Supreme Court to decide on corporate personhood

You’ve probably read by now the US Supreme Court will hear a case with far reaching consequences for the power of a religious few over the diverse many. The case that will be soon be before the nation’s highest court pits a narrow sect of fundamentalist beliefs about birth control against the health and well being of millions. But it doesn’t stop at birth control. At issue is if a for-profit corporation can violate laws at will and inflict their views on employees and their families merely by claiming the law violates the religious beliefs of a single large shareholder or owner. If that doesn’t scare you enough, take a look at the healthcare … theology, of one of the clowns behind the scenes in this trainwreck:

Bill Gothard — Kay, a state senator’s wife, came with two medical problems, one of which was diabetes. She began applying the training and also asked the group to cry out for God’s healing. The next morning, she reported that her blood sugar had come down thirty points and she looked forward to further progress in the weeks to come. Lee, 47, came with deep concern over his anger and bitterness. On the third day, he discovered the spiritual cause of his problem. The next morning, his whole countenance radiated with joy and hope!

Each one of these participants had an exciting story of how they searched for health solutions from many sources, but failed to identify the root causes of their medical problems. The training they received was multifaceted. Dr. Roger Billica explained the need for each person to “take charge” of their own health problems and learn the scientific and Biblical basis of total health. Dr. T. C. McDaniel explained how electrolyte balance and proper blood dispersion is essential for good health and to avoid heart diseases, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s disease, and many other physical problems.

Kim Cahill and her cooking staff served nutritious, balanced meals from her new cookbook, No-Guesswork CookingOffsite Link. The entire group explained that they never realized how delicious such meals could be! Most important of all, spiritual training was given to explain how mental, emotional, and spiritual tension were at the root of many diseases. When these stresses were removed, healing began to take place.

The value of the week was expressed by one woman who literally cried when she saw all the provisions that she received and another man who exclaimed, “How can you put on such an exceptional [seminar] for such a low price!”

Needless to say, the cookbook and Bible-health seminar are all for sale to paying customers. This is a racket, pure and simple, for profit quackery dressed up in sacred robes and wearing a cross. If the court sides with these scammers, there’s nothing in the world to stop business operators from picking a bargain insurance “plan” that by sheer coincidence happens not to cover expensive treatments for disease and injury, but does fully pay out for magic cookbooks and other forms of woodoo, as long as they’re stamped “Christian,” or “Muslim,” or the Church of the Moment for that matter.

There’s other kinds of treatment that might be snuck in and covered given that kind of legroom. Mr Gothard also runs a Bible-based juvenile detention facility for “bad” kids:

WTHR — And just last week, Child Protective Services began investigating the center. That investigation involves Teresa Landis, whose 10-year-old daughter spent nearly a year at the center – sent there, according to Judge Payne, after she attacked a teacher and a school bus driver. What happened next outrages her family and critics of the ITC. The girl allegedly was confined in a so-called “quiet room” for five days at a time; restrained by teenage “leaders” who would sit on her; and hit with a wooden paddle 14 times. At least once, the family contends, she was prevented from going to the bathroom and then forced to sit in her own urine.

I’d say it’s there’s a way better than 50/50 chance the court goes with the handful of extremists against the rights of the many and not just because it limits Obamacare. The Roberts Court may not be too eager to decide if a blastocyst is a person, but a majority has already shown they’re all too happy to label a corporation as such. There’s just one snag: if a corporation is a person, aren’t they then subject to the same laws and penalties that people are? Solution, kill two birds with one stone.

Removing that pesky legal obstacle would ably serve the dominionist agenda. It might even result in some lucrative executive jobs for ex-Justices or their cronies and families with, of course, special healthcare perks for high earners replete with the best medical treatment money can buy in suddenly booming industrial quackery.





  1. StevoR : Free West Papua, free Tibet, let the Chagossians return! says

    Hadn’t actually read or otherwise heard of this before actually. Thanks.

    Corporate personhood? Corporate theology?

    How about some corporate accountability and responsibility and corporate humanity – in the nobler non-biological classification sense of that word?

    Eh, US Supreme court?

  2. dickspringer says

    In states with the death penalty can corporations be put to death if they kill people for money? Shouldn’t they be treated just like Mafia hit men?

  3. smhll says

    The issues that Hobby Lobby is raising seem so wrongheaded. Corporations should have no control over how employees spend their paychecks, and I don’t see any reason for corporations to have any control over how their employees use their healthcare benefits.

    If a corporation totally detests the idea of healthcare dollars being spent on contraception (or abortion), then, perhaps corporations should stop buying healthcare and just give employees the cash instead. (Yes, there are tax issues and there used to be cost issues about buying insurance outside of a large pool.) (In the US.)

  4. lanir says

    I’d heard of this before but mostly the coverage I saw was of the pro-insanity viewpoint of thinking a corporation has “thoughts” and “beliefs” or the forward thinking view of what comes next, because it won’t stop at contraception. While reading I had a couple new thoughts.

    This is going to be like Charlemagne but with corporations and CEO’s instead of countries and kings. If your corporation has the right to have a religion then surely it will have the right to practice it. Corporations are already straw men in a legal sense to shove in the way of some personal wrongdoings as though the wrongdoing magically birthed itself from the ether without assistance and it were a mere coincidence that a profit was made from it. If this goes through they’ll be writing down thoughts to stuff in those straw heads.

    Corporations will have an incentive to shop around for the “best” (ie, most fundie) religion. But there’s nothing really stopping them from going with anything. I wonder how long it would take before someone trotted out the old satanist straw man and what you could do with that? Ignore safety rules like fire codes and hazardous material handling?

    And last, I wondered if maybe this wouldn’t be such a big deal after all. The judges may allow employers to offer any sort of nonsense to their employees they feel like. Remember they aren’t fighting for that. What they want to sue for is the ability to say their nonsense which doesn’t meet the requirements for the Affordable Care Act can magically be considered to do so when paired with religious doctrine. The simplest and least controversial way for the judges to decide would be to simply say religion isn’t a substitute for any criteria but feel free to offer whatever you like. The government will simply apply the penalties for not offering healthcare to your employees.

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