Remember: tyranny is whimsical. That doesn’t merely describe a cackling lunatic despot handing out life and death according to his mood of the hour. It means that complicated systems that feature huge amounts of concentrated power will occasionally produce contradictory results.
For example, right after Christian-owned craft story Hobby Lobby failed to secure an injunction against ObamaCare on the grounds of religious liberty, Tom Monaghan, the founder of Domino’s Pizza, won the same sort of injunction from a different wing of the federal judiciary. As reported by The Hill:
Federal District Court Judge Lawrence P. Zatkoff issued the decision Sunday, less than two days before the policy would have taken effect and exposed Monaghan to fines for non-compliance.
“Plaintiff has shown that abiding by the mandate will substantially burden his exercise of religion,” Zatkoff wrote.
“The government has failed to satisfy its burden of showing that its actions were narrowly tailored to serve a compelling interest. … This factor weighs in favor of granting Plaintiffs’ motion.”
Monaghan recently filed suit against the policy, which requires most employers to cover a range of birth-control methods in their health plans. Churches and houses of worship are exempt, and employees of religiously affiliated institutions such as Catholic schools will be able to obtain birth control directly from their insurance company, also without a co-pay.
The accommodation does not cover employers who are personally religious and object to their employee health coverage serving as a vehicle for forms of birth control they disagree with, such as the morning-after pill.
Hobby Lobby’s quest for an injunction ran all the way to the Supreme Court, where it died beneath the pen of Justice Sonia Sotomayor. Sotomayor’s ruling was almost exactly the opposite of Zatkoff’s – she thought the much higher total fines faced by Hobby Lobby were not a substantial limit upon the owners’ free exercise of religion.
Certain people who don’t sweat the details of these little clashes between the formerly inalienable rights of Americans, versus their government’s appetite for power, have already begun calling for a boycott of Domino’s Pizza over this act of ObamaCare defiance… even though it’s got nothing to do with the famous pizza chain. Monaghan, who is Catholic, founded the pizza restaurant, but long ago sold his interest in the company to… Bain Capital. (Insert ominous thunderclap.)
The ObamaCare suit concerns Domino’s Farms Corporation, a property-management company which owns an office park in Michigan. To make matters even more, shall we say, whimsical, another Catholic businessman in Michigan, John Kennedy of Autocam, recently failed to obtain the same sort of injunction that Monaghan won. Kennedy even produced a Web video to make his case to the public:
Things were so much simpler when the State was obliged to respect the religious conscience of all Americans, rather than seizing the power to weight some of us in the balance, and find us wanting.