Thursday, July 10, 2014

Burwell v. Hobby Lobby

If you believe that God says it’s okay
That true believers should not have to pay
For what they think God might believe is wrong,
The Supreme Court is now playing your song.
They just declared that there is no restriction
On companies whose deeply-held conviction
Holds that some healthcare is a blasphemy
When it contributes to the infamy
Of birth control, effectual or shoddy,
As it pertains to any woman’s body.
Though SCOTUS must quote laws and precedents,
Companies have their faith as evidence,
Saying the source of all their legal grief
Is their unsourced but deeply-held belief
That if they do X, God will hold them liable,
Even if they can’t find it in the Bible.
As long as they declare they must obey
Whatever they say that their God will say,
Their wounded conscience can remain aloof
From anything resembling valid proof.
So if, for instance, I should make the claim
That the Creator (hallowed be His name)
Says every time girls fill a cavity
It also puts a stop to pregnancy,
My company can legally prevent your
Repayment for a filling, crown or denture—
And like a fervent Christian Scientist
I can be a medical atheist—
And righteously equate Hell’s deepest pit
With paying out a healthcare benefit
For anything with symptoms clear or vague—
The flu, the measles, chicken pox, the plague—
And say (while trying to suppress a grin)
“That’s why God put the sin in medicine.”
If this decision was religion-free,
And had no God in it, what would we see?
A legally illegal double-cross
That guarantees the right of some male boss
But not the rights of those that he oppresses—
Especially if they’re all wearing dresses.
The law, it seems, will always take offence
By women who exhibit common sense—
Who of their bodies claim sole ownership,
Declare their independence hip to hip,
And vow not to surrender their self-worth
But choose by whom and when they will give birth.
These simple choices still smack of sedition
To all the father figures of tradition—
They see their fragile social icecap breaking
When ovens want to take control of baking.
And since they can’t make women shake with awe,
They’ll make their bodies subject to the law.
If there’s a chance blondes, redheads or brunettes’ll,
Get pregnant, logic emulates a pretzel
And says that what their wombs will generate
Is a compelling interest of the state
And supercedes the owner of the womb
The way a silk dress supercedes the loom.

Forgive me if I hear these arguments
And think that their original intent’s
To limit women’s voices to lip-syncing.
Forgive me too for actually thinking
Male justices will never regulate
The male propensity to propagate
As long as all the female fields they’re seeding
Are never less than ripe for legal breeding.
It may not be sexual prejudice
But even if it ain’t, I bet you this:
Those kings who rule from their judicial palace,
They sure won’t pass a law against Cialis. 

The only thing supreme about these guys
Is their blind ignorance of all that lies
Beyond the bubble of their vanity—
What normal people call reality
And they call, with their voices full of terror,
Some pompous Latin synonym for error.
Their view of life’s as lifeless as that tongue:
It sees the coal but scoffs at the black lung.
The law to them’s no spirit and all letter,
And they’re so positive that they know better.
But what they know has sweet fuck all to do
With how this world’s lived in by me and you.
Their world’s a dictum written by a hack, 
Where real life’s just a footnote in the back.
Divorced from everything but the ideal,
They judge the menu but don’t taste the meal
And wash their hands of anything they sense
Might involve real hands-on experience.
There’s something frightened in them, I suspect,
That yearns to use the law to resurrect
That mythic era of the human race
When everyone shut up and kept their place.
It’s sad and yet kinda hilarious:
There’s nothing that defines cantankerous
Like five old coots yelling from dusk to dawn
“Get off my corporate-owned men-only lawn!” 

And when these judges talk abut the state
And how its interests must preponderate
All other interests and their rights curtail,
It’s clear the state is just another male
Who always wants to have it his own way;
And while he might let critics have their say,
He’ll never let a woman have a voice,
Never mind that odd thing she calls a choice,
Because to guarantee his own survival,
He must make sure that there’s a new arrival
Of citizens-to-be in great amount.
Thus giving birth is clearly paramount
And must supplant all rights social and sole
With one consummate governmental goal.
Which leads to this gigantic lunacy
Of twisted legal logic—QED:
A woman who lets no man impregnate her
Is worse than any terrorist or traitor.
That’s why the state always find feminism
A threat to sexual capitalism:
Since new consumers are compulsatory,
The state wants women pregnant.  End of story. 

What is it about women that scares men?
Why does testosterone fear estrogen?
Do some males think females were put on earth
To give them head while waiting to give birth?
To them, if you’ve been in a nail salon,
You’re secretly the Whore of Babylon.
I bet each time they father a girl child
They wish they could expose it in the wild
Instead of sharing money, name and home
With offspring who lack God’s Y chromosome.
And maybe that’s it—the whole male God thing—
That being male not only makes you king
But gets you droit du seigneur every day
On any pretty girl you want to lay. 

We’ve circled back to pure belief again—
This time beliefs particular to men,
Like “God made mankind with this one remit:
The female is what must and should submit.”
A major premise that unlocks the door
Which holds the answer that I’m looking for:
Like preachers fear the unrepented sin,
Like macho fears all things unmasculine,
Like misers fear the loss of all their dough,
What men fear most is women who say no. 

So now they’re passing law after dumb law
(Designed to stick in every female craw)
Which never take an axe, but only whittle
The tree of liberty, little by little,
Until they find the toothpick underneath
With which they’ll pick their smug paternal teeth.
It’s sad and galling and self-evident
People like this will never be content
Till women are just walking ovaries
Who cannot  legally do what they please.
This case, and cases like it, are the start
Of their Ahabian stab at the heart
Of all that’s threat’ning to the Great White Male
So all these Moby Dickheads can prevail
Against the foe of our great polity:
The devil of female equality. 

Yes, women are the devil—and this vision
Informs the whole Hobby Lobby decision.
If I say God says X will cause abortions,
The law now goes through hoops, if not contortions,
To make sure, if I chant a holy song,
My corporate civil rights are never wrong.
Or not as wrong as any woman’s are—
Their rights are like a fishless sushi bar:
So wrong they’re nonenexistent.  So you see,
If I’m a male, then SCOTUS favors me,
And will support me, when I say my soul
Can't stand the sacrilege of birth control,
And any law that puts The Pill in play
Is one that I do not have to obey—
Thus letting me commit a perfect crime
Which can be summed up by this simple rhyme: 

My right to say “God thinks this law’s insane!”
Trumps women’s rights the way penis trumps brain.


Copyright 2014 Matthew J Wells

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