There is no debate over "businesses with potential religious objections"
because businesses have no legal right whatsoever to make religious objections.
Under the law, a for-profit business is definitionally secular. Period. End of
story. If you want to get all preachy, become a 501(c)(3). The
honest debate is whether the United States is willing to allow individuals with
personal, moral convictions to dictate said convictions through for-profit
entities in a discriminatory manner in defiance of the law and to the detriment
of their employees. If you cannot distinguish between this issue
and private entities choosing not to use their profits to sponsor a random event
or procure product through particular supply chains then the subject matter is
beyond your scope of understanding.
You are either a business OR a religion.Trying to make something
both will only exasperate the problem.And the column writer is correct -
neither side will like the outcome if you do.
Unless your business is a church, it should not be granted religious exemptions.
Funny how I've never heard of any religion but Catholics having a problem
with birth control in the past. Seems convenient to now suddenly
have a surge of protestants that are opposed to birth control.It
doesn't matter what religion you are you shouldn't let people die of
curable diseases in one of the richest countries on Earth. Or anywhere else.
What if a business owner is opposed to war based on religious views? Should
he/she have the option to withhold funds from the Department of Defense?
Some people like to pretend it is the business or business owner who is
"buying" the insurance.It's not. It's the
employee. Employers found they could pay a lower hourly wage and
get a tax benefit if they offered insurance - that is why insurance is through
employers: they get a benefit. It is all part of the
employee's compensation package - payment for the services the employee
provides to the business. Don't believe me? Be honest with
yourself as you consider the following:You apply for a job. The
employer tells you they can pay x and provide insurance with a payroll deduction
or they can pay y where y>x but no insurance. The difference between x and
y is the employer's contribution to insurance minus his tax benefit. If
the employer "buys" the insurance, why the different pay rates?Or:You have "employer provided" insurance. Your employer
says he is dropping that, but not changing your wage. (Your check will go up the
amount of your contribution.) Are you okay with that? Or do you feel that you
have lost something and your work is being compensated at a lower value?
@redshirt007 – “Seems convenient to now suddenly have a surge of
protestants that are opposed to birth control.”Perhaps the
biggest non-issue in the history of our on-going culture war! Stalwart
Sentinel’s brilliant comment got it exactly right, and redshirt007 (which
redshirt are you?) got to the heart of the matter above.This has
nothing to do with birth control or even religious objections of business owners
(since the laws of the land that govern commerce will always go against
someone’s personal convictions and courts have always ruled in favor of
the laws – see Scalia in the article referenced Peyote case).This entire issue is a tactical move meant to attack the President and part of
the larger strategy in the mostly silly culture war.I wonder how
many of those who are all fired up against this mandate are going to wake up in
5, 10 or 20 years and realize, “wow, I was played like a violin by a
cynical media looking for pawns in their game.”
Let's list the violations that the Federal Government has made.- It is demanding that people have health insurance. Where in the Constitution
is that duty enumerated?- It is demanding that businesses pay for
birth control. Where in the Constitution is that duty enumerated?-
It is demanding that religious beliefs be ignored. Where in the Constituion is
that duty enumerated?- It is demanding that an establishment of
religion pay for birth control as part of the insurance package that government
has required. Where in the Constitution is that duty enumerated?There are too many violations to list, but in every case, the federal level of
government has exceeded its authority and has assumed duties that were to be
left to the States or to the people.Why has the federal government
demanded that we all buy health insurance? It wants 18% to 24% more private
sector money to be added to "revenues" of the federal government. It
wants to mix that money with the general fund and then give out I.O.U.s to pay
for health-care, just as it has done with Social Security. Follow
the money. Always follow the money.
@Mike Richards – “It is demanding that religious beliefs be ignored.
Where in the Constituion is that duty enumerated?”I’m
guessing that would be the 1st amendment – the one about passing no laws
respecting an establishment of religion (i.e., “ignoring” religious
belief when passing laws).As to your ultra-literalist no room for
interpretation view of the Constitution, what about National Parks? Apparently
the Constitution does not allow for their creation, so will you go on record as
advocating their dismantling on returning all that land to private owners?
