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The framers of the constitution were dealing with a world in which it was assumed that some form of Christianity was an inevitable feature of public life. They were prepared to make a departure from the English tradition in which a specific denominational church was given the privilege of establishment. It does not seem plausible to me that they could have anticipated the world of the 21st C in which a sizable portion of the public has serious questions about whether religion of any kind should play a role in public affairs. Not being a strict constructionist it doesn't seem important to me that we need to apply views from the 18th C to our present realities. However, we have a constitution which grants religious rights and as long as it does we will struggle with the problem of defining those rights and balancing them against other compelling public interests.

It seems to me that the Hobby Lobby decision was primarily about religious accommodation and not fundamentally about women's reproductive rights. It certainly has a practical impact on women's rights and the resulting concern and anger about that is reasonable and justified. However, in the opinion the court majority acknowledged that the provision of broad accessibility to contraceptive health care is a valid and compelling interest of public policy. The issue they were addressing is about how that should be accomplished, not whether it should be accomplished at all.

At this point in American society, women's rights and LGBT rights are wrapped in an endless battle with conservative religious belief. The tide has begun to shift away from the privileged position of conservative Christianity, but it still benefits from the forces of tradition and the institutional might of several large religious denominations. They still carry real practical political clout.  

To the extent that SCOTUS may have blazed new judicial territory in the Hobby Lobby decision it was likely in finding that closely held corporations are entitled to religious rights. However, that  is basically consistent with their findings in Citizens United that corporations are entitled to rights of political speech. Both types of rights arise from the first amendment. However what I think is very important is to realize how the court reached the conclusion that there is a right to religious accommodation. They did not create a new legal precedent directly tied to the constitution. They based the finding on the terms of the Religious Freedom Restoration Act. This is legislation enacted by congress in 1993. It could be repealed or modified by congress. Unlike a decision like Roe v Wade, Hobby Lobby does not supersede or limit the power of congress to change the law.

The RFRA came about in response to a SCOTUS case in which the court refused to support religious rights for adherents of Native American traditions. The opinion was written by that well known defender of the Christian faith Justice Scalia. It created a political firestorm among both liberals and conservatives.

This law reinstated the Sherbert Test, which was set forth by Sherbert v. Verner, and Wisconsin v. Yoder, mandating that strict scrutiny be used when determining whether the Free Exercise Clause of the First Amendment to the United States Constitution, guaranteeing religious freedom, has been violated. In the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, Congress states in its findings that a religiously neutral law can burden a religion just as much as one that was intended to interfere with religion;[1] therefore the Act states that the “Government shall not substantially burden a person’s exercise of religion even if the burden results from a rule of general applicability.”[3] The law provided an exception if two conditions are both met. First, the burden must be necessary for the “furtherance of a compelling government interest.”[3] Under strict scrutiny, a government interest is compelling when it is more than routine and does more than simply improve government efficiency. A compelling interest relates directly with core constitutional issues.[4] The second condition is that the rule must be the least restrictive way in which to further the government interest. The law, in conjunction with President Bill Clinton's Executive Order in 1996, provided more security for sacred sites for Native American religious rites.[3]
In 1997 SCOTUS overturned part of the act in terms of its power to control the laws of states and local governments. At this point it only applies to activities of the federal government. Some states and municipalities have adopted their own versions of an RFRA.

The right to religious accommodation under RFRA is a limited right subjected to the legal tests referred to in the quoted section above. It requires that in acting to accomplish compelling public interest the government must use the least restrictive alternative. That is the language used in the Hobby decision.

There is one particularly interesting case where found limits to a right to religious accommodation based on the RFRA.

In the case of Adams v. Commissioner, the United States Tax Court rejected the argument of Priscilla M. Lippincott Adams, who was a devout Quaker. She tried to argue that under the Religious Freedom Restoration Act of 1993, she was exempt from federal income taxes. The U.S. Tax Court rejected her argument and ruled that she was not exempt. The Court stated: "...while petitioner's religious beliefs are substantially burdened by payment of taxes that fund military expenditures, the Supreme Court has established that uniform, mandatory participation in the Federal income tax system, irrespective of religious belief, is a compelling governmental interest."[17] In the case of Miller v. Commissioner, the taxpayers objected to the use of social security numbers, arguing that such numbers related to the "mark of the beast" from the Bible. In its decision, the U.S. Court discussed the applicability of the Religious Freedom Restoration Act of 1993, but ruled against the taxpayers.[18]
Many here will respond to the difference in rejecting a pacifist position and giving support to opponents of women's health care. However, this does point up the reality that the reach of rights under the RFRA is not unlimited and this decision has not necessarily opened the floodgates to a broad range of abuses.

