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Rodney K. Smith: The sacred right of religious conscience and the founding of America

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  • RFLASH Salt Lake City, UT
    July 11, 2014 9:25 a.m.

    I suppose this act also protects my religious belief, as a gay man, that God created me and that He gives me just as much right to believe in marriage as anyone else? Just who does this act protect, Mormons, Atheists, Baptist, gays? When you talk about religious freedom, it should include everyone. So, who gets to live their beliefs, the Mormon, who is against same sex marriage, or the gay man who believes God would allow him to marry? I can just see people rolling their eyes backwards. To many, religious freedom protects their beliefs and not the beliefs of others! So, do people have a right to force their religious beliefs on me? Should I be denied marriage because others don't believe in it? No, logic tells me that I have a right to my belief in God as much as they do. My belief in God also includes same sex marriage and who is somebody else to deny me the right to live it? If you value your religious freedom, then value the freedom of others. You know, many people around here won't even admit that gay people may also believe in God!

  • Stormwalker Cleveland , OH
    July 8, 2014 11:06 a.m.

    @the truth:

    As for OWS - they were calling the super-rich and megacorporations on their crimes and unethical behavior. For those actions, in cities across the country, they were brutalized by masked cops wearing full military assault gear.

    You may not agree with anything OWS was saying, but if you sanction the coordinated nationwide actions against peaceful Americans in public spaces then you have no claim to valuing the Constitution or the rule of law.

    Personally, I was ignoring OWS until I saw government allowing militarized police to act as masked corporate thugs who were "legally" shielded from their crimes. It motivated me to look at that which the rich wanted hidden.

    The brutal treatment against OWS was purposeful, to show what happens if you challenge those who have the money to buy power in this country.

    As for science... Not when the religious right is trying to have creationism taught in science classes.

  • the truth Holladay, UT
    July 7, 2014 7:31 p.m.

    @Stormwalker

    They do not deny science.

    They deny the pseudo-science, being pushed and forced on them. pseudo-science that is wholly based on assumption, supposition and opinion that is being passed as fact.

    Marching orders from the "elistist" left from professors, and school teachers, to civil leaders and radical group leaders, and from radio, tv, publications and all other forms of media,... is the same. again OWS is a perfect example.

    Everything you say about the right, the left does as well, even to denying rights to those who have views and beliefs they oppose.

    And the Christian right can not deny rights to people. that can only be done by political action, i.e. making of laws or amendments, by the rules set forth in our laws and constitution.

    Which they have always followed to my knowledge.

    The same can't be said of the left. which seems to trample the laws and the constitution to force their views on the people, to deny rights to both individuals and to groups of people they oppose. (IRS scandal, denying rights to religious and religions)

    The left in my view has always been worse.

  • Stormwalker Cleveland , OH
    July 7, 2014 9:07 a.m.

    @the truth

    If somebody takes a gun they believe to be unloaded to use as a threat to rob a convenience store, and they drop the gun and it is loaded and fires, killing somebody, they are charged with premeditated murder in most states.

    They were not "out to cause pain and suffering" but that is what their actions caused.

    Christians may not intend to cause harm, but their insistence that modern laws conform to bronze-age tribal rules do cause harm to many people. The fact they carefully cherry-pick the rules they say apply today while blithely ignoring other rules in the same chapters of the same books adds insult to injury.

    The marching orders that are given from pulpits and radical right radio stations and publications are accepted as unquestioned truth and then blindly acted upon by many Christians who take no time to research the information for themselves.

    And, by the way, the Christianity I describe is the Christianity I see around me, denying modern science and denying rights to entire groups of people because "God said..."

  • Mister J Salt Lake City, UT
    July 7, 2014 9:01 a.m.

    to the truth

    "What utter nonsense. Christian are NOT out to cause pain and suffering Ands certainly not any mare than any other person or ideology. And I would contend that it is much less.

    And your attacks against Christians seem to be from the dark ages."

    You do realize how truly ironic these statements are?

  • the truth Holladay, UT
    July 6, 2014 2:01 p.m.

