Personhood: Does "Hobby Lobby" have "religious beliefs"?

jnpy!$4g3cwk

macrumors 65816
Original poster
Feb 11, 2010
1,100
1,293
Corporations today are much more than a legal fiction allowing a bunch of people to own a business together. Sometimes they live almost forever. They get to have their own, sometimes very intrusive, family rules for employees. They have freedom of speech. And now, apparently, they are acquiring the religious beliefs of their owners.


By ADAM LIPTAK
Published: November 24, 2013


WASHINGTON — Hobby Lobby, a chain of crafts stores, closes on Sundays, costing its owners millions but honoring their Christian faith.

The stores play religious music. Employees get free spiritual counseling. But they do not get free insurance coverage for some contraceptives, even though President Obama’s health care law requires it.

Hobby Lobby, a corporation, says that forcing it to provide the coverage would violate its religious beliefs. A federal appeals court agreed, and the Supreme Court is set to decide on Tuesday whether it will hear the Obama administration’s appeal from that decision or appeals from one of several related cases.

Legal experts say the court is all but certain to step in, setting the stage for another major decision on the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act two years after a closely divided court sustained its requirement that most Americans obtain health insurance or pay a penalty.

“The stakes here, symbolically and politically, are very high,” said Douglas Laycock, a law professor at the University of Virginia, citing the clash between religious teachings and the administration’s embattled health care law.

In weighing those interests, the Supreme Court would have to assess the limits of a principle recognized in its 2010 decision in Citizens United, which said corporations have free speech rights under the First Amendment. The question now is whether corporations also have the right to religious liberty.

In ruling for Hobby Lobby, the United States Court of Appeals for the 10th Circuit said it had applied “the First Amendment logic of Citizens United.”

“We see no reason the Supreme Court would recognize constitutional protection for a corporation’s political expression but not its religious expression,” Judge Timothy M. Tymkovich wrote for the majority.

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/11/25/us/court-confronts-religious-rights-of-corporations.html?hpw&rref=us

Everyone, including conservatives, had better think long and hard about the implications of this.
 

hallux

macrumors 68030
Apr 25, 2012
2,774
485
In my high-school years I worked in a couple Pizza Huts in my area. At one point the franchise was sold to a new company. This new company had religious beliefs such that they wouldn't sell alcohol in a restaurant like that so all the taps and kegs were removed once ownership transitioned.

People weren't happy.

Point being, they owned the right to run the restaurant but they can run it in the way they see fit within the guidelines of the parent company (which does not require beer to be sold). I would imagine that same company would have similar views on the ACA but I don't work for them anymore and I think all their locations in the area have been bought out, the 2 I worked at are now closed actually so I can't even ask anyone.
 

ucfgrad93

macrumors P6
Aug 17, 2007
17,538
8,161
Colorado
In my high-school years I worked in a couple Pizza Huts in my area. At one point the franchise was sold to a new company. This new company had religious beliefs such that they wouldn't sell alcohol in a restaurant like that so all the taps and kegs were removed once ownership transitioned.

People weren't happy.
A company has every right to decide on their own what products they will sell.
 

Ugg

macrumors 68000
Apr 7, 2003
1,985
15
Penryn
I'm very troubled that corps. Are gaining more and more rights when it's really only a few people whose values are reflected.
 

hallux

macrumors 68030
Apr 25, 2012
2,774
485
I'm very troubled that corps. Are gaining more and more rights when it's really only a few people whose values are reflected.
Except in this case the owners of the company are the ones whose religious views are being expressed. They're not fighting it to help those whose views are against contraceptives, it's THEIR views that are like that.

There are churches or church-related institutions that have the same fight on their plates and they're likely watching VERY intently, though I THINK there is an exemption in the law for those cases.
 

lannister80

macrumors 6502
Apr 7, 2009
476
17
Chicagoland
Except in this case the owners of the company are the ones whose religious views are being expressed. They're not fighting it to help those whose views are against contraceptives, it's THEIR views that are like that.

There are churches or church-related institutions that have the same fight on their plates and they're likely watching VERY intently, though I THINK there is an exemption in the law for those cases.
Churches get a super-duper-special exemption because they're houses of worship. We already had this fight with hospitals run by Catholics not wanting to provide contraceptive coverage to their employees (and they basically lost).

