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posted by janrinok on Wednesday March 26 2014, @10:01PM   Printer-friendly
from the companies==people-er-does-not-compute dept.

gishzida writes:

"According to a Reuters report Supreme Court signals support for corporate religious claims, "The U.S. Supreme Court appeared poised on Tuesday to open the door to companies' religious-based objections to government regulations as justices weighed whether business owners can object to part of President Barack Obama's healthcare law. From the article:

During a 90-minute oral argument, 30 minutes more than usual, a majority of the nine justices appeared ready to rule that certain for-profit entities have the same religious rights to object as individuals do. A ruling along those lines would likely only apply to closely held companies. As in most close cases of late, Justice Anthony Kennedy will likely be the deciding vote. Based on his questions, it was unclear whether the court would ultimately rule that the companies had a right to an exemption from the contraception provision of President Barack Obama's 2010 Affordable Care Act, commonly known as Obamacare.

The dozens of companies involved in the litigation do not all oppose every type of birth control. Some object only to emergency contraceptive methods, such as the so-called morning-after pill, which they view as akin to abortion.

The case marks the second time Obamacare has featured prominently before the Supreme Court. In 2012, the court upheld by a 5-4 vote the constitutionality of the act's core feature requiring people to get health insurance. Although the case has no bearing on the overall healthcare law, it features its own volatile mix of religious rights and reproductive rights. A capacity crowd filled the marble courtroom, while outside hundreds of demonstrators, most of them women, protested loudly in an early spring snowstorm.

We already know that the SCOTUS thinks corporations are citizens, do you think the SCOTUS should allow corporations to have religious beliefs too?"

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  • (Score: 1) by BananaPhone on Wednesday March 26 2014, @10:11PM

    by BananaPhone (2488) on Wednesday March 26 2014, @10:11PM (#21775)

    If a corporation is a "Person" under the law, a person can have a religion, too. /s

    • (Score: 1) by SpockLogic on Wednesday March 26 2014, @10:17PM

      by SpockLogic (2762) on Wednesday March 26 2014, @10:17PM (#21778)

      Wouldn't it have to be in the corporation's articles of association. Can't have corporations suddenly getting "religion" to avoid the law.

      --
      Overreacting is one thing, sticking your head up your ass hoping the problem goes away is another - edIII
      • (Score: 2) by davester666 on Thursday March 27 2014, @05:10AM

        by davester666 (155) on Thursday March 27 2014, @05:10AM (#21929)

        Of course not. They need to be free to experiment, to join and drop religions at the drop of a hat, whatever is convenient for the moment, just like everyone else.

        What could go wrong?

    • (Score: 2, Interesting) by dast on Wednesday March 26 2014, @10:46PM

      by dast (1633) on Wednesday March 26 2014, @10:46PM (#21788)

      I'm sorry. That logic evades me. Can I object on religious grounds to the government's war on drugs or immigration policy? If not, that means I'm not a person, right? But a corporation IS a person? Wtf?

      • (Score: 5, Insightful) by edIII on Wednesday March 26 2014, @11:31PM

        by edIII (791) on Wednesday March 26 2014, @11:31PM (#21816)

        The logic fail here is that only certain religions are going to be respected.

        Let's face it. This is really just for Christianity, and it's really just for abortion.

        Any other privately owned corporation that had religious values defined in their charter will find themselves out in the cold if they are not good honest bible thumping Christians that champion the Sweet Baby Jesus.

        If it's not this, it's Christians demanding religious rights for their corporations to deny service to the homosexuals, the men apparently bringing the downfall of humanity if they enjoyed a chicken sandwich in front of children.

        --
        Technically, lunchtime is at any moment. It's just a wave function.
        • (Score: 2) by melikamp on Thursday March 27 2014, @02:10AM

          by melikamp (1886) on Thursday March 27 2014, @02:10AM (#21871) Journal
          But hey, at least they are pushing good time-tested 2000 years old ethical values, which had never even worked for the ancient society, which was radically different from the society we have now in pretty much every way.
        • (Score: 5, Insightful) by Nobuddy on Thursday March 27 2014, @03:58AM

          by Nobuddy (1626) on Thursday March 27 2014, @03:58AM (#21910)

          The instant a Muslim owned company requires their female employees to cover their head, all the supporters of this will burst in to flames and march on the SCOTUS complaining about legislating from the bench.

          • (Score: 5, Funny) by edIII on Thursday March 27 2014, @04:14AM

            by edIII (791) on Thursday March 27 2014, @04:14AM (#21919)

            Interesting.

            Who is the more unreasonable party?

            Muslims controlling women's hair or Christians controlling women's vaginas?

            --
            Technically, lunchtime is at any moment. It's just a wave function.
            • (Score: 2, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 27 2014, @06:13AM

              by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 27 2014, @06:13AM (#21941)
              But seems like the most of the abortion requests are the result of women not controlling their own vaginas. Perhaps that's the main problem?

              If you want to continue treating humans as a special case, you might have to treat human embryos as special too. Many countries still don't make it easy to kill adult humans even if they supposedly can't feel pain, aren't conscious etc. So where should we draw the line?

              As technology progresses it may get harder to define what human is, I'd say err on the "safe side" , even if you have to use seemingly stupid definitions. The alternatives might be worse.

              Don't want Skynet to recycle you just because you weren't human enough, or because stupid humans told Skynet that humans aren't special.
              • (Score: 3, Insightful) by Thexalon on Thursday March 27 2014, @04:36PM

                by Thexalon (636) Subscriber Badge on Thursday March 27 2014, @04:36PM (#22110)

                most of the abortion requests are the result of women not controlling their own vaginas.

                Sometimes it's men forcing a woman to relinquish control of their own vagina. Sometimes the woman isn't in a position to give any kind of consent because she's 13 years old. Sometimes it's women who are taken advantage of when passed out. Sometimes it's women trusting men who, say, promise to marry them and then don't. Sometimes it's women who thought they could have a child and then it turns out that trying would kill them. Sometimes it's women who have decided to sleep with their boss in order to keep their job. And also remember that it takes two to tango, so even in cases where none of that coercion happened the men who impregnate women are as responsible for the consequences as women.

                The fact is that you know nothing of what the situation is of people deciding to get an abortion. You know nothing about why they arrived at that decision, or how, or who they consulted. Among the women I've known that have told me about it, they consulted friends, pastors, parents, the man who got them pregnant, and a couple of hotlines. Planned Parenthood is very clear that they make sure that people who come in to get an abortion understand what other alternatives might be available. This isn't a case of someone waking up one day and deciding "Oh, well, I guess I have to have another abortion.", it's a case of somebody discovering that they have to make a terrible choice.

                --
                The only thing that stops a bad guy with a compiler is a good guy with a compiler.
                • (Score: 1) by khallow on Friday March 28 2014, @02:03AM

                  by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Friday March 28 2014, @02:03AM (#22341) Journal

                  Sometimes it's men forcing a woman to relinquish control of their own vagina. Sometimes the woman isn't in a position to give any kind of consent because she's 13 years old. Sometimes it's women who are taken advantage of when passed out. Sometimes it's women trusting men who, say, promise to marry them and then don't. Sometimes it's women who thought they could have a child and then it turns out that trying would kill them. Sometimes it's women who have decided to sleep with their boss in order to keep their job. And also remember that it takes two to tango, so even in cases where none of that coercion happened the men who impregnate women are as responsible for the consequences as women.