Can’t wait to see Yosemite and Yellowstone after they have been
transformed into Las Vegas… Back to the issue at hand - The reason we know this is a faux issue – 99% of American adults
have used birth control including 97% of Catholics. Some
enterprising journalist should do an investigation on those business owners who
are objecting and find out how many of them have used birth control. Dollars to
donuts most would be part of the 99%, a fact if uncovered would expose this
whole charade for what it is.
Re: "... what about National Parks? Apparently the Constitution does not
allow for their creation, so will you go on record as advocating their
dismantling on returning all that land to private owners?"And
while we're at it, we can consider returning the Louisiana Purchase.
Jefferson thought the Constitution did not give the government "a power of
holding foreign territory, and still less of incorporating it into the Union. An
amendment of the Constitution seems necessary for this."But he
changed his tune, or in the words of Merrill Peterson, "Jefferson buried his
fears of making the Constitution 'a blank paper by
construction.'"Jefferson: "I wrote to you ... on the
subject of Louisiana, and the constitutional provision which might be necessary
for it. A letter received yesterday shows that nothing must be said on that
subject, which may give a pretext for retracting; but that we should do, sub
silentio, what shall be found necessary." "... the less that is said
about any constitutional difficulty, the better, and that it will be desirable
for Congress to do what is necessary, in silence."
Tylerthanks for displaying your misunderstanding of the 1st amendmendment.
but what else would we expect from someone who thinks CO2 is pollution?as for the increase in the number of noncatholics decrying the mandate
that catholics fund contraceptives, the issue is not that we agree or disagree
with the use of contraceptives, the issue is the govt is DEMANDING catholics be
forced to buy something contrary to their convictions - in essence passing a law
conserning the establishment of religion. in other words, when it comes to your
religions, you are free to practice - as long as it does not interfere with
government mandates.the idea that a business owner NOT buying his
employee's abortificants is somehow forcing the owner's religion on
the employee is as ludicrous as saying since I am not buying my co-worker his
cigarettes, I am forcing my religion on him.NO ONE should be forced
to abandon their beliefs to run a business. Regardless of all the sophistry you
drag up, telling ANYONE they abandon their beliefs once they enter the world of
commerce is contrary to the religious protections that were enshrined in the
constitution, but constantly ignored by liberals
lost in DC - Unfortunately, I fear you are unable to grasp the very simple
concept that a business is not a legal extension of the owner. Under the law,
there is literally zero recognition that the owner of a for-profit business is
Catholic, Jewish, Muslim, Agnostic, or Pastafarian. It is a business, secular
in nature and nothing more. A business owner has, in no way,
been forced to abandon any belief. Indeed, a business owner can continue to
believe as she/he sees fit in their personal life. Notwithstanding, said owner
has no legal standing whatsoever to channel her/his personal beliefs through the
business onto the employees, particularly when said belief is contrary to
established law. At the end of the day, the distinctions between
the rights afforded an individual human being vs that of a for-profit company
are real. It does not matter whether you are incapable of recognizing the
difference between a human and a corporation or simply refuse to because the
courts are able to discern between the two and our side will ultimately prevail.
So, you can either accept reality by comprehending the differences or stand
dumbfounded when your side loses.
So not buying employees birth control means you are forcing the employees not to
use it? How about the employees plunking down a little cold hard cash if they
want to use birth control?
50% of women use contraceptives to balance their hormones and cycles - NOT for
birth control.Why are Republicans so much against women's
Sentinal,I am afraid you are unable to grasp the very simple concept of
freedom of religion outlined in the first amendment. If, as you say, the LAW
says a for profit is definitely secular and not an extension of the owner, then
the LAW violates the "congress shall enact no LAW concerning the
establishment of religion" section of the 1st amendment. that simple.FORCING someone to buy something they strongly oppose for religious
resaons is enacting a law estblishing religion. NO ONE should be forced to
abandon their beliefs to participate in the capitalist system. Or would you
rather they all close their businesses and go on foodstamps and other forms of
welfare? how about they make ALL their employees parttime? do you prefer THOSE
alternatives?open minded?no one is opposed to women's
health. Since I am not personally feeding EVERY PERSON in Philadelphia, I am
opposed to people in Philly eating? get real!c'mon, fess up,
you liberals just want someone else to bear the cost and responsiblity of your
sexual activities; someone else pay for the contraceptives, someone else pay for
the abortion, someone else etc, etc ad infintum.
