Posted: 07/06/14 22:17
by Dave Mindeman
It is difficult to understand the SCOTUS reasoning on religious freedom. The concept used to mean that each individual could practice their personal faith in whatever way they saw fit.... without interference from others and without being encumbered by the state.
However, the 5 conservative members of the Supreme Court have put together a much broader interpretation that allows an entity (because person does not define it enough) to impose their own religious beliefs on others and is leaning toward the imposition of Christianity as a virtual national religion.
One of the crucial problems in all of this is the idea that a corporation is a person. Corporations can't actually have a religious faith because they are a legal construct - yet the SCOTUS Five not only allows the owners of these corporations (as legal representatives apparently) to transpose their own individual faith into the legal quagmire... they then impose their religious ideas on the employees of the corporation.
Somebody's freedom has been violated here, because you cannot have it both ways with the same protections. In this case, religious "freedom" trumps right to privacy.
George Takei, former Star Trek actor and now gay rights activist, posed an important question. What if a corporate owner was Muslim and wanted to impose Sharia Law on the employees of the corporation? Do you not think that there would be a public outcry of epic proportions?
But that is where we are going.... of course, unless Christianity is going to be enshrined as our new state religion.....which no longer seems out of the question, because interpretation of the Freedom of Religion clause always seems to favor Christian dogma.
The SCOTUS Five are now acting like law makers - not interpreters. They are breaking precedent or manufacturing precedent to suit their political world view. And that world view dates back to the mid-20th century and sometimes further back than that.
Our nation was founded by people who wished to escape religious oppression. To get away from imposed dogma and practice their religion as their own spiritual journey led them. They fled the Church of England and found a new world free of rules, regulations, and old ideas. That is what America was meant to be.
But with the recent rulings, it is clear that a few individuals can now impose their beliefs and rules on a large number of other people. They can impose without suggestion. They can restrict without having to ask. They make rules without majority opinion.
They can operate a business in America and exempt themselves from adhering to the broader freedoms that should be available to all of us.
Pandora's box is open and who knows where it will lead.