says

    ” Moreover, the fewer things government does, and the fewer decisions it regulates, the more likely it is that public policy will be able to reflect a larger agreement. On the other hand, the more government is involved in our lives, the more likely it is that government and conscience will clash.”

    That just about says it all – and very well said, indeed.

    One small quibble:
    It is not at all clear that Jews had it significantly better in Muslim lands then in Christian lands. Yes, there were purges, pogroms, etc. they were somewhat intermittent – although still reprehensible. No, it was the unremitting oppression and dehumanizing treatment that Jews were made to experience in Muslim lands that made it arguably worse than in Christian lands – and it continues to this day.
    For more on this see the works of Bat Ye’or, and Egyptian Jewish woman of some renown and scholastic accomplishment. Rather eye-opening, I would say.

    take care
    gabe

    • gabe says

      A little correction here, guys:

      In re-reading these comments, it occurred to me that it may seen that I was overly dismissive of the problems with which the Jewish population of Europe had to contend. Let me say that it would be more accurate to say “somewhat intermittent” or that there were periods of calm. perhaps following from papal edicts advocating tolerance, punctuated by periods of outright repression and general stupidity by the masses of the European states.
      Nevertheless, much recent scholarship tends to refute the more benign interpretation afforded the Muslim supremacy than what is to be found in Bernard Lewis’s assessments of the Muslim conquests and its im[pacts on the inhabitants of those areas over which they exercised control.

      sorry for the poor wording.

      take care
      gabe

      • Brian Macker says

        As measured by population levels Jews have done better in Christian than Muslim lands. Even taking the holocaust into account. Vastly better.

      • djf says

        Gabe,

        I think Bernard Lewis is one of the scholars who gives a fairly benign picture of Islamic rule through the centuries (although not benign enough for some). I’m not sure from what you wrote how you were classifying him.

        Off topic, but I very much regret the demise of PMC. Nice to see your frequent comments here and elsewhere from time to time.

        • gabe says

          DJF:
          I was classifying Lewis as being a little too sympathetic to Muslim claims of fairness and good treatment of Jews.
          If ever you have the chance try reading some of the works of Bat Ye’or.
          Yes, PMC is simply not what it was!

          • djf says

            Then we are in agreement. (I previously mistakenly posted this on a different thread.)

    • R.C. says

      This is not a bad analysis.

      But the better one, which cuts through the clutter and best forces us to face reality, is this: We shouldn’t be talking about “Religions” as popularly described, but about “Functional Religions.”

      Nearly every human being — except the boring clods who live completely unreflective existences — has a “Functional Religion.” Not all of them are popularly called “religions.”

      The idea of a “Functional Religion” emerges from the difficulty in defining a “religion” in such a way that all the things traditionally called “religions” are included. Not all “religions” take a position on morality; not all take a position on what, if any, supernatural things exist; not all take a position on the afterlife; not all take a position on the origin of man or of the cosmos; not all provide a systematic analysis of man’s problems and how to solve them; not all provide ceremonial or educational or private devotional practices. It is thus difficult to draw a box around Confucianism, Buddhism, Animism, Christianity, Hinduism, and Scientology, without sweeping in New Atheism, various Fandoms, Randian Objectivism, and Waiting In Line For The New IPhone.

      It is difficult, I say…but it is difficult ONLY IF we are unwilling to sweep in a few things that are not conventionally labelled “religions” despite the fact that they function as a religion functions, for the person who embraces them.

      If we instead embrace that understanding…if we ask, “What kind of things does a religion provide for the person who embraces it; and, of all the distinctive philosophies, cultures, and individual quirks of thought among humanity, which ones provide what a religion provides, whether we normally call them religions or not?” …if we ask THAT question, we can get some traction.

      A religion typicially provides most or all of the following:
      1. A natural cosmology (where did existence, or at least the things that do exist, come from?);
      2. An understanding of the supernatural (does anything outside nature exist? if so, did it/they emanate from nature or did it/they create nature? is it/are they personal? is it/are they powerful? is it/are they beneficent?)
      3. An anthropology (what are people like, how’d they get that way, and what is their relationship to all other things that exist, natural and supernatural?);
      4. A reflection on, and often a prescription to solve, man’s problems (why is there evil? why is there suffering? why is there death? why are there limitations and frustrations? what ought we to do about these things, and is there any hope?);
      5. A reflection on ethics or morality, and what our obligations are (what is good? why do people do what they acknowledge isn’t good? how do we know what is good?);
      6. A culture or set of habits or practices by which the ideas and practices in 1-5 are reinforced in the individual, taught to his children, and proposed (or advertised to, or exhorted on, or forced on) others.

