In an opinion rendered by U.S. Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis in 1928, he offered that, “… the greatest dangers to liberty lurk in insidious encroachment by men of zeal, well-meaning but without understanding.”
That is my take on the so-called “Hobby Lobby” decision by the current day Supreme Court. It may sound right and good on the surface of it, but the decision is filled with ramifications that no liberty-loving soul could tolerate.
In choosing to treat a corporation like a person the Supreme Court has opened the doors to a blending of church and state the likes of which was expressly prohibited by the framers of the Constitution. No, it is not one single church that is trying to seize power over government, but the idea of allowing a corporation to express through its refusal to provide contraception by opting out of that part of the health care plan opens the doors to other “morally-inspired” corporate policies that will be regarded as even more egregious.
For those who think that allowing corporations to withhold funding for contraception for its employees was a good idea, I wonder if they will also think that corporations run by Christian Science advocates should be able to offer no health care at all. Medical care is against their religious beliefs. Why should they be compelled to fund that which they think is morally reprehensible? Still okay with all this? How about a corporation run by Muslims that decrees, on the basis of religious conscience, that all female employees must keep their hair covered while on company property regardless of the type of work that they are doing?
Hopefully, people will wake up and see that this “Victory for conservative values” is anything but a victory for conserving the separation between church and state. If a corporation can exercise moral suasion to suit powerful individuals within that corporation, all sorts of things can come into question. If contraception can go, why not health care? Why not minimum wage? Why not limits on weekly work hours? This decision has made the U.S. vulnerable to having its courts mired in frivolous, me-too, law suits claiming religious intolerance of all sorts.
Corporations are not persons. They cannot claim to have the moral conviction of a person. They cannot refuse to abide by laws, policies and regulations on the basis of moral conviction. If this decision stands without being re-addressed and overturned or adjusted in some fundamental way, hoo-boy are we in for a grand time at the opry!