Up until now the adherents of major Christian denominations seldom had reason to worry about accommodation of the comfort of their religious sensibilities. They were already heavily enshrined in law and practice. It had been members of minority religions such as Native Americans, Jews and Muslims who had found it necessary to seek legal protection for their religious practices. Now conservative Christians are finding that their traditional position of privilege is being eroded by laws and court decisions. They are trying the use the first amendment in various ways to establish a right to freedom of conscience. The RFRA is only one avenue in that effort.

Militant secularists would likely prefer to see a society in which no accommodations are made for religious beliefs and practices in public programs and facilities. That is probably not a majority position for the American public. This is a debate and a battle that is going to be with us for a long time to come. People wishing for some form of immediate resolution are not likely to find it. There are a number of other cases in the pipeline about the ACA and its mandates. There will be litigation in response to the Hobby Lobby decisions in an attempt to define its provisions. Much more is yet to come.

 

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Comment Preferences

  •  As a person of faith who considers (12+ / 0-)

    "God matter" to be the stuff of the universe, and at the same time the Great Architect, I find it silly that any person-let alone the State--thinks that they can "protect" God.

    If one's faith is so shallow and feeble that you fear hell by letting your employees follow their own consciences, you have no faith at all.

    Call me Hiram Hoehandle, but I feel no compunction to "protect" God from the infidels. God can take care of himself.

    Don't like abortion? Don't have one. But if the law says to pay for birth control, follow the law. God will forgive you.

    There is a great deal of difference between faith in God and the fear of God. Neither has any legitimate role in public life. Faith is protected because it is PRIVATE.

    SPES MEA IN DEO EST.

    by commonmass on Thu Jul 03, 2014 at 11:30:10 AM PDT

  •  The litigation doesn't have a damn thing to do (7+ / 0-)

    with religious freedom. It is all about dismantling the legislative achievement of a Democratic President. Repeated failure to repeal the ACA has left the right with only the Supreme Court to end the travesty that is healthcare for all.

    Please do not play into their meme that this has anything to do, in any manner, with their first amendment rights. The only god a corporation knows is profit.

    •  One of the cases involved in the decision (5+ / 0-)

      used the RFRA as a basis for its claim. The majority of the court agreed with that. Religious accommodation as defined by law is being used in this case. This is not your idea of religious freedom, not is it mine, but it does exist in law. That is what I am examining.

      I am not playing into anything by looking at the legal issues that are involved.

      •  You lose when you argue on their turf (3+ / 0-)

        We are not at war with religion.  Our purpose is universal healthcare and opposition to anyone coming between a person and their physician.  

        They want you thinking it is only about religious freedom because that distracts you and most especially distracts the poorly informed citizen from focusing on the real issue.  

        We are not trying to take religion away from people.  We are trying to deliver healthcare.

        •  You misunderstand the diary. (4+ / 0-)

          I was examining the legal basis of the decision. That was religious accommodation.  I am not arguing for anything in doing that. The fact that a majority of SCOTUS has taken that position is a matter of important legal significance.  

          I made this statement in the diary.

          It certainly has a practical impact on women's rights and the resulting concern and anger about that is reasonable and justified.
          You seem to find it convenient to ignore it.  
          •  Because I think ignoring it is the best strategy (0+ / 0-)

            I think you have to figure out how to argue the issue differently.  

            I think you do best to marginalize the religious argument instead of doubling down on it and elevating the bishops and other clergy as power brokers.  

            I think it's easy to just get so mad at the religious right that you lose track of what you're trying to accomplish.  

            Democrats are still not doing a good job at arguing for equality before the law on any number of issues but where they have like on gay rights they've won many battles much to the surprise of the religious right.

             

      •  I think we can agree that the SCOTUS elephants (0+ / 0-)

        frequently strain to bring forth a gnat.  It seems that the ideological bent of this court is as pronounced as that of any modern court

    •  It's about a meaningless symbolic victory (0+ / 0-)

      Burwell does nothing to dismantle ACA.