      These items, taken together, perform the functions of a religion.

      Consequently, for any person who embraces a set of ideas — whether from one or multiple sources — which together perform these functions, that set of ideas IS his “functional religion”…whether it is conventionally labeled a religion or not.

      Why is this realization worthwhile?

      Simple: In the United States (and everywhere else), there ought to be Freedom of Functional Religion (whether it is conventionally labeled a religion or not).

      For some folks, Atheism is not merely their anti-religion, but it is also their “functional religion.” This is no slight on them, nor is it an accusation of any kind of hypocrisy; indeed, it would be hypocritical if it were otherwise. For when you ask them “Do you think God, in the Judeo-Christian creatio-ex-nihilo sense, exists?” and they say “No,” you can go on to ask them, “What is your cosmology?” and they answer with a materialist cosmology; you ask them about how they view humanity and their answer is non-supernaturalistic; you ask them what they tell their kids about how the world got to be and they give an answer which includes no reference to God; you ask them what should be taught in schools and they say….

      You get the idea: They have a set of ideas and habits which fill all the functions of a religion and they very naturally (unless they are hypocrites) act in accord with these ideas and habits. And…and this is the crucial point, THEY SHOULD be accorded freedom to do so, except where the exercise of that freedom would be destructive to the life, liberty, property, or other fundamental rights of others.

      In short, they should have Freedom of Conscience: And the exercise of their conscience should include all the practices and beliefs, public or private, which they, IN GOOD CONSCIENCE, believe that truth and goodness obligate them to embrace. They should have Free Exercise of their Religion, whether it is commonly recognized as a Religion, or is only Functioning as one.

      By the way, this also applies to Hobbyist Religions.

      What is a Hobbyist Religion? Well, I suppose you know a gamer or a geek who builds his own computers. We call him a “hobbyist”; he doesn’t buy an off-the-shelf model from a name-brand manufacturer, but assembles his own bits as he likes from components he chooses.

      The same holds for Functional Religions. Increasingly, a lot of folks piece together their habits and do-goodering and personal philosophy and their beliefs about people and the universe from a variety of sources: The favorite college professor, the self-help book, the latest popularization of astrophysics, the hot trends in psychiatry or health and fitness, some dabbling in eastern mysticisms, the speeches of a charismatic politician, some well-liked song lyrics, and so on.

      We can lament that some of these components are not terribly reliable; and the Hobbyist may indeed find that some of the items they select are not compatible with others, producing cockeyed value systems and cognitive dissonance. That is the problem with assembling piecemeal instead of buying off-the-shelf: The name brands are pretty well-investigated by now, usually over a period of centuries: Whatever their advantages and disadvantages may be are known; there are few surprises. The Hobbyist is doing exploratory, experimental work. Some combinations may have flaws which may not be revealed until he’s spent his whole life working on it…or until the dismay of his disciples, long after he’s dead.

      But that’s neither here nor there. If Joe Blow wants to gather together a Functional Religion from various sources, as long as it doesn’t involve murder or persecution or deflowering nine-year-olds, he ought to be free to exercise his Functional Religion in the United States.

      Now we currently in the United States are facing a bit of a quandary: Some folks with one Functional Religion think it’s immoral for people to Do X and morally obligatory that they Do Y, instead. But some other folks with a different Functional Religion think it’s morally obligatory for people to Do X and immoral for them to Do Y.

      In this circumstance, the question is, “Should either side, whenever it happens to attain political dominance, compel the other side to do the thing they regard immoral and to not do the thing they regard morally obligatory?”

      And the answer, in a country with Freedom of Functional Religion, is “No.”

      If you want X and Y identified, I can do it this way:

      X = personally use services or forms of contraceptives which prevent implantation or cause abortion of a fetus, or encourage others to do so, or assist others in doing so;

      Y = assist employees to obtain health insurance, while specifically excluding anything which might encourage or assist them to obtain services and products which prevent implantation of, or cause the abortion of, a fetus.

      That’s one way to assign X and Y. But here’s another:

      X = assist employees to obtain services and products which can prevent implantation of, or cause the abortion of, a fetus (probably, for efficiency’s sake, in conjunction with health insurance);

      Y = compensate employees for their work *without* including, as part of that compensation, assistance in obtaining services and products which can prevent implantation of, or cause the abortion of, a fetus.

