Comments about ‘Rodney K. Smith: The sacred right of religious conscience and the founding of America’

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Published: Thursday, July 3 2014 7:30 a.m. MDT

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Springville, UT

The founding fathers never intended to give power to a legal fiction, the corporation, the same rights as individuals, nor did they intend to give corporations the power to impose the religious views of management on employees who are hired to perform purely secular functions. You can get weepy all you like about religious freedom, but the court took a major step in eroding that religious freedom with this case. Institutional power to organized churches and corporations to the detriment of individuals is not a step towards religious freedom. Your thinking on this is backwards. Astounding.

Light and Liberty
St. George/Washington, UT

Thomas Jefferson rightfully said, "...I have sworn upon the alter of God eternal hostility against every form of tyranny over the mind of man..." When Independent minded Americans, meaning not the thoughtless Democrat or Republican followers, stand with Thomas Jefferson, it is for a reason. They will not bend because they know what the alternative means, enslavement of conscience and obedience to the government is God crowd. We are happily engaged in the sometimes difficult job of reminded others what liberty and freedom mean! The anti-God crusade to eliminate Him, and liberty, from America is alive and well.

Light and Liberty
St. George/Washington, UT

Esquire: By your reasoning then you have no right to tell someone driving your car to not shoot up heroin, drink alcohol, and text at the same time. He would be able to claim that you only have rights when you are driving it by yourself! This silly claim by the left makes me laugh!


If Hobby Lobby wants to be treated as a person, it needs to give up incorporation - and the affiliated tax breaks. They can't have it both ways.

Mike Richards
South Jordan, Utah

What is a corporation? It is a GROUP of people who invested THEIR money in an idea that they hope will be profitable. A corporation is directed by people. The people on the board make the rules for that corporation. The CEO is bound to see that those rules are followed. In every case PEOPLE make all decisions and PEOPLE enforce those decisions.

The government gives corporations the status of a person. Under the law, that "person" has the same rights as any other person. Because it is impossible to put a corporation in prison, penalties for breaking the law involve paying a fine.

Hobby Lobby is a closely held corporation, meaning that the general public cannot purchase stock. Hobby Lobby decides who can hold stock. Those who hold stock have every right to voice their opinion and to see that government does not violate their 1st Amendment right to practice their religion as they wish - without government interference.

How many rights is the Left willing to give up? Do they want Republicans to dictate to them how to live, what to think, how to worship?

The Shire, UT

Corporations exist for a variety of reasons. One being separating the owners from liability for their corporations actions. If the company goes bankrupt, the owners' personal wealth is protected as separate from the company. If an accident or negligence happens, while the company is liable, the owners are not. This decision seems to blur that separation.

As to the car analogy, it doesn't fly simply because it's not Hobby Lobby's car. It's a woman's body -- NOT Hobby Lobby's. It's more like taking your paycheck, buying a car with it, and then your boss getting to tell you where you're allowed to drive it. Once compensation -- money or health care -- is given, it belongs to the recipient not the payee. It's like your vegan boss telling you that you're not allowed to buy steak with your paycheck. People were all enraged at the prospect of putting government between you and your doctor. Now we've placed your boss there as well.

Overall, the biggest problem I have with the decision is that it places the "religious freedom" of the corporation over the religious freedom of the individual.

San Diego, CA

To Light and Liberty:
Not sure I understand your logic. Are you seriously comparing the dangerous acts of shooting up heroin while driving to the rights of women to have their insurance policy cover birth control? How does my choice of birth control detrimentally affect the company I work for?

Huntsville, UT

"...our nation’s survival depends on a moral, religious and ethical people."

Many of the "religious" people I know are often the least ethical and least moral people I know.

Mike Richards
South Jordan, Utah


You're mistaken. I've owned several businesses and I am part of a corporation. Under the law, a corporation is a person. OUR government made that decision.


Stockholders are shielded. They can lose their investment, but assets outside the corporation cannot be attached. Everyone who uses trust has that same protection. Ask any lawyer why you should have a trust instead of a will. Would you want your trust to restricted from DOING YOUR WILL?

Those who think that they should bill their neighbors for their own contraceptives will complain. Those who understand agency and accountability will not object.

Mark B
Eureka, CA

Maverick has it right. SCOTUS has opened a huge can of worms using a loophole the size of Texas to restrict, not enhance, religious freedom. CEOs will now be seeing the light of "not paying" through religious means, and THEN bosses with just regular "no pay" convictions will want their turn, claiming that THEIR beliefs are as worthy of enshrinement as those affiliated with churches. We'll be dealing with this a long time and may even have to decide on NEW churches with nothing more holy than deregulation as an article of faith. This has already started. It's the worst SCOTUS decision since gutting the Voting Rights Act.

Springville, UT

@ Light and Liberty, clearly you miss the point. The regulatory functions you mention are governmental and are not based on religion (except, perhaps, in Utah). We are talking about the threat of a private entity imposing the religious views of its management on employees. What I have not seen is any conservative response on this issue, like how will they respond if it is an issue that detrimentally affects Mormons or other conservatives? Does your reaction change? Is your glee over the religious power of the corporation going to persist if you are the victim on another issue, or will you scream that there is a war on your religious freedom. Again, conservatives are ignoring the question. Is individual freedom good when it cuts your way, and bad when it cuts another way?