                  None of which actually gets fixed by the health insurance policy in question. Free birth control isn't any better than cheap birth control, if your rapist doesn't use it.

                  • (Score: 2) by Thexalon on Friday March 28 2014, @01:27PM

                    by Thexalon (636) Subscriber Badge on Friday March 28 2014, @01:27PM (#22496)

                    If a woman is using birth control pills, then if she's raped she's much less likely to get pregnant, regardless of what decisions the rapist makes. (And the idea that certain elected officials have been spreading about pregnancy not being a possible outcome of rape are simply laughably false.)

                    Of course, none of that diminishes the fact that rape is a serious crime, and that a woman on birth control pills who is raped is at risk of HIV and other STDs.

                    --
                    The only thing that stops a bad guy with a compiler is a good guy with a compiler.
                    • (Score: 1) by khallow on Saturday March 29 2014, @12:24PM

                      by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Saturday March 29 2014, @12:24PM (#22875) Journal

                      If a woman is using birth control pills, then if she's raped she's much less likely to get pregnant, regardless of what decisions the rapist makes.

                      So every woman between puberty and menopause should be on birth control just because they might get raped? Is that in a guideline somewhere?

                      • (Score: 1) by khallow on Saturday March 29 2014, @12:26PM

                        by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Saturday March 29 2014, @12:26PM (#22876) Journal

                        Damn it. I keep using those "quote" tags instead of the "blockquote" HTML tags. This is so similar to Slashdot that I habitually use the tag shorthands that I use for Slashdot. I suppose I should preview first.

            • (Score: 2, Insightful) by Geezer on Thursday March 27 2014, @09:26AM

              by Geezer (511) on Thursday March 27 2014, @09:26AM (#21959)

              Equally unreasonable, since the core concepts resulting in said behaviors are, for all practical purposes, the same.

              Muslims and Christians alike seek to control a lot more than hair and pussy.

            • (Score: 2) by tangomargarine on Thursday March 27 2014, @03:29PM

              by tangomargarine (667) on Thursday March 27 2014, @03:29PM (#22084)

              Why do we need to pick one? I say we defenestrate both of them.

              --
              "Is that really true?" "I just spent the last hour telling you to think for yourself! Didn't you hear anything I said?"
        • (Score: 4, Interesting) by VLM on Thursday March 27 2014, @12:02PM

          by VLM (445) on Thursday March 27 2014, @12:02PM (#22008)

          "and it's really just for abortion."

          No, its not. Not at all. The point is to eliminate employer provided health insurance.

          "Well, gentlemen, we could accept $100 million dollar bonuses this year, but if we declare a religious exemption to blood transfusions, which is a sorta common-ish Christian-ish belief, we can eliminate all possibility of insurance covered surgery and pregnancy coverage, because that could require a blood transfusion which we will be religiously opposed to and no sensible person would risk an economic death penalty by becoming pregnant while working here. That would result in $200 million dollar bonuses and a lot less expensive FMLA leave."

          "However gentlemen, if we simply declare our religion only believes in faith healing, as per several Christian sects who have recently been in the news, all our diabetic employees or employees with diabetic family members will simply have to quit or die, resulting in vastly lower insurance costs because 1) we won't be using expensive medical treatment for them while they're employed, just cheap prayer 2) they tend to be sicker, so we'll have fewer sick days on average etc, furthermore basically eliminating health insurance other than astrology for diagnosis and prayer for treatment, we can all get $300 million dollar bonuses this year"

          Hmm. I wonder which they'll select?

          The whole system is hopeless and will tumble down soon enough if this is dodged. In fact the sooner it collapses so we can build a better one, the better off we'll all be. We're just dragging out the downfall to the max so the usual entrenched interests can maximally profit.

          Personally I'm a big fan of prop tax based insurance. The quality of care you'll get is directly proportional to the amount spent very close to your house, so it seems very fair.

          • (Score: 1) by Nygmus on Thursday March 27 2014, @01:56PM

            by Nygmus (3310) on Thursday March 27 2014, @01:56PM (#22048)

            In fairness, at least with regards to the faith healing quip, some courts have been showing a complete willingness to disregard it and require its practitioners to seek actual medical care. At least, for their kids.

            The fact that there are people in this country that have to be ordered by a court to seek medical treatment for their sick children is enough of a reason for me to want to torch every Christian church and business in the Bible Belt.

            • (Score: 2) by metamonkey on Thursday March 27 2014, @02:30PM

              by metamonkey (3174) on Thursday March 27 2014, @02:30PM (#22065)

              Think you just might be painting with too broad a brush there, fella? That's a very, very small minority of Christians who rely on faith healing rather than modern medicine. Keep your gasoline and torches away from my not-insane church, thanks.

              --
              Okay 3, 2, 1, let's jam.
              • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 27 2014, @08:23PM

                by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 27 2014, @08:23PM (#22217)

                not-insane church

                Haha, oh that's precious. Excuse me while I take a sip of my not-wet water.

            • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 27 2014, @07:39PM

              by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 27 2014, @07:39PM (#22196)

              There was a case I heard on the news last week where an Amish family sought medical care for quite a while, and many doctors told them they had done all they could reasonably do (cancer in one of their children, I believe). Other doctors said no, they could do more (more chemo, more drugs, etc.). The government is forcing them to seek further, more drastic medical treatment then they've already performed for their daughter. This is frightening. Parents should be able to decide their children's medical care if it's reasonable and impacts no others (e.g., not getting vaccinated affects others, so non-vaccinated kids should not be allowed in public schools, etc.). Not undergoing massive chemo because some doctors say it will likely result in nothing but pain and cannot improve the late-stage cancer is reasonable.

            • (Score: 2) by VLM on Friday March 28 2014, @12:31PM

              by VLM (445) on Friday March 28 2014, @12:31PM (#22474)

              "some courts"

              Yeah... sometimes... when no money is involved. Lets see how often that keeps happening once its about the executive leadership team's ten million dollar bonuses instead of just an unusual mental illness.

      • (Score: 2) by hemocyanin on Thursday March 27 2014, @03:24AM

        by hemocyanin (186) on Thursday March 27 2014, @03:24AM (#21901) Journal

        Ahhhh ... if Hobby Lobby wins this, maybe people who think drone bombing innocent people, starting wars of aggression, and so forth, can take a discount on their taxes for the cash and debt value the Feds are blowing on such stupid shit.

    • (Score: 3, Interesting) by M. Baranczak on Thursday March 27 2014, @12:29AM

      by M. Baranczak (1673) on Thursday March 27 2014, @12:29AM (#21837)

      The real question is why the fuck does anybody deserve religious exemptions in the first place? If my God tells me to build a 10-story temple out of pop-tarts and duct tape, do I get an exemption from building codes?

