#HobbyLobby Has Committed The Cardinal Sin
A legal entity that is separate and distinct from its owners.
Corporations enjoy most of the rights and responsibilities that an individual possesses; that is, a corporation has the right to enter into contracts, loan and borrow money, sue and be sued, hire employees, own assets and pay taxes.
The most important aspect of a corporation is limited liability. That is, shareholders have the right to participate in the profits, through dividends and/or the appreciation of stock, but are not held personally liable for the company's debts.
In the beginning, the Supreme Court ruling in favor of Hobby Lobby has opened the Pandora’s Box, and Justice Alito saw that this was good. However, while the whole idea of contraception availability as a mandate may go against personal beliefs and religious morals, the mandate is not written for religious persons. It was written for the secular corporate person.
In fact, the very idea of a corporate entity is that of an agnostic and secular entity which is separate from the shareholders for the sake of shielding the owners from liability.
In allowing religious views of the owners to be imposed on the corporate entity and the persons whom it employs, it creates the uneasy precedent that the separation does not exist in the eyes of the law. While this seems like an initial win to Hobby Lobby, the underlying issue here is that it is winning a battle and losing the war.
By conceding that your corporate person is no longer separate from the owners, due to it acting on the owner’s personal beliefs to impose upon the whole, what the Supreme Court (nor Hobby Lobby) realize is that this works both ways.
Sure, you can now impose your religious morals on the corporation, and you think you’ve won a major battle for religious rights, but the downside to this “win” is that you are now legally liable for the corporate entity that was supposed to be shielding you.
When a corporate entity is acting on the personal belief of the owners and imposing religious morality, it is no longer secular or an entity separate from the owners.
In turn, the premise can now be argued detrimentally to the owners in court due to this precedent.
In conclusion, your honor, thanks to Hobby Lobby and Justice Alito... suing the corporation is synonymous with suing the owners due to the erasure of separation between owners and corporate person. We are seeking full damages against the corporation which in turn now means the owners are personally liable for those damages. Where’s your god now, bitches?
For instance, let’s say Hobby Lobby has some debts. The people who the corporation owes the debts can now (likely successfully) argue in court that because Hobby Lobby is not acting separate from the owners, then the corporation and the owners are one and the same, and as such, the liability of the corporation is rightfully the liability of the shareholders.
Oh snap... effectively, any corporation that engages with this new-found right to impose religious morality on their corporate entity and the workers it employs must also concede that it is liable for any and all liabilities and debts of the corporation as a personal liability to the shareholders.
Seriously... do you really think Lawyers aren’t going to do this?
Well, I bet those geniuses didn’t think of that one when they were waging the righteous indignation in the courtroom, now did they? And this isn’t just speculation, either...
This would be by Justice Alito’s own ignorant words on the subject.
As Alito writes in his opinion, "A corporation is simply a form of organization used by human beings to achieve desired ends....When rights, whether constitutional or statutory, are extended to corporations, the purpose is to protect the rights of these people."
In seeking to defend the requirement, the federal government had argued that Hobby Lobby, as a for-profit corporation, was not eligible to challenge the rule under the RFRA because corporations are "separate and apart from" their individual owners and operators. They were distinct, and not "people," and therefore ineligible for the protections of a law designed to shelter "a person's exercise of religion."
Alito says, more or less, that this is nonsense: "Corporations, 'separate and apart from' the human beings who own, run, and are employed by them, cannot do anything at all."
But oh, Alito... yes they can! The very point of a corporation is to create an entity separate and apart from the owners for the sole purpose of leveraging any and all liability on the corporate entity and not the owners as a purely secular entity in accordance with separation of church and state. The entire purpose of a corporate entity is to assign culpability to the corporate entity and not the personal owners of that corporation. That is one of the sole benefits of entering into incorporation.
And in one very ignorant statement, Judge Alito has redefined and destroyed the separation of a corporation, and the very shielding of liability to the owners, that it was supposed to create. Congratulations... go ahead and pat yourselves on the back for that monumental level of stupidity.
So what of the purely religious aspect of all of this? Surely you would think that religious organizations and a majority of religious workers would totally be on board with this Hobby Lobby win, right?
A Public Religion Research Institute (PRRI) survey conducted in early June found that a substantial majority of almost every major U.S. Christian group support the idea that publicly-held corporations and privately-owned corporations should be required to provide employees with healthcare plans that cover contraception and birth control at no cost. This is likely why so many progressive Christian leaders have vocally opposed Hobby Lobby in the press, why Americans United for the Separation of Church and State submitted an amicus brief to the Supreme Court opposing Hobby Lobby on behalf of nearly 30 religious organizations, and why both the Jewish Social Policy Action Network and the American Jewish Committee submitted their own amicus briefs decrying the corporation’s position.
But even if, in the unlikely event, that this actually was a religious based decision, Hobby Lobby is actually not in accordance with Christian scripture. If you are Christian and can’t even follow the words (or know them) of your own savior, you don’t get to make the argument that you’re running a business on Christian principles.
What Matthew 20:21 means is that your personal beliefs are yours and you owe unto God upon your personal devotion while the laws of the land are also to be respected. If there is wickedness in the law, it is only for God to judge in the end. It means that you are free to hold your faith close but not impose upon others that faith as a mandate. In the case of corporations and separation of church and state, the entire point of a corporation is to maintain that separation across the board from the personal liability and beliefs of the owners. The corporate entity is secular and has no religious bias and therefore is free to render unto Caesar.
Ok, but what about the whole assumption that Hobby Lobby is simply exercising its right not to pay for contraception that may lead to abortion?
That’s a fallacy as well.
See, every paycheck that you worked for, you are paying some of that back to cover your healthcare option provided by the company. So in effect, it’s not even Hobby Lobby’s money paying for it, but them assuming the right to tell you what you can do with the money you worked for.
The entire idea of “We’re not going to pay for contraception that could lead to abortion” is a straw man argument at best, because they aren’t paying for it at all. They’re paying their employees for the work, who in turn decide for themselves if that’s what they want in their healthcare. If those employees were as deeply Christian as the owners, they would opt-out due to their personal beliefs.
See how this works?
It’s the choice of the employees what healthcare they want to pay for. It’s as asinine as Catholic Hospitals refusing to administer rape kits to rape victims, who in turn end up pregnant because they can’t get that early detection and abortion.
Just what a rape victim needs... a child who was conceived in a violent, traumatic manner who they are now responsible for raising. Every single day of their lives is now a reminder of that trauma and of the rapist... and you expect somehow that the mother is going to absolutely love that child?
Delusional. The whole lot of it.
“Would the exemption…extend to employers with religiously grounded objections to blood transfusions (Jehovah’s Witnesses); antidepressants (Scientologists); medications derived from pigs, including anesthesia, intravenous fluids, and pills coated with gelatin (certain Muslims, Jews, and Hindus); and vaccinations[?]…Not much help there for the lower courts bound by today’s decision.
The court, I fear, has ventured into a minefield.”
- Justice Ginsburg
You can read the entire dissent from Justice Ginsburg here.
I agree... this has opened up a Pandora’s Box. This isn’t a Liberal or a Republican issue... this is just stupidity across the board, and it absolutely will come back to bite them in their collective asses.
Luckily, boycotting Hobby Lobby is easy for me. I didn’t shop there to begin with.