Not Just Christian Fascism: Eco Justice & the Hobby Lobby Atrocity

Hobby Lobby AtrocityThe myth of American exceptionalism has always been impervious to data and empirical evidence. Despite being the richest, most prolific jailer in the world, the U.S. is fond of swaggeringly comparing itself to Western Europe with its evil big government social welfare safety net and waning capitalist moxie. Despite allowing Christian fascists to control its public policy, it is fond of denigrating Muslim theocracy while touting its status as a beacon of secular democratic rights. Despite telling American women that they are liberated, post-feminist and beyond all that affirmative action shit, it is beholden to a medievalist court blazing a “new” trail of misogynist jurisprudence.

The Supreme Court’s Hobby Lobby decision is staggering in its criminal disregard for individual liberty, women’s self-determination and economic justice. It is indicative of how much the political ground has shifted in eight years that the seemingly modest requirement that all employers be mandated to provide birth control coverage under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) has emerged as a pitchfork clarion call for the radical right.

As commentator Sally Kohn pointed out recently on CNN, the cost of birth control meds like Plan B is prohibitive for women who are making at or below minimum wage (HL apparently funded Plan B and other contraceptives it disingenuously labels “abortifacients” before the passage of the ACA). The absence of this coverage will have an immediate impact on their families and day-to-day livelihoods.

This endorsement of Christian fascists cannot be separated from the broader context of GOP assaults on worker rights and racial justice.

But this endorsement of Christian fascists cannot be separated from the broader context of GOP assaults on worker rights and racial justice. In addition to subverting reproductive rights, the GOP has consistently opposed raising the federal minimum wage and fought tooth and nail against minimum wage increases in state legislatures like California.

The SCOTUS ruling against a requirement that home care workers in Illinois pay union dues was another salvo in the radical right’s campaign against public employee unions like SEIU. SEIU’s membership is 56 percent female and 40 percent of color. Nationwide, working class and low income women of color disproportionately rely on public employee unions to fight for benefits and higher wages

sikivu hutchinsonThese assaults have particular relevance for black women because women of color have seen their wages plummet, benefits disappear and job prospects shrivel. While there has been much focus on skyrocketing unemployment among black men, black women’s unemployment has increased significantly. As Jenn Jackson writes in Ebony, according to the National Women’s Law Center (NWLC) “black women only made up 12.5 percent of all female workers in June of 2009, yet accounted for over 42 percent of job losses for all women between June 2009 and June 2011. Black women’s unemployment rate increased 2.1 percent in the same period—three times the increase of the next highest unemployment rate (black men).”

In 2013, “Black women were the only subgroup of women who did not see a decline in unemployment rates. As other racial, ethnic, and gender groups have seen improvements in their employment status, black women continue to lose jobs at disturbing rates.” Similarly, as the lowest paid group of women in the workforce Latinas also have the lowest rates of workforce participation. According to the U.S. Department of Labor Latinas make a lowly 61.2% to the dollar of white men while black women make 68.6%

sikivu-hutchinson-250Just as recent Supreme Court decisions on corporate “personhood”, voting rights and affirmative action have further eroded the right to self-determination for poor and working class people, the Hobby Lobby decision is ultimately about power and authoritarian control over women’s lives, families, destinies and communities. And the only way to beat back the fascist anti-democratic tide is to organize.

Sikivu Hutchinson
Black Fem Lens


  1. Eric Ferreira says

    If you knew the definition of fascism, then you would know who exactly was being the fascist. Did you attend a fundamentalist grade school?

  2. Eric Ferreira says

    The Hobby Lobby and Citizens United rulings are the final blow to democracy for the conservative movement in the United States. Congratulations America, you got what you voted for in both parties during the last thirty years beginning with your beloved Father of Fascism and traitor Ronald Reagan. And its not going to get any better if conservatives continue to manipulate the ignorant middle class and use the media to move the discourse so far to the right that voters think that the ideas of Democrats are far left. The Democratic party might be to the left on some social issues. However, on economic and foreign policy issues both parties are mostly on the same page. The result is government owned by corporations and wealthy like HL owners and rights of right wing Jesus zealots given superior status by Republicans without any resistance from Democrats. That/s fascist and its here. Think 1930’s Germany and then consider voting for anyone of the major parties or the phony tea party established by the one percent by luring angry middle class with race baiting and scapegoating tactics. There are other alternatives than those presented to you in your Lazy Boy by mass media. But maybe its too much to get up from that Fox show hypocrite drug addict Rush telling you why Mexicans are taking your jobs, Muslims are taking over (ironic) and black men are going to murder you. If you’re Christian right wing, yourjubilance at the HL decision very clearly showed that you either don’t understand or don’t care that the HL decision had nothing to do with religious freedom. You are selfish traitors who have juvenile grasp of religion and American values.

  3. AdamWho says

    The Hobby Lobby decision is EXTREMELY narrow and is not an important case for women’s rights. You shouldn’t blow it out of proportion… which is what everybody will do to get votes and campaign donations…. and drive blog hits.

    The decision is about private, family owned businesses which bases its businesses practices in their religion (how you do that is unclear). Such a business is only a step away from a religiously based business or charity and the law already excepts those cases.

    That business made their decision, now it is time to make yours. Don’t shop there, you can go to Micheal’s, JoAnns or somewhere else instead.

    But consider this: If you demand a privately held business’ policies must align with your personal beliefs before shopping there, who exactly is being the fascist here?

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