If we don't exempt Catholic hospitals (which is the right move), we sure as **** aren't going to exempt Hobby Lobby.

Hey, what if my religious belief is that handicapped people are evil and I don't want to accommodate them in my business, in volition of the ADA. Do I get an exemption?
 

Ugg

macrumors 68000
Apr 7, 2003
1,985
15
Penryn
Except in this case the owners of the company are the ones whose religious views are being expressed. They're not fighting it to help those whose views are against contraceptives, it's THEIR views that are like that.

There are churches or church-related institutions that have the same fight on their plates and they're likely watching VERY intently, though I THINK there is an exemption in the law for those cases.
So privat equity should dictate health care?

I disagree" operating a business in the USA is a privilege, not a right. Labor laws must be adhered to and I'm sure there are a raft of laws that an extremist business owner might disagree with. Why should health care be singled ou? It makes no sense.

BTW, I've made a list of companies I will not buy from based on their religious/libertarian/extremist viewpoints. Walmart got big because people are more interested in saving a penny than in supporting the us economy. I've no desire to live under xian sharia law.
 

hallux

macrumors 68030
Apr 25, 2012
2,774
485
So privat equity should dictate health care?

I disagree" operating a business in the USA is a privilege, not a right. Labor laws must be adhered to and I'm sure there are a raft of laws that an extremist business owner might disagree with. Why should health care be singled ou? It makes no sense.

BTW, I've made a list of companies I will not buy from based on their religious/libertarian/extremist viewpoints. Walmart got big because people are more interested in saving a penny than in supporting the us economy. I've no desire to live under xian sharia law.
Except that the First Amendment (as upheld in Reynolds v. US in 1879, I looked it up) says that no law shall interfere with religious beliefs and opinions but it may with practices (Polygamy, human sacrifice, etc).

The ACA interferes with the religious beliefs and opinions centered around contraception.
 

lannister80

macrumors 6502
Apr 7, 2009
476
17
Chicagoland
Except that the First Amendment (as upheld in Reynolds v. US in 1879, I looked it up) says that no law shall interfere with religious beliefs and opinions but it may with practices (Polygamy, human sacrifice, etc).

The ACA interferes with the religious beliefs and opinions centered around contraception.
Nonsese. Does it force them to change their beliefs? Does it force them to violate their personally-held belief of not using contraception *themselves* by making them use contraception? No.

Does it change the (does this even exist?) "practice" of not providing contraception to employees? Yes.
 

MyMac1976

macrumors 6502
Apr 14, 2013
489
1
Corporations are not people, they don't have religious beliefs.

Second this would regulate action not belief
 

VulchR

macrumors 68020
Jun 8, 2009
2,329
10,254
Scotland
Owners of a business probably have rights that would allow them to operate their business according to their personal beliefs, including religion. The moment they offer stock publicly, though, this should no longer be the case. I believe the same should be true in regard to political donations: any company with publicly traded stock should not be allowed to contribute to political campaigns. Otherwise, it puts too much power into the hands of executives....
 

LIVEFRMNYC

macrumors 604
Oct 27, 2009
7,433
8,605
Churches get a super-duper-special exemption because they're houses of worship. We already had this fight with hospitals run by Catholics not wanting to provide contraceptive coverage to their employees (and they basically lost).

If we don't exempt Catholic hospitals (which is the right move), we sure as **** aren't going to exempt Hobby Lobby.

Hey, what if my religious belief is that handicapped people are evil and I don't want to accommodate them in my business, in volition of the ADA. Do I get an exemption?
Correct ..... Selective treatment for certain able bodied citizens should have no place within our law.
 

steve knight

macrumors 68030
Jan 28, 2009
2,596
6,958
Hobby lobby is not taking the bc's so what is the problem? it is like saying we will dock your pay you if you spend your money on bc or alcohol or cigarettes or anything else we don't like. All they want to do is force their beliefs on a captive audience. it is not upto them to choose what someone else does with their health.
 

