Comments about ‘Topic of the day: Religious business owners and the birth control mandate’

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Published: Monday, Aug. 12 2013 3:45 p.m. MDT

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Mike Richards
South Jordan, Utah

@Stalwart Sentinel,

Would you explain the difference between "an establishment of religion" and "the establishment of religion"? Your whole argument depends on the use of "an" or "the". One word is definite the other is indefinite. One word prohibits Congress from interferring with religion. The other word prohibts Congress from creating a new religion.

Just to help out a little, Congress is not prohibited from creating a religion, but it cannot dictate to that religion any doctrine. If it wanted to create the Church of Congress, it could, but it couldn't tell the Church of Congress what to teach, what doctrines to follow, what ordinances to perform, or what convenants to keep. On the other hand, it cannot at any time or in any way tell a religion what to do about anything for any reason - including what services that religion must provide to people who work as employees of that religion.

Lightbearer
Brigham City, UT

There are no established religions or churches in the United States, though some of the colonies once had them. An established religion or church is one "recognized by the government as the national church or religion" (The New Oxford American Dictionary), or as the Oxford English Dictionary puts it: "Established Church: The Church as by law established in any country, as the public or state-recognized form of religion....So State Church."

The United States has no national church or religion. One purpose of the first amendment is to prevent an establishment (i.e., to prevent an establishing) of any church or religion, that is, to prevent any church or religion from becoming the national church or religion of the United States.

As Leonard W. Levy writes in "Origins of the Bill of Rights": "The classic establishment of religion denoted a legal union between a state and a particular church that benefited from numerous privileges not shared by other churches or by the nonchurched or unbelievers. An uncontested and uncontestable fact that stands out from the establishment clause is that the United States cannot constitutionally enact any law preferring one church over others in any manner whatever" (p. 79).

redshirt007
tranquility base, 00

If corporations are people then slavery still exists in the US and should be abolished since corporations are mandated in every action yet have no compensation or free will of their own.

If corporations have free speech then they are being forced to say whatever their owners want them to say and their 1st amendment rights are violated as determined in the Citizens United case.

If corporations have religion then they have no right to force people that work for them to follow that religion.

See what republicans do to our country?

Happy Valley Heretic
Orem, UT

Interesting concept, except we are talking about a business not a religion, or is the business now capable of transcending this world into Catholic after life? As Kalindra astutely pointed out, why then is there a barrier one way to protect the business owner from personal responsibility if the owner and the business are one and the same?

With all Stalwart Sentinel said, and explained so well, your going to use the Bill Clinton Defense?

Just to help out a little, Congress is not prohibited from creating a religion, but it cannot dictate to that religion any doctrine.

Why did the government prohibit the LDS church from practicing what God told them to do.
Why does the government prohibit the Native American Churches from practicing what God told them to do.

lost in DC
West Jordan, UT

Sentinal
Sorry you just refuse to get it. No one is forced to do anything here? Oh come on! Please do not be untruthful in your debates. Employers are being FORCED under Obamacare to offer insurance with abortificants and contraceptives. Please tell me how no one is being forced to do anything? Extricate the individual from the corporation. To do as you instruct forbids religious people from involvement in enterprise – contrary to the 1st amendment.

I am sorry you feel intimidated by emphasis; I only used all caps for one word this time so as not to frighten you further. Sorry if the one word intimidated you.

Ranchhand
Since I refuse to buy cigs for my employees, I am then forcing my religious beliefs on them. Good grief!

Lightdowser,
See comment to ranchhand

Ultrabob
No, the constitution is NOT only talking about churches and religious establishments.

Tyler D
Meridian, ID

@lost in DC – “I am sorry you feel intimidated by emphasis; I only used all caps for one word this time so as not to frighten you further. Sorry if the one word intimidated you.”

Are you a religious person?

I’m just curious because your frequent use of sarcasm, condescension, and in some cases flat out misrepresentation (e.g., my views on C02) would seem to belie that fact.

RanchHand
Huntsville, UT

lost in DC says:

"Employers are being FORCED under Obamacare to offer insurance with abortificants and contraceptives."

Is the employer the corporation or the individual? It's either one or the other. Corporations are not people; people are not corporations. Therefore, the people who own the corporation are not being "forced" to do anything. As has been pointed out, the corporation has no religion. And, you are not buying cigarettes for your employees, but you're not buying the birth-control pills either. Your employees are, all you're doing is providing insurance and they use that insurance as benefits them; and they are, most likely, paying premiums which means that you ARE violating their religious beliefs if you make them adhere to your version.

J in AZ
San Tan Valley, AZ

To Ranch Hand

In reference to your point on 8/14. You are not completely correct. A public corporation, one that is traded on the stock exchanges, has a legal existence separate from the stockholders. The Modern Corporation and Private Property by Berle and Means explains this at length. Certainly in that case, ownership is separated from operational control and teh shareholder has little say on the governance of the company other than withdrawing their investment if they disagree with the actions of the management team.

However, regardless of how it is organized for tax purposes, a business that is managed by it's owners is still their property no matter how many people that they employ. Are you suggesting that in the normal course of life, the government should be able to compel you to use your property in ways that are contrary to your moral beliefs?

Or are you suggesting that if a person has strong moral beliefs, then they had better not start their own business?

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