John Oliver On Hobby Lobby: ‘Corporate People’ Can’t Pick And Choose Based On Beliefs (Video)

John Oliver On Hobby Lobby: 'Corporate People' Can't Pick And Choose Based On Beliefs (Video)With the decision in the Hobby Lobby case Monday, HBO wasted no time in YouTubing this clip from the latest Last Week Tonight, in which John Oliver previewed the case. The essential question: Are corporations able. to hold religious beliefs? The obvious answer, “No. No they’re not. We’re done, right?” was complicated by last year’s Citizens United decision, which decided that corporations are people with free speech, so maybe corporate-Americans also have religious beliefs. And if they do, says Oliver, Taco Bell is clearly Hindu, “because you know there’s no fucking beef in those things.”

The real problem, Oliver observes with far more logical consistency than the Court majority could scare up, is that the company is arguing

that the sincerity of their beliefs should allow then a line-item veto over federal law. Because government is not an à la carte system where you can pick and choose based on your beliefs. Taxation is more of an all-you-can-eat salad bar. You don’t get to show up and say, “Look, I know it costs $10.99, but I’m only paying $7.50 because I have a moral objection to beets.” Because of course you do — they’re an abomination of a root vegetable.

But until you actually have a referendum and get beets removed from the salad bar, then sorry, “you’re paying for those fucking beets. Because everyone has their own version of beets.” Tough luck, Hobby Lobby — a lot of us don’t get exemptions for stuff we’re morally opposed to, like paying taxes for fighter jets (especially if they’re boondoggles that can’t fly in the rain). Oliver sums up: “If you really want to be treated like a person, corporations, then guess what? Paying for things you don’t like is what it feels like to be one.” We could use a John Oliver on the Supreme Court, but we probably need this one right where he is, mocking the news.

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  • Rick Hill

    Oddly enough, demanding my tax money isn’t used to kill people because my religion very explicitly says “Thou shalt not kill.” doesn’t hold water…

  • BMW

    With Stewart and Colbert off this week, are there enough John Oliver videos for a whole week’s worth of clipbait?

  • SullivanSt

    The more I think about yesterday’s decision, the more reasons I find to hate it.For example, the Roberts court has now proven beyond doubt it is the most activist court in my lifetime. The Medicaid opt-out was created from whole clothe. Now we have the brand-spanking new invention of the notion that corporations may have religious beliefs, and that even on questions that are objectively testable those religious beliefs are more important that reality, and with this shiny new legal fabrication, novel law that appears to set an arbitrary boundary on which corporations are capable of religious feels and which are not, in the complete absence of input from Congress. Also yesterday, another piece of new legislation delivered from the bench, finding that while non-union employees at private, unionized corporations in Illinois may be charged “fair share” fees, and so may non-union public employees, non-union employees at the (never-before-heard-of) classification of “partially public employers” may not be so charged.Perhaps this court has decided that since the House is obviously incapable of legislating, they will do it for them?

    • willi0000000

      Perhaps this court has decided that since the House is obviously incapable of legislating, they will do it for them?

      it’s more like they know they don’t have the votes in the Senate to pass this crazy shit, so…the D’s have to get seriously out there with the message that this kind of shit is what everybody can expect from now on unless they take back the House and keep the Senate. line up every shitty thing the R’s have done for the last six (or ten) years (from wars to the “patriot act” to citizens united to guns-guns-guns for everybody to this latest crap) and don’t let anybody forget it from now until November!if the D’s show enough spine to do that then get them to propose some serious ways to break the oligarchs and get the economy moving again.

  • Carter

    So I don’t do this anymore, but, just so everyone knows: Hobby Lobby is ridiculously easy to shoplift from.

  • Jim C

    Oliver is spot on as usual .