May 15, 2019
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.