David and Barbara Green
Every step we take towards making the State our caretaker of our lives, by that much we move toward making the State our Master. ~ Dwight D. Eisenhower
Update: 03/25/14: Far left Supreme Court Justices Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan suggested during oral arguments Tuesday that employers who have moral objections to birth control should not provide health care coverage for their employees.
Just pay the Obamacare tax – of $2,000 per employee.
It’s the new Obama vision where employers don’t care about their employees and just drop their coverage.
This Tuesday, the Supreme Court of the United States will hear arguments which pit the religious rights of private employers against the right of the government to mandate private businesses violate their moral conscience.
The government, with the HHS mandate, has ordered private businesses to offer women free birth control of their choice as part of their health insurance, even birth control that can cause abortions. That has caused Hobby Lobby and Conestoga Woods to sue the government. It is against their religious beliefs to sell abortifacients.
Hobby Lobby’s case has reached the Supreme Court and their case will be heard on Tuesday.
The case has more far-reaching implications than that as well because the government’s case says that First Amendment rights do not extend to corporations unless they are non-profit. News organizations could lose their First Amendment rights under this type of sweeping overreach.
These upcoming cases deal with whether or not business owners have First Amendment protections that carry over to their businesses.
The first case is Hobby Lobby, to be heard on Tuesday. It is an arts and crafts store owned by Evangelical Christians, the Green family. Their business revolves around their religion and they don’t open on Sunday for that reason. The Greens’ case focuses on the protections afforded by the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA) of 1993.
It is not clear if a business – a corporation – can have religious beliefs since the court has never ruled on the issue. The Religious Freedom Restoration Act specifies that the government cannot impose a “substantial burden on a person’s exercise of religion,” unless the government can prove that the burden serves “a compelling governmental interest” and that it is also “the least restrictive means” of doing that.
The Greens believe that every business owner should be allowed to conduct their business according to their beliefs.
Their case worked its way through the courts for two years and will be heard Tuesday.
In one court ruling, the judges unanimously ruled that Hobby Lobby can not only move ahead with their case but they probably can win.
“A religious individual may enter the for-profit realm intending to demonstrate to the marketplace that a corporation can succeed financially while adhering to religious values. As a court, we do not see how we can distinguish this form of evangelism from any other,” they wrote.
One judge wrote in a concurring opinion.
“No one suggests that organizations, in contrast to their members, have souls,” Judge Harris Hartz wrote. “But it does not follow that people must sacrifice their souls to engage in group activities through an organization.”
Listen to the attorney for The Beckett Fund which is defending the Green family:
There is a second case that involves a Mennonite family, the Hahns, who own a cabinet-making business – Conestaga Wood Specialties. They lost their case at the 3rd Circuit Court of Appeals.
Their case is slightly different. It focuses on the RFRA but also on First Amendment rights. The company’s owners believe the government has gone too far. They are taking this issue up, not only for themselves, but for every American.
They want to know how government can tell a business owner that s/he can have no religious convictions? If the government can force the Hahns to violate their beliefs to carry out their livelihood, where will it stop?
A Hahn son asked his father Did you ever think we would have to defend our moral values in court?
Listen to this brief clip about the Hahn case:
The government says a business is not capable of exercising religious rights. However, there is also the “pass through” theory that states the owners’ religious views passing through to the corporation they have created.
These cases affect the First Amendment rights of others.
The government states that a business cannot have religious beliefs. Furthermore, the government claims that for-profit corporations have no First Amendment rights. Only individuals and non-profits do. The Washington Times brings up the far-reaching consequence of this.
A news organization would not have First Amendment rights though individual reporters would, but that would be of little use to a corporation if they don’t have a First Amendment.
Interestingly, the far-left organizations are predominately non-profits and they would keep their First Amendment rights.
It’s similar to the Citizens United case where the left railed against corporations having First Amendment rights but have no objection to unions spending $200 million in one year to sway the presidential election in their favor.
Another issue is the fact that the government is now telling religious people they must violate their rights of conscience, a right that has never been contested in this country before now.
The case will come before Justice Roberts who found the individual mandate and its no-tax tax is constitutional.
However, he also found for the plaintiffs in the Hosanna-Tabor case. In that case, a teacher in a Lutheran school was fired and the government tried to interfere and demand she be rehired. The court found the administration’s arguments were ‘extreme’ and ‘untenable.’ The court decided that the federal equal opportunity laws do not apply to religious organizations as well as religious leaders.
The government has now made itself the final decision maker on all healthcare matters. The government appears to want to be the final decision maker on First Amendment rights for all corporations.
If you google Hobby Lobby, you will find pages of far-left Soros sites calling it a dangerous precedent if they win. It will actually be a dangerous precedent if they lose. We will all lose. It’s a Trojan horse.