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Hobby Lobby case -- three reasons why corporations must have religious freedom

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  • Hobby Lobby case -- three reasons why corporations must have religious freedom

    In the run-up to the Hobby Lobby oral arguments at the Supreme Court, where the chain store is challenging the Obama administration’s abortion-pill mandate, some on the left have been aghast at the very idea that a corporation would assert a right to religious freedom.

    Sure, they argue, individuals have rights, but how can a corporation?

    Mitt Romney was roundly mocked in August, 2011, when he declared “Corporations are people, my friend” to an angry heckler. "The Daily Show’s" Jon Stewart had a field day, Mitt Romney abandoned the argument, and the culture moved on.

    But comedy shows and mockery are poor substitutes for thoughtful constitutional jurisprudence. In fact, corporations must be able to assert First Amendment rights. Indeed, if they’re not able, we’ll lose both our religious freedom and our free-market concepts of private enterprise.

    Here are three reasons why:

    First – and most obviously – corporations may have an independent legal existence but they are formed, staffed by, and act through individuals.

    A corporation’s expression is the expression of the people who work for it and lead it. The law recognizes this reality when it holds corporations liable for the acts of the individuals who work for it, so long as those individuals act within the scope of their employment.

    When you allow an organization to speak, people speak. When you censor an organization, you censor people.

    Second, when you restrict corporations First Amendment rights, you are restricting a vast amount of the speech and other forms of expression that we take for granted as being free from government mandates and control.

    What’s a movie? Corporate expression. A television show? Corporate expression. What about hospital policies regarding end of life care or abortion? Corporate expression.

    Again and again, corporations make decisions that express their values. Whether you agree or disagree, the best response to corporate values isn’t to censor that expression or restrict the rights of the people who run that corporation – the very people who’ve invested blood, sweat, and tears to make it grow – but instead to shop at a place you prefer or to speak out against that corporation’s public stand.

    You have a wallet. You can vote with that even more easily than you can vote at the ballot box.

    Third – and finally – if the Supreme Court rules against Hobby Lobby, in what sense will “private enterprise” ever again be truly “private?”

    If the United States government can force the people running a corporation to use corporate resources to provide free abortion-pills to employees (especially when contraceptives are cheap and widely available on the open market), it is difficult to imagine the meaningful limits on government power in the marketplace.

    More at Link

    I thought this was a well written and interesting article. But, I couldn't help wondering what Philly and Celeste thought about the merits of his argument. Ladies?
    May we raise children who love the unloved things - the dandelion, the worm, the spiderlings.
    Children who sense the rose needs the thorn and run into rainswept days the same way they turn towards the sun...
    And when they're grown and someone has to speak for those who have no voice,
    may they draw upon that wilder bond, those days of tending tender things and be the one.