      •  it simply means that the insurance carriers (0+ / 0-)

        have to eat the cost of BC for religious employers.  This of course means that the carriers will pass the cost on to their other customers.  However, my question as a devout follower of Mammon and more particularly St Parsimonious,
        I have a religious objection to my paying for benefits for other people's religion (hey the KKK now claims their opposition to race mixing is biblically inspired and hence constitutionally protected), so how do I inform my carrier about my deeply held religious faith?

        Wonder if this means corporations held by Quakers can now insist that none of their taxes be used for the purpose of making war?  

        •  Since contraceptive care reduces overall costs (0+ / 0-)

          it doesn't really matter.  Exempted self insurers will benefit slightly more in the savings run, undoubtedly, simply because their employees will still have access to free contraceptive care through TPAs.  

          Can't recall the case law, but I'm pretty sure the Supreme Court has already ruled that the government has a compelling interest to collect various forms of tax (including the income tax), and that to do so without exemption is sufficiently narrow and un-intrusive.

    •  If the Court's conservative majority (4+ / 0-)

      Cared only about dismantling health care, it would have found the ACA unconstitutional when it had the chance, so I believe their motivation is more than simply harming Obama.

      •  Because they could not find justification to (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        jgilhousen

        declare it unconstitutional. However, they did find justification to nullify part of it, the Medicaid expansion.

        This is just another step to chip away at the program. One case at a time.

        •  It would have been very easy (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Richard Lyon, Justanothernyer, VClib

          For Roberts to join the other four in holding the ACA to be an impermissible use of the Commerce Clause.  In fact, that's what he actually did, but upheld the constitutionality of Obamacare by claiming that the mandate was a tax.   It was rumored that the minority opinion was going to be the majority opinion until Roberts changed his vote.  Roberts must have withstood a lot of pressure from his colleagues to avoid going back to his original intent to rule against the Affordable Care Act.  If he wanted to start with a preferred outcome and work backwards to come up with reasoning that would support it, there were ample justifications that he could have used.  He didn't, because that's generally not how they do things.

        •  Susan - not true at all (0+ / 0-)

          See my longer comment in this thread.

          "let's talk about that" uid 92953

          by VClib on Thu Jul 03, 2014 at 02:39:18 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  Susan - Roberts could have done that the first (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Richard Lyon

      time around. Both the President and then Speaker said with emphasis that the fines in the ACA were NOT taxes. Even if the Chief Justice thought the ACA could be approved using the taxing power of the federal government he had every right to hang his hat on the words of the President and Speaker thereby declaring the entire ACA statute unconstitutional. Roberts never felt that the ACA was legitimate on the basis of the Commerce Clause. But he didn't declare the ACA unconstitutional and that makes your claim hard to understand.

      "let's talk about that" uid 92953

      by VClib on Thu Jul 03, 2014 at 02:32:34 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I start from the perspective that this is the most (0+ / 0-)

        political SCOTUS that we have had in my lifetime. Roberts is a skilled politician who knew that declaring the ACA unconstitutional would have serious consequences. As David L. Franklin wrote for Slate two years ago:

        Why did he do it? Quite simply, to save the court. As Jeffrey Rosen has noted, the ACA case was John Roberts’ moment of truth—and today’s opinion proves that Roberts knew it. In the aftermath of Bush v. Gore and Citizens United, the percentage of Americans who say they have “quite a lot” or a “great deal” of confidence in the Supreme Court has dipped to the mid-30s. A 5-4 decision to strike down Obamacare along party lines, whatever its reasoning, would have been received by the general public as yet more proof that the court is merely an extension of the nation’s polarized politics. Add the fact that the legal challenges to the individual mandate were at best novel and at worst frivolous, and suddenly a one-vote takedown of the ACA looks like it might undermine the court’s very legitimacy.
        He knew they couldn't overturn it on a party line vote and retain any legitimacy.

        But, taking it apart, bit by bit, will achieve the same end and be far less controversial. This is not the end to the litigation on the ACA. I am sure we will see a lot more on different aspects of the law just as quickly as the army of lawyers working for the right wing can invent new legal interpretations for the Court to approve.

        Oh oh, I hope THAT doesn't end up in someone's sig line! :) - kos

        by Susan Grigsby on Thu Jul 03, 2014 at 02:48:33 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  it is freedom of conscience for (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Susan from 29, greenbell, gfv6800

    conservative christians but militant secularists who oppose them.

    Much of a bias in your language?

    It was pushing the limits of rationality to allow corporations to spend unlimited amounts of cash as speech to further their commercial enterprises.  But at least the idea that commercial speech to defend and further a corporation's economic viability is not irrational.  The court leapfrogged rational altogether when it decided that a for profit corporation which exists to make money has religious beliefs.

