Wednesday, April 02, 2014

Conservative Intellectual Yoga

Rooster Pose image from Martin Brading
It seems to me that some conservatives seem to be incredibly adept at intellectual yoga, in which they can twist their logic and the facts into very bizarre ways in order to support their  logically contradictory positions.

Point 1:  Hobby Lobby objects to paying for health insurance for employees that includes contraceptive coverage for women, saying the business owner's religious beliefs should trump a woman's right to non-discrimination, privacy.  Basically, they are saying they should not have to pay for a woman's contraception through their health care.  What about paying for treatment of STD's resulting from an employee's adultery?  Will women have to research company owners' religious beliefs before applying for a job to be sure the health care will cover her reproductive health needs?
And what about the company money paid to an employee that the employee uses to buy reproductive health care?  That's the company's money used for the same thing, just not through insurance.  Will companies be allowed to not hire women if they use contraceptives or might possibly have an abortion in the future and would spend part of the salary to pay for it?

Point 2:  The Georgia legislature passed a law that would allow gun owners to carry their weapons into bars and churches.   In this case, it seems that the rights of owners and churches who are pacifists for religious reasons would be superseded by gun owners' rights to bear arms.

So the same people (business owners and churches) whose rights are asserted in point one are ignored in point two for the higher right of bear tools designed to kill other human beings.  

Original yoga image from CNTV

It seems they are getting closer and closer to merging their heads and their nether parts.

A Mother Jones report shows how truly twisted things get:
Documents filed with the Department of Labor and dated December 2012—three months after the company's owners filed their lawsuit—show that the Hobby Lobby 401(k) employee retirement plan held more than $73 million in mutual funds with investments in companies that produce emergency contraceptive pills, intrauterine devices, and drugs commonly used in abortions. Hobby Lobby makes large matching contributions to this company-sponsored 401(k).
And under the 'be careful what you wish for' category,  Mike Papantonio raises the question of whether the giving the religious belief of the owner import here would threaten the legal separation of the owner from the corporation opening owners to lawsuits for misdeeds of the corporation. 
At the heart of this, what you have is, you have Hobby Lobby saying, “We’re a corporation but we’re a devout Christian corporation. … If you follow that rationale, the separateness that usually distinguishes the owner of the corporation from the corporation [itself] is then destroyed. …

[Note:  I modified both images in Photoshop.  I also used Google's search by image to try to get to the original source of the photos.]


  1. "Consistency is the last refuge of the unimaginative." -- Oscar Wilde

    I sought consistency in rational political and life philosophy for decades only to surrender to the limits of reason to be fully human, to struggle with inconsistency.

    I am both spirit and reason; I see my inspiration for thought as logically irreducible to reason alone. Are conservatives somehow different?

    And so we debate: we may be right, we may be wrong, yet we are always human.

  2. Ha! There are inconsistencies and inconsistencies. Sneaking an ice cream when you're on a diet is one kind. Saying up is down to win at someone else's expense is something entirely different. Maybe we should have different words to convey different levels of logic bending, humanity, and selfishness.

    1. Agreed, we should, as I also agree in the simple wisdom of "people who live in glass houses"... without implicating anyone here, of course!

  3. thank you, Steve -- excellent analysis.

    what I want to know is if corporations can have religious beliefs, can they get married? (and if so, to whom and of what sex?) can they adopt? can they vote (ha ha -- we already know how that works out)

  4. It seems to me most corporations would be considered male. But I might be wrong. Here's from a discussion of a translation from Spanish:

    "The reference to the Monsanto Co. shows how a word can be assigned a gender based on a word that doesn't appear in the sentence. This is especially common with company names, which often are feminine because many of the words for types of businesses are feminine.

    For those new to Spanish, the phrase "la Goliat Monsanto" may seem unusual, since not only is Goliat masculine (it's the Spanish name for Goliath, the Biblical giant), but Monsanto ends in -o, and nouns ending in -o are nearly always masculine. But there's a reason Monsanto is feminine: The name here is a shortened version of Compañía Monsanto ("Monsanto Co." in English), and compañía is a feminine word."

    German has der Konzern (masculine), die Firma (feminine), and die Korporation (masculine.) for starters.

    Are mergers and buyouts a form of marriage? I suspect they're just civil unions.


Comments will be reviewed, not for content (except ads), but for style. Comments with personal insults, rambling tirades, and significant repetition will be deleted. Ads disguised as comments, unless closely related to the post and of value to readers (my call) will be deleted. Click here to learn to put links in your comment.