The Supreme Court decided in favor of Hobby Lobby's claim that paying for birth control violated "the company's" freedom of religion.
This is wrong on two counts.
First, corporations are not human beings and cannot have religions. Corporations do not attend church. They cannot be excommunicated. They cannot be married. They cannot partake of holy sacraments or receive communion. They cannot be baptized. They cannot vote. They cannot go to prison.
Corporations are legal entities created by government. They exist to prevent the owners from being held personally liable for corporate debts and actions. If Hobby Lobby goes bankrupt, the company's creditors cannot go after the owners' personal assets to recoup debts. The CEO is not culpable for crimes committed by other employees.
That means that the owners of Hobby Lobby are not personally responsible for actions that corporation takes that are required by law. The owners and officers of the company are not the company, unless they are a sole proprietorship that is is not protected by the liability limitations that Hobby Lobby's incorporation provides.
Thus, if Hobby Lobby wants to force their religious beliefs on their employees, they can't hide behind the shield of corporate law that the government provides them. The Supreme Court should have allowed this only if they dissolved the corporate entity the Hobby Lobby owners hide behind.
Second, the company's argument against providing coverage was this:
The companies objected to some of the methods, saying they are tantamount to abortion because they can prevent embryos from implanting in the womb. Providing insurance coverage for those forms of contraception would, the companies said, make them complicit in the practice.They're saying that their religion prevents them from giving money to person A, who will give that money to person B to provide contraception to person C.
Then why is is acceptable for them to money directly to person C who will spend it on contraception?
What happens when Hobby Lobby finds out that one of their employees is spending that money on forbidden contraceptives? Or when they find out that an employee has had an abortion? Based on their victory in the Supreme Court today, won't they feel emboldened to fire that employee, because the employee is using their money to make them complicit in the practice? How can the government force them to pay people who violate their core beliefs?
How long before other "family-owned" corporations come crawling out of the woodwork saying that they can't hire Hindus because it would make complicit in paganism, or Jews because it would make them complicit in the death of Jesus, or women because their religion preaches that women should stay in the home, or gays because -- well, gays!
In the final analysis the Hobby Lobby case is not about corporate freedom of religion. It's about employers thinking they have the right to control the private lives of the people who work for them.
[Hobby Lobby] said they had no objection to other forms of contraception, including condoms, diaphragms, sponges, several kinds of birth control pills and sterilization surgery.That means Hobby Lobby thinks corporations have the right to tell an employee the only method of birth control they will accept is sterilization, if they couch their reasons in appropriately mystical terms.
That should give even the most die-hard conservative reason to doubt the wisdom of this decision.