    This isn't about defending a small place in American society for religion from militant secularists.  This is about defending human's rights as being superior to spurious claims that corporations are equivalent to humans under the law in all respects.

  •  Some more interesting facts (5+ / 0-)

    As you point out, Employment Division v. Smith was authored by Scalia.  He was joined by John Paul Stevens.  He was opposed by Harry Blackmun and Thurgood Marshall.

    The RFRA was enacted by the heavily Democratic 103rd Congress, passing by voice vote in the House and 97-3 (with Harlan, Byrd, and Helms opposed) in the Senate, and signed by President Clinton.

    By City of Boerne v. Flores, everybody was even more all over the map.  You have Stevens and Ginsburg joining Scalia and Thomas in backing Kennedy's opinion, with O'Connor and Breyer still dissenting from the Smith decision.

    Personally, I don't like Smith; few liberals my age did when it came out and that was pretty much the view for ten years or more.  It wasn't necessary to defend, say, hard fought civil rights gains in the areas of employment and housing discrimination; our attorneys made the case that government had a compelling interest in the area, and that the measures taken were least restrictive and narrowly tailored to meet those aims.  We still felt that way even when we'd reached a national, electoral zenith not seen until 2009.  And we still fought to enact RFRA.

    Do I like the outcome of Burwell?  No.  But I don't really hate it.  For one, Lyon, it doesn't have a practical impact on women's health.  With the wave of a pen, HHS can finally end decades of quibbling over who gets to the "bill" for what is ultimately a cost-saving measure.  Women will have access to this key area of preventive care without their employers acting as middle men, and with no out of pocket costs.  Does it annoy me that for-profit corporations can apparently exercise religion?  Sure.  But that's a consequence of construction; reading RFRA with the definition of person in 1 USC 1.  And how similar or dissimilar corporations are to people is of less concern to me than how we define, prevent, and hold accountable anyone for fraud and malfeasance.

  •  I'm Fairly Sure They Both Anticipated Low Faith (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Richard Lyon, Susan from 29, cai

    identification and other traditions such as Islam. I've heard that only around 1/3 of colonists were actively religious at that time but I'm not finding a quick cite.

    The Constitution comes with 2 bans on religion, one in the Constitution itself banning test of religion for any office, the 2nd opening the Bill of Rights banning establishment of religion.

    Beyond that the first veto of the President who earlier had written the original draft of the Constitution, Madison, was a veto of a faith based initiative for paying churches to feed and educate poor children, on grounds of it being an improper establishment of religion to carry out a public and civil "duty."

    Madison would've vetoed both Bush and Obama faith-based initiatives based on his 18th century belief in secular government. So today we're actually behind the times and thinking of the Framers not out in front.

    The decision this week is not about personal exercise of religion but about religious limitations imposed on others in public commerce. I would bet that this would not fly with Madison and Jefferson for two framers.

    The start of a big 4 day holiday is a bad time to expect a good thorough response to your diary from our legally educated participants but maybe we'll get lucky.

    We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

    by Gooserock on Thu Jul 03, 2014 at 11:43:00 AM PDT

    •  This is about the religious right (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      a2nite, jgilhousen, dksbook

      and their freedom of conscience movement trying to hijack the first amendment. It appears that they have 5 allies on the Supreme Court willing to help them do it.

    •  hard to find hard numbers on religiosity (0+ / 0-)

      in the colonies but I did find this much:
      http://elane.stanford.edu/...

    •  The framers of the constitution (0+ / 0-)

      were willing to tolerate slavery. Madison and Jefferson were slave owners. I don't really find any of those people useful as a personal moral guide in 2014.

    •  Any "exercise" of religion in public commerce (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      VClib, Pi Li, nextstep

      necessarily affects others.  If I own a store and I'm an Orthodox Jewish person, I may choose to close on Saturdays and stay open Sundays.  Is that "imposing" my religious views on my others"  like my employees who may be fundamentalist Christians who would want to work on Saturdays so they can go to church on Sundays?

      If I'm a Catholic photographer, I may choose not to take jobs photographing weddings of divorced people, or even weddings that are not in a Catholic Church.  Is that "imposing my views on others"?  What about if I'm a Catholic baker who does not want to make wedding cakes when one person in the couple has been divorced, or when the wedding is not in accordance with the Catholic religion?  People who want those services from me will have to find someone else.  Is that "imposing my views on others"?

