Correction Of The Day

This morning I wrote:

First off, it still seems to me that the fury over banned contraception is de trop. Of the twenty forms of contraception mandated as covered in the ACA, Hobby Lobby agreed to fund all but four of them, the ones that could, in their view, be seen as abortifacients.

About an hour later, this item appeared on the AP:

The Supreme Court on Tuesday confirmed that its decision a day earlier extending religious rights to closely held corporations applies broadly to the contraceptive coverage requirement in the new health care law, not just the handful of methods the justices considered in their ruling.

How one reader sees it:

To quote the Dude, “New shit has come to light”:

Also, make sure you read Jeffrey Toobin on the larger, long-term strategy at play here:

The Supreme Court concluded its term [yesterday] with a pair of decisions widely described as “narrow”—that is, of limited application except to the parties in the lawsuits. Don’t believe it. In fact, the Court’s decisions in Burwell v. Hobby Lobby and Harris v. Quinn conform to an established pattern for the Roberts Court. It’s generally a two-step process: in confronting a politically charged issue, the court first decides a case in a “narrow” way, but then uses that decision as a precedent to move in a more dramatic, conservative direction in a subsequent case.

Hobby Lobby: Your Thoughts, Ctd

A reader quotes me:

I hope at least some liberals grasp that being required to finance something you believe to be murder is a legitimate area of conscientious objection.

Alito’s opinion said that the alternative was to let the government pay for this coverage. What’s to stop Hobby Lobby from embracing your argument and saying “Hey wait a minute! What’s the difference between us paying for this directly through the health insurance that we had been forced to buy, and now having to pay for it indirectly through taxes?” Yes, Alito said that was an exception, but how soon will it be before that is overturned? We’re talking nuclear minefield!

No we’re not. The argument against Hobby Lobby would then be quite simple: you can no more object to your taxpayers’ money going to health insurance subsidies than pacifists can with their tax dollars going to the Pentagon (a point Alito explicitly made on page 47). And look: until the ACA, there was no government subsidy for contraception. Now there is – with a few religious exemptions. It’s had to see how the change over the last few years isn’t a big victory for liberals, with a small silver lining for religious conservatives. So take a deep breath and get some perspective. Another reader also finds my argument “specious”:

At what point does religious belief trump scientific fact and understanding?  The science, with about the same level of agreement as on climate change, says that none of these forms of contraception cause fertilized eggs to fail to implant or prevents implantation.  The belief that these types of contraception are also abortifacients is based on old hypotheses that have pretty much been disproved.  Those hypotheses though lit a fire under the pro-life movement – a movement not known for really following, understanding or believing in science – and they have stuck with it. These are real women’s lives, real women’s healthcare and bodies we are talking about, being put aside over a debunked hypothesis that has been taken as gospel.

That’s a perfectly valid point, since much of the abortifacient debate centers on the precise definition of pregnancy:

The plaintiffs in Hobby Lobby define conception as the point when the sperm and egg come together to make a zygote, which is why they object to these birth control methods—they can interfere after an egg has already been fertilized. The American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, on the other hand, defines conception as the moment when a fertilized egg implants in the uterus. The Supreme Court noted in its decision that federal regulations also define conception this way—“pregnancy encompasses the period of time from implantation to delivery,” one reads.

But not everyone agrees on this definition, and the court did not weigh in on the timing of conception or what kinds of birth control may or may not be abortifacients. “It is not for the Court to say that the religious beliefs of the plaintiffs are mistaken or unreasonable,” the decision reads.

If the federal regulations have the same definition, then we’re in murky territory. For my own part, I don’t think IUDs are abortifacients. In fact, the Dish has closely examined in the past whether Plan B could cause what some consider to be abortion: “Indeed, an overwhelming number of studies in the past decade back up the reader’s point that Plan B does not prevent implantation.” Aaron Caroll addresses similar concerns over the IUD:

Research does not support the idea that they prevent fertilized eggs to implant.

The journal Fertility and Sterility published a study in 1985 that followed three groups of women for 15 months. One group had an IUD, one group had their tubes tied, and one group was trying to get pregnant. They then measured hormone levels to see if fertilization occurred. It did so only in the group trying to get pregnant.