SLC Flyfishing

Suspended
Nov 19, 2007
1,486
1,639
Portland, OR
If the owners don't want to directly spend their money on Birth Control because it goes against their religious beliefs (maybe they don't believe in enabling others to do what they view as a sin either), then why don't they just increase the pay of their employees by that amount each month so that the employees can then use "their own money" to buy it.

That way the owners can have a clean conscience, and we don't have to hear any whining about "forcing of beliefs" by everyone else.

Problem solved.

That or the employees can go to Planned Parenthood and get it for free (a years supply at a time in most cases).
 

Eraserhead

macrumors G4
Nov 3, 2005
10,300
10,372
UK
Except that the First Amendment (as upheld in Reynolds v. US in 1879, I looked it up) says that no law shall interfere with religious beliefs and opinions but it may with practices (Polygamy, human sacrifice, etc).

The ACA interferes with the religious beliefs and opinions centered around contraception.
Where does the bible say contraception is wrong?

I mean seriously the argument that the bible is against gays is pretty weak, and abortion doesn't seem to be mentioned in the book at all. But contraception? Seriously? Sounds like Saudi style sharia law to me....
 

rdowns

macrumors Penryn
Jul 11, 2003
27,345
12,409
Was just announced that John Roberts and Associates, LLC will be taking up the issue.
 

TSE

macrumors 68030
Jun 25, 2007
2,987
574
St. Paul, Minnesota
Here's the thing, even if I disagree with Hobby Lobby's views and beliefs.

Don't you have the right to run the business the way you want to? Don't employees that aren't satisfied working at Hobby Lobby have the right to not start working there in the first place/find a new job elsewhere?
 

rdowns

macrumors Penryn
Jul 11, 2003
27,345
12,409
Here's the thing, even if I disagree with Hobby Lobby's views and beliefs.

Don't you have the right to run the business the way you want to? Don't employees that aren't satisfied working at Hobby Lobby have the right to not start working there in the first place/find a new job elsewhere?
They have the right to run their business as they see fit provided they adhere to laws and regulations.

The U.S. Supreme Court established more than 30 years ago that a company may not “impose the employer’s religious faith on the employees.” As the Court explained in United States v. Lee, “[w]hen followers of a particular sect enter into commercial activity as a matter of choice, the limits they accept on their own conduct as a matter of conscience and faith are not to be superimposed on the statutory schemes which are binding on others in that activity.” This precedent suggests forcing employees to adopt the religious objection of a business owner would violate the free expression rights of the employees.
http://thinkprogress.org/justice/2013/11/26/2994541/workplace-contraception/
 

Sydde

macrumors 68020
Aug 17, 2009
2,105
2,163
IOKWARDI
If they are so dead-set against abortion, they need to stop stocking their shelves with stuff made in China. See if they can still make a profit then (or even find enough stuff they can put on their shelves). Cussed hypocrites.
 

SLC Flyfishing

Suspended
Nov 19, 2007
1,486
1,639
Portland, OR
That's what bothers me is that some employers think they have the right to dictate to their employees what is right and wrong. I really have a problem with that .
While I disagree with the owners stance, I fail to see how refusing to pay for birth control constitutes them dictating what's right and wrong.
 

pdjudd

macrumors 601
Jun 19, 2007
4,040
65
Plymouth, MN
While I disagree with the owners stance, I fail to see how refusing to pay for birth control constitutes them dictating what's right and wrong.
Their basis for denying is based on their religious beliefs, which is something that not all of their employees might agree with. Nobody is saying that the owners cannot hold the beliefs that they hold. The problem is that the business is not a human being and so long as they are not a religious organization, their are subject to the laws that all other business are.

You can’t just skirt the rules just because you disagree with them. If Hobby Lobby wishes to offer insurance, they need to follow the laws else it creates a precedent for other organizations. Should a company run by scientologists be allowed to not cover mental heath plans (given that they do not believe in those)? What if the owner of a company is anti-vaccination - should they be able to deny coverage for vaccines since they believe that they are harmful?

Sorry. If Hobby Lobby’s owners don’t want to take advantage of the BC coverage, they don’t have to use them. Same thing with their employees - they don’t have to use them either. However, if one does (and don’t forget that we are talking about a legal product), they should have the right. If Hobby Lobby wants an exception, they need to be a different business or they need to come up with a non religious reason.