Fr. Shawn P. Tunink

Homily Podcast



Whose Business Is It?

July 9th, 2014, by Fr. Shawn P. Tunink

I Stand with Hobby Lobby for Religious FreedomLeading up to and following the recent Supreme Court case involving Hobby Hobby I have seen many people on the left using the phrase “not my boss’s business” to describe their opposition. Liberals all over are now using this phrase and making the claim that the Supreme Court decision allows business owners to deprive women of contraception. I am fully aware that politicians are masters at taking facts and then twisting them to tell the story that they want their voters to hear.

I just wonder, with this case, will women realize that they are being treated as nothing more than pawns in a voting block. The very people that are yelling for the rights of women are really hoping that most women are stupid and will vote for them just because they yell the loudest for women. The facts of the Hobby Lobby case are pretty plain, but perhaps there is need to explain the way employment and compensation work. As simple as I can explain it, here is how it works:

  1. People want stuff (car, house, contraception, other medical care, etc.).
  2. There are two ways to get stuff:
    • You buy it
    • Someone gives it to you
  3. In order to buy stuff you get a job.
  4. When you consider taking a job, the potential employer will explain what compensation he or she is offering. This compensation comes in two forms:
    • Money
    • Other benefits
  5. Perhaps the “other benefits” include some of the “stuff” you want like:
    • A company car
    • Food
    • Healthcare
    • Dental or Eyecare
  6. If there is some stuff that you want, or even “need,” that is not included among the “other benefits” then YOU MAY HAVE TO BUY IT.
  7. Given the “other benefits” provided, or lack thereof, one must then consider whether the salary is sufficient to buy all the stuff that one still wants/needs.
    • If I know I need eyecare, I might be willing to work for a lower salary if the employer offers vision coverage since I won’t have to buy it.
    • If I know I need food and the employer offers free meals in the cafeteria, that will influence my evaluation of my potential salary since I’ll have to buy less food.
    • If I know I need healthcare and my employer DOES NOT provide it, then this will really effect how I look at the salary since I know I will also need to buy healthcare.
  8. Given the entire package of compensation, including salary and the value of all the extra benefits, YOU DECIDE if you will except that job.
    • Note that the employer is not forcing a compensation package on you. YOU DECIDE.
    • It is NOT YOUR BOSS’S BUSINESS how you spend your salary.
    • It is completely your boss’s business what amount of compensation he or she chooses to offer.

The Hobby Lobby decision primarily centered on abortion causing drugs, but lets take the slippery slope all the way to the liberals’ extreme scenario of a Jehovah’s Witness employer excluding blood transfusions from the healthcare benefits he or she provides. The decision explicitly excludes this, but we’ll go with it. What would this mean for an employee?

  1. You might be a Jehovah’s Witness employee yourself and are very happy that your employer is not wasting money on things you don’t need.
  2. You might be someone who really thinks they want healthcare coverage for blood transfusions.
    • This means that you will have to consider the fact that a part of your salary will now have to go to paying for a separate insurance rider to cover blood transfusions.
    • Is this the end of the world? Does this deny you healthcare? No. It just means that you will have to use your salary to buy it instead of having it as part of your compensation package.
    • In the end, YOU DECIDE if you are willing to work for the given salary considering the lack of a certain benefit which you will have to buy.

We make these decisions all the time when we accept a job. Most employers do not provide food, yet we certainly can’t live without food. Are employers denying people food by not providing it? No. Neither are employers denying anyone contraception by not proving it. The irony is that Hobby Lobby pays their employees so well that most low-level employees would actually come out better working at Hobby Lobby and paying for the contraception themselves. Why can’t reasonable people just deal with the facts of what the Hobby Lobby decision said rather than twisting it to tell some story that they hope their base will be stupid enough to believe?

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