      The other real question is how did we wind up with a system where most people have to get health insurance from their employer? My employer doesn't pay my rent, my car insurance, my bar tab, or other necessities, why should they have to deal with my health insurance?

  • (Score: 5, Insightful) by compro01 on Wednesday March 26 2014, @10:13PM

    by compro01 (2515) on Wednesday March 26 2014, @10:13PM (#21776)

    Doesn't owning them violate the 13th amendment?

    • (Score: 4, Informative) by GungnirSniper on Wednesday March 26 2014, @10:37PM

      by GungnirSniper (1671) on Wednesday March 26 2014, @10:37PM (#21786) Journal

      No, but corporations are owned by citizens and, so the argument goes, inherit some rights of their human owners, including to be free from the law that requires birth control coverage under the principle of Separation of Church and State.

    • (Score: 3, Funny) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 27 2014, @12:12AM

      by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 27 2014, @12:12AM (#21833)

      Can I legally marry Victoria's Secret?

      • (Score: 2, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 27 2014, @06:15AM

        by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 27 2014, @06:15AM (#21942)
        If you just want to be fucked, Microsoft, Monsanto etc will be very happy to screw you any time.
      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 27 2014, @01:20PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 27 2014, @01:20PM (#22028)
        She's out of your league, anon. Better luck with Hooter's.
  • (Score: 2) by cwix on Wednesday March 26 2014, @10:15PM

    by cwix (873) on Wednesday March 26 2014, @10:15PM (#21777)

    Looks like they are doubling down on that whole corporations are people idiocy.

    • (Score: 4, Interesting) by compro01 on Wednesday March 26 2014, @10:18PM

      by compro01 (2515) on Wednesday March 26 2014, @10:18PM (#21779)

      Maybe we can get them to triple down and declare the stock market illegal, as they're trading in the ownership of people, and thus it's prohibited by the 13th amendment.

      • (Score: 2, Funny) by dast on Wednesday March 26 2014, @10:50PM

        by dast (1633) on Wednesday March 26 2014, @10:50PM (#21791)

        Seriously. If corporations are people, all those idiots on Wall Street are slave traders. /me grabs machete. "REVOLUTION!"

      • (Score: 1) by J.J. Dane on Thursday March 27 2014, @04:06PM

        by J.J. Dane (402) on Thursday March 27 2014, @04:06PM (#22100)

        Well, if corporations are people then people, obviously, are corporations, which can be bought and sold...

    • (Score: 2, Insightful) by fliptop on Wednesday March 26 2014, @10:48PM

      by fliptop (1666) on Wednesday March 26 2014, @10:48PM (#21790) Journal

      that whole corporations are people idiocy

      How is it idiocy? If the gov't regulates corporations, they have the same rights to speak, protest, petition, etc. as the individual does.

      --
      To be oneself, and unafraid whether right or wrong, is more admirable than the easy cowardice of surrender to conformity
      • (Score: 2, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday March 26 2014, @11:04PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday March 26 2014, @11:04PM (#21796)

        I concur, lets next give them the right to vote. At the same time we should uphold things like the death penalty against them.

        • (Score: 4, Informative) by sgleysti on Wednesday March 26 2014, @11:16PM

          by sgleysti (56) on Wednesday March 26 2014, @11:16PM (#21804)

          Corporations, at least the wealthiest ones, have something far more powerful than the right to vote: they have the ability to buy politicians. It is they who are truly represented in the U.S. government.

        • (Score: 1) by dast on Wednesday March 26 2014, @11:29PM

          by dast (1633) on Wednesday March 26 2014, @11:29PM (#21814)

          Since corporations are the only entities SCOTUS seems to want to allow religious freedoms for, I say only corporations should be eligible for the death penalty. When I get the right to ignore the law on religious grounds, then, sure, make me eligible too.

      • (Score: 3, Insightful) by Joe Desertrat on Thursday March 27 2014, @01:41AM

        by Joe Desertrat (2454) on Thursday March 27 2014, @01:41AM (#21857)

        How is it idiocy? If the gov't regulates corporations, they have the same rights to speak, protest, petition, etc. as the individual does.

        In the U.S. corporations only exist because they have legal status granted by states with acts of law, not by the Constitution. Their status can be revoked or changed by additional acts of law, and should the laws granting them their status be found as unconstitutional in courts of law their status can be altered as a result. Individuals have rights (on paper anyway) guaranteed in the Constitution that states cannot infringe upon. That seems to point to different status for corporations and individuals, regardless of whether corporations are composed of individuals or not.

        • (Score: 1) by khallow on Thursday March 27 2014, @10:58AM

          by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Thursday March 27 2014, @10:58AM (#21981) Journal

          Even so, you can't unconstitutionally violate rights just because certain people have a privilege. Perhaps you think that the TSA doesn't grope privileged commercial air passengers enough? Or government shouldn't be required to compensate privileged property owners when eminent domain is used?

      • (Score: 2) by sjames on Thursday March 27 2014, @09:13AM

        by sjames (2882) on Thursday March 27 2014, @09:13AM (#21958) Journal

        Corporations don't actually have any right to exist at all. Unlike actual people, they only exist by a grant from the government that they are in no way Constitutionally guaranteed.

        If the government didn't regulate corporations, they wouldn't exist. Instead the individual owners would have joint personal responsibility for it's actions. That would extend to financial responsibility.

      • (Score: 2) by tangomargarine on Thursday March 27 2014, @03:35PM

        by tangomargarine (667) on Thursday March 27 2014, @03:35PM (#22088)

        Your normal citizen does not have the right to take away other people's rights, though.

        Oh wait...we're talking about paying medical costs for contraceptives. Do we have a legal right to contraceptives? Hmm.

        Still. Isn't a box of The Pill once a month for...I dunno, 10 bucks? a hell of a lot less expensive for the company than maternity leave and medical expenses of actually giving birth? Or should I assume these are the same companies that give you the bare minimum legally required amount of maternity considerations or, even better, find a reason to fire you anyway.

        Stop being dicks, business owners.

        --
        "Is that really true?" "I just spent the last hour telling you to think for yourself! Didn't you hear anything I said?"
    • (Score: 1) by sgleysti on Wednesday March 26 2014, @11:19PM

      by sgleysti (56) on Wednesday March 26 2014, @11:19PM (#21806)
      This is mildly on-topic.

       
      I've been listening to noam chomsky lately, and I'm dying to know: is he for real? From your comment here, it seems like you might know.

      • (Score: 1) by dast on Wednesday March 26 2014, @11:31PM

        by dast (1633) on Wednesday March 26 2014, @11:31PM (#21815)

        Although I don't agree with all of his (political) views, I don't think anyone can seriously doubt he believes what he espouses.

        • (Score: 1) by sgleysti on Wednesday March 26 2014, @11:38PM

          by sgleysti (56) on Wednesday March 26 2014, @11:38PM (#21821)

          I suppose I meant to ask if what he says is actually true. That matters most to me.

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday March 26 2014, @11:32PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday March 26 2014, @11:32PM (#21818)

        No where close to being on topic.

