Companies Have Religious Rights – US Court

Companies Have Religious RightsWe are slipping into bizarro world.  The 7th US Circuit court in Chicago Illinois has made a ruling that seems to indicated that companies have religious rights.

The federal court has stopped the government for requiring a company to provide contraceptives.

Friday’s 2-1 order by a panel of the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Chicago in favor of Cyril and Jane Korte was the second by a federal appeals court to temporarily halt enforcement against people who said it violated their faith, said Edward White, a lawyer for the Roman Catholic couple.

Again, with the catholics?

The Kortes, who own the construction firm Korte & Luitjohan Contractors, had sought to drop a health insurance plan for 20 non-unionized workers that included coverage for contraception, and substitute a different plan consistent with their faith.

What a crock.  Of course there are women that take birth control pills for reasons other than contraception.  However, for me, that is not the issue.  These companies should not be able to dictate which items are or are not covered by insurance.  What happens if the company owners are opposed to blood transfers, or chemotherapy?  What would stop a company owner from claiming that he (or she) believed in the power of prayer.  Faith healing was the only way for them.  They would get a plan with a faith healer but pay for nothing else!  Finally, something that would save the christian scientists from shrinking to nothing.

A company could effective walk away from providing health care and save $15,000 per worker.

The court also said the couple had established irreparable harm, because absent an injunction they would have to choose between maintaining insurance coverage they considered inappropriate or facing substantial financial penalties.

Hey!  If a company does not have to provide insurance that goes against their values why should they be forced to hire people who offend their religious values?  Atheists, Jew, Mormons – NO jobs for you!

“The federal government shouldn’t tell business owners they have to contract to buy what they see as immoral services and goods.”

Same argument!  A business should not be forced to do something they find immoral – like serving blacks at the counter.  This would create chaos!  There was one sane voice….

Judge Ilana Rovner dissented. She said the Kortes were “multiple steps” removed from the contraceptives services because it was their company paying for the coverage, and because it would be a worker, her doctor and the insurer involved in the decisions about the services and their funding.

A good argument but, we will need to do better than that!  What can you come up with?

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