    @mark
    @Stormwalker

    What utter nonsense. Christian are NOT out to cause pain and suffering Ands certainly not any mare than any other person or ideology. And I would contend that it is much less.

    And your attacks against Christians seem to be from the dark ages.

    Often those involved in "social justice" are following orders. Just look at the OWS movement just a bunch of brainless dolts just following the orders of their elitist masters.

    The left, the gays, and those in "social justice" want enforce their views of right and wrong on to everyone as much or more than modern Christian do.

  • Stormwalker Cleveland , OH
    July 6, 2014 7:15 a.m.

    People working for social justice are acutely aware of "conscience" and "right and wrong" and that mistreating others is an individual choice. People working for social justice know that "I was only following orders" is never an excuse to mistreat others, and it does not matter if the orders are from military authority, from political leaders, or the supposed words of their deity. "I'm treating you as less-than-human because I was told to" is wrong and should burn the conscience of any human being. Sadly and all-too-often we use religion and tradition as a reason to hurt people around us.

    I will accept "the Bible says" from very Orthodox Jews because they strive to live their lives in accord with all the rules found in the Bible and don't push those rules on others.

    Modern Christians? Not so much. They cherry pick the verses that support their prejudice, especially when it applies against other groups, and then cause pain and suffering because "God says..."

  • mark Salt Lake City, UT
    July 6, 2014 12:41 a.m.

    "Some don't like conscience at all because it is something they can't control."

    What a strange statement.

    "it also teaches right and wrong, something those searching for "social justice" are incapable of understanding."

    Let's leave alone the nonsense of claiming that people interested in social justice are incapable of understanding right and wrong, rather I'm wondering if you are just parroting a certain fear mongering talk show host that told people to be afraid of the term social justice, Glenn Beck I believe.

  • Light and Liberty St. George/Washington, UT
    July 5, 2014 7:32 p.m.

    Some don't like conscience at all because it is something they can't control. it also teaches right and wrong, something those searching for "social justice" are incapable of understanding.

  • LDS Liberal Farmington, UT
    July 5, 2014 7:26 p.m.

    Roland Kayser

    Cottonwood Heights, UT

    On a different point, corporate attorneys are apparently terrified by this ruling. The whole point of creating a corporations is to construct a legal identity separate from that of the individual owners of the corporation. This ruling says that the corporation itself has religious rights and that the morals of the owners are indistinguishable from that of the corporation. This will potentially leave corporate owners personally liable for the "immoral" acts of their companies.
    6:55 p.m. July 3, 2014

    ========

    Great post -- I hope with all my heart it is true.

  • Daedalus, Stephen ARVADA, CO
    July 4, 2014 10:18 p.m.

    @Kayser: "...corporate attorneys are apparently terrified by this ruling. The whole point of creating a corporations is to construct a legal identity separate from that of the individual owners of the corporation."

    Citizens United is more likely to be used in this manner, which is why SCOTUS choose the absurd route: that corporations practice religion.

    @Kayser introduces the liability shield or "corporate veil" that protects an owner's personal assets from judgments awarded against the corporate entity. Defendants often ask the court to "pierce the veil" and one basis for doing so is when an owner and a corporation are operated as indistinguishable 'alter egos' with each other.

    Until Citizens, that veil was a true wall, but the Citizens United reasoning changed that to more of a membrane -- where corporate liabilities are blocked in one direction, but owners' individual rights can pass-through in the other direction, and asserted on the other side. Thus the alter-ego issue.

    Hobby Lobby did NOT reinforce the Citizen holding, which would have been at least consistent, despite the perversion of corporate law.

    To avoid that, SCOTUS profanely abused all religions, especially those so pleased with the outcome. God is more than a gimmick.

  • Daedalus, Stephen ARVADA, CO
    July 4, 2014 9:47 p.m.

    The columnist misstates the holding when he says claims: "Burwell v. Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc...upheld the right of religious conscience. The justices held that the Religious Freedom Restoration Act protects the Green family’s sincere religious beliefs...."