Another study found that a telltale sign of fertilization — a surge of the hormone human chorionic gonadotropin — occurred in only 1 percent of 100 cycles in women using IUDs. This would be consistent with the failure rate of IUDs in general. In other words, IUDs do not appear to work by aborting a fertilized egg.

So there is an extremely small area of gray. A reader adds:

The reason the FDA cannot say with 100% certainty that the drugs do not prevent implantation is there is no means of conducting an experiment to prove it. But logic says it is unlikely. My IUD would have to fail to prevent ovulation, at the same time it fails to prevent fertilization, within a window where there was sperm available. That’s statistically almost impossible. Also consider that fertilized eggs naturally fail to implant all the time, and many of those that do are incapable of cell replication and get, um, flushed out with the menstrual cycle.

Back to readers on the question of conscientious objection:

If you as a corporation want the tax break for providing insurance, provide the insurance. You don’t get to pick and choose what is in the package. If you as a corporation sincerely believe you can’t in conscious participate in providing insurance that includes medicine you consider to be morally wrong, then don’t. Don’t take the tax break for providing insurance. Pay the fine. Let your employees go onto the individual market and buy their own.

Sounds like a good idea in principle. But in practice, junking the whole thing because of an objection to four out of 20 contraception methods? Seems a little drastic to me. Another reader asks a “sincere question, not snark”:

If an employee of Hobby Lobby buys an IUD out of pocket or through a separate insurance policy she’s paid for herself, hasn’t Hobby Lobby actually paid for that anyway, since they’re the ones providing her with the money through her salary? Health insurance is just another form of compensation, so why can they put stipulations on that but not on her salary? No one’s suggesting that a company can make a potential employee sign a contract that stipulates they can’t use any part of their salary to fund what they consider abortion, but why isn’t that a logical conclusion of this decision?

Another notes:

I grant that this is a legitimate area of conscientious objection, but when Hobby Lobby’s 401(K) funds have invested in companies manufacturing some of these same devices, it seems more about exerting power than moral objections.  (Can you say hypocrisy?) Or perhaps it’s about sticking it to Obama. Here’s an article in Forbes – which isn’t a liberal source – discussing this issue.

I agree that there appears to be a whiff of political posturing here as well.

Tweets Of The Day

It appears, according to McKay Coppins, that Bobby Jindal is ready to ride the Hobby Lobby horse into the primaries, in Kilgore’s eyes, “becoming the champion of dispossessed theocrats rebranded as victims of persecution”:

Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council and a longtime Jindal ally, praised him as one of the few prospective 2016 candidates with an unimpeachable record on social issues, and a personal life that exemplifies conservative religious values. As an example, Perkins noted that Jindal and his wife, Supriya, were the first couple in the country to enter into a “covenant marriage,” a special sort of legal union designed by Perkins in Louisiana when he was a state lawmaker that makes divorce more difficult. “His foundation [is] really centered on his Christian faith,” Perkins said. “Talk is cheap, but the walk is where you find the worth of an individual. And he is walking.”

Sprinting, I’d say.

Update from a reader, who spells out something that casual readers might have missed:

You might want to clarify in your post on the Jindal tweets that he is dead wrong about this being a First Amendment issue.

As you have covered before, the case was explicitly decided under the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA), which was enacted precisely because the Supreme Court held in Smith that the First Amendment does not cover situations like this.  The Hobby Lobby decision is not based on the First Amendment. From the last paragraph of Justice Alito’s opinion:

The contraceptive mandate, as applied to closely held corporations, violates RFRA. Our decision on that statutory question makes it unnecessary to reach the First Amendment claim raised by Conestoga and the Hahns.

Or, as Justice Ginsburg put it in her dissent:

The Court does not pretend that the First Amendment’s Free Exercise Clause demands religion-based accommodations so extreme, for our decisions leave no doubt on that score. See infra, at 6–8. Instead, the Court holds that Congress, in the Religious Freedom Restoration Act of 1993 (RFRA), 42 U. S. C. §2000bb et seq., dictated the extraordinary religion-based exemptions today’s decision endorses.