Jon W. says:"So not buying employees birth control means you are
forcing the employees not to use it? How about the employees plunking down a
little cold hard cash if they want to use birth control?"They
already do, they're called "premiums".@DC;See what I said to Jon W. (And you clearly ignored what Stalwart said).
Every business should be treated alike. If a church owns a business, that
business should be subject to the same rules and regulations as every other
business. If a religious person owns a business, that business should be treated
like every other business. Just because a business owner has strong religious
beliefs doesn't mean that certain rules shouldn't apply to him. The
religion or religiousness of the owner should never be a consideration before
the law.A business owner's rights and beliefs are not more
important than the rights and beliefs of his employees, and his rights and
beliefs should not limit theirs. Religious organizations should
decide: Are they churches, or businesses? They can't be both. If a man owns
or operates a business, he's a businessman. If a religious organization
owns or operates a business, it's a business organization. By owning or
operating a business, a church becomes a business itself."No one
can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he
will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and
Despite the fact that the American Constitution is only talking about churches
and religious establishments, somehow the idea of freedom of religion for
individuals themselves got stuck into the American creed. If we are to have
religious freedom for people, we must limit the kind of religious freedom the
churches want. First thing is to keep organized religion out of
government. That not only means their lobby and their evangelical military
chaplains but the business lobbies of the church own and operated businesses.
There’s no law against churches owning and operation a
business but if the choose to operate a business in the public square they must
follow the same rules as other non-religious businesses. If churches are
allowed to ignore civil law based upon religious beliefs then we should also
allow any individual to ignore civil law according to his own personal beliefs.
lost in DC - A few points: 1 - It seems your understanding of the
1st Amendment on this subject matter is inverted. The fact that government
makes no recognition of religion at the corporate level (ie HobbyLobby is not a
Christian business, Hebrew National is not a Jewish business, both are simply
businesses) ensures no establishment of religion occurs, not the other way
around. Of course, if you disagree and believe a 1st Amendment violation has
occurred, by all means, file a lawsuit. I can't wait to learn the outcome.
2 - There is a difference in meaning between the words
"definitionally" and "definitely." I trust you can look those
up. 3 - No one is being forced to do anything here, it is imperative
that you extricate the individual from the corporation. Again, there are noted
legal distinctions between a corporation and the individual who owns/operates
said corporation. Further, if an individual is opposed to fair treatment and
compliance under the law, then they are free to not participate in the
marketplace. There is no injustice in that. 4 - Finally, writing
something in all caps does not make the statement more true; no one is fooled by
When an individual starts a business, they set it up such that should their
business be sued the individual's home, possessions, and finances are
protected and cannot be taken if the business loses.An
individual's religion should be just as separate from the business - and
for the same reason.
@Stalwart Sentinel,Would you explain the difference between "an
establishment of religion" and "the establishment of religion"?
Your whole argument depends on the use of "an" or "the". One
word is definite the other is indefinite. One word prohibits Congress from
interferring with religion. The other word prohibts Congress from creating a
new religion.Just to help out a little, Congress is not prohibited
from creating a religion, but it cannot dictate to that religion any doctrine.
If it wanted to create the Church of Congress, it could, but it couldn't
tell the Church of Congress what to teach, what doctrines to follow, what
ordinances to perform, or what convenants to keep. On the other hand, it cannot
at any time or in any way tell a religion what to do about anything for any
reason - including what services that religion must provide to people who work
as employees of that religion.
There are no established religions or churches in the United States, though some
of the colonies once had them. An established religion or church is one
"recognized by the government as the national church or religion" (The
New Oxford American Dictionary), or as the Oxford English Dictionary puts it:
"Established Church: The Church as by law established in any country, as the
public or state-recognized form of religion....So State Church."The United States has no national church or religion. One purpose of the first
amendment is to prevent an establishment (i.e., to prevent an establishing) of
any church or religion, that is, to prevent any church or religion from becoming
the national church or religion of the United States.As Leonard W.
Levy writes in "Origins of the Bill of Rights": "The classic
establishment of religion denoted a legal union between a state and a particular
church that benefited from numerous privileges not shared by other churches or
by the nonchurched or unbelievers. An uncontested and uncontestable fact that
stands out from the establishment clause is that the United States cannot
constitutionally enact any law preferring one church over others in any manner
whatever" (p. 79).
If corporations are people then slavery still exists in the US and should be
abolished since corporations are mandated in every action yet have no
compensation or free will of their own.If corporations have free
speech then they are being forced to say whatever their owners want them to say
and their 1st amendment rights are violated as determined in the Citizens United
case.If corporations have religion then they have no right to force
people that work for them to follow that religion. See what
republicans do to our country?
Interesting concept, except we are talking about a business not a religion, or
is the business now capable of transcending this world into Catholic after life?
As Kalindra astutely pointed out, why then is there a barrier one way to protect
the business owner from personal responsibility if the owner and the business
are one and the same?With all Stalwart Sentinel said, and explained
so well, your going to use the Bill Clinton Defense?Just to help out
a little, Congress is not prohibited from creating a religion, but it cannot
dictate to that religion any doctrine.Why did the government
prohibit the LDS church from practicing what God told them to do.Why does
the government prohibit the Native American Churches from practicing what God
told them to do.
SentinalSorry you just refuse to get it. No one is forced to do anything
here? Oh come on! Please do not be untruthful in your debates. Employers are
being FORCED under Obamacare to offer insurance with abortificants and
contraceptives. Please tell me how no one is being forced to do anything?
Extricate the individual from the corporation. To do as you instruct forbids
religious people from involvement in enterprise – contrary to the 1st
amendment.I am sorry you feel intimidated by emphasis; I only used
all caps for one word this time so as not to frighten you further. Sorry if the
one word intimidated you.RanchhandSince I refuse to buy cigs
for my employees, I am then forcing my religious beliefs on them. Good
grief!Lightdowser,See comment to ranchhandUltrabobNo, the constitution is NOT only talking about churches and
@lost in DC – “I am sorry you feel intimidated by emphasis; I only
used all caps for one word this time so as not to frighten you further. Sorry if
the one word intimidated you.”Are you a religious person? I’m just curious because your frequent use of sarcasm,
condescension, and in some cases flat out misrepresentation (e.g., my views on
C02) would seem to belie that fact.
lost in DC says:"Employers are being FORCED under Obamacare to
offer insurance with abortificants and contraceptives."Is the
employer the corporation or the individual? It's either one or the other.
Corporations are not people; people are not corporations. Therefore, the people
who own the corporation are not being "forced" to do anything. As has
been pointed out, the corporation has no religion. And, you are not buying
cigarettes for your employees, but you're not buying the birth-control
pills either. Your employees are, all you're doing is providing insurance
and they use that insurance as benefits them; and they are, most likely, paying
premiums which means that you ARE violating their religious beliefs if you make
them adhere to your version.
To Ranch HandIn reference to your point on 8/14. You are not
completely correct. A public corporation, one that is traded on the stock
exchanges, has a legal existence separate from the stockholders. The Modern
Corporation and Private Property by Berle and Means explains this at length.
Certainly in that case, ownership is separated from operational control and teh
shareholder has little say on the governance of the company other than
withdrawing their investment if they disagree with the actions of the management
team. However, regardless of how it is organized for tax purposes, a
business that is managed by it's owners is still their property no matter
how many people that they employ. Are you suggesting that in the normal course
of life, the government should be able to compel you to use your property in
ways that are contrary to your moral beliefs?Or are you suggesting
that if a person has strong moral beliefs, then they had better not start their