‘Bigotry Disguised as Freedom’: The LA Times, The Guardian, Daily Beast Vs. Hobby Lobby

Liberals fret over brand-new ‘rights’ while dismissing the First Amendment.

Out: First Amendment protections guaranteeing religious liberty. Oh, and the right to free association. In: The inalienable right to have strangers pony up for your sex life.

Welcome to our new constitutional order, if some major American newspapers and left-leaning sites have their way. In the view of The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times and left-wing blogs, Christian business owners are trying to take away the right to contraception, by asserting their right to religious liberty.  

With the Hobby Lobby case coming before the Supreme Court Tuesday, March 25, the usual suspects of social liberalism have been up in arms. Over 50 businesses have filed a brief against the will be contesting the HHS Mandate which requires businesses with over 15 employees to provide employees with insurance plans that cover all types of contraception, including abortifacients. According to the media, the notion that pro-life business owners would contest this is “absurd” “bigotry”  and “religion run amok.” 

So we get to hear from America’s most famous consumer of birth control and Obama’s favorite student Sandra Fluke, along with abortion activists Cecile Richards of Planned Parenthood, NARAL President Ilyse Hogue. For good measure, the gay left weighed in too. 

The Guardian’s Jill Filipovic called the case for religious liberty “absurd” and asked Sandra Fluke, whom she called a “reproductive justice activist” for her opinion on the case. “It could undermine a whole host of protections against discrimination – race, sexual orientation, gender,” Fluke then alleged, “We’ve seen people step forward and say it: ‘I shouldn’t have to pay men and women equal wages because of my religion. I shouldn’t have to serve LGBT folks.’” Filipovic agreed calling it, “outright bigroty disguised as ‘freedom.’” 

The Los Angeles Times gave plenty of traction to abortion activists like Ilyse Hogue, NARAL President, Marcia Greenberger, co-president of the National Women’s Law Center and the ACLU’s Louise Melling. “What could be next?” Hogue breathlessly asked. “Could our bosses decide on religious grounds they don’t want to offer vaccinations? Or HIV medications?” Melling agreed, “It’s a way of using religion to discriminate.” The LA Times called the cases “masquerading as religious freedom cases” really is a fight against “women’s autonomy in general.” 

The New York Times, Salt Lake Tribune and The Huffington Post all pulled out the gay card to warn that Christian business owners would want to ban gay customers too. UCLA Law Professor Adam Winkler wrote for Huff Po: “Can business owners use religion as an excuse to discriminate against LGBT people? If the Supreme Court rules in favor of Hobby Lobby, the answer may well be yes.” Winkler went on to compare the Hobby Lobby case to the landmark Brown vs. Board of Education case. 

The Salt Lake Tribune hosted an op-ed written by two executives from gay rights groups “Equality Utah” and “Alliance for a Better Utah” along with the CEO of Planned Parenthood Utah, Karrie Galloway, entitled, “A Hobby Lobby win would encourage discrimination in Utah.” They argued that a ruling in favor of Hobby Lobby “would undermine reproductive rights and anti-discrimination laws and precedent.” Not only that, but apparently this case would allow religious business owners “to decide which laws to follow.” 

The Daily Beast’s Gene Robinson portrayed a scary future if the court ruled in Hobby Lobby’s favor: 

If my religion told me that the races were unequal and should be kept separate, I could declare my restaurant to be for “whites only.” I could refuse my services as a caterer for interracial marriage receptions. I could refuse to offer my services to Jews, Muslims or anyone not of my religion. A single mother could be turned down for a loan on the basis of a loan officer’s judgment that her morality didn’t live up to his religious standards. Gay and lesbian couples could be denied a hotel room—and even medical services—by those who found their “lifestyle” religiously objectionable. 

So understand this: The left (in the form of the federal government) is mandating that businesses pay for these services. Then it is telling religious business owners that they must leave their religion in the pews. Oh, and for good measure, it’s calling anyone who disagrees a “bigot.” Yet their “rights” are under assault.

Not everyone agrees with the left-wing media, however. The Becket Fund, who’s representing The Greens, the owners of Hobby Lobby in their case against the Obama Administration, have argued

“In Sebelius v. Hobby Lobby, 84 amicus briefs were filed – among the largest amicus efforts ever. By an almost three- to-one margin, these briefs favored Hobby Lobby, demonstrating the breadth and depth of support for the Green family, Hobby Lobby, and religious freedom.”


— Kristine Marsh is Staff Writer for MRC Culture at the Media Research Center. Follow Kristine Marsh on Twitter.