The Only Thing More Idiotic Than Personhood Is Giving a Corporation Religious Freedom

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An idea or suggestion that is wildly unreasonable, illogical, preposterous, idiotic, harebrained, and just dirt-stupid can be considered patently absurd. It is likely that if someone held up a piece of paper serving as a legal instrument and identified it as a person with 1st Amendment freedom of speech rights, most sentient beings would consider the concept absurd; unless they are conservative Supreme Court justices. The only thing more idiotic than ascribing personhood to a legal instrument is asserting it prays, worships, and warrants religious freedom protections; particularly when the corporation (legal instrument) will exercise its religious freedom to impose religion on its employees and abridge their 1st and 14th Amendment constitutional rights.

On Monday, the Supreme Court will announce its closely-watched and highly anticipated decision in Hobby Lobby et al v. Sibelius (United States), and depending on how conservatives on the court rule, Americans may witness the height of absurdity and corporate-mandated religion. They may also witness the end of their religious freedom, the end of constitutional anti-discrimination protections, and corporate religious tyranny with the High Court’s Constitutional blessing.

There are several ways the Court could rule to protect women, and all Americans, including summarily disabusing Hobby Lobby’s owners of the idea that their legal instrument’s religiosity is anything other than sheer madness. Or they can end Americans’ freedom from religious tyranny and usher in constitutionally-protected discrimination and put women, atheists, gays, and people of color at the mercy of anyone exercising their religious beliefs. It is worth considering how the High Court could rule to either protect all Americans from corporate religious tyranny, or establish the ultimate Christian conscience clause and eliminate over two centuries of religious freedom and equal rights under the law.

In what should be the most obvious, and frankly blunt, ruling, the High Court would inform Hobby Lobby, and all evangelicals, that exercise of religious freedom does not include imposing religion on other Americans. It is not now, and never has been, what religious liberty means, especially when the Greens’ freedom of religion means imposing their religion to harm other Americans. In fact, since religious freedom is being used as a tool to impose religion in various contexts around the country, including when businesses claim religious freedom gives them the right to discriminate against the LGBT community, spelling out what religious freedom really means will settle myriad issues. The Court must affirm the Constitutional principle that religious liberty is a shield; not a sword that allows evangelicals to impose their beliefs on others.

The most reasonable ruling for the Court is to tell Hobby Lobby’s owners the concept of a corporation as a legal entity exercising religious freedom is preposterous. The Court could also tell Hobby Lobby’s owners that they cannot enjoy tax breaks and special privileges associated with being a corporation separate from their personal situation, and then expect “personal” consideration as a corporation to impose their religious beliefs on the corporation’s employees. Or they can tell Hobby Lobby the religious entity that if it hates contraceptives, the corporation has religious freedom not to use them. In a sane ruling the Court will inform Hobby Lobby, the corporation and its owners the Greens, they really do not have religious conscience against contraceptives because they invest in pharmaceutical companies producing the same contraceptives their corporate religious sensibilities oppose.

Obviously, Hobby Lobby’s owners, as wealthy Christians, expect special tax privileges as a corporation and special religious privileges as a corporation to force compliance to their religion on their employees. It is all about special entitlements with the wealthy elite and evangelical fundamentalists as the nation has witnessed over the past five-and-a-half years. Now they are asking the High Court for more entitlements in the form of religious freedom.

If the Court buys into the idiotic notion that a legal entity (Hobby Lobby Inc.) prays, worships, and hates the idea of including contraception coverage in health insurance plans, it can simply stop providing health insurance coverage. In that case, Hobby Lobby’s owners will spend substantially less paying a minor fine for not offering health insurance than providing it for their employees. However, that ruling would eliminate Hobby Lobby’s original intent to force compliance to their religious beliefs on their employees; that is the real impetus for their lawsuit.

Even if the Court’s conservatives find that providing contraceptives really is a burden on the corporation’s religious exercise, it could tell Hobby Lobby that contraceptive coverage “forwards compelling interest in women’s health and equality under the law” and does so in the least restrictive means to the Green’s religious beliefs. The Court should also dismiss the truly bizarre notion that contraceptives are abortifacients regardless what manner of voodoo drives Hobby Lobby’s owners’ beliefs about contraceptives; reproductive coverage is crucial to women’s health and Hobby Lobby must be reminded there are other Americans’ lives and welfare at stake. Despite what the Greens’ and the religious right believes, the world does not revolve around their inordinate religious sense of self-importance particularly when it is founded on their distorted definition of religious freedom.

