pages

Monday, June 30, 2014

Hobby Lobby is a Closely-Held Corporation



Emily Zanotti on the Supreme Court's Hobby Lobby decision:
Closely-held corporations with religious objections will not be forced by the government to violate their religious beliefs under the law. Profit-seeking corporations can have a religious viewpoint.
She follows up:
Supreme Court ruled: yesterday, if you wanted birth control, you could buy it and use it. Today: if you want birth control, you can buy it and use it.
Kevin J. Binversie sums up the situation roughly as I would have.
Family-owned companies should be allowed to do this. It's not the end of the world, it's about allowing a person, family or small-knit group to run a business the way they want to. Sheesh, get off the ledge.
A friend of mine in New York dogmatically insists that this is the very first time in all of human history that a corporation is recognized as having a religious conscience that can legally and appropriately be acted upon. I think that's horse-hockey. First, my friend pretended, and perhaps believes, that once a collective group of individuals, the species roughly described as people, incorporate then they divest themselves of the rights of human beings. As it is a family or an individual can also incorporate. I have an unfinished essay about that: not having a legal pedigree can hurt my longterm understanding of certain concepts I grant you.

If I own a corporation, with the purpose of my corporation being a shell entity with which I sell stuff and I have employees, then the corporation's moral limitations are defined by my sense of morality, which is shaped by my faith.  If this was 2012, 2010, or 2005, this would surely still be the case.  The corporation doesn't make decisions autonomously; I make the decisions of the corporation, including the ones that apply to employees and customers.  The corporation in that case certainly operates with a religious conscience.

That fact is implicitly recognized and has been implicitly recognized for years, ever since a corporation drew a line on whether or not treat someone unfairly without coercion.

Obviously there will be more on Hobby Lobby later.  Normally this is the sort of politics I despise, for a number of reasons.  However I find this fascinating.  The first reason is that FREEDOM OF RELIGION is one of the most important and vital freedoms in our country, both freedom of and freedom from, and therefore it must be both protected and its repercussions fully realized and recognized.  The second reason is that an appropriate sort of right to property and free assembly should not require a "religious" reason behind it to grand legal validation.  For right now we use it and it's important yet the atheist's self-determination must be protected as well.


Hobby Lobby to be continued...


"Corporations as People" to be continued....

self-determination of a business...... to be explored later....

No comments: