Let it sink in how five Supreme Court justices – each one is a male Roman Catholic – decided that sanctimonious abhorrence against birth control is legitimate grounds for letting giant corporations control the reproductive lives of women. Do you really think that a private corporation in non-Christian hands would be allowed to make it harder for employees to get basic health care?After you’ve let this all sink in, be careful where you point the finger of praise, or blame. Yes, Protestant Evangelicalism ensured that five Roman Catholics would get to decide democracy’s fate. But this wasn’t supposed to be Protestantism’s fight. There are Justices who still own neckties older than Protestant opposition to birth control. No, this was a Roman Catholic agenda, and a Roman Catholic victory.Don’t start making any changes to your insurance plans, Muslim, Sikh, or Hindu corporate owners! Let’s wait to see how much of a precedence has been set. I’d bet that it turns out to be very narrow in one sense: unless your religious conviction fits with the Catholic Hegemony, don’t expect to get your way too. There now are first-class citizens, the rich, powerful corporate owners acknowledged by the Catholic Dominion; and there’s everyone else, whose may not share the same religious opinions.When you wake up from your pleasant slumbers, dreaming of an America where each individual cannot be controlled by someone else’s religion, let me know. Until then, try not to mutter in your sleep about liberty and democracy and how everything’s still just fine. If you manage to open your eyes, don’t be shocked at people ‘overreacting’, while you yourself appear to be sleepwalking. Don’t speak to me until you are ready to wake up into this new reality, where somebody else’s ideas about God can make our lives harder and more expensive. Don’t even look at me, while nobody is looking at you to figure out how to control your body.Let all this sink in. If you cling to your faith that America remains a democracy, then you shall get the theocracy you deserve. The priests are already plotting out where you need to kneel next.
Would TIME EVER published this article if 'Roman Catholicism' was replaced with 'Islam' and 'imams' in place of 'priests'?
As for theocracies, let's remember who these people are:
And, look at the full-page ad that the New York Times ran in its front news section from the Freedom From Religion Foundation:
It reads, in part:
'Dogma should not trump our civil liberties...All-male, All-Roman Catholic Majority on Supreme Court Puts Religious Wrongs over Women’s Rights...Congress must repeal RFRA...Employers should have no right to impose their religious beliefs upon workers.FIGHT BACK!Won't you join FFRF in WAKING UP AMERICA TO THE GROWING DANGERS OF THEOCRACY?'
First, allow me to point out that one of the 'all-male, all-Roman Catholic' majority in Hobby Lobby, Anthony Kennedy, recently called millions of Americans 'bigots' for opposing SSM in United States v Windsor, 570 U.S. 12 (2013). I'm pretty sure that, if the Vatican and adherents of Roman Catholicism wanted to impose a theocracy in the United States, gay marriage wouldn't stand a chance.
Recall that this same media organisation refused on 14 March 2012 to run an anti-Islam ad from the Stop the Islamisation of Nations, which itself mimicked a controversial anti-Catholic advertisement they published on 9 March 2012:
For those of you unaware of this, Mark Thompson, the current President and CEO of The New York Times, was once the Director-General of the BBC. While still at the BBC, Thompson admitted that Christianity 'gets less sensitive treatment than other religions' because Christians don't complain or go on murderous rampages.
Anyhoo, look back at that FFRF Hobby Lobby ad. Can you even begin to imagine what would we would say (not even accounting for the outcry from the Left) about an organisation that paid for and another entity that published an ad that said:
'Marxist ideology, which was created by Jews (Da JOOOOOOOOOOS!) should not trump our civil liberties...[an] all-female, all-Jewish majority on Supreme Court puts Communism over individual rights and the free market...The Marxist Jewesses on the Court should have no right to deny the civil rights of free-born, American citizens, impose upon their beliefs, seize their property, and collectivise the society and economy.FIGHT BACK!Won't you join FFJCT (Freedom From Jewish Commie Totalitarianism) in WAKING UP AMERICA TO THE GROWING DANGERS OF COMMUNIST DICTATORSHIP IMPOSE UPON US BY 5 ATHEISTIC-JEWESS (Actually not an oxymoron. See Marx and Trotsky, for two) COMMUNISTS?'
Additionally, pictured at the top is birth control pioneer Margaret Sanger, the racist, atheist founder of Planned Parenthood whose motto was 'No Gods – No Masters.'
Sanger, of course, was, in the words of Arina Grossu:
Sanger, of course, was, in the words of Arina Grossu:
'[A] 'racist, eugenicist extraordinaire' whose role in pushing these Nazi-like laws resulted in more than 60,000 sterilizations of vulnerable people, including people she considered ‘feeble-minded,' 'idiots,' 'morons,' and 'human weeds' [her term for people with dark skin.'
This is what they champion.
According to Ed Morrissey at HotAir.com, 'An emergency injunction on behalf of Wheaton College sparked the ire of three Supreme Court justices, who issued an angry dissent to the unsigned order that temporarily sets aside the 'accommodation.'
Justice Sotomayor threw a hissy fit and proclaimed:
'I do not doubt that Wheaton genuinely believes that signing the self-certification form is contrary to its religious beliefs. But thinking one’s religious beliefs are substantially burdened — no matter how sincere or genuine that belief may be — does not make it so.'
[Fair warning, it's a holiday and I am poaching some of my previous work to rebut this absurdity.]
Corporations can, do, and have exercised religious rights and the Court has recognised them on previous occasions.
The principal argument advanced by HHS and the principal dissent regarding RFRA protection for Hobby Lobby, Conestoga, and Mardel focuses not on the statutory term ‘person,’ but on the phrase ‘exercise of religion.’ According to HHS and the dissent, these corporations are not protected by RFRA because they cannot exercise religion. Neither HHS nor the dissent, however, provides any persuasive explanation for this conclusion. Is it because of the corporate form? The corporate form alone cannot provide the explanation because, as we have pointed out, HHS concedes that nonprofit corporations can be protected by RFRA. The dissent suggests that nonprofit corporations are special because furthering their religious ‘autonomy . . . often furthers individual religious freedom as well.’ Post, at 15 (quoting Corporation of Presiding Bishop of Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints v Amos, 483 U. S. 327, 342 (1987) (Brennan, J., concurring in judgment)). But this principle applies equally to for-profit corporations: Furthering their religious freedom also ‘furthers individual religious freedom.’ In these cases, for example, allowing Hobby Lobby, Conestoga, and Mardel to assert RFRA claims protects the religious liberty of the Greens and the Hahns.
How cannot the same be said of Wheaton College, which is a non-profit corporation – the exact type of corporation organisation that HHS has already acknowledged is protected by RFRA?
Also from Hobby Lobby wherein the Court looks at the ‘profit-making’ argument and, if such holds true for them, it certainly does for educational non-profits:
If the corporate form is not enough, what about the profit-making objective?‘Each American jurisdiction today either expressly or by implication authorizes corporations to be formed under its general corporation act for any lawful purpose or business.’ 1 J. Cox & T. Hazen, Treatise of the Law of Corporations §4:1, p. 224 (3d ed. 2010) (emphasis added); see 1A W. Fletcher, Cyclopedia of the Law of Corporations §102 (rev. ed. 2010). While it is certainly true that a central objective of for profit corporations is to make money, modern corporate law does not require for-profit corporations to pursue profit at the expense of everything else, and many do not do so. For-profit corporations, with ownership approval, support a wide variety of charitable causes, and it is not at all uncommon for such corporations to further humanitarian and other altruistic objectives. Many examples come readily to mind. So long as its owners agree, a for-profit corporation may take costly pollution-control and energy conservation measures that go beyond what the law requires. A for-profit corporation that operates facilities in other countries may exceed the requirements of local law regarding working conditions and benefits. If for-profit corporations may pursue such worthy objectives, there is no apparent reason why they may not further religious objectives as well.…Not all corporations that decline to organize as nonprofits do so in order to maximize profit. For example, organizations with religious and charitable aims might organize as for-profit corporations because of the potential advantages of that corporate form, such as the freedom to participate in lobbying for legislation or campaigning for political candidates who promote their religious or charitable goals. In fact, recognizing the inherent compatibility between establishing a for-profit corporation and pursuing nonprofit goals, States have increasingly adopted laws formally recognizing hybrid corporate forms. Over half of the States, for instance, now recognize the ‘benefit corporation,’ a dual-purpose entity that seeks to achieve both a benefit for the public and a profit for its owners. (See, e.g., M. Sanders, Joint Ventures Involving Tax-Exempt Organizations, 555 (4th ed. 2013) (describing Google.org, which ‘advance[s] its charitable goals’ while operating as a for-profit corporation to be able to ‘invest in for-profit endeavors, lobby for policies that support its philanthropic goals, and tap Google’s innovative technology and workforce’ (internal quotation marks and alterations omitted)); cf. 26 CFR §1.501(c)(3)–1(c)(3); Benefit Corp Information Center, online at http://www.benefitcorp.net/state-by-state-legislative-status; e.g., Va. Code Ann. §§13.1–787, 13.1–626, 13.1–782 (Lexis 2011) (‘A benefit corporation shall have as one of its purposes the purpose of creating a general public benefit,’ and ‘may identify one or more specific public benefits that it is the purpose of the benefit corporation to create. . . . This purpose is in addition to [the purpose of engaging in any lawful business].’ ‘ ‘Specific public benefit’ means a benefit that serves one or more public welfare, religious, charitable, scientific, literary, or educational purposes, or other purpose or benefit beyond the strict interest of the shareholders of the benefit corporation . . . .’); S. C. Code Ann.§§33–38–300 (2012 Cum. Supp.), 33–3–101 (2006), 33–38–130 (2012Cum. Supp.).