        • (Score: 1) by sgleysti on Wednesday March 26 2014, @11:40PM

          by sgleysti (56) on Wednesday March 26 2014, @11:40PM (#21822)

          Chomsky talks a lot about this kind of thing. It's close from the other side.

      • (Score: 3, Informative) by Thexalon on Thursday March 27 2014, @01:59AM

        by Thexalon (636) Subscriber Badge on Thursday March 27 2014, @01:59AM (#21862)

        Noam Chomsky is absolutely for real. And listening to him is at least a good way of learning exactly how much to trust most news you read or especially watch: not much more than the Russians trusted Pravda.

        --
        The only thing that stops a bad guy with a compiler is a good guy with a compiler.
  • (Score: 1) by blackest_k on Wednesday March 26 2014, @10:23PM

    by blackest_k (2045) on Wednesday March 26 2014, @10:23PM (#21780)

    Surely the morning after pill doesn't actually abort anything other than the chance of a sperm meeting an ovum?

    if the morning after pill is abortion so is a condom , premature ejaculation, and a headache.

     

    • (Score: 5, Insightful) by Nobuddy on Wednesday March 26 2014, @11:34PM

      by Nobuddy (1626) on Wednesday March 26 2014, @11:34PM (#21819)

      If hobby Lobby really cared about their funds going against their beliefs- they would quit buying from China, who has a one-child per family policy that includes forced abortions if you get pregnant without permission.
      But THAT would impact their bottom line, so all the sudden religious belief is not important to them.

      • (Score: 1) by dioptase on Thursday March 27 2014, @01:18PM

        by dioptase (3290) on Thursday March 27 2014, @01:18PM (#22026)

        You're confusing China's government with the people living under the rules. It would be like refusing to do business with you because I object to the laws of the state you live in. A least you have a vote and have some measure of control over the laws of your state. People in China don't.

        On the other hand, many people in China prefer to have one child anyway. Refusing to do business with individuals you disagree with would be rational.

        • (Score: 2) by tangomargarine on Thursday March 27 2014, @03:41PM

          by tangomargarine (667) on Thursday March 27 2014, @03:41PM (#22092)

          A least you have a vote and have some measure of control over the laws of your state.

          (have a vote) ^ (have some measure of control over the laws of your state) = False

          Call me cynical.

          --
          "Is that really true?" "I just spent the last hour telling you to think for yourself! Didn't you hear anything I said?"
      • (Score: 1) by samwichse on Tuesday April 01 2014, @11:48AM

        by samwichse (3189) on Tuesday April 01 2014, @11:48AM (#24039) Journal

        Aw snap.

        That argument was both harsh and devastating and I'm totally stealing it for future use.

    • (Score: 2, Informative) by youngatheart on Thursday March 27 2014, @02:00AM

      by youngatheart (42) on Thursday March 27 2014, @02:00AM (#21863)

      Depends on your definitions of course. That's the real center of the debate that nobody seems willing to address. If a fertilized egg is a person, as it is by their perspective, then morning after pills are absolutely abortion aids, but nothing else you mentioned is.

      Of course, if a fertilized egg is a person then anything causing a miscarriage carries with it the possibility of killing another person. The problem is, they happen [babycentre.co.uk] most [about.com] of [pregnancycorner.com] the time [americanpregnancy.org].

      I consider myself anti-abortion, but have a hard time calling myself pro-life because I can't find the popular definition logical. I can simultaneously believe that people are wonderful and special and valuable and still not feel that a bundle of tissue is the same thing as a person regardless of its potential.

      I believe in the idea of "innocent until proven guilty." To me, establishing a legal system on the idea that the potential to be guilty is not proof of guilt is the most logical possible system. Potential is not the same as reality. Likewise, I don't believe that the potential to become a person is the same thing as being a person.

      The real, and usually unspoken, debate is "what makes a person a person?" I think we as a society have already addressed the issue with how we handle other issues. If a person is brain dead, we consider them to have no inherent right to life. We consider living human tissue as disposable when we talk about cancer cells or even amputations or tooth extractions.

      Legally, it is logical to conclude that an organism grown with primarily human DNA with brain activity constitutes a living person and anything short of that isn't. But logic and law have only a tenuous connection. The US also has a strong legal tradition of protecting the rights of people to believe whatever they like so long as it doesn't cause harm to others. This protection is fundamental to creating a free society. I shudder at the thought that the courts should be able to decide everyone must agree with a particular belief system. Were it not for this protection of belief, the US could have become a Christian or Muslim nation where professing any other belief was illegal.

      So whether you're atheistic, monotheistic, agnostic or polytheistic, it is imperative to a free society that we agree to protect the right to disagree and live our lives according to our own beliefs. That is why this SCOTUS decision is so important. It pits the freedom of the individual to practice their beliefs against the right of the government to force people to act against them. It is why I can believe that Hobby Lobby believes something wrong and still hope the government will not force them to act against their beliefs.

      • (Score: 3, Informative) by Open4D on Thursday March 27 2014, @01:42PM

        by Open4D (371) on Thursday March 27 2014, @01:42PM (#22040) Journal

        That's the real center of the debate that nobody seems willing to address. If a fertilized egg is a person, as it is by their perspective, then morning after pills are absolutely abortion aids

        But Wikipedia says [wikipedia.org] "The primary mechanism of action of [various forms of emergency contraceptive pills and IUDs] is to prevent fertilization ..."

        And How Stuff Works says [howstuffworks.com] "Conception can occur as many as five days after sex or possibly longer, as strong, healthy sperm can survive for about that many days ..."

         
        Not that it matters IMO. There's nothing special about fertilization. I don't value (1 sperm + 1 egg) any differently whether it's before or after fertilization. I'm no more inclined to believe religious people telling me that an embryo needs protection because it has a soul than I would if they told me a corpse needs protection because it has a soul.

        • (Score: 1) by youngatheart on Thursday March 27 2014, @02:40PM

          by youngatheart (42) on Thursday March 27 2014, @02:40PM (#22071)

          You're right about the timeline of course. I didn't get too deep into it because it can also occur in 30 minutes too.

        • (Score: 1) by blackest_k on Thursday March 27 2014, @05:43PM

          by blackest_k (2045) on Thursday March 27 2014, @05:43PM (#22136)

          Thanks for the resources

          http://wiki.answers.com/Q/How_soon_can_a_woman_bec ome_pregnant_after_ejaculation [answers.com].

          "a women only becomes medically 'pregnant' once the fertilized egg implants in the uterus. The fertilized egg will travel down the fallopian tube and into the uterus, the whole time dividing into a bundle of cells called a blastocyst, and this process will take 5 days"

          It's possible that there may not be an egg at the time of having sex as sperm can hang around for around a week.

          If you use the definition medically pregnant then you have up to 5 days after sex in which a pregnancy can be prevented as opposed to aborted.

          It is by no means a forgone conclusion that the blastocyst will embed in the uterus. Thats why trying for a baby isn't instantly successful most of the time.

          But with people who have such faith in the unprovable, having evidence seems to have no effect in generating a rational thought process.