Even a ruling that says Hobby Lobby can eliminate one part of healthcare for its employees would be extremely dangerous because the conservatives on the Court would signal again that they give more weight to corporate interests than women’s right to healthcare and freedom from religious imposition. The real danger is that in setting a precedent of “free exercise of religious domination,” the conservatives on the Court will open the floodgates for anyone, corporation, small business, or private individual to use “religious freedom” to discriminate against anyone and flout any law.

For example, a business owner can can claim paying a woman or person of color minimum wage violates their religious belief that women or people of color are only worth a dollar-an-hour. A bigot can claim that being arrested for stoning gays violates their religious freedom, or a fundamentalist Muslim can claim they were exercising religious freedom when they killed their daughter for being raped. It is why the High Court must make explaining what religious freedom means their first order of business; tragically, that appears to be highly unlikely.

The Hobby Lobby case is not, regardless what the Greens say, about contraception coverage; it is about using the vaunted “freedom of religion” as a tool to dominate Americans. It just takes a quick perusal of the Manhattan Declaration that Hobby Lobby’s owners are staunch devotees of to comprehend their goal is using religious freedom to discriminate with impunity and gain control over large swathes of the population. The conservatives on the Supreme Court have already exposed their predilection to rule in favor of corporations and give them inordinate power on myriad cases. With the specter of giving corporations ultimate religious authority over at least half the population, it is doubtful they will rule according to the Constitution when they can rule for corporations that pray, worship, and use religious freedom to dominate the people.

 

 

57 Replies to “The Only Thing More Idiotic Than Personhood Is Giving a Corporation Religious Freedom”

  1. Ironic that SCOTUS loves the “slippery slope” argument and this decision has potential to be the most slippery slope of all.
    As an aside, every time a company or corporation changes hands, does its “religion” change as well?

  2. It will be a 6-3 Vote against Lobby Hobby but certain parts of the Health Care Law will be amended for Christian contorts.

  3. It scares me to think about the consequences of SCOUTS’s decision if they rule in favor of the fanatical religious zealots. We will be sorry if they make this decision. The religious right cannot take control of our government. We will end up like other nations who kill each other in the name of their personal religious beliefs.

  4. With the decisions, and more importantly, the unanimous decisions I have seen come out in the past few weeks I am not going to venture a guess. I realize that there is a certain amount of politics and horse trading of cases if you will within the court.

    So was the decisions rendered in the last week or so a trade off for a favorable decision in the Hobby Lobby case? Or is the Hobby Lobby case a trade off for something else? As the Unions decision yet still to be rendered.

    The only consistency with the Roberts court is that there is no consistency. The only accurate word for this court is scary.

  5. Hobby Lobby and Walmart wish to announce their wedding, to be held in the Supreme Court\\\\\ Church this coming Saturday.

  6. If Hobby Lobby is a real person with real sensibilities, we will find ourselves compelled to furnish public establishments with three restrooms: “men”, “women”, and “corporations”.

  7. I’m betting the court will squash this dumbass idea completely.Failure to do so destroys any and all laws.

    What federal, state, or local law has any legitimate claim if such laws violate my personal religious convictions?

    Using the religious convictions ploy is making a law against law.

  8. Please get the phrasing correct as it does make a difference. We do NOT have religious freedom because that would mean that people could do whatever they wanted as long as it is sanctioned by religion. What we DO have is freedom of religion, which means that we can believe whatever we want, but we have to obey the secular laws that are put there to protect all of us. Religious freedom can never be allowed in this country if we are to be governed by the Constitution and the rule of law.
    As far as the ruling goes I think Kennedy will swing liberal on this one because he can see how ruling in favor of Hobby Lobby could actually bring back discrimination against Catholics. He’s old enough to remember some of that. He is also far sighted enough to see how ruling in favor of Hobby Lobby would undo a lot of the case law that he has shaped over the years…if it could potentially take away the power of the court then the court will rule against it. Each branch jealously guards its power.

