My company is not myself


Religion Dispatches reports on why companies cannot claim religion as a basis for rejecting parts of the Affordable Care Act:

… Since the [ACA] regulations were announced, the “contraception mandate” has been the cause of great controversy, as many non-profit religious organizations, including Catholic hospitals and religiously-affiliated colleges, have objected to offering birth control services through their insurance plans.

The narrow exemption in the original rules, which were not broad enough to cover Catholic schools like Notre Dame, is undergoing a re-evaluation. However, in addition to objections by religious non-profits, more than a dozen for-profit small businesses have filed lawsuits objecting to furnishing coverage for some or all contraceptive services because of the owners’ religious beliefs.


It might seem strange to claim that a corporation (or an LLC) has religious freedom rights separate from those of the “real people” who own or manage it. An Oklahoma federal district court, rejecting a challenge by Hobby Lobby Stores to the coverage mandate, thought it was, finding:

General business corporations do not, separate and apart from the actions or belief systems of their individual owners or employees, exercise religion. They do not pray, worship, observe sacraments or take other religiously-motivated actions separate and apart from the intention and direction of their individual actors. Religious exercise is, by its nature, one of those “purely personal” matters… which is not the province of a general business corporation.

Read more here.

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3 Responses to "My company is not myself"
  1. Pretty ironic considering that the other parts of the government have declared that corporations have "personhood"....

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  2. I am not sure the title of this post is exactly correct as to the the content of Mr Friedman's article which is showing that the issue is in dispute

    I personally think that the Courts should recognize that a LLC or a corporation could have Free Exercise rights to at least have their day in court.

    The question is this. I think most people would object to the thought that a LLC ( a very common form of arrangement for small business) could be denied any 4th amendment protections and the Govt could just ignore getting a warrant or having probable cause as to a search

    I further think most would object to the thought that a A LLC could not have any protections that are in the due process clause and taking clause and just have their business seized .

    What is the difference?

    I think even before Citizen United that the courts realized that " Business speech" has some standing and protection under the First amendment.

    So again we have RIGHTS that are in the most part deemed personal to a corporation already

    The question is why should not a corporation have at least the standing to have their day in court

    Further as Christians we must really ask if are so comfortable about a speeration of Faith and Work. In fact for those that think social justice principles should apply to the work place that all seems very counterproductive.

    [Editor's note: Thanks for the comment. Please leave your full name next time.]

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  3. I don't understand the mental gymnastics here. Unless they are *specifically* a religous orgnanization (non-profit, for tax purposes, and w/ the cultus of a religion their raison d'etre), bosses CANNOT DICTATE their employees' religious/ethical (inc. health ethics) beliefs!

    Hobby Lobby's owners can take a long walk off a short pier, AFAIC. >:-/

    JC Fisher

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