    • (Score: 1) by Immerman on Thursday March 27 2014, @08:05PM

      by Immerman (3985) on Thursday March 27 2014, @08:05PM (#22210)

      Not quite, while sperm can survive for 3-5 days within a woman's body, fertilization may also happen almost immediately. Plan B for example, while not completely understood, appears to execute a multi-pronged attack - primarily it reduces the chance of ovulation if it hasn't already occurred, giving the sperm a chance to die before encountering the egg. But if ovulation occurs anyway it also reduces the chance of fertilization, and if fertilization occurs it reduces the chance that the zygote will be able to implant in the uterine wall. Once implantation occurs the drug seems to have no effect.

  • (Score: 2) by aristarchus on Wednesday March 26 2014, @10:30PM

    by aristarchus (2645) on Wednesday March 26 2014, @10:30PM (#21783) Journal

    There is only one god: Moloch! We sacrifice our children to the bottom line! We are constitutionally required to make as much money as possible! If you interfere with our profits, say by sharing copyrighted material, you are oppressing our religious freedom! We lost a sale that we could have used to worship our god! Oh, the humanity!!!

    (Note, I am not really a corporation.)

  • (Score: 1, Interesting) by Rune of Doom on Wednesday March 26 2014, @10:35PM

    by Rune of Doom (1392) on Wednesday March 26 2014, @10:35PM (#21785)

    I'm not aware of any way that ruling for the "religious corporations" idiocy could be done without breaking literally centuries of corporate law.

    This is a canary in the coal-mine moment for me. I live in the United States, and I prefer it to the other countries I've visited for many reasons, some personal and some with broader scope. Despite its (many) problems and my own tendency towards cynicism, I've never seriously considered emigrating. But... if this insanity actually happens (I still can't think it really will) then I am gone. In my not-so humble opinion, a ruling in favor of "corporate religion" signals that the U.S. will more than likely spend the next two or three decades descending into a new and unique sort of nation-sized hellhole, and that those who leave now will end up being compared to people who fled Germany in the early 1930s. I have family in Canada, so at least I know where I'll be going!

    • (Score: 2) by WildWombat on Wednesday March 26 2014, @10:46PM

      by WildWombat (1428) on Wednesday March 26 2014, @10:46PM (#21789)

      To Canada. You'll be just like the people who fled Germany in the 1930s. The ones who fled to France, anyway. Canada is just too intertwined with the US that I wouldn't want to be there either if things really go to shit here.

      Cheers,
      -WW

    • (Score: 1, Troll) by fliptop on Wednesday March 26 2014, @10:54PM

      by fliptop (1666) on Wednesday March 26 2014, @10:54PM (#21792) Journal

      ruling in favor of "corporate religion" signals that the U.S. will more than likely spend the next two or three decades descending into a new and unique sort of nation-sized hellhole

      My (ex) wife gave birth to our youngest in a Catholic hospital. Are you suggesting they don't have the right to object to pay for birth control or abortions as part of their employees' health care?

      --
      To be oneself, and unafraid whether right or wrong, is more admirable than the easy cowardice of surrender to conformity
      • (Score: 5, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday March 26 2014, @11:12PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday March 26 2014, @11:12PM (#21799)

        Yes, I suggest that they do not have the right to interfere in their employees health care.

        • (Score: 1) by fliptop on Thursday March 27 2014, @02:57AM

          by fliptop (1666) on Thursday March 27 2014, @02:57AM (#21887) Journal

          they do not have the right to interfere in their employees health care

          How is not paying for something interfering? Are the employees being stopped somehow from buying their own contraception? Or pay for their own procedures?

          --
          To be oneself, and unafraid whether right or wrong, is more admirable than the easy cowardice of surrender to conformity
          • (Score: 1) by Immerman on Thursday March 27 2014, @08:18PM

            by Immerman (3985) on Thursday March 27 2014, @08:18PM (#22215)

            Yes, yes they are. They're being stopped my a medical system that has devolved into a sort of mutual parasitism with the medical insurance industry, inflating prices far beyond what they are in most other developed nations - making non-critical medical care essentially unattainable for most people without insurance.

            Couple that with the fact that insurance costs have spiraled out of control so that most citizens are financially prohibited from purchasing more than catastrophic insurance without employer assistance and you have a situation where, if this becomes precedent, employers are in a position to arbitrarily deny *any* non-critical medical procedure to their employees. After all we have laws against religious discrimination - if Catholics can get away with it, so can corporate-engineered "religions" with "beliefs" fine-tuned to improve profitability.

      • (Score: 5, Insightful) by Bob The Cowboy on Wednesday March 26 2014, @11:12PM

        by Bob The Cowboy (2019) on Wednesday March 26 2014, @11:12PM (#21800)

        My (ex) wife gave birth to our youngest in a Catholic hospital.

        What does this have to do with anything?

        Are you suggesting they don't have the right to object to pay for birth control or abortions as part of their employees' health care?

        I'd say its pretty obvious what the poster's position is. Yes, Catholic or not, employers don't get to dictate what employees do with their compensation. What if the employees were not Catholic? Why do the employer's rights trump?

        What if instead of a Catholic employer, it was a Christian Scientist who objected to paying for healthcare at all on religious grounds? Or a Jehovah's Witness employer refusing to cover blood transfusions?

        • (Score: 3, Funny) by dast on Wednesday March 26 2014, @11:23PM

          by dast (1633) on Wednesday March 26 2014, @11:23PM (#21809)

          The corporation's rights trump because only they are really persons. Individuals must be more like cells in the body of a corporation. And if you don't work for one, you are no better than bacteria or viruses.

        • (Score: 1) by fliptop on Thursday March 27 2014, @02:53AM

          by fliptop (1666) on Thursday March 27 2014, @02:53AM (#21885) Journal

          What if the employees were not Catholic? Why do the employer's rights trump?

          What if instead of a Catholic employer, it was a Christian Scientist who objected to paying for healthcare at all on religious grounds? Or a Jehovah's Witness employer refusing to cover blood transfusions?

          I'm sure there's no law saying you must work at any of those places.

          --
          To be oneself, and unafraid whether right or wrong, is more admirable than the easy cowardice of surrender to conformity
          • (Score: 1) by mashdar on Thursday March 27 2014, @03:59AM

            by mashdar (3505) on Thursday March 27 2014, @03:59AM (#21912)

            If Christian Science corporations don't have to pay for health insurance, I give the majority of shit-bag tax dodger types a year before they are Christian Science based.

            The whole point of the ACA is to keep shitty people from leeching of reasonable people and shitty corporations from pushing expenses onto the public. (And not let insurance companies be shitty and drop you when you actually get sick, and not allow you to get superfucked for life by leaving a job, aging out of an insurance pool, etc. I could go on...)

            You don't get to dictate your employee's religion, and you don't get to dictate what they do with their benefits. Health benefits are (in US tax law) a form of pay.

          • (Score: 2, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 27 2014, @10:56AM

            by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 27 2014, @10:56AM (#21979)

            What if instead of a Catholic employer, it was a Christian Scientist who objected to paying for healthcare at all on religious grounds? Or a Jehovah's Witness employer refusing to cover blood transfusions?

