Late-night comedian and satirist John Oliver devoted a segment of his new weekly HBO show, Last Week Tonight with John Oliver, to slamming Hobby Lobby for its contention -- upheld yesterday by the U.S. Supreme Court -- that private, closely held, for-profit corporations have the same religious rights as people."
"What these companies are arguing," Oliver said, "is that the sincerity of their beliefs should allow them a line-item veto over federal law. But government is not an a 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 go '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... if you can persuade enough people of that, then you can have a referendum to remove beets from the salad bar in the future. But until such time, you're paying for those fucking beets. Because -- everyone has their own version of beets.
"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."
Oliver's critique, which he made the night before SCOTUS's disastrous Hobby Lobby ruling, is eerily prescient. If only the Supremes had listened.