In Braunfeld v Brown, 366 U. S. 599, we entertained the free-exercise claims of individuals who were attempting to make a profit as retail merchants, and the Court never even hinted that this objective precluded their claims. As the Court explained in a later case, the ‘exercise of religion’ involves ‘not only belief and profession but the performance of (or abstention from) physical acts’ that are ‘engaged in for religious reasons.’ Employment Division v Smith, 494 U. S., at 877. Business practices that are compelled or limited by the tenets of a religious doctrine fall comfortably within that definition. Thus, a law that ‘operates so as to make the practice of . . . religious beliefs more expensive’ in the context of business activities imposes a burden on the exercise of religion. Braunfeld, supra, at 605; see United States v Lee, 455 U. S. 252, 257 (1982) (recognizing that ‘compulsory participation in the social security system interferes with [Amish employers’] free exercise rights’).If, as Braunfeld recognized, a sole proprietorship that seeks to make a profit may assert a free-exercise claim, why can’t Hobby Lobby, Conestoga, and Mardel do the same?
Indeed, why can’t a non-profit, educational institution assert a free-exercise claim and have it recognised and protected under RFRA?
Also from Hobby Lobby…
[T]he one pre-Smith case involving the free-exercise rights of a for-profit corporation suggests, if anything, that for-profit corporations possess such rights. In Gallagher v Crown Kosher Super Market of Mass., Inc., 366 U. S. 617 (1961), the Massachusetts Sunday closing law was challenged by a kosher market that was organized as a for-profit corporation, by customers of the market, and by a rabbi. The Commonwealth argued that the corporation lacked ‘standing’ to assert a free-exercise claim, but not one member of the Court expressed agreement with that argument.It is quite a stretch to argue that RFRA, a law enacted to provide very broad protection for religious liberty, left for-profit corporations unprotected simply because in Gallagher—the only pre-Smith case in which the issue was raised—a majority of the Justices did not find it necessary to decide whether the kosher market’s corporate status barred it from raising a free-exercise claim.
While the Court in Gallagher ultimately rejected the petitioners’ Establishment Clause and Equal Protection arguments, remember that Gallagher, like Braunfeld, was decided in 1961 when blue laws banning the sale of certain products on Sunday, i.e.,’the Sabbath’, school prayer, school-sponsored Bible readings were fully constitutional. The Court wouldn’t deal the death blows to school prayer and readings until Engel v Vitale, 370 U.S. 421 (1962), and Abington School District v Schempp, 374 U.S. 203 (1963).
Does anyone believe that Justices Ginsburg, Sotomayor, Kagan, and Breyer would vote today to uphold a state law that prevents Orthodox Jewish or Muslim butchers from selling their products on Sunday, which isn’t their Sabbath, and has the result of giving Christian businesses an extra day to engage in commerce (they would only be closed on Sundays, while Jewish businesses would be closed on Saturday and Sunday and Muslim entities would be unable to operate on Friday and Sunday) while limiting their customers’ access to kosher or halal goods?
Of course they wouldn’t.
They would agree with Justice Potter Stewart, who joined Justice Brennan’s dissent in Braunfeld, and wrote further:
Pennsylvania has passed a law which compels an Orthodox Jew to choose between his religious faith and his economic survival. That is a cruel choice. It is a choice which I think no State can constitutionally demand. For me this is not something that can be swept under the rug and forgotten in the interest of enforced Sunday togetherness. I think the impact of this law upon these appellants grossly violates their constitutional right to the free exercise of their religion.
And, you’ll note that Justice Potter didn’t differentiate between profit and non-profit corporations or any other form of business entity, including ‘closely-held’ corporations and sole proprietorships.
If, instead of Hobby Lobby protesting the requirement that it pay for abortifacients, what if the company decided to divest and boycott from Apartheid South Africa? What if Conestoga Wood had fired its CEO for making a $1,000 donation to Prop 8 rather than asserting its religious right not to pay for drugs that terminate a pregnancy? What if Wheaton College exercised its right to boycott and divest from Israel or Big Oil companies, as many universities in the United States have already done?
All of these are, in essence, corporations exercising their right to associate. In National Association for the Advancement of Colored People v Alabama, 357 U.S. 449 (1958), the Court recognised an implied right of association and held that corporations (the NAACP is a non-profit CORPORATION):
‘[Its members have a right] to pursue their lawful private interests privately and to associate freely with others in doing so as to come within the protection of the Fourteenth Amendment… [and that the freedom to associate under the First Amendment applies to individuals, organisations, and corporations that are dedicated to the] the advancement of beliefs and ideas is an integral and inseparable part of the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment.’
Why is Wheaton College, which is dedicated to the advancement of education, beliefs, and ideas, any different from the NAACP when it does the same?