Fact-checking is a very useful skill. As it turns out, it’s actually not that hard in most cases. But you wouldn’t know that from scrolling through Facebook or Twitter…particularly right now with the rants about employer-funded birth control.
Yet again, false rumors that Hobby Lobby is closing all of its locations, due to government requirements that the business provide employees with coverage for contraceptives, have been making the rounds on social media, bringing out reactions from people on all sides of the issue. The rumors, which are actually several years old, build a fictional tale loosely based on a 2012 op-ed from Hobby Lobby CEO David Green, written in response to an Obamacare mandate. In the piece, Green stated:
A new government health care mandate says that our family business must provide what I believe are abortion-causing drugs as part of our health insurance. Being Christians, we don’t pay for drugs that might cause abortions. Which means that we don’t cover emergency contraception, the morning-after pill or the week-after pill. We believe doing so might end a life after the moment of conception, something that is contrary to our most important beliefs.
These apparently incendiary words, recirculated in the current fake news articles, were enough to make some people lose their minds over the past few days:
So Hobby Lobby is closing all its stores, and they are blaming Obama. Ha ha ha ha, Nope your stores are closing because you are out of touc…
— Willie Nelson (@bamascot) July 17, 2017
@HobbyLobby hear you are closing all your stores. Is it true? Let’s hope so. Steve Green is a ????on sheeps clothing. God is saving us frm u.
— JoelJTrinidadMattlé (@TheRealJoel_J) July 16, 2017
Reactions on Facebook were even more intense, many of which cannot be posted here due to privacy concerns. But go ahead, take a look for yourself. It won’t take long for you to find anti-Hobby Lobby posts yelling about how abortion-causing drugs are “necessities,” “basic human rights,” and more.
What you will likely not find is a logical explanation for why, even if abortion-causing drugs were a right/necessity (they’re not), a business is ethically, or should be legally, required to pay for them for their employees. Isn’t food a basic necessity? Should businesses be required to buy their employees’ groceries? Isn’t housing a basic necessity? Should I call the higher-ups at Live Action News and yell at them for not covering my rent this month? (If this is the last article you ever see from me, you know why.) Many Americans would argue that gun ownership is a constitutional right; should employers have to buy employees weapons? You get the point.
In addition to not being able to conduct basic fact-checking or offer a logical explanation for their arguments, angry pro-abortion social media dwellers don’t seem to realize that shouting, “It’s a right”:
1. Does not prove it’s actually a right,
2. Does not prove it’s my obligation to pay for you to exercise that right,
3. Makes you look real silly if the story you’re yelling about turns out to be an obvious, years-old hoax.
This week, one particularly angry pro-abortion poster (who also happens to be a strict and outspoken vegan activist) went on a Facebook rant about how Hobby Lobby deserves to be closed, because they are denying women their basic rights by not buying them abortion-causing drugs. (For more on why those opposed to animal cruelty should also be opposed to abortion cruelty, take a look at these abortion videos.) A clearly more educated Facebook user quickly pointed out that first, the story is fake news, and second, if the government required the original poster to pay for his employees’ BLTs, wings, and burgers, he would likely object on moral grounds and refuse to do so.
Unfortunately, that post can not be shared here for two reasons. First, the aforementioned privacy concerns. Second, instead of responding, the original poster quickly realized he had no counter-argument and deleted the post. But again, check social media for yourself, it won’t take long for you to find similar threads. Enjoy the craziness! If nothing else, it’s highly entertaining.
Editor’s Note: All op-eds are the opinion of the writer, and not necessarily the official position of Live Action. For more on the dangers and abortifacient properties of hormonal birth control, see this article.