    Unlike Citizen's United, where SCOTUS held that the 1st Amend rights to speech of the individuals who associate to own the entity flow-up through and imbue that corporation with those same rights, Hobby Lobby was radically different.

    Here SCOTUS held that corporations flat-out have the ability to "exercise religion" with no required correlation or causation linked to the shareholders individual beliefs. To state otherwise is either misinformed or deceitful.

    The owners' aggregated religious rights are not what give this entity its own rights under the 1st Amendment -- it is the corporation's own ability to practice religion, that then makes any restriction to that under RFRA subject to the scrutiny test that ACA failed.

    The holding is indefensibly absurd, even if you agree with the policy outcome.

    Ex. SCOTUS allows an LLC to become a devout adherent to the LDS faith by passing a 1-line corporate resolution. Per SCOTUS, that faith is fully equivalent to any other LDS followers.

  • the truth Holladay, UT
    July 4, 2014 6:09 p.m.

    For people to have the freedom to exercise their conscience and their religion,

    both as individual or in any they choose to organize and associate themselves, churches, corporations, schools, unions, et al,

    What else could the founding fathers have had in mind?

    A king , or federal government dictating to them how to live their lives publically?

    The left is wildly wrong on this one.

    ON this Independence Day perhaps the left should read the Declaration of Independence, and understand government should serve at and by the will of the people and not vice versa.

  • GaryO Virginia Beach, VA
    July 4, 2014 4:00 p.m.

    “James Madison, the most ardent supporter of the right of religious conscience in our nation’s history and the primary author of the First Amendment and the Bill of Rights, would generally be pleased.”

    . . . With the Hobby Lobby Case??!!

    What a pile of Baloney . . .

    What would make anyone believe that James Madison would want the Separation of Church and State rendered irrelevant by our Right/Wrong-leaning Supreme Court?

    This decision was no victory for religious freedom.

    It was a victory for religious oppression.

    And I feel ashamed to have lived in a time when a degenerate America, led by a devolved Republican Party, feels good about having damaged a defining American principle.

    We, as citizens, are all less free now because of this ridiculous Supreme Court decision.

  • Longfellow Holladay, UT
    July 4, 2014 3:36 p.m.

    Esquire stated: "Institutional power to organized churches and corporations to the detriment of individuals is not a step towards religious freedom." and "We are talking about the threat of a private entity imposing the religious views of its management on employees."
    koseighty stated: "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." and "This decision also places the courts in the position of deciding what "firmly held religious belief" will get exemption from certain laws..."
    Mark B. stated "SCOTUS has opened a huge can of worms using a loophole the size of Texas to restrict, not enhance, religious freedom."

    If I understand your statements you oppose the US government granting exemptions from regulations to business owners that request the exemption for religious reasons. If that is the case, you are too late. That practice is well established, in a number of ways, in our current regulations and laws.

  • J Thompson SPRINGVILLE, UT
    July 4, 2014 12:17 p.m.

    Today is Independence Day. We celebrate our willingness to give up "government promises" for liberty. Just as in 1776, there are MANY who want government to be our nanny.

    One poster told us that Hobby Lobby was "mean spirited" and that "greed" drove its decision to oppose the destruction of live by paying for pills that are designed to kill unborn babies. On this Independence Day, it might be good to re-read the "Declaration of Indepenence" and to see what Obama is doing and what the Left supports which is opposed by that document.

    The Declaration of Indepence says: "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness."

    An unborn child is the most defenseless of all human beings. Hobby Lobby told us that they could not kill those children by paying for medications that were designed to destroy life.

    They upheld the principles that America holds sacred.

    Some Liberals think otherwise.

  • GK Willington Salt Lake City, UT
    July 4, 2014 11:13 a.m.

    to RanchHand

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

    Agreed. I have a few examples of the greed & gold digging by what used to be friends of the family and close relatives (who still are incredibly zealous members of this states dominate sect) that would turn your stomach.

    What was it Nietzche said? Oh yeah, "After coming into contact with a religious man I always feel I must wash my hands."

