Conservative Theology

October 28, 2012

Religion and Politics / Hobby Lobby, Obama's Healthcare Law, and What it Means to be a Corporation

JB

Many people have been talking about <a href="http://newsok.com/federal-government-says-hobby-lobby-cannot-raise-religious-objections-to-insurance-requirements/article/3722053">this story</a> about the government forbidding Hobby Lobby to apply for religious exemption to Obama's law.  

The claim being made by conservatives is that the Obama administration is impinging on the religious expression of Hobby Lobby.  That is not the case.  I hate the Obama law, and I certainly think it should be repealed.  The law itself is an abomination to religion, but not its particular application to Hobby Lobby.

As I said, I disagree with Obama's law itself, and think it is horrendous and should be repealed. But I don't disagree with the idea that Hobby Lobby should be held to that law, for one simple reason - Hobby Lobby is a corporation, not a private business. Corporations are created to shield its investors from personal risk, because the idea is that the corporation serves a purpose independent of the investors/owners. In other words, corporations have put themselves under the umbrella of the public, in order to shield the actual investors from legal action and certain forms of taxation. Therefore, it is certainly legitimate for the state to require that the corporations do things even if the owners/investors don't like it. They ceded that moral right when they incorporated. Again, I disagree wholly with the law, but agree that, as it stands, the law applies to Hobby Lobby.  People starting businesses need to start paying closer attention to the moral issues involved, and not just look at the tax/liability implications.  

In other words, tell your lawyer and your accountant to shove it when it comes to moral decisions.  And, lawyers and accountants, you are not doing your customers any service when you ignore the ethical/personal side of the decisions you counsel them on.