Update: Sen. Lee explains after agreeing with radio host; women use birth control for ‘recreational behavior’

US Utah Sen. Mike Lee

UPDATE: Sen. Lee’s office provided a transcript of the radio interview on “The Wilkow Majority.”

Wilcow: “This was not a question of access and privacy. This was not a question as to whether major pharmaceutical retailers like Walgreens were going to be able to – they kept saying ‘women should have access.’ Women do have access. We were not – nobody was debating access. This was a debate over whether or not a person who runs a business should be forced to provide something that is largely for recreational behavior if it goes against their religious beliefs.”

Sen. Lee: “Yeah, that’s right. That’s right. This administration appears to – desires to use the awesome coercive power of the federal government into their way of being, their way of existing, their way of believing and thinking and acting. They much prefer to do that than to just make sure that a market exists in which people can get access to things they want or need. And that is a fundamental flaw, and a fundamental flaw that ends up frequently trampling on the individual rights of the citizens, whether it’s religious rights or some other right. And it’s a big problem. As I’ve said before, when government gets too big, it begins to behave like Godzilla in that it might step on your house. And when Godzilla steps on our house he’s not necessarily stepping on your house because he doesn’t like you, or because he wants to eat you. It might just be because he’s Godzilla and he’s huge, and your house is in the way. And it’s an incidental casualty to Godzilla doing what Godzilla does. That’s exactly why it’s important to keep the government reigned in and to carve out areas that are none of the government’s business.”

SALT LAKE CITY – U.S. Senator Mike Lee (R-UT) said he agreed with the Supreme Court’s decision in a hot-button case about religious liberty and birth control Monday.

He also went on a Sirius XM radio show, “The Wilkow Majority,” and said he agreed with the host who said women use birth control to protect themselves during “recreational behavior,” ThinkProgress.org reported.

The show host, Andrew Wilkow, argued that the real question in Burwell v. Hobby Lobby Stores Inc. was about “whether or not a person who runs a business should be forced to provide something that is largely for recreational behavior, if it goes against their religious beliefs.”

According to ThinkProgress.org, Lee responded, “Yea, that’s right, that’s right,” before claiming “this administration is using the often coercive power of the federal government to force people into their way of being and their way of existing, their way of believing and thinking and acting.”

However, Sen. Lee’s communications director, Brian Phillips, said the senator does not agree with the comments Wilkow made.

Phillips said Sen. Lee’s response  was regarding whether or not a person who runs a business should be forced to provide something that goes against their religious beliefs.

According to Phillips, the senator was agreeing the federal government was forcing people into a way of believing and acting.

Phillips said the ThingProgess.org story is a “deliberate lie used to mislead people in an effort to portray Lee in a negative light.”

After the Supreme Court ruling Monday, Sen. Lee said, “Today’s decision in Burwell v Hobby Lobby marks an important victory for religious liberty. Americans do not shed their religious freedoms merely by going into business.  The Court’s ruling upholds and strengthens the rights of individuals and the rule of law, while protecting the Constitution.”

MORE: See the full story from ThinkProgress.org

10 comments

  • Bob

    5 of the Supreme Court justices got it right. If somebody doesn’t like the insurance benefits their company provides then for heaven’s sake go work for a company that does.

    • Casey Anderson

      What is the solution when MOST of the company’s in a given area are owned by that same church?

      The main issue i have with this decision is this….It sets legal precedent for worse things to come.
      My Pay as an employee comes in the form of a $per hour wage AND benefits. They are one and the same they have been given to me from the company i work for to compensate for the work i do.

      So what is to keep this from also effecting the money i get? Can’t they also argue now that not only the insurance given to me can not be spent on what they do not agree with, but also the money? Whats next religious exemptions on where i shop? Sorry that head shop down the road sells tobacco pipes, and tobacco is against my religion. So now my employees can not shop at that store?

      Further more it sets legal precedent for faith to out weigh reality. This case is based on the belief that these drugs are used to cause abortions. They are not in fact if they were the Federal government could not offer Plan B out of government hospitals. Yet i worked for the VA, and it is available and offered as an emergency contraceptive. So the federal government accepts the reality that these are NOT abortion drugs… yet the belief that they are is what allowed hobby lobby to win. We now literally have a case where my belief out weighs your reality.

      • Chubby Kid From South Park

        Unless you live in The Vatican that’s not a realistic scenario.

        I assume that what you REALLY meant was, “What if most of the businesses are owned by citizens who happen to belong to the same religion?”

        Answer: Accept that they have rights, and go buy some birth control. They do not owe you recreation. Stop thinking like a parasite and be self-sufficient.

        What’s the keep this from affecting your compensation package in the future? Nothing. Welcome to America. If you think a socialist system is superior you have plenty of alternatives to choose from. Pick one.

  • Chubby Kid From South Park

    Great minds think alike. I posted yesterday and said that s e x is either for procreation or recreation. You don’t need birth control for procreation, obviously. That leaves recreation. Recreation is not a civil right. Your employer doesn’t owe you “fun”, in the form of birth control, movie tickets, or trips to the beach.

    Both reasons for having s e x are perfectly valid. There is nothing wrong with either of them. But it’s still not your employer’s job to provide them.

      • Chubby Kid From South Park

        PURSUIT being the operative word. Pursue a course to the drug store and buy some birth control. Happiness is not a civil right. You have the right to PURSUE happiness.

        Your rights end where mine begin. And no, I don’t think we live in America anymore. Not by any reasonable standard.

      • Bob

        You have all the right in the world to pursue happiness Eric. You just don’t have the right to expect someone else to pay for it.

    • Skeptical Joe

      You DO realize that a majority of women use birth control not to not have babies, but to handle hormone imbalances and prevent ovarian cysts, right?

    • Kevin

      You don’t know anything about womens health then. Certainly many women take BC to prevent pregnancy–but some also take it to regulate their cycles, prevent ovarian cysts, etc. BC isn’t just to prevent pregnancy.

  • PEDRO

    Nobody is being denied anything. You can purchase contraceptives at any drug store. What a false pretense that this is somehow an assault on women’s reproductive health. Just moving closer and closer to the point where “Big Brother” controls everything.

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