The University of Notre Dame has just upped the ante in their fight against the birth control mandate of the Affordable Care Act, appealing to the Supreme Court to step in and hopefully allow the university to basically rid themselves of the paperwork that lets them opt out of birth control.
For the record, Notre Dame has twice attempted the same thing in lower courts, so appealing to the Supreme Court is essentially tattle-tailing on the lower courts in a childlike tantrum because they didn't get what they wanted. So what do they want?
Well, since the Hobby Lobby decision, which allows for-profit companies with sincere religious objections to opt out of contraception, the religiously-affiliated non-profit Notre Dame (a school that charges $46,000 a year tuition and has a main building partially made of gold) has been trying to get in on that action.
Currently, religiously-affiliated nonprofits that don't believe in covering contraception can fill out TWO PAGES (what a "substantial burden) of paperwork, which allows their insurer to cover it directly. But apparently that is still too much for their meek little hearts to handle as it supposedly violates the Religious Freedom Restoration Act.
Irin Carmon at MSNBC reports:
"Under the accommodation, religious organizations must take actions that they believe make them complicit in the delivery of the very coverage they find objectionable," attorneys for the university wrote in their petition.
"Just as a Mormon might refuse to hire a caterer that insisted on serving alcohol to his wedding guests, or a Jew might refuse to hire a caterer determined to serve pork at his son's bar mitzvah, it violates Notre Dame's religious beliefs to hire or maintain a relationship with any third party [an insurer] that will provide contraceptive coverage to its plan beneficiaries," according to the petition.
Are you still with me? Should I call the paramedics? I mean, when I first read that, I nearly passed out from the lack of reason in that statement. You good? Okay. Comparing the coverage of birth control to serving pork at a bar mitzvah is equal parts dumb, inaccurate, and insulting. I am unsure if I have the mental faculty fathom the completely illogical parallels asserted by that statement—in layman's terms, I can't even.
Of course, Notre Dame could choose not to offer any insurance at all and simply pay a fine instead. It anticipated that objection: "Notre Dame's provision of health coverage is itself an exercise of religion." (The Hobby Lobby majority endorsed that view.)
Yep. Notre Dame is basically saying, "We're the real heroes here. We're the ones who face punishment for standing up for our American and God-given right to shit on women. God Bless America!"
If the Supreme Court lets this pass, I am going to draw up a petition regarding every single "substantial burden" I can think of. Taxes? That's way more than two pages of paperwork. SUBSTANTIAL BURDEN. Speaking with my mother? SUBSTANTIAL BURDEN. Getting pieces of shell in my egg? SUBSTANTIAL BURDEN. Getting blue-shelled in Mario Kart? SUBSTANTIAL BURDEN. Paying for tampons? SUBSTANTIAL BURDEN. See where I'm going with this?
Image via Getty.