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Jul 05 2014

On The Deeply Held Religious Beliefs Of Corporations

A local corporation is a member of my church
Though it never puts a dollar in the plate
I haven’t seen it in the pews, no matter how I search
Though it claims it’s more devout than me, of late
It reads its bible daily, and of course it watches Fox,
It’s offended by the liberal elite
It loves Scalia’s reasoning (“He thinks outside the box!”)
Saying personhood is not confined to meat

If the church’s wisdom dictates, say, that women be controlled
There’s a trick our local corporation learned:
Your insurance isn’t yours at all, despite what you’ve been told
Compensation isn’t something that you’ve earned
You must subjugate your wishes to the corporation’s will—
Your insurance is dependent on their whim
So it’s really up to Jesus which prescriptions you may fill,
Cos the corporation puts its faith in Him.

If it holds beliefs devoutly, while abstractly it exists
It’s protected by the constitution, too
And (all thanks to Hobby Lobby) the Supreme Court now insists
Its protections mean it’s even safe from you!
In a battle of religious rights, it’s kinda, sorta, funny—
Corporations have beliefs, by all reports!
They are just like you or me—except, of course, they have more money…
But, of course, that doesn’t matter to the courts.

10 comments

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  1. 1
    CatMat

    “I’ll say it again–it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a non-liquidated corporation to enter the Kingdom of God!”

    It’s far too late
    To fight the fate
    Firms and such
    Very much
    Congregate

    Though it affronts
    Corporate fronts
    As a class
    Soon surpass
    Human counts

    Pearly Gates strife
    Heaven is rife
    With morbid
    Corporate
    Afterlife

  2. 2
    David B

    Sadly, the Supreme Court decision omitted to clarify one very important point.

    Do corporations gain personhood at conception? Or must corporations be viable first?

  3. 3
    CatMat

    On the positive side, there’s no mention of even the possibility of the corporation having religious beliefs differing from those of the owners. Clearly this means that as a person the corporation is not considered mature enough to have individual agency.

    The most logical outcome would then be that the owners, acting in the role of guardians, are to be held legally accountable for the corporate actions. Good luck with that.

  4. 4
    hotshoe, now with more boltcutters

    I put one of these verses, and a link back here, up at The Skeptical Zone.

    We’re having a sometime-disappointing discussion where the non-rational atheists are sputtering “But but you can’t force the owner to violate his personal beliefs”.

    This poem reminds me that I also missed the point somewhat as I hate David Green so much. I forget it’s not really about DG’s beliefs: it is about the idiots in the Supreme Court agreeing that made-up entity, the Corporation, has “personal beliefs”.

    Zombie Supremes. God obviously already rotted their brains.

  5. 5
    forestdragon

    Of course the true ‘deeply held religious belief’ of all corporations is to not spend a dime more on employees than absolutely necessary. “Absolutely necessary” being a hell of a lot less than real live humans would like.

  6. 6
    Cuttlefish

    See, that’s what gets me, forestdragon; it is well known that insurance companies want to cover contraceptives because they are much cheaper in the long run than covering unintended pregnancies! So it ought to be simple–tell them they can choose to pay for the more expensive plan, or the cheaper one with contraception.

    Of course, putting it that plainly might make their hypocrisy too easily seen, unlike buying half their junk from China (big fans of birth control) or investing in the companies that actually *make* the drugs they won’t allow their employees to use.

  7. 7
    D. C. Sessions

    We’re having a sometime-disappointing discussion where the non-rational atheists are sputtering “But but you can’t force the owner to violate his personal beliefs”.

    They always have the Apartheid Option: if the corporation’s actions offend them, disinvest.

  8. 8
    D. C. Sessions

    Cuttlefish, I’ve been proposing the same solution since this whole thing came up years ago:

    If anyone’s policy doesn’t cover the PPACA-mandated contraception, they can purchase a rider from their insurer at the actuarily-determined difference in cost.

    What that means is that Hobby Lobby pays an extra surcharge on their premiums to satisfy their recently-discovered objections to IUDs, and their employees can collect that same sum as a cash rebate from their insurer along with the contraception rider.

  9. 9
    Wes Aaron

    An interesting point I came upon recently. Hobby Lobby covered birth control when it wasn’t mandated. Now it is, so their against it? I mean talk about putting the cart before the horse.

  10. 10
    CatMat

    Protected belief
    based on contrafactual
    views of the way
    procreation proceeds

    Awarded relief
    instead of an actual
    test to allay
    the believers’ needs

    Say I believed
    that VAT is a weapon for
    killing some kittens
    and puppies galore

    Would I be relieved
    by SC from paying or
    get a remittance?
    And also my store?

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