The Shire, UT

This decision also places the courts in the position of deciding what "firmly held religious belief" will get exemption from certain laws -- effectively placing the government in the role of deciding what religions get privilege and which do not. Will Seventh Day Adventist companies get to deny healthcare all together? And we're already seeing companies wanting out of nondiscrimination laws concerning LGBTs. Each will go to court and a court will decide which religious beliefs are worth having (financially) and which are not.

American Fork, UT

Corporations do not posses a conscience. Rights of religious freedom need to accrue to beings with a conscience first, and those are people. And the sacred thing about how that relates to the founding of America was how they were granted to us all in terms of freedom before religion. Mr. Jefferson, build up that wall.

J Thompson

Do corporations have a conscience? I say that they do. The conscience is reflective of the board of directors. They make the rules for a corporation. What they "believe" is reflected in the rules that they make. The CEO sees that the rules are implemented.

If Hobby Lobby's owners had no conscience, why did they object to paying for prescriptions that cause abortions?

We have this mess because of Obama. He has used government to do HIS will. He wants free access to abortions in America. He want some "rich guy" to pay for those abortions. He insisted that the "rich guy" pay 100% of the cost for contraceptives, including those that cause abortions.

The Court told him to stop that nonsense. They told him that people have a right to follow their conscience. They told him that a closely held corporation reflects the CONSCIENCE of its stockholders. They told him that he cannot force his "secular religion" on America.

Salt Lake City, UT

According to conservatives here (and the Deseret News) when a group of capitalists join to form a corporation to protect themselves - that is the height of Americanism. But when workers try to band together, forming a labor union to protect themselves - that is a conspiracy against trade.

Springville, UT

@ marxist, point well taken. Interesting how conservatives claim they are family friendly, but fight against things that will help families thrive.

clearfield, UT

Well that's too bad for you. I always thought Huntsville was a nice place. Guess I was wrong.

All these "slippery slope" type arguments. In a nutshell, the 1st Amendment is a neutrality clause stating that Congress will make no laws either in favor of or against religion. Basically if the 1st is applied as written, Congress shall stay out of any religious argument all together. And besides, this particular decision is about as narrow as it can get. Of some 20 birth control devices available, only 4 were allowed to be restricted by Hobby Lobby. And in spite of another whopper by Hillary ( "birth control is pretty expensive") these 4 are easily accessable at the local pharmacy for a few dollars. Hillary is quickly becoming the gift that keeps on giving. To Republicans that is. I'll bet Biden is happy he is off the top spot of stupid statements.

lost in DC
West Jordan, UT

Of course liberals would force others to live a compartmentalized ethic. That’s what liberals do, and they will abide by no deviation from liberal beliefs

The leftist MSM has consistently LIED about the case, claiming Hobby Lobby did not want to provide contraceptives. Such is not the case, HL did not want to provide abortificants. Just more compartmentalization from the left.

Affiliated tax breaks?

Are you kidding? There are NO tax breaks with a C corp. Earnings are taxed at the corporate level, then if the owners are paid dividends, those dividends are taxed again.

By what twisted logic do you claim double taxation is a tax break?

It’s a woman’s body. Fine. Don’t give the employer a say over her body by making the employer buy her abortificants. Because the employer is not buying her food is he keeping her from eating?

The twisted logic of the left never ceases to amaze me.

Michele? Nice personal attack – I did not think the DN allowed those. But I guess from liberals they are OK.

All you saying corporations do not have conscience, look at the restrictions in the majority decision.

The Real Maverick
Orem, UT

@ lost

How is it a personal attack? I'm sure if you read all my posts there would be spelling and grammatical errors. I'm sorry that my iPad has autocorrect. I thought conservatives were supposed to be rugged and have thick skin? Apparently not.

@ Happy

The ACA was never supposed to be used be corporations to shed the responsibility of providing benefits to their workers. Just like the food stamps program was never supposed to be used and abused by Walmart. Walmart is currently abusing this system as a way to shed the cost of actually paying their workers decent salaries.

Who pays for all of this?

The taxpayer.

Unless small businesses (like mine) follow the corrupt example set by HL and Walmart, we will have to close shop. I don't want to order all my stuff from china and I really want to maintain our employee benefits. But corrupt activist conservative judges are forcing my hand.

Is that what you folks want? You're doing a mighty fine job choking out small businesses.

Perhaps this ruling will fast track a single payer system? Is that what you want?

Huntsville, UT

J Thompson says:

"If Hobby Lobby's owners had no conscience, why did they object to paying for prescriptions that cause abortions? "

--- Mean spiritedness & greed.


Actually, Huntsville is pretty nice.

Besides certain individuals that I personally know there are many others:

* Shurtleff, Swallow, Reyes, Lockhart, Herbert, et. al. Not only do they get a pass from The Angel at the Gate (Gayle Ruzika) directly to the Celestial Kingdom, none of them have been ex'd for their scandals or other non-Christian behaviors.

* The too numerous to name swindlers from your local wards. It is pretty much a weekly news item these days: So-and-so swindled $n from his local ward members...

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