      Because commerce itself is not a solo thing -- it takes at least 2 to engage in commerce -- an exercise of my religious views in commerce is necessarily going to affect someone else.  Does that mean that we have no right to the free exercise of religion in conjunction with how we make a living?  Where in the First Amendment does it say government can't make any law abridging the free exercise of religion, EXCEPT in commerce?    

  •  given that I had screamed at me (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    a2nite, Richard Lyon

    for the last decade "NO SPECIAL RIGHTS FOR HOMOS" I find the fact that a segment now does indeed have "special rights"  pretty ironic. And the strange fact that a cornerstone of some peoples' faith is actual discrimination. Humans will quite obviously never stop being tribal beings.

    I'm pretty much over this place and I'm half considering starting a kickstarter so I can fund my departure.

    Dawkins is to atheism as Rand is to personal responsibility. uid 52583 lol

    by terrypinder on Thu Jul 03, 2014 at 11:48:37 AM PDT

    •  today I read that a Baptist church had scheduled (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      terrypinder

      a gay wedding.  Today I actually feel encouraged.

      At least with gay rights, things have improved since the 1950s when gays were driven underground, denied employment, imprisoned, and generally denied basic human rights, let alone constitutional rights.  Things have improved or so I keep telling myself.

      OTOH I note that KKK is now claiming race discrimination is biblically ordained and a part of their constitutional right.  So the more things change the more they remain the same

  •  Having applied for and obtained Conscientious (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Richard Lyon, greenbell, cai

    Objector status on religious grounds during the Viet Nam war, my attitude toward such accommodations is distinctly colored by that experience.

    The significant difference I see between that type of protection of religious liberty, and that enshrined in the Hobby Lobby decision is that previous accommodations acknowledged the importance of an individual's conscience, while recent rulings grant a right to impose one's conscientious decisions on others.

    In essence, the Hobby Lobby decision strips freedom of conscience and religious liberty from multitudes in favor of the dogma of a few.

    •  The difference too is that (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      jgilhousen

      conscientious objector status provided protection for people whose views were in opposition to a strong majority position. As I recall there was a definite tendency on the part of draft boards to try to restrict to people with a long standing membership in pacifist churches.  The notion that one could form ethical convictions exclusive of organized religion was hard to establish.

      •  Yes, and my local draft board grilled me (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Richard Lyon

        extensively on issues relating to my having been raised in a church which did not hold to pacifism as a doctrine, and converted to Catholicism which teaches a "just war" rationale.  Draft counselors provided by a peace activist group prepared me to present my case which ultimately prevailed. Local boards varied widely, and the burden of proof definitely fell on the applicant.

        But I only mentioned it to show one of the major influences in my approach to such issues.

    •  By law, Conscientious Objector status... (0+ / 0-)

      may NOT be reserved only for those with a religious objection.

  •  The Hobby Lobby decision... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Susan from 29

    was about striking a blow to Obamacare.

  •  legislation to clarify RFRA already being (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    terrypinder

    introduced, hence the RW outrage by stalwarts such as Cruz about repealing the First Amendment.

  •  Here's how I see the fundamental issue. (8+ / 0-)

    Some -- like the majority in the HL decision -- think that our rights to the free exercise of our religious beliefs extend to commerce -- that we can choose to engage in commerce on terms that comport with our religious beliefs, and that a right to the free exercise of our religious beliefs even when we are seeking to make money is a right that is protected, by the First Amendment and RFRA.

    Some --- like the dissent -- think that the profit motive is necessarily inconsistent with the free exercise of religion -- that when you engage in commerce for the purpose of making a profit, you necessarily give up any expectation of ALSO being able to act in accordance with your religious views.  That's why the dissent recognized that the religious views of corporations were protected if those corporations were nonprofit, but those views were not protected if the corporations were for-profit.

    All of the other things that people are talking about in the HL decision are kind of side issues.  If you actually READ the decision, that's the disagreement.  The majority said, "the law says that "person" in RFRA is defined under 1 U.S.C. 1 as individuals and corporations, partnerships, associations, and other groups of people.  So RFRA protects the religious views of those "persons" under 1 USC 1. And if a nonprofit corporation can have a religious view, then a closely-held for-profit corporation can have a religious view.  Some closely held companies are very clear that they are operating in accordance with the religious views of the owner, and so that's protected.   The dissent said, Look at the context.  Even though 1 USC 1 says that when Congress uses the word "person" in RFRA it also meant corporations, the context suggests Congress didn't really mean for-profit corporations.  A nonprofit corporation can have a religious view, but when you are trying to make a profit, then you can't have a religious view, because profit-making is inconsistent with a religious purpose.  You have to pick -- you can't have both.  