On That Religious Freedom Question …

Demonstrators Protest Over The Introduction Of A Ban On Women Covering Their Faces In France

It might be worth asking various figures on the evangelical right if they are outraged by the decision today by the European Court of Human Rights to uphold the French ban on the public wearing of the full-face veil:

At the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg, France, judges said the ban was a legitimate attempt to preserve the norms of France’s diverse society and did not infringe on Europe’s Convention on Human Rights. The court was ruling on a case brought by an unidentified Frenchwoman who said the law, first passed in 2010 and implemented in 2011, was discriminatory and violated her freedom of conscience.

And here’s a rather strong case that the issue is one of genuine personal conscience and conviction:

In a statement summarizing the ruling on its website, the court said the woman “is a devout Muslim and in her submissions she said that she wore the burqa and niqab in accordance with her religious faith, culture and personal convictions … The applicant also emphasized that neither her husband nor any other member of her family put pressure on her to dress in this manner. She added that she wore the niqab in public and in private, but not systematically. She was thus content not to wear the niqab in certain circumstances but wished to be able to wear it when she chose to do so. Lastly, her aim was not to annoy others but to feel at inner peace with herself,” the statement said.

For the record, I oppose the ban as an infringement on religious freedom of expression – and always have. I can see how other factors could be cited in favor of the ban – notably that the full veil hurts the possibility of “open interpersonal relationships, which, by virtue of an established consensus, formed an indispensable element of community life within the society in question.” But there are broader issues involved in Hobby Lobby as well: the government’s interest in providing affordable health insurance for the population, the health of women, the reduction in abortions, etc. And the niqab question affects directly only around 2,000 women, compared with Hobby Lobby’s theoretical impact on over half of employees in America.

So let’s hear it from America’s religious right: are you consistent about religious liberty and will do all you can to protect Muslim freedom of religious expression – or admit, you’re only about asserting your own Christian identity and no one else’s.

Somehow, I suspect few of them will be put on the spot like that. But they should be, don’t you think?

The Dish has covered this issue before – read the full thread here. Update from a reader:

This book is the best one on the French ban. It allows one to understand culturally why this ban is so French.  I just wonder about all those French feminists who are trying to save their Muslim sisters from the “horror” of the veil realize that now they have just prevented these women from being able to leave their homes.

(Photo: Two women wearing Islamic niqab veils stand outside the French Embassy during a demonstration on April 11, 2011 in London, England. France has become the first country in Europe to ban the wearing of the veil. By Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images)

Why Am I Not So Alarmed By Hobby Lobby? Ctd


Some second day thoughts. (You can read a variety of new overnight bloggy reactions to the case here.)

First off, it still seems to me that the fury over banned contraception is de trop. Of the twenty forms of contraception mandated as covered in the ACA, Hobby Lobby agreed to fund all but four of them, the ones that could, in their view, be seen as abortifacients. I think they’re pretty obviously wrong about that as a scientific matter. In which case, the best counter-argument is to make is exactly that: their religious consciences are simply empirically misinformed. But that is not the argument being proffered.

Secondly, this case is effectively an affirmation of our new, libertarian order. Ross has a great blog post on this today. For the first time, evangelical Christians are pretty much a minority on a major social question (a few forms of contraception), and they are therefore, like many minorities before them, looking to the Court to protect them. Money quote from Ross:

On other culture-war fronts — same-sex marriage, most notably — the old dynamic still sort of shows up, with judges repeatedly overturning democratically-enacted (though, in many cases, no longer majority-supported) laws that religious conservatives tended to support. But on religious liberty, the old order is increasingly reversed, with conservative believers looking to the courts rather than the vox populi for protection against moves made by the elected branches, and especially the current national executive.

Why is this not overall a good development? I remain of the view that if this precedent leads to discrimination in employment against purported sinners, then it will be a death-knell for Christianity in America. If Christianity becomes about marginalizing groups of people, it will be a betrayal of the Gospels and a sure-fire path to extinction. And the Christianists will not win with that argument, as the marriage equality experience demonstrates. But if evangelical or orthodox Catholic Christians seek merely to protect themselves from being coerced by government in overly aggressive fashion – remember that the Obama administration lost this fight because they chose the maximalist position with respect to employer-provided health insurance and did not choose another, less invasive path of providing contraception – then I think that’s a paradigm worth encouraging.

Religion is best when it does not seek to impose itself on other people.

