Thursday, January 3, 2013

What Is The Argument For Denying For Profit Corporations Free Exercise & Religious Liberty Rights ?

I think this is the big developing story as to Faith and law we shall see in 2013.

This discussion and indeed the legal action is happening right now because of the HHS Contraception mandate. There are the Hobby Lobby ( owned by devout Protestants ) and Domino' s Pizza ( owned by Devout Catholics ) cases. However we have also seen  a good many mom and pop corporations too.

The discussion is going full force in segments of the religious community. However I have noticed some resistance and in fact hostility at times to this possible right by other segments of the religious community.

It is hard not to think that is because of the political issues surrounding the HHS Contraception mandate. Too many " right wingers " involved  , and possible fear of upsetting those friends and allies on the religious left that think mandated employer provided contraception ( including the morning after products ) is a right.

However I have doubts that many of these folks that seem hesitant to embrace this discussion think there should be a separation of " Faith and Work ". In fact it seems the resolutions passed about corporate business practice, issues about living wages , etc by  many mainstream Protestant Conventions seems to argue against this. Also there was the the religious aspect of the Occupy movement to consider.

These questions are being raised more and more in a flurry of Court activity we have seen in recent weeks.  had a good post on this at Prawfsblawg . See The Citizens United Link to the Affordable Care Act Litigation

Also see Josh Blackmans piece  7th Circuit Implies That Corporations Have Rights Under RFRA In Light of Citizens United

The " Corporation " in its various forms is one of the most popular forms of business for Americans. It can be something like Hobby Lobby or something like my Uncle's L.L.C. taxi business that has a total of three cabs. If my Uncle wearing his business  has no religious liberty or free exercise rights then what other rights does he not have as to his business.

I again think the court activity on this issue is going to cause more Faith communities and leaders to take a stand on this issue. That also will mean a serious theological and biblical discussion of Faith and work / business will have to occur. I think that is coming.

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