    •  I think that there are three considerations. (4+ / 0-)

      1) Do corporations have religious rights? Individuals certainly do. It seems to me that this is the first time that the courts have extended them to corporations. That is logically connected to Citizens United, but it does seem to be something new.

      2) In terms of the ACA is there is less restrictive and burdensome way to providing mandated health care than requiring employer participation? The court used the administrative arrangements that were made for non-profit religious organizations to point to an alternative. If that can be done for employees of these corporations, then it would seem that both religious preferences and women's health care can both be accommodated.

      3) There is an effort underway to disrupt the earlier administrative compromise. If that is successful, then it would undermine the logic of this decision. Will the same court that issued Hobby Lobby find in favor of the Little Sisters of the Poor?

      •  One those points (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Tonedevil

        1. Corporations have had religious rights at least since 1993 (see Church of Lukumi Babalu Aye, Inc. v. Hialeah - 508 U.S. 520).

        2. Precisely.

        3. I hope Little Sisters a moot point by November.  The easiest thing to do would be to cut out the exemption process entirely and simply extend TPA enrollment directly to employees via the income and payroll tax system.

        Things may get a little interesting and complicated if and when some organization litigates over the right to refuse to hire or fire employees based on their participation in some healthcare plan.  However--and correct me if I'm wrong, lawyers--at that point, Title VII is controlling for commercial entities employing more than 15 people.  And no court has found Title VII protections to be unconstitutional.

      •  At least some corporations clearly have (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        VClib

        religious rights.  I don't think anyone would conclude that a church organized in corporate form would lack the ability to bring a claim under the First Amendment or, presumably, RFRA.

    •  The dissent is inventing the distinction (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      VClib, nextstep

      between non-profit and for profit corporations which is not in the statute.

    •  coffeetalk - you should publish this comment (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Richard Lyon, rduran, OrganicChemist

      as your first diary. You outline the topic very clearly.

      "let's talk about that" uid 92953

      by VClib on Thu Jul 03, 2014 at 02:22:40 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Actually, a lot of the Founders were Deists, (0+ / 0-)

    not Christians.  Deists believed in a God that created the universe, but then had nothing more to do with it.  He did not intercede, he did not listen to prayers, he did not have a son named Jesus.  He was an explanation for the existence of the world, and nothing more.

    © cai Visit 350.org to join the fight against global warming.

    by cai on Thu Jul 03, 2014 at 01:39:31 PM PDT

  •  You betcha! (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Susan from 29

    "Militant secularists would likely prefer to see a society in which no accommodations are made for religious beliefs and practices in public programs and facilities."

    And ten guesses why?  Or should I say billions of guesses why? Because I don't want to pay taxes to support religion in public places, in public programs or in public facilities any more. And according to James Madison, I shouldn't have to!

    This country is becoming rapidly theocratized in an era where we have increasing diversity.  This ruling is just one example of how our courts and our Congress (and even our separation of church and state tone deaf President) are setting us up for sectarian strife that we haven't seen since the bible wars in Philadelphia.

    Is this what you wish to accommodate?

    •  I don't wish to accommodate anything. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      raincrow

      It is the SCOTUS majority that wants to make accommodations.

      I'm not sure that the country is really becoming more of a theocracy, but the theocratic crowd is definitely fighting back against secularism. I expect the battle to go on for some time.

  •  I think we're missing the obvious (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    raincrow

    How can a corporation have a religious belief?

    May you always find water and shade.

    by Whimsical Rapscallion on Thu Jul 03, 2014 at 03:33:52 PM PDT

  •  Profits? Interstate commerce? No bellybutton? (0+ / 0-)

    Then you are not a person and have no constitutional rights. State and federal laws may give you certain protections, but the Bill of Rights cannot.

    **
    What the fuck comes next, I wonder? If a massive class-action suit threatens to bankrupt a corporation, can that corporation invoke a "right of self defense" and kill the plaintiffs???

    Fight them to the end, until the children of the poor eat better than the dogs of the rich.

    by raincrow on Thu Jul 03, 2014 at 07:34:41 PM PDT

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