This, indeed, is the core heresy of Christianism – a desire to impose religious rules on others who do not share the faith. But when it seeks merely to carve out a space in a secular culture where it can operate as autonomously as possible, it is imposing nothing on anyone. It is merely seeking an exemption for itself. Yes, Hobby Lobby prevents its own employees, who may not be evangelical Christians, from getting four types of contraception. But nothing in the ruling prevents other ways of providing those options that do not violate anyone’s consciences. A single-payer provision, for example, would not incur any religious freedom issues. Which means that this decision is, in essence, a libertarian one. And the more the evangelical right seeks merely to protect its own rights, rather than imposing on anyone else’s, the better.

There is, in other words, a kernel here that could unwind Christianism as a domineering force in our multi-faith and multi-cultural polity. Perhaps liberals and old-school conservatives should cheer that, instead of hyperventilating quite as much as they did yesterday.

(Photo: An Iud by BSIP/UIG Via Getty Images)

Hobby Lobby Wins: Reax II

Our early roundup of blog commentary is here. My initial take on the ruling is here. Your thoughts are here and here – and we’re compiling many more. From the next wave of blog commentary, Amy Davidson seizes on several quotes from Ginsburg’s dissent and anguishes over the majority decision:

Alito sees all the substance in how put-upon the owners of corporations feel. In oral arguments, Kennedy openly worried that companies would somehow be mixed up with abortion, and one suspects that his sense that abortion is a distinctly volatile, morally charged subject was part of why he acquiesced here, and why seems to believe, against all reason, that this decision is narrow. Women’s health is treated as something troublesome—less like other kinds of health care, which a company should be asked to pay for, than as a burden for those who have to contemplate it.

Soraya Chemaly is on the same page:

Ninety-nine percent of sexually active women will use birth control at some point in their lives. The Court’s decision displays the profound depth of patriarchal norms that deny women autonomy and the right to control our own reproduction—norms that privilege people’s “religious consciences” over women’s choices about our own bodies, the welfare of our families, our financial security and our equal right to freedom from the imposition of our employers’ religious beliefs. … This religious qualifier was narrowly construed to address just this belief and not others, such as prohibitions on vaccines or transfusions. It is not a coincidence that all three female members of the Court and only one man of six dissented from this opinion.

Drum is also bummed:

This is not a ruling that upholds religious liberty. It is a ruling that specifically enshrines opposition to abortion as the most important religious liberty in America.

But McArdle doesn’t buy such sweeping statements:

Here’s a representative tweet from my feed this morning: “So let’s all deny women birth control & get closer to harass them when they’re going in for repro health services. BECAUSE FREEDOM.” Logically, this is incoherent, unless you actually believe that it is impossible to buy birth control without a side payment from your employer. (If you are under this tragic misimpression, then be of good cheer! Generic birth control pills are available from the drugstore for about $25 a month.) Otherwise, according to the reasoning of that tweet, I am being denied something every time my employer refuses to buy it for me: cars, homes, Hummel collectible figurines. …

Now, there are women out there for whom a few dollars a month is a crippling expense, but I venture to say that few of them are salaried workers getting health insurance from closely held corporations with deeply religious owners; most of them will be hourly workers on Medicaid.

Suderman counters critics of the court’s view that “corporations are people”:

The key to Alito’s ruling arguably comes down to just two words: “a person’s.” The big question isn’t whether the contraception mandate violates the religious freedoms of some faceless corporate entity entirely separate from the individuals who own that company—it’s whether the requirement would violate the free exercise of religious for the particular people who founded and now run the company. As Alito writes in his opinion, “A corporation is simply a form of organization used by human beings to achieve desired ends….When rights, whether constitutional or statutory, are extended to corporations, the purpose is to protect the rights of these people.”

Ilya Somin adds on that score:

Even the dissent by Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg partially recognizes this, since she accepts that [the Religious Freedom Restoration Act] does apply to nonprofit religious corporations, such as those established by churches. The latter, of course, are no more natural “persons” than for-profit corporations are. In modern society, people routinely use corporations for a wide range of activities. Numerous employers, churches, schools, newspapers, charities, and other organizations use the corporate form. When they do so, their owners and employees should not have to automatically check their constitutional and statutory rights at the door.

Meanwhile, Aaron Blake notes something I mentioned last night: the court’s metric of “closely held” – defined by the IRS as companies in which five or fewer individuals own more than half the stock – affects about 90 percent of all businesses and about 50 percent of all employees. Blake then asks:

But does that mean the employers of half of all Americans will suddenly nix contraception coverage?

