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To My Religious Friends Celebrating Hobby Lobby: Are You Sure?

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HOBBY LOBBY
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Today many religious conservatives celebrated the Supreme Court decision in Hobby Lobby, which said that a corporation can refuse contraception to employees because its major shareholders have contrary religious beliefs.

But when the hosannas die down, will you be so sure that this is a good thing for people of faith?

This Court doesn't make a distinction between religions. It did not say that Christian religious beliefs get respect, but others don't. Instead, it essentially said that corporations -- fictional entities that were created a few hundred years ago by people to let other people avoid personal responsibility and liability -- can impose the religious views of shareholders without any of the personal consequences.

When I start a company that believes it is blasphemy to work on Saturday, but Sunday is a workday, will you applaud when I fire workers who won't work on Sunday?

When my company believes that eating pig products is an abomination, will you cheer when I fire pork-eaters?

When Muslim brethren employ tens of thousands and decide that their sincere beliefs require them to have women wear the chador and cover from head to toe, will you be ecstatic?

This cadre of supposed conservatives has opened a Pandora's box, and none of us can be sure what demons will emerge. Vast numbers of people hold sincere religious beliefs that I -- and maybe you -- consider vile. But they are entitled to their beliefs. What they are not entitled to in the USA is to impose those beliefs upon others just because they happen to be business owners.

Yet that is exactly what this Supreme Court believes. Are you so sure that is what you believe?

Nor is there any clear rule as to who exactly is the corporation that supposedly has religious beliefs. If one of the Hobby Lobby children inherits 10 percent of the shares and has a different view, does "Hobby Lobby" still have a religious view? Twenty percent? Thirty percent? No one knows.

Before you cheer, be sure your beliefs are safe.