            I'm sure there's no law saying you must work at any of those places.

            Likewise, there is no law saying that a Christian or Catholic entity must form a business large enough to be required to provide healthcare. As the justices also pointed out, a Christian business entity of any size is also allowed not to provide healthcare, so long as they pay the fine/tax.

            Long and short is: if your (or your business entity's) religious beliefs conflict with a specific course of business, then maybe you should choose a different business. I don't, for example, see many Kosher or Halal barbeque restaurants.

      • (Score: 5, Insightful) by bob_super on Wednesday March 26 2014, @11:15PM

        by bob_super (1357) on Wednesday March 26 2014, @11:15PM (#21803)

        Do they have the right to refuse hiring black people or women? No.
        Can businesses refuse to pay taxes because they'd rather pay a tithe? No.

        The moment they are a business, some common rules apply, whether you like them or not. If you don't like the rules, you elect people who will vote in different rules.

        Most of the rest of the civilized world has figured that one out already...

      • (Score: 5, Interesting) by aristarchus on Wednesday March 26 2014, @11:20PM

        by aristarchus (2645) on Wednesday March 26 2014, @11:20PM (#21807) Journal

        EX-wife? How can you be Catholic? Didn't the Hospital object to birthing Pagan/and/or/heretic children?

        • (Score: 1) by fliptop on Thursday March 27 2014, @03:07AM

          by fliptop (1666) on Thursday March 27 2014, @03:07AM (#21893) Journal

          EX-wife? How can you be Catholic?

          We're recently divorced. My kids are grown.

          --
          To be oneself, and unafraid whether right or wrong, is more admirable than the easy cowardice of surrender to conformity
          • (Score: 2) by aristarchus on Thursday March 27 2014, @04:05AM

            by aristarchus (2645) on Thursday March 27 2014, @04:05AM (#21915) Journal

            As someone said very early on, what does this have to do with the issue? Best to leave personal situations out of the debate here. Unless we think that religious views about our personal situations have some relevance under law. I, for one, have not yet been conceived, so I have a very neutral perspective on the whole debate.

      • (Score: 5, Informative) by isaac on Wednesday March 26 2014, @11:59PM

        by isaac (500) on Wednesday March 26 2014, @11:59PM (#21830)

        My (ex) wife gave birth to our youngest in a Catholic hospital. Are you suggesting they don't have the right to object to pay for birth control or abortions as part of their employees' health care?

        First of all, this is one of the reasons why having your health care providers chosen by your employers (via choice of policy) sucks.

        Second, you know the real problem? When religious health systems buy up all the clinics in your area, and now you can't be assured your own access to contraception or that your doctor will honor your end-of-life directives.

        This is, actually, already happening. Vide: http://www.thestranger.com/seattle/faith-healers/C ontent?oid=16050396 [thestranger.com]

        Scalia wants this majority opinion so bad... expect something sweeping if he gets it.

        • (Score: 0) by fliptop on Thursday March 27 2014, @03:04AM

          by fliptop (1666) on Thursday March 27 2014, @03:04AM (#21891) Journal

          When religious health systems buy up all the clinics in your area, and now you can't be assured your own access to contraception or that your doctor will honor your end-of-life directives.

          Not sure where these "faith healers" are buying everything up, but where I live, there's 5 hospitals w/in driving distance and only 1 is Catholic (or any other religion). Also, the local diocese is broke and closing schools due to poor enrollment.

          --
          To be oneself, and unafraid whether right or wrong, is more admirable than the easy cowardice of surrender to conformity
  • (Score: 5, Insightful) by Nobuddy on Wednesday March 26 2014, @11:27PM

    by Nobuddy (1626) on Wednesday March 26 2014, @11:27PM (#21813)

    Corporations want their cake and to eat it too. They are immune from the physical repercussions of lawbreaking- no corporation or executives in said corporation, go to jail for crimes that would put a citizen away for life. Egregious and intentional poisoning of water supplies (Duke Energy caught pumping waste into the drainage canals)or laundering money for drug cartels (HSBC), or manipulating credit reporting to commit fraud for profit (mortgage backed Securities).

    They want all the perks- the right to vote, free speech, the right to discriminate based on religion yet do not give up their immunities for these rights. Until this happens, they deserve no such privileges. If a corporation wants human rights, then that corporation needs to get a SSN, register for the draft, and use the same tax code as the private citizen. Or extend corporate tax code to us... I would take a depreciated deduction on the cost of my home or rent.

    • (Score: 1) by khallow on Thursday March 27 2014, @11:13AM

      by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Thursday March 27 2014, @11:13AM (#21986) Journal

      There's no point to persecuting corporations for crimes that they can't commit. For example, "egregious and intentional poisoning of water supplies"? Someone did that. Put those people in jail. "Manipulating credit reporting to commit fraud for profit"? Someone did that. Put them in jail.

      They want all the perks- the right to vote, free speech, the right to discriminate based on religion yet do not give up their immunities for these rights.

      And they should have those rights - both the employees and owners of the corporation. There's no exception in the First Amendment for corporations. There's no "you can have all these rights unless you're acting on the behalf of a corporation".

  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 27 2014, @12:04AM

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 27 2014, @12:04AM (#21831)

    Well, let's see a corporation given capital punishment then. Lord knows enough of them are guilty of shit that would have put a normal person on death row.

  • (Score: 3, Informative) by Programmatic on Thursday March 27 2014, @12:32AM

    by Programmatic (2568) on Thursday March 27 2014, @12:32AM (#21839)

    I would be interested in seeing something like the following exchange:

    Gov't lawyer: So let me make sure I understand you. You don't feel like you should participate in gov't-mandatory health plans because they include birth control and/or the "morning after" pill, which is against your religion?
    Plaintiffs: Yes
    Gov't: And your religion is Christianity?
    Plaintiffs: Yes
    Gov't: And you believe that the Bible is the word of God, that Jesus is the son of God, and that Jesus was perfect?
    Plaintiffs: Yes
    Gov't: Do you have a preferred translation of the Bible?
    Plaintiffs: King James version (unimportant)
    Gov't: So let's see what Jesus had to say on this subject...
    Gov't gets out Bible of appropriate version, thumbs to Matthews 22:17...
          17 Tell us therefore, What thinkest thou? Is it lawful to give tribute unto Caesar, or not?
          18 But Jesus perceived their wickedness, and said, Why tempt ye me, ye hypocrites?
          19 Shew me the tribute money. And they brought unto him a penny.
          20 And he saith unto them, Whose is this image and superscription?
          21 They say unto him, Caesar's. Then saith he unto them, Render therefore unto Caesar the things which are Caesar's; and unto God the things that are God's.

    Seriously though: render unto Caesar, bitches!

    • (Score: 1) by khallow on Thursday March 27 2014, @11:03AM

      by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Thursday March 27 2014, @11:03AM (#21982) Journal

      Out of curiosity what should be "rendered unto Caesar"? "Government mandated-health care" is not a tax or tribute, and hence, not relevant to that particular biblical verse. Plus, the other obvious rebuttal is that this is something which should be "rendered unto God" and hence, completely compatible with the Plaintiff's worldview.