      Because of the relative symmetry between the two sides, and the way in which the moral obligations placed on them by their respective Functional Religions mirror one another, it doesn’t matter which way you express it. It doesn’t matter which group of folks is the first, and which is the second. You can flip-flop what’s X with what’s Y, and get the same outcome.

      If there is to be freedom of Functional Religion in the United States, then:

      (a.) When old-school secular progressives are in power, they can make it legal for employers to compensate their employees partly in dollars, partly in vouchers for The Pill…but they cannot make doing so legally obligatory. Doing so is a violation of the other side’s Freedom of Functional Religion. And likewise,

      (b.) When even-older-school religious conservatives are in power, they can make it legal for employers to compensate their employees without including vouchers for The Pill; but they cannot make it illegal for employers to compensate their employees that way. Doing that would violate the other side’s Freedom of Functional Religion.

      • gabe says

        R.C.:

        Nice piece!

        A little side note:

        during a round of golf yesterday, I fear i may have unduly ruffled the stiff feathers of a Functional Religionist ( a radical Progressive) who while extolling the virtues of abortion and forced euthanasia of the elderly (even his own 95 yr old mother – sad but true) was deeply offended when I informed him that for the modern Progressive, Roe v Wade has become the equivalent in import of The Book of Genesis.
        The best part of this was that he SHANKED his next shot.

        take care
        gabe

  2. says

    Associate Professor Samuelson, thank you for the blog essay with the following remarks:
    “Recall that Thurman Arnold, a leading New Dealer spoke of a “religion of government.” Joseph Bottom’s new book suggests something similar. Progressivism has become a religion. To be sure it calls itself “secular” and it defines its beliefs as “reason,” but those are abuses of definition … the fewer things government does, and the fewer decisions it regulates, the more likely it is that public policy will be able to reflect a larger agreement. On the other hand, the more government is involved in our lives, the more likely it is that government and conscience will clash. If the state, and our thicket of regulations continue to grow, the idea that religious people should have to pay a special tax will be but a step on the road toward a post-modern form of religious establishment. “
    This continued progressive argument is not constitutional, as I have stipulated in a number of blog commentaries, simply because – the First Amendment Clause is “ a prohibition of federal law making by any branch of the federal government”.
    Thank you,
    Respectfully, John

  3. johnt says

    We step ever closer to the stench and practice of collectivist discrimination. It follows that power mongers would have targeted certain peoples, power being something to be enjoyed, the enjoyment being the harassment or worse of disagreeable portions of the population. It’s a timeless and ugly fact that those who lust for control inevitably turn on groups they despise, substantive reasons not at all being necessary. As the State is the loci of power it is the supreme attraction to those who would control and punish, it goes back further than the French Revolution. But the type is always present, malicious and biding it’s time, and I think we can see it clearly today, sad as it is.

  4. SteveM says

    “For most of the centuries since Muhammed, Jews have been, as a rule, better off in Muslim lands, compared with Christian lands.”

    No, they certainly haven’t. Which is why there are, and have been, far more Jews living in Christian lands than in Muslim ones and why the larger number of Jews in Christian lands are, and have been, much better off than their co-religionists in places like Egypt, Iraq, or Syria. Roughly 85% of all the Jews in the world are European Jews.

  5. says

    I remember when America was free, back when Congress lied that our social security numbers would never, ever be used as personal ID numbers.
    We Americans have indeed become a people of the government, by the government, and for the government.

  6. djf says

    “For most of the centuries since Muhammed, Jews have been, as a rule, better off in Muslim lands, compared with Christian lands.”

    This is off the topic of the essay, but the above oft-heard assertion is disputable (unless you listen only to Gulf-money-funded academics and Obama-worshipping American rabbis), at least if you exclude the Nazi era from consideration. Keep in mind – when Islam arose in the 7th Century, most of the world’s Jews were still in the Middle East. 1300 or so years later, when the State of Israel was founded, there were only about a million Jews in the entire Islamic world (excluding Israel). The large Jewish community that existed in “Palestine” (a/k/a the Land of Israel) at the time of the Arab conquest (the community that produced a large corpus of classical Jewish literature, including the Jerusalem Talmud and the Midrashim) simply disappeared, one way or another, within a few centuries – a cultural effacement similar to the destruction of the Zoroastrian civilization of Persia.

  7. Rightisright5116 says

    I’m pretty sure the first amendment says something about the “free exercise” of religion. Not to be a simpleton, but how can a Supreme Court justice not understand that paying the tax as a result of exercising religious beliefs makes that exercise no longer free? Come on, now. That’s pretty easy stuff.