Of course not. According to a Kaiser Family Foundation poll, 85 percent of large employers had already offered contraception coverage before Obamacare mandated it. And while Hobby Lobby fought that mandate, so far few other large companies have joined them. … [T]here is little reason to believe that tens of millions of American women will suddenly see their contraception coverage come to an end.

And for those who do lose their coverage, Danny Vinik reminds us that “employees of closely held corporations may receive contraceptive coverage anyway”:

That coverage would likely mimic the workaround developed in 2012 by the Department of Health and Humans Services. That regulation exempted nonprofit religious institutions like hospitals and charities (churches were already exempt) from adhering to the contraceptive mandate. However, it required insurance companies to offer contraceptive coverage free of charge to those employees. This workaround, the Obama administration argued, ensured that religious institutions were not directly participating in offering contraception to their employees.

In fact, Alito essentially recommends that workaround in his ruling. Cohn takes that one step further to argue that “the obvious solution to this dilemma is to take health insurance away from employers altogether” and give it to “the government or tightly regulated insurers”:

But the people and groups who oppose government’s providing insurance directly tend to be the same people who object to the contraception mandate. That’s not a coincidence. While I don’t doubt the religious objections to birth control are sincere, I do think they are masking another belief conservatives bring to this debate: As a general rule, conservatives don’t think government should be compelling them to pay for other people’s medical expenses.

As Beutler puts it, “Ironically, and appropriately, the ruling probably prefigures a call for a greater, not smaller, government role in the health care system.” Still, any such workarounds probably won’t satisfy companies like Hobby Lobby:

To take advantage of the exemption, a closely held company owned by religiously devout individuals must file a form, specified by the government, in order to trigger the legal duty of the “middle man” to provide the coverage as a stand-in for the company or its owners. Federal government lawyers have made it clear in court, over and over again, that the “middle man” will not have any authority to step in unless the company or its owners file that government form claiming an exemption for the mandate. Some whose religions tell them to have nothing to do with some forms of birth control (often on the premise that they amount to a form of abortion) believe that even the filing of that formal declaration is itself an act of participation in the provision of those very services for people on their payroll.

And that argument is winding its way through the courts:

At least 51 nonprofit lawsuits have been filed against the administration’s policy by groups that say the accommodation still forces them to violate their religious beliefs since they have to arrange for the contraception coverage. Some of those challenges have reached the appellate court level, and just this past New Year’s Eve, Justice Sonia Sotomayor temporarily blocked the administration from enforcing the requirement against the Little Sisters of the Poor, a group of Colorado nuns.

As SCOTUSblog pointed out over the weekend, two more religious-affiliated groups on Friday asked for a similar protection from the contraception rule. “It is now nearly a certainty” that the Supreme Court will take up the nonprofit challenges to the contraception requirement next term, according to SCOTUSblog.

The Best Of The Dish Today

I’m grateful for your many emails on the Hobby Lobby ruling. Almost all of them are dissents. And there’s one core point that we didn’t underline today that’s worth noting. When you consider this a “narrow” ruling because it is restricted to “closely-held” companies (i.e. those with “more than 50 percent of the value of its outstanding stock owned directly or indirectly by five or fewer individuals at any time during the last half of the tax year” and “not a personal service corporation”), you find that over 90 percent of companies in this country fit the bill. That’s not-so-narrow in the broad scheme of things. Alison Griswold notes:

According to a 2009 research paper from NYU Stern School of Business, these corporations account for 52 percent of private employment and 51 percent of private-sector output in the country.

Will they all decide they cannot furnish certain medications, based on religion? Of course not. But they could. And when the potential scope of this sinks in, and especially if more than a few companies start curtailing their female employees’ health coverage for religious reasons, I’d say you’re going to have a very divisive reaction.

Which raises the politics of this. I’d say it’s terrible for the right in everything but the short term. It may fortify the base, but the fact that this decision focuses exclusively on medications for women, and not for men, will surely fortify the other base even more. Even if you worry about religious liberty, why does religion in 21st Century America always seem to be about policing the sex lives of everyone but straight men? That may not be the intent of the ruling, but it is somehow always the effect. It’s not good PR. And neither is this attitude:

I have a feeling that the lack of any female votes in the majority will also sink in. If the Republicans want to add fuel to the Democrats’ charge of a “War on Women”, they just got a tank of gasoline. And this could even be a real fault-line in upcoming national politics. Bobby Jindal is now running as the religious freedom candidate; Hillary Clinton will be the first woman candidate for president with bells on. She has already declared the ruling “deeply disturbing.”