      • (Score: 1) by Programmatic on Friday March 28 2014, @09:17PM

        by Programmatic (2568) on Friday March 28 2014, @09:17PM (#22708)

        The law of the land is requiring the businesses to pay for employee health care plans that include the objectionable items. Therefore, the money should be rendered accordingly.

        • (Score: 1) by khallow on Saturday March 29 2014, @12:20PM

          by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Saturday March 29 2014, @12:20PM (#22874) Journal

          That is not the point of the parable that was quoted though. Jesus was saying "pay your taxes", not respect laws that violate your religious beliefs (the implication, of course, being that paying taxes or tribute was not something that violated Christian beliefs). In that parable, he made a distinction between what was to be "rendered unto" Caesar and God, implying that there are things that he wouldn't give to Caesar.

  • (Score: 4, Interesting) by wjwlsn on Thursday March 27 2014, @12:39AM

    by wjwlsn (171) on Thursday March 27 2014, @12:39AM (#21841) Homepage Journal

    I read a lot of old scifi when I was a kid, including most (if not all) of Heinlein's "Future History" stories. One of these stories, "If This Goes On --", really stuck with me... not because it was the greatest story or had the beat writing, but because the country it portrayed (nominally the USA) really scared me. This quote from Wikipedia gives you a sense of the story's backdrop.

    The story is set in a future theocratic American society, ruled by the latest in a series of fundamentalist Christian “Prophets.†The First Prophet was Nehemiah Scudder, a backwoods preacher turned President (elected in 2012), then dictator (no elections were held in 2016 or later).

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/If_This_Goes_On%E2%80 %94 [wikipedia.org]

    With each passing year, I wonder more and more if something like that "future history" could actually come to pass.

    --
    I am a traveler of both time and space. Duh.
    • (Score: 1) by khallow on Thursday March 27 2014, @11:08AM

      by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Thursday March 27 2014, @11:08AM (#21984) Journal

      Why are you at all concerned? There's nothing in the story that is advancing us towards a theocracy in the US. I see this more as a backwater struggle between a few diehard religious groups and some rent-seekers who happen to sell pricy birth control systems.

      • (Score: 2) by wjwlsn on Thursday March 27 2014, @03:06PM

        by wjwlsn (171) on Thursday March 27 2014, @03:06PM (#22079) Homepage Journal

        I'm not really considering this one news item in isolation. In my opinion, it's just another sign that the power of organized religion is growing in the US. For instance, I occasionally watch "Survivor" -- mostly because my wife watches it -- and I remember feeling somewhat shocked a few years ago when some teams started holding prayer circles and some players started expressing very strong religious beliefs. Then there are shows like "The Voice", where many contestants discuss their various faiths and how they thank God / Jesus for everything that's gone right in their lives. Now add in the news stories about religion-based charter schools and how they're setting and enforcing rules with religious aims. Oh, and while you're at it, throw in all the US politicians and political groups pushing an overtly fundamentalist Christian agenda. I'm not even going to mention the Intelligent Design crowd (again).

        Maybe I'm just overly sensitive to this kind of stuff, but it seems to me like there's been a significant shift towards fundamentalist religious thought in American society over the past 20 to 30 years. It bothers me. A lot. The Supreme Court potentially deciding that corporations can discriminate based on religious beliefs seems (to me) to be an important fork in the road.

        --
        I am a traveler of both time and space. Duh.
        • (Score: 1) by khallow on Friday March 28 2014, @01:58AM

          by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Friday March 28 2014, @01:58AM (#22338) Journal

          I'm not really considering this one news item in isolation. In my opinion, it's just another sign that the power of organized religion is growing in the US. For instance, I occasionally watch "Survivor" -- mostly because my wife watches it -- and I remember feeling somewhat shocked a few years ago when some teams started holding prayer circles and some players started expressing very strong religious beliefs. Then there are shows like "The Voice", where many contestants discuss their various faiths and how they thank God / Jesus for everything that's gone right in their lives. Now add in the news stories about religion-based charter schools and how they're setting and enforcing rules with religious aims. Oh, and while you're at it, throw in all the US politicians and political groups pushing an overtly fundamentalist Christian agenda. I'm not even going to mention the Intelligent Design crowd (again).

          So do you have any actual evidence to support your concern? Evidence here being something that actually distinguishes your claim from something much weaker, like the hypothesis that there are a few strongly religious people in the US.

          Frankly, I'm more concerned about the people with strong religious views about economics, like Keynesians, who happen to be in positions of power.

          • (Score: 2) by wjwlsn on Friday March 28 2014, @03:22AM

            by wjwlsn (171) on Friday March 28 2014, @03:22AM (#22371) Homepage Journal

            I haven't looked up any statistics, if that's what you're asking. It's simply an opinion or a feeling based on 25 years of casual observation. Perhaps what I'm seeing is not a growth in the relative population of believers but simply an increase in their level of influence on political parties. I don't know, man... but it keeps me up at night.

            --
            I am a traveler of both time and space. Duh.
            • (Score: 1) by khallow on Saturday March 29 2014, @01:43PM

              by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Saturday March 29 2014, @01:43PM (#22888) Journal

              I have similar amount of exposure to the US political system for a similar duration and I just don't see it. For example, the highest point of recent religious influence was in the 80s with the Moral Majority which dissolved at the end of that decade. There's nothing comparable to it today and the Moral Majority was at best moderately influential in elections even at its highest points. Even with our first evangelical Christian in office for eight years, we didn't see a significant religious presence in the US government (administration policy was dominated by the neo-cons who just aren't that religious). A prayer circle in a Survivor episode just doesn't that kind of political pull.

              And you'd have to be crazy to claim that religion (at least of the traditional sorts) has any influence at all in the current administration's policies. Instead, they seem to relish when they get a chance to tweak some religious group's nose.

              And things like Intelligent Design (which incidentally doesn't actually get that much support from the religious community) don't fare well when they're exposed to the ballot box. No attempt by an electable board in the US to insert ID into a school curriculum has actually survived the next election. I actually looked.

              Sure, there are a lot of religious people in the US, but they aren't religious in the same way. That's another thing that gets missed. They wouldn't agree to a religious theocracy because most groups would be oppressed by whoever actually got the power. While in the current form of government, you are free to practice your religion.

              Instead, I see a far greater threat from poor economic policies and economic dysfunction. These actually have the potential to create theocracies and other unpleasant societies. For example, the fascist and communist governments of the first half of the 20th century got into power because their societies were deeply broken and corrupt, not because there were a lot of religious people.

      • (Score: 1) by rochrist on Thursday March 27 2014, @08:45PM

        by rochrist (3737) on Thursday March 27 2014, @08:45PM (#22223)

        If Lobby Hobby prevails, it will have wide ranging repercussions. And yes, it will be advancing us towards a theocracy.

