From a libertarian viewpoint all rights are “individual”. Religious freedom should be an individual right which the individual decides for himself or herself as to what to believe. With the accompaniment that what you believe applies only to yourself and cannot be imposed upon anyone else. The very history of religious wars leaves no doubt that the use of force to impose any religious belief is in fact a criminal act. Just as the use of force except for self defense is now generally considered a crime. It also doesn’t make any difference if you sincerely believe that forcing someone to accept your religious beliefs would be of benefit to them. That if they don’t accept your religious beliefs that they will “go to hell” or whatever. Any more than you would have the legal right to force someone to receive an immunization against a disease. BTW this idea has been advanced by some on the basis of “public health”. That it is best for society if everyone is immunized, even if it is against their wishes. The idea of “doing good” by the use of force still exists today… And is much beloved by those who believe government can “solve” all problems… Obamacare operates upon a basis of “force” in that employers are required by law to provide a specific type of health insurance with specific coverage, including covering certain drugs which are used to prevent fertilized ovums from attaching to the wall of the uterus. In effect “killing” the fertilized ovum. This is what the owners of Hobby Lobby object to. They see it as an “abortion”. Which is against their religious beliefs even though they are incorporated and the owners are actually the major stockholders. In effect Obamacare is forcing people to pay for something that many would object to!*
*There is a proposed federal law against taxpayer funded abortions. As a libertarian I object to having to pay for government enforcement of all drug laws, government rules and regulations that make everything cost more than it would without them. We also need to stop being the world’s policeman (bully is probably a more accurate term)!!!
This brings up the question as to whether or not those who believe in a certain religion believe that they have the legal right to impose their beliefs upon their employees. Both Christians and Moslems believe that they do have such a right to impose their beliefs upon those who do not share their beliefs. The Pro-Life people also believe that they have a legal right to oppose women from having abortions upon the grounds that an abortion is actually a form of “infanticide”. And that abortion is “legal” (with limitations), it still “infanticide” even if they haven’t been able to get a law making it illegal as it mostly was before the “Roe vs Wade” decision by the Supreme Court. The owners of the Hobby Lobby believe that if they are paying for employee health insurance that they have the legal right to refuse to purchase coverage that would cover what amounts to “abortion”. Apparently they will allow contraception, sterilization, but “draw the line” at the drugs used to prevent implantation of fertilized ovums (morning after pill). As far as I can determine, this was really the issue that led to the lawsuit against the government. That the government is forcing them to pay for what amounts to abortions despite the fact that they consider abortions to be a form of infanticide. Even if the fertilized ovum in effect hasn’t even attached itself to the woman’s uterus. To them, once the ovum is in fact fertilized, it is in fact human life that should be “protected” and would be if abortion was again illegal as it used to be here in the USA.
This brings us to the issue of government forcing one group of people (employers) to provide their employees with medical coverage for something that is not a disease, but more along the line of a voluntary activity that may or may not result in the fertilization of a woman’s ovum. Hobby Lobby does provide its employees with medical coverage against disease. Against medical events that are effectively outside of any person’s own control such as infections caused by bacteria or viruses (viri?). Heart attacks, strokes, accidents,broken bones etc. These are the sort of things that we usually expect medical insurance to pay for. These are also the things that Hobby Lobby is willing to provide medical insurance to cover. They also cover most forms of contraception which is not always covered by insurance.*
* Prior to Obamacare.
As a rule health insurance does not pay for “voluntary” medical services that have no relation to a disease as such. If you want such things, you have to pay out of your own pocket. I have vision coverage with my Medicare Advantage plan, but it doesn’t pay for such things as Lasik (vision correction using a laser). For the very good reason that for most people ordinary eyeglasses or contact lenses can effectively restore my vision to a level comparable to those who don’t need visual correction. The same thing applies to medical services that have little if any relationship to “disease” as such. For these you have to pay for yourself. Which is the way it should be if we want affordable coverage.
I will mention again that I consider the concept of “Health Savings Accounts” as being a better deal than ordinary health insurance because it allows you to make the decisions, not the insurance company. Also, it is effectively cheaper because not only is there no “overhead”, the money can be kept in an investment account until needed. The only “advantage” health insurance seems to offer over Health Savings Accounts is that the insurance companies can “bargain” a lower price from providers in many cases. Mainly because the insurance company can pay the entire bill at once while the uninsured are likely going to be paying off the bill over a period of time, sometimes a period of years. However, people could also take out personal loans and pay off the provider and repay the loan at a cost that might be less than what it would cost using health insurance…
Frankly Obamacare creates more problems than it supposedly solves! It also takes away the right of a once free people to decide how they want to take care of their own health!