  • Hank Pym SLC, UT
    July 4, 2014 11:03 a.m.

    re: Esquire (1st post).

    Agreed.

    "Religion is like a pair of shoes.....Find one that fits for you, but don't make me wear your shoes." - George Carlin

    "History, I believe, furnishes no example of a priest-ridden people maintaining a free civil government" - Thomas Jefferson Letter to Alexander von Humboldt

  • marxist Salt Lake City, UT
    July 4, 2014 9:59 a.m.

    The religious freedom movement of the present has it that religion is above everything else. Religious theory and precept have ultimate jurisdiction. Hello middle ages. And what about when religions disagree?

  • pragmatistferlife salt lake city, utah
    July 4, 2014 9:00 a.m.

    "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?"

    Seriously? This coming from a Utah Republican.

  • Utefan60 Salt Lake City, UT
    July 4, 2014 8:40 a.m.

    Hobby Lobby is run by hard core Evangelicals that think my religion is a "cult" I would not want their religious beliefs to hamper my religious freedoms. It is a first step towards institutionalized discrimination. This is all under the idea that a Corporation is a "person".

  • Ranch Here, UT
    July 3, 2014 7:27 p.m.

    @Roland Kayser;

    One can hope.

  • Roland Kayser Cottonwood Heights, UT
    July 3, 2014 6:55 p.m.

    On a different point, corporate attorneys are apparently terrified by this ruling. The whole point of creating a corporations is to construct a legal identity separate from that of the individual owners of the corporation. This ruling says that the corporation itself has religious rights and that the morals of the owners are indistinguishable from that of the corporation. This will potentially leave corporate owners personally liable for the "immoral" acts of their companies.

  • There You Go Again Saint George, UT
    July 3, 2014 6:19 p.m.

    "...sincere religious beliefs...".

    5 unelected Republican lawyers have determined that they or people like them will determine if your religious beliefs are sincere.

    And Republicans are buying this steaming hot pile of jurisprudence.

    Perfect.

  • RanchHand Huntsville, UT
    July 3, 2014 1:51 p.m.

    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.

    @SCfan;

    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...

  • The Real Maverick Orem, UT
    July 3, 2014 1:37 p.m.

    @ 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?

  • lost in DC West Jordan, UT
    July 3, 2014 1:24 p.m.

    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.

    GZE
    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?

    Koseighty,
    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.

    Maverick,
    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.

  • SCfan clearfield, UT
    July 3, 2014 12:30 p.m.

    RanchHand
    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.

  • Esquire Springville, UT
    July 3, 2014 11:40 a.m.

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

  • marxist Salt Lake City, UT
    July 3, 2014 11:27 a.m.

    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.

  • J Thompson SPRINGVILLE, UT
    July 3, 2014 11:26 a.m.

    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.

  • Hutterite American Fork, UT
    July 3, 2014 10:29 a.m.

    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.

  • koseighty The Shire, UT
    July 3, 2014 10:15 a.m.

    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.

  • Esquire Springville, UT
    July 3, 2014 10:06 a.m.

    @ 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?

  • Mark B Eureka, CA
    July 3, 2014 9:56 a.m.

    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.

  • Mike Richards South Jordan, Utah
    July 3, 2014 9:51 a.m.

    Maverick,

    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.

  • RanchHand Huntsville, UT
    July 3, 2014 9:45 a.m.

    "...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.

  • OneWifeOnly San Diego, CA
    July 3, 2014 9:36 a.m.

    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?

  • koseighty The Shire, UT
    July 3, 2014 9:31 a.m.

    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.

  • Mike Richards South Jordan, Utah
    July 3, 2014 9:23 a.m.

    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?

  • GZE SALT LAKE CITY, UT
    July 3, 2014 9:01 a.m.

    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.

  • Light and Liberty St. George/Washington, UT
    July 3, 2014 8:35 a.m.

    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!

  • Light and Liberty St. George/Washington, UT
    July 3, 2014 8:28 a.m.

    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.

  • Esquire Springville, UT
    July 3, 2014 8:15 a.m.

    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.