Once again, the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) has ruled on a case with significant religious implications, and from my perspective, got it wrong again.
There are many layers to the decision, and I’m not claiming to be a legal scholar with insights from that perspective. But I am a person of faith and see the decision from that perspective. Many others across this country are focused on what I think misses the point. This is not about Hobby Lobby and that company’s ethics. This is not a liberal or conservative issue. This is not about the Affordable Care Act or any of its provisions. This is not about women’s access to contraception. It is not even about whether the particular contraceptive options are abortifacients or not. Each of those can be their own topic and I think have confused the issue.
For me, the concern about the SCOTUS decision is about the interface between religion and the public life and whether even “closely held” corporations can have religious beliefs.
I know various religions have “initiation rites”, and Christianity has baptism as the orthodox entry point into the faith. I have no knowledge of “initiation rites” or entry points into the faith for corporations. It is one thing for an individual to have religious beliefs. Even in “closely held” corporation, I can’t see how the corporation holds religious beliefs. The persons owning the corporation can have religious beliefs, the corporation cannot. The corporation might be run with specific religious principles at the forefront, but those are the decisions of the persons running the corporation.
My family does not have a religious faith. The members of my family have religious faith. As a family, we will do things or not do things that reflect the faith of the individual members.
What this and the previous SCOTUS decision has done is to at the very least reflect the diminishing influence of religion within this society, and at worst, affirmed the idea that religion is something less than what its adherents claim it is. Those who celebrate that this SCOTUS decision is a win for people of faith have misinterpreted the cynical view of religion that has been demonstrated in these two recent decisions.