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With the Supreme Court finding a stunning new right (corporations are religious entities) in the Hobby Lobby case, further disturbing cases could be generated from it. Not the complaint of "What if (insert Muslim rule here)" but some of what I note below the orange croissant.

(I am not a lawyer, just a village trustee that thinks about legal stuff once in awhile.)

The Interfaith Alliance is an organisation dedicated to ecumenism amongst differing religious faiths. Its credo:

Interfaith Alliance celebrates religious freedom by championing individual rights, promoting policies that protect both religion and democracy, and uniting diverse voices to challenge extremism.

•    We believe that religious freedom is a foundation for American democracy.
•    We believe that individual rights and matters of personal conscience must be held sacred.
•    We believe that religious and political extremists are a threat to individual liberty and democracy.
•    We believe that celebrating religious and cultural difference is the way to achieve a vibrant community.

The Interfaith Alliance president Rev. Dr. C. Welton Gaddy called today’s 5-4 U.S. Supreme Court decision in Hobby Lobby Stores and Conestoga Wood Specialties Corp v. Sebelius a “grave error” and raised serious concerns about its impact on our understanding of religious freedom.

This link goes to Rev. Dr. Gaddy’s blistering response to the 5-4 decision granting the privately-owned companies (Hobby Lobby is an arts and crafts store of thousands of employees and with an Evangelical owner, Conestoga is a Mennonite-owned firm of a few hundred) to dictate to women which kinds of contraceptives they may use with their employee compensation (health insurance).

Both companies falsely maintained that the IUD and Plan B contraceptive are abortificants, and in religious conscience could not allow their employees to claim these forms on insurance claims. Of note, Hobby Lobby owns stock in companies that makes both contraceptives, and buys most of its products from China, a nation with forced abortions and forced sterilisations.

Presumably, men who work for these firms and have family healthcare policies could not make those claims for their spouses or daughters either.

This could cause other problems: though the Supreme Court majority opinion was said to be “narrowly-tailored” to this case, it could be cited for a number of other reasons:

If a business owner of a different faith (for example the Wisconsin Synod of the Lutheran Church with four hundred thousand members) chose to invoke his personal religious beliefs on his employees, that church today holds that anyone who sits on the Throne of Peter is the Antichrist. As such, Roman Catholics are servants of the Antichrist, and the -employer’s- business’s religious beliefs would dictate that -he- it  must refuse to hire (or serve) Roman Catholics.

Moreover, the XIV Amendment applies: equal treatment under the law. Narrowly-tailored means nothing against a claim that a different person or firm is being treated differently than Hobby Lobby or Conestoga. Under equal treatment one could also argue if health insurance is compensation that a religiously-oriented employer can dictate how an employee spends, his or her wages are just another form of compensation that should also be equally-treated. As such, your employer could tell you how you can spend your pay.

And forget about we atheists: most religious faiths hold us as evil and immoral already (despite the fact we have the lowest teen pregnancy rate, lowest divorce rate, and lowest crime rate of any religious group in the USA). The same argument could be used to deny employment to us, or fire us.

Unsurprisingly, the five justices that voted in favour of the Hobby Lobby and Conestoga case are Roman Catholics.

In the abortion case decided yesterday, the justices struck down 9-0 Massachusetts’s thirty-five foot (10,6 metre) circular buffer zone around clinic entrances, whilst the Supreme Court works with a buffer zone larger than 175 feet (53,3 metres) around the court. The Supreme Court held that “counselling” a person on the public sidewalk is protected speech under the I Amendment. (I thought counsellors had to be licensed?)

Of note, Justice Elena Kagan thought the Massachusetts buffer zone was the size of the Supreme Court’s main hearing room (82x91 feet, or 25x28 metres).

The Supreme Court did not entertain arguments of past violence at abortion clinics (or against Catholics in the USA) and their patrons in either case.

"Any sufficiently advanced troll is indistinguishable from a genuine kook."—Parody of Arthur C. Clark's Third Law, Alan Morgan, Usenet, Feb 1, 2001, "Bush's Testing Plan" comment.

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