Why Hobby Lobby is no win for religious freedom

“The whole point of establishing a corporation is to create an entity separate from oneself to limit legal liability…. It seems awfully dangerous to allow corporations to have it both ways.“ — David Gushee, an evangelical Christian professor of Christian Ethics and director of the Center for Theology and Public Life at Mercer University

“The New Testament never—not one time—applies the ‘Christian’ label to a business or even a government…. The tag is applied only to individuals. If the Bible is your ultimate guide, the only organization one might rightly term ‘Christian’ is a church.” — Jonathan Merritt, an evangelical Christian writer and blogger for the Religion News Service

Why Today’s Hobby Lobby Decision Actually Hurts People Of Faith

My opinion:

  • If you’re going to have religious freedom, then closely held corporations ought not to be required to take action against their beliefs.

  • On the other hand, as Gushee notes, the entire point of a corporation is to separate the business from the person. The family that owns Hobby Lobby can’t on the one hand claim, oh mercy, don’t make us support birth control, it’s against our religion, but on the other hand, oh goodness gracious, don’t make us personally liable for Hobby Lobby’s debts and regulatory violations because we enjoy corporate protection. I look forward to a smart attorney going after Hobby Lobby’s owners’ personal finances over some matter unrelated to religious belief.

  • It’s swell to see Big Government stand up for individual freedom. And by extraordinary coincidence, Big Government is once again standing up for the rights of the 1%.

  • Women have a right to decide for themselves whether to use birth control or get abortions.

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21 thoughts on “Why Hobby Lobby is no win for religious freedom

  1. William Terdoslavich: The Hobby Lobby decision is pretty narrow, basically saying that a privately-held company can adopt policies that reflect the view of its owner. But I think that is a function of owning property (the corporation), not the corporation’s “personhood”, a legal fiction invented to limit liability to the corporation in order to legally protect the owners.via facebook.com

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  2. Flavio Carrillo: The Supremes (or the conservatives among them) have lost sight of the essentially utilitarian and economic purposes of corporations and are busy loading them up with all sorts of aspects of personhood that are not essential or even marginally related to their core mission.They may even be diminishing their efficiency in doing this. You extend to them enough rights to do what they need to do in an economy…and no more. The considerations here ought to be purely pragmatic and up to recently always have been. Companies are not people in any kind of literal or metaphysical sense. This is a legal term of art…but obviously some folks are forgetting this, which is loopy.We’ve come a long ways baby, and not in a good way.via plus.google.com

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  3. Michael Kelly: At one point, a lot of the value of encouraging business was justified in how it also added value to society and the common good.   The ostensible goal of business was to increase the value of society as a whole.People then seem to have later simplified that as what was good for business was good for society.Eventually, even that connection seems to be lost and now we now seem to almost value society based on how it contributes to business, not the opposite.That said, it is a hypocrisy for a business to hide behind Christianity since the Bible almost has more to say about greed than almost any other subject and I have yet to see some of these same religious objections to amassing obscene wealth.  I would expect that a business that was truly Christian would follow some of the central aspects of what the Bible’s Jesus talked about – helping the poor, taking care of the sick, defending the less fortunate and eschewing greed.    Thus far, it seems an attempt to pick and choose aspects of the religion which benefit them and dismiss the ones that are inconvenient, have costs, or they don’t agree with.via plus.google.com

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