  9. Hobby Lobby needs to be publicly recognized as a hypocritical business. If they are so Christian and uphold Christian values, why do they sell stuff for people to purchase items during Halloween?

    I think the Supreme Court should just not waste their time with these zealots who promote their own religious agenda and want to ram their religious beliefs onto many others who disagree with them.

  10. Win or lose, if you need anything that Hobby Lobby sells, go to Michaels. At least you wont be supporting religious extremism.

  11. Hobby Lobby is closed on Sundays due to their religious convictions. They are losing a lot of money by doing this,so as far as I can tell,they are putting their money where their mouths are. They are a privately held company and are not subject to the same rules as publicly held companies. They do not discriminate against any religion or people, they just want to up hold their religious beliefs. I’m a republican who defends abortion and the use of contraceptives. What I am against requiring companies to pay for all contraceptives. I can very well afford to pay for my daughter’s birth control pills but they get them for free. I don’t want nor do I need the government or insurance companies to pay the entire cost. I will pay my family’s way in this world without asking for hand outs all the time.

  12. Excuse me but if you are paying for insurance how does an insurance company pay the full cost? I see why you are an republican. Logic does not compute

  13. I understand that Hobby Lobby sells stuff made in China where they have forced abortion. Also that Hobby Lobby put employees pension money in a company that produces either contraceptive pills or devices.

    this company should be avoided at all costs and folks should let them know why they will be boycotted.

  14. How do they get their Birth control pills for free…hmmm that sounds like a government backed program.

    Hobby Lobby is TAKING AWAY their employees’ freedom of religion by forcing their beliefs on their workers.

    Sorry but I personally will NEVER shop there again.

  15. That’s all good and well and I do appreciate your personal responsibility and your ability to take care of your own. However, there is no cost involved for the contraceptive coverage, just like there is no cost involved for the viagra coverage. Thus, the argument that everyone can and should pay for their own contraceptive medication is baseless and without warrant. Unlike viagra, contraceptive medication serves more than just sexual activity and/or promiscuity as it has been proven to address several serious medical concerns for women which are completely unrelated to one’s sexual proclivity. To deny poor women who suffer from any of these serious medical concerns and deny them this medical treatment is devoid of compassion, fairness and morality. The hypocrisy is people like the Greens have no problems with viagra which serves no purpose other than a male’s sexual pleasure, yet refuse to recognize, unlike viagra, contraceptive medication is not always about sex.

  16. Here’s an exercise in thought, Against the Grain: Change all the instances of “Christian” to “Islam” or “Muslim” in the case documents, and see if you still hold the same beliefs.

  17. Hobby Lobby doesnt lose anything for not working on Sunday. Thats a day with no overhead.

    2nd, Hobby Lobby doesnt pay for birth control. Holy jumping jesus of Illinois, dont you know anything about the ACA bill? The dispute is over them being required to have it in the plan they7 give employees. And sadly, they had it in their plan until they were required to do so.

    The birth control pills are paid for by the insurance group based on every ones monthly premiums. Jesus, come on man. wake up

  18. “People have morally identified with a subset of humanity rather than with humanity as a whole.” — Sam Harris

    Their actions are opposite of the teachings in the bible. They forget God is watching!

  19. If the sperm court rules for hobby lobby them we need to vote ALL republicans and blue dog democrats out of office and push the Congress to start impeach a few of the right wing Kochsuckers on that court!!!

  20. There is NO right to health care period.

    You have no right to food, shelter or clothing either.

    If you had a RIGHT to any of the above then the state would be required to provide them to you, it doesn’t. SURPRISE!!!!

    YOU on the other hand have the RESPONSIBILITY and the OBLIGATION, in a free society, to provide these things for yourself in order NOT to be a burden.

  21. Preamble
    We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.

    This is not Aynranistan and BTW providing for the people is way down on the list of priorities
    Image and video hosting by TinyPic

  22. This is your dream
    Soon Texans Will Drink Their Own Pee
    Like most of her neighbors in this brown-collar town [Bastrop, Texas] of mechanics and landscape workers, [Linda] Curtis gets her water from Aqua Water Supply Corporation, a local utility with shallow wells that pull groundwater from the Colorado River. But the source of some of that water is actually treated sewage flowing downstream from Austin. It contains enough iron to clog Bastrop’s wells, and enough estrogen from excreted birth-control pills to cause horrid mutations in frogs and fish.

    “We’ve got quite a bunch of six-legged toads,” says Phil Cook, a senior water expert who recently retired from Sierra Club Texas. “Bastrop’s dirty secret is that it treats water for iron, but not estrogen and other drug compounds. That’d be way too expensive for their small system.”
    It ends with this
    When Texans are all drinking their own pee, they better figure out how to get that estrogen out of it. Based on their record so far, their most likely solution will be to ban birth control and pray for the best
    http://www.boomantribune.com/story/2014/6/29/204023/065

  23. The real crappy part is that in this economy, Hobby Lobby is going out of business in a few years anyways. They don’t sell cell phones, or video games at Hobby Lobby. They sell model rockets, and model trains, and decks of Uno cards, and important of that nature…. ( eyes roll ). As much as I’d LOVE to put together a Millennium Falcon die cast model ship, I’m not going to Hobby Lobby ANYTIME soon. Sounds like the Company CEO’s need a new Hobby, other than being cheap, yuppie christian, republican pain in the ass. You’d think we’d be desensitized to that sort of thing by this time, but they always make sure they twist the knife an extra time. Sure, HOBBY LOBBY’s the victim. YEAH RIGHT ! I don’t trust the SCOTUS at ALL ! They were bought out LONG AGO. We’re on our own, my friends. It’s the 99% against the 1% once you’re all ready to realize it. My pitchfork is sharpened already. I just need material to use for a torch. Tywinn Lanister will regret the day ! ;)

  24. Actually, you are very, very wrong. The change to The Church of England occurred when Elizabeth’s father, Henry VIII, was King. Not only were thousands murdered, Henry looted the Catholic churches and took everything he could get his hands on. To be a Catholic was to be treasonous. Elizabeth tried to undo much of the damage that her father had done during her reign.

  25. Actually, HL does discriminate against people in their hiring practices. They hire only Christians. No Jews, no Muslims, no pagans, no atheists.

  26. While our attention is focus on Hobby Lobby there is another case that may be more important on the docket and it may the final nail in the coffin for representative democracy

    Unions Should Brace Themselves for a Major Supreme Court Loss:

    It’s official: The Supreme Court will wait until Monday, the final day of the current term, to issue its decision in Harris v. Quinn. As I explained in May, Harris is a blockbuster case that could, in a worst-case scenario, wipe public-employee unions such as SEIU and AFSCME off the map. And the chances of a damaging decision in Harris just increased—here’s why.
    Read More
    http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2014/06/samuel-alito-harris-quinn-supreme-court-union

  27. WRONG! Hobby Lobby is NOT a “privately held company” – it’s a Closely Held Corporation. Big difference!

    And as such, they shouldn’t get to cherry-pick all the advantages of incorporating so as to insulate themselves from liability while ALSO demanding all the advantages of “personhood” so they can cram their own religious beliefs down their employees throats.

  28. …Church of England Airlines, would you like Cake or Death?..I’ll Have cake..Oh sorry but we are all out of cake I’m so sorry it’ll have to be death!…

  29. It is high time we destroy Holy Hobby Lobby(ist) not just protest or boycott. Boycott is only the start, we must also remove from our nation ALL faith based corporations that seek to legislate against reality.

  30. Unfortunately, it’s just reported that it was a 5-4 decision FOR Hobby Lobby. The RWers on SCOTUS have now effectively made corporations people.

    The good news is, Scalia and Kennedy are almost 80 yrs old and ripe for retirement. They cannot hold on forever and will need to be replaced. Let’s make sure that Democrats control the Senate and the WH when they do.

    GOTV in 2014 and 2016 and vote straight Democratic Party in order to keep the Senate and WH in Democratic hands. We MUST make it a priority to neuter the Rightwing Roberts Court and return the rights this Corporatist Court has been systematically taking away from us for the benefit of and in the name of Corporatism.

  31. Ever hear of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights? All of those things you mentioned ARE rights, as agreed by the US and every other major country in the world. Rights do not imply state provision. You are a confused individual. Perhaps a little education (Fox News doesn’t count in the curriculum) would you do you some good, Franklin?