I’d say the gender gap just widened a bit more; and the Democrats – especially young and single women – have just been given a reason to turn out this November and in 2016. As often with culture war battles, the winners can easily become losers. And I don’t need to remind the right that those who have no problem with contraception are a growing, big majority demographic and those opposed to contraception are a tiny and declining one. If you’re going to take a stand on religious conscience, why does it have to be restricting women’s choices in their insurance coverage?

In non-Hobby Lobby news, we noted Facebook’s creepy manipulation of  users’ emotions – all for your own good, you understand; Putin got his comeuppance as Ukraine signed a trade pact with the EU; and I penned a mediation on our age of libertarianism – and its growing impact on foreign policy.

The most popular (well, read, anyway) post of the day was Why Am I Not So Alarmed By Hobby Lobby? followed by Jesus vs John Galt. I can’t help wondering if part of the Court’s rationale isn’t somehow informed by American conservatism’s bizarre and disturbing attempt to create a Randian Christianity.

Many of today’s posts were updated with your emails – read them all here.  You can always leave your unfiltered comments at our Facebook page and @sullydish. 15 more readers became subscribers today. You can join them here – and get access to all the readons and Deep Dish – for a little as $1.99 month.

See you in the morning.

Hobby Lobby: Your Thoughts, Ctd

The in-tray remains full of your insights. One reader writes:

Your first reader’s reaction – that it’s troubling the Court made a point to protect only an evangelical Christian belief – is really interesting. This whole case hinges on construing the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, and RFRA was a direct legislative response to very similar reasoning in Smith v. Oregon.

In that majority opinion, Justice Scalia said Smith had no constitutional right to exercise the religious practice in question (use of 1024px-Peyote_Cactuspeyote in a Native American ritual). Or rather, he said the state of Oregon’s interest in preventing abuse of peyote outweighed Smith’s religious freedom. He made a point of saying part of the balancing act was the fact that the religion Smith adhered to was not widely practiced, and therefore very few people’s religious rights were trammeled by Oregon’s law.

The dissent put the question to Scalia: what happens if a state outlaws use of sacramental wine in the interest of preventing alcohol abuse? Scalia’s explicit reply was: oh please, that will never happen because Catholicism, and other denominations, have so many adherents. Such a law could never be supported democratically, so the issue would never arise. He stood the Religion Clauses on their head; they weren’t there to protect religious minorities from the democratic will of “overweening majorities”; they were there to do just the opposite. Many, many people found that outrageous, and Congress (very much including Democrats) passed RFRA as a direct rebuke to Scalia’s opinion.

So, Hobby Lobby is now the second modern case I know of that singles out a widespread religious practice for protection, while denying it to similar practices of smaller faiths. And this case did it while being decided on the basis of legislation passed as an explicit disavowal of that first case. That’s a nifty bit of bendy logic to pull off, and a bit of a “fuck you” to the legislative branch.

Another reader reiterates the fair and important point that this was not about contraception as such, but contraception believed to be a form of abortion:

You stated: “The notion that the executive branch has the right in wartime to seize an American citizen and torture him into incoherence strikes me as a more important question than whether someone can have access to free contraception if her employers disapprove.”

What this ignores, and what most of the responses to the SCOTUS ruling on the Hobby Lobby case ignores, is that the thing that makes this more important to the religious right is that these people think the morning-after pill kills babies (and they believe this even of intrauterine devices); whereas the enemy who is tortured into incoherence is (1) still alive, in most cases, and (2) the corporate entity may be paying for it at a remove, but their taxes are not labeled as “for torturing prisoners.” I’m not defending their crazy views, mind you; but unless we realize that they really, really think this, and that’s what they’re upset about, I don’t see any way of effectively putting this to rest, the way we pretty much have done with blood transfusion refusers and snake handlers.

I hope at least some liberals grasp that being required to finance something you believe to be murder is a legitimate area of conscientious objection.