  8. JAL says

    “Muslim lands used to practice Dhimmitude–the practice of allowing non-Muslims who subscribed to other “Abrahamic” faiths, to practice their religion freely, provided they pay a tax.”

    No “used to.” Check out Syria in March, 2014. Times of Israel: “Christian leaders in the northern Syrian city of Raqqa, captured by an organization formerly affiliated with al-Qaeda, have signed a submission document this week banning them from practicing Christianity in public in return for protection by their Islamist rulers.

    The document, dated Sunday and disseminated through Islamist Twitter accounts, states that the Christian community in the province of Raqqa, captured last March by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIS), was recently given three options: to convert to Islam; to remain Christian but pledge submission to Islam; or to ‘face the sword.’ They opted for the second of those choices, known as ‘dhimmitude.’”

    There is some question about this document, but it seems to be something consistent with radical Islam.

    • gabe says

      Not only is it consistent with RADICAL ISLAM, it is mandated by the Koran and has been practices for almost 1500 years by the” Religion of Peace.”

  9. John says

    Of course people can exercise freedom of thought and speech and conscience. They just have to realize that in the Land of Obama, you will be penalized and persecuted and punished for doing so. That is the liberal way.

  10. Orson says

    “Dissenters from the official line must pay a tax. That sounds familiar.” Yes, but with the added irony that being Muslim grants one an automatic exemption to ObamaCare.

  11. says

    This is ridiculous.

    “Moreover, the American tradition is one of allowing the creators and owners of corporations to infuse them with their religious and ethical ideals. A corporation owned by Jews is allowed to insist that employees do not put ham sandwiches in the refrigerator. Similarly, a Christian businessman is allowed to put up a cross at his place of business, to close on Sundays, and to post Biblical phrases on the walls–at least I hope that’s still the case.”

    Irrelevant. The issue is whether or not a corporation can dictate what an employee can do with their compensation for employment. A Jewish corporation cannot tell their employees not to put the ham sandwiches they bought with the money they earned in their own refrigerators.

    Health insurance is compensation for employment. A corporation has no more, and much less, right to dictate the health care choices of their employees than it does their choices regarding deli meats.

    Denying the legitimacy of the employer mandate is rank cheerleading for anti-democratic tyranny.

    • gabe says

      “A Jewish corporation cannot tell their employees not to put the ham sandwiches they bought with the money they earned in their own refrigerators.”

      But it is NOT the employees money that is paying for health care – it is the employers – who still has the option of NOT providing health care.
      This whole problem with employer provided health care is curiously enough the outgrowth of government policies which imposed wage controls on industry during WWII. In an effort to attract employees, companies began to provide other benefits such as health insurance. there was never a mandate to do so and consequently must then be viewed as a choice of the employer. This is no difeerent than my paying $25 / hr as opposed to $20 / hr to my employees. My choice based upon my own determination of what is proper.
      If you want a ham sandwich in your refrigerator, that is fine. It is your money your home and your refrigerator – not my company check to a health insurer – so you do as you may and i will do as may.

  12. theBuckWheat says

    This is the manifestation of the unspoken philosophy of the left (er, now “progressives”). It is a religion and its aim is to impose a godless Utopia on humanity, by force if necessary. This is exactly what the Khmer Rouge attempted when they forced people out of the cities and into the countryside to be purified by hard manual labor. It is the same spirit of coercion and compulsion. If any doubt me, just give some authority and power to those calling for climate “deniers” to be murdered or jailed and watch what happens.

    Socialists of today are of the same mindset as Karl Marx. They certainly cheer on the things he advocated, even if they do not yet have an appetite for being as ruthless as Stalin was. Marx was advancing a secular religion as was documented by Murray Rothbard in his essay,

    Marx as Millennial Communist by Murray N. Rothbard
    http://mises.org/daily/3769
    or
    http://mises.org/journals/rae/pdf/R4_5.pdf

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Trackbacks

  1. […] Sometimes believers are more acutely aware of the spiritual struggle underneath what can easily be described in merely socioeconomic terms.  It’s not untrue to claim that our adversaries hope to exploit us economically.  Perhaps it’s even more true that they wish to make us dhimmis. […]

  2. […] The Road to Progressive Dhimmitude In the recent Hobby Lobby Case, Justices Elana Kagan and Sonia Sotomayor said that corporations that don’t want to pay for abortions should simply not provide any health insurance: “But isn’t there another choice nobody talks about, which is paying the tax, which is a lot less than a penalty and a lot less than — than the cost of health insurance at all?” Dissenters from the official line must pay a tax. That sounds familiar. […]

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