  32. The RW-Roberts Court don’t give a darn about any 14th Amendment! They don’t care about and totally disrespect the U.S. Constitution. They only care about Corporate-Rights.

    They have also just ruled, 5-4, in favor of freeloaders benefiting from hard-earned union rights, and in effect, are gutting the Unions and killing the middle-class.

    I am sickened to my stomach, djchefron. What a way to start a week…

  33. I just hope that all those people who said it was no difference between Bush and Gore reflect back on their ignorance. Bush is the gift that keeps on giving.

  34. I think hobby lobby will be out of business by the end of the year or a religious business. The majority of shoppers are women for crafts and sewing needs, take a stand and shop a MICHAEL’s and put hobby lobby in the trash bin of History.

    I hope hobby lobby will be entitled to put up signs that they will not take your money if you pro-choice.

  35. I hope hobby lobby will be entitled to put up signs that they will not take your money if you pro-choice.
    ————————————
    I just spit up my water!! If these hypocrites cared one bit about their kooky religious beliefs they wouldn’t be doing business with China.

  36. …one factor everyone seems to be leaving out, is that the politically motivated hyper conservative “justices” are ALL CATHOLIC!!! According to longstanding Catholic dogma,ALL birth control,be it rubbers, The Pill,IUDs ALL OF IT is wrong…This is EXACTLY why any SCOTUS nominee should be grilled relentlessly on ANYTHING that would cause them to automatically vote for or against a topic likely to come up…

  37. I had a feeling that Kennedy although a Catholic would not let what he believe in make his decision. IMO he should no longer be considered a swing or moderate voice but just another Reich wing ideologue who have actively rewritten the Constitution. Its no longer WE THE PEOPLE. Another sad day for the republic

  38. Like Bill Maher and Michael Moore – in addition to Liberaltarian-puritains who haven’t let up criticizing President Obama because he hasn’t fixed the mistakes THEY made by supporting corporate-backed Nader in 2000 and what resulted in Duhbya Bush and DarthCheney’s “wins” which, in turn, resulted in Roberts’ and Scalito’s nominations to the SCOTUS which in turn made corporate theocracy, the disemboweling of voting rights and women’s reproductive rights a very credible threat today.

    I hope they’re happy but I surmise they’re going to blame Obama for SCOTUS’ rulings, too. It’s their standard response to everything without taking responsibility for their part in creating this SCOTUS.

  39. Roberts lied during the Senate confirmation hearings when said he would not rule against precedent and he lies now. The only thing that stop him and the stooges on the court is to take lifetime tenure away from them It would take a constitutional amendment to do so,but we would not have idiots on the court who don’t understand the notion of the difference between church and state.Hobby Lobby has no right to dictate to anyone or force their belief system on anyone.I wonder if they pay for Viagra.

  40. Impeaching the Supreme Court over its latest decions would be a blessing in helping America to learn how to protect itself from overreaching by any branch of government, even the Supremes, long known as having the ability to disturb, and destroy democracy.

    Why else would court packing be one method the other two branches use to wrongfully control America?

    Court packing is the method for getting the wrong decisions of bad law to corrupt government.

    Teach America to defend itself from administrative overreach; impeach them!

  41. Hmmmmmmm….sounds like a Taliban decision to me. Just what the monarchs in Saudi Arabia would condone.

    Hmmmmm….Watch all the crazies on the Right Wing come out saying: Don’t blame our Conservative judges on this. BLAME OBAMA!
    Right Wingers blame Obama for: Natural disasters, ISIS uprising, Global warming, Dtroit’s failure, Chicago’s crime problem, etc. and they will blame him if the USA loses their soccer match. Stay tuned…..

  42. Believe me…this decision is going to cause a LOT of un-intended consequences throughout the land. i.e. Will Catholic Colleges or other Christian Colleges and Universities…expel female students under suspicion for using contraceptives? (snitched on by a hardliner). That is a little far-fetched, but hmmmmm. who knows what is going to spread from this ruling.

  43. Thomas Jefferson one of the greatest Americans that ever lived would roll over in his grave,having heard about this we have raped and destroyed the U.S.Constitution to suit the twisted beliefs of the big corporation

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