        • (Score: 1) by khallow on Friday March 28 2014, @02:16AM

          by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Friday March 28 2014, @02:16AM (#22346) Journal

          If Lobby Hobby prevails, it will have wide ranging repercussions. And yes, it will be advancing us towards a theocracy.

          Care to give an explanation for why you think this is the case?

          All I can say is that I don't see the emerging theocracy coming from this. For example, the corporations involved are religious by their bylaws (that right there restricts the case to a small number of possible beneficiaries) and are acting in ways consistent with their religious views. It's not gaming of the system in order to save money on health insurance or increase their political power.

          Meanwhile Obamacare, the law that is the instigation for this lawsuit really is unconstitutional in a number of ways, such as imposing abortion and birth control insurance mandates on employers with valid religious objections to those things. Perhaps, we should stop passing terrible law that leads to fertile opportunity for these judicial decisions which are supposedly so dangerous?

  • (Score: 2, Interesting) by dpp on Thursday March 27 2014, @01:04AM

    by dpp (3579) on Thursday March 27 2014, @01:04AM (#21851)

    Sadly, the way we see laws written in favor corporations and punish the "little guy"(real people), massive tax advantages, near unlimited ability to influence government policy, etc... I just don't see corporations as "people". The term I like to use, which I feel fits better is "Super Citizens".

    I mean, seriously, they get to "lunch" with high-powered politicians, write the laws (ostensibly) meant to regulate them, exist immune to many laws which would otherwise adversely affect them, and fund elections and the media coverage affecting elections. These aren't things average "people" get to do.

    Seriously - if they kill someone, pollute the environment, wreck the economy, or do any/all kinds of harm...the worst they get is a (minimal) financial fine. In the case where often such "harm" was due to financial benefit to the corporation, the "fine" most often more than pays for itself by the benefit.

    As others have said before, most eloquently, "I'll believe corporations are people once I hear that Texas executed one."

    Also, as others have mentioned on the "corp getting religion" topic, they're still limited by the same requirement as high powered politicians - they can have all the religious freedom they are due, as long as that religion is a *Christian one.

    It's all so outrageous...

    [ Full disclosure - I consider myself a Christian, yet I firmly believe this is wrong and violates the separation guaranteed by the First Amendment. Of course, my interpretation of the Bible also makes me anti-death-penalty... I might make an exception in the case of executing some corporations who seem deserving of the penalty. :) ]

    • (Score: 2, Interesting) by fliptop on Thursday March 27 2014, @03:29AM

      by fliptop (1666) on Thursday March 27 2014, @03:29AM (#21902) Journal

      the way we see laws written in favor corporations and punish the "little guy"(real people), massive tax advantages, near unlimited ability to influence government policy, etc... I just don't see corporations as "people"

      What's stopping the "little guy" from forming a PAC, soliciting donations, and influencing any political entity w/ campaign donations or other largesse?

      I mean, seriously, they get to "lunch" with high-powered politicians, write the laws (ostensibly) meant to regulate them, exist immune to many laws which would otherwise adversely affect them

      This seems silly, photo ops w/ businesses that bring in jobs and wealth are SOP for any politician. Any why shouldn't any business be part of the discussions and debate of the merits of any law that's regulating them?

      if they kill someone, pollute the environment, wreck the economy, or do any/all kinds of harm...the worst they get is a (minimal) financial fine.

      Because that's not all they do. They also provide jobs and create wealth, something that is needed and vastly outweighs any occasional accidents. You make it sound like there's never any effort on the part of business to do what's right, they're always out to screw everyone over to make a buck. Every plant I've ever worked at stressed safety and the environment heavily. Employees were encouraged to follow rules and report unsafe or hazardous conditions immediately. I've never worked anywhere that asked its employees to look the other way.

      Of course, my interpretation of the Bible also makes me anti-death-penalty... I might make an exception in the case of executing some corporations who seem deserving of the penalty.

      But who gets to make that determination?

      --
      To be oneself, and unafraid whether right or wrong, is more admirable than the easy cowardice of surrender to conformity
      • (Score: 1) by arulatas on Thursday March 27 2014, @02:30PM

        by arulatas (3600) on Thursday March 27 2014, @02:30PM (#22064)

        "Every plant I've ever worked at stressed safety and the environment heavily. Employees were encouraged to follow rules and report unsafe or hazardous conditions immediately. I've never worked anywhere that asked its employees to look the other way."

        Do you think this would be the case had there not been OSHA? Have you not read your history books with all of the problems with manufacturing plants until the rules and regulations were put into place fining and punishing businesses that broke these laws?

        --
        ----- 10 turns around
    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 27 2014, @12:47PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 27 2014, @12:47PM (#22018)

      No. They're gods.

      Think about it. Corporate lifespans are not limited by biology the way humans' are.

      That means they're at least potentially immortal.

      We've already had a Presidential candidate who believed in apotheosis, and also strenuously argued for corporate personhood.

      The logical next step is to simply acknowledge the facts on the ground, and welcome our new corporate overlords.

      Of course anyone claiming to be an adherent of the Judeo-Christian tradition will need to square that with the First Commandment. Let Justice Scalia ponder that for awhile.

  • (Score: 1) by Bogsnoticus on Thursday March 27 2014, @02:04AM

    by Bogsnoticus (3982) on Thursday March 27 2014, @02:04AM (#21868)

    Then the employees can take their employer to court for religious discrimination, as they are attempting to force their religious beliefs onto the employees.

    The religious whackjobs should be very careful what they wish for, as not only will they get it, but it can then be used against them.

    --
    Genius by birth. Evil by choice.
  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 27 2014, @06:19AM

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 27 2014, @06:19AM (#21943)

    Somebody should explain this how this works with people to start with.

    "No your Honor, my religion doesn't consider murdering, raping or looting bad..."

    • (Score: 2) by lx on Thursday March 27 2014, @11:19AM

      by lx (1915) on Thursday March 27 2014, @11:19AM (#21989)

      Great! Then you'll have no objection to paying for these wars.

  • (Score: 1) by tomato666 on Thursday March 27 2014, @08:00AM

    by tomato666 (354) on Thursday March 27 2014, @08:00AM (#21948)

    Does this mean we'll likely see a new Turing style test where questioners will attempt to identify if they are speaking to a human or a company?

  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 27 2014, @11:57AM

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 27 2014, @11:57AM (#22007)

    There's only two things this boils down to, well actually one.

    IF you don't have an expanding population you don't have access to cheap labor and ever expanding consumers. You can really only sell so many trinkets to someone before they clue in that it's useless shit.

    Of course with that comes the bandwagon pulling the corporate manure spreader in tow, claiming it's all about religion.

  • (Score: 1) by fliptop on Thursday March 27 2014, @06:30PM

    by fliptop (1666) on Thursday March 27 2014, @06:30PM (#22158) Journal

    By far, these have been some of the best story comments I've read on SN. We had a lot of back-and-forth discussion and opinion, even if the story seemed a little like flamebait to begin with. The comments were good and not just ad hominem attacks. Great job SN!

    --
    To be oneself, and unafraid whether right or wrong, is more admirable than the easy cowardice of surrender to conformity