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With the discriminatory decision by SCOTUS today directly at the behest of a religious dogma that is specifically aimed at women and only women you have entered the realm of politics and governance. This removes any idea of the validity of the "lemon test" as outlined in Lemon v. Kurtzman in 1971.

The Lemon Test

Government action violates the Establishment Clause unless it:
1. Has a significant secular (i.e., non-religious) purpose,
2. Does not have the primary effect of advancing or inhibiting religion, and
3. Does not foster excessive entanglement between government and religion.
Hence if religions continue in this political interference then they should also be subject to:

Taxes on earnings
Taxes on property
In other words all the exemptions covered by  Internal Revenue Code (26 U.S.C. § 501(c).

They were also meant to lose these privileges if they promoted anything contrary to the desegregation laws.

I would argue that their involvement in discrimination against one specific part of the population [women] on a legal and governmental level removes their right to preferential treatment under both the law and any future legislation.

They have breached the divide between belief and governance and as such have overstepped what was laid out in the first amendment, the imposition of their specific beliefs on the law of the land.

“The purpose of separation of church and state is to keep forever from these shores the ceaseless strife that has soaked the soil of Europe in blood for centuries."
~James Madison
This strife was promoted by St Ronnie of Reagan when he welcomed in the extremist evangelicals into the Republican party base, the cries of "America is a Christian Country" highlight their intention to govern [based on a specific religion's dogma]

This SCOTUS decision undermines the intended separation further. Hillary Clinton referred to this decision as a slippery slope

Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton condemned the Supreme Court’s decision on Hobby Lobby’s challenge to the Obamacare contraceptive-coverage mandate. The ruling that closely held corporations can deny birth control coverage to their employees on religious grounds, she said, is “a really bad slippery slope.”
Perhaps it is also time to repeal in the Religious Freedom Restoration Act of 1993? Since they cannot seem to avoid promoting discrimination based on gender.

As justice J Ginsburg pointed out in her dissent

for which the ACA provides furthers compelling interests in public health and women’s well being. Those interests are concrete, specific, and demonstrated by a wealth of empirical evidence
Then again harming women has never worried the right and religious right when discriminating against women.

Since the Green Family are only promoting the view of the Assemblies of God the IRS should remove their 501[c] status immediately.

It is a slippery slope and religions should be very concerned when they start playing with political fire.

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Comment Preferences

  •  absolutely...take the taxes... (10+ / 0-)

    From all these religious and nonprofits and pay for women's healthcare

    It's only against the law...if you're a Democrat.

    by cyeko on Tue Jul 01, 2014 at 12:20:16 AM PDT

  •  Couple of thoughts (30+ / 0-)

    First, as an atheist, I have a difficulty seeing why someone (organization) should get tax breaks because they claim to believe some nebulous, undefinable thing.

    To the pickier.

    Religions don't, can't, "obey" the first amendment. Only the government can do that.

    If religions can use discriminatory tactics (against whom?), that would seem to obviate the first amendment, not obey it.

    The very idea that SCOTUS should even consider something like this latest ruling is, in itself, a violation of the first amendment. The ruling, on it's face, is a violation of the establishment clause.

    I should not have to pay any attention to anything a religionist says regarding secular law simply because they believe something. What they believe is up to them and has no place in secular law.

    SCOTUS should not even have heard this case, let alone rule on it.

    "We are how we treat each other and nothing more."

    by Mr Bojangles on Tue Jul 01, 2014 at 12:32:07 AM PDT

  •  Was Lemon quoted in the decision at all? (8+ / 0-)

    Shameful, I know, but I've been relying on other people who have done the hard work.

    Because, if it wasn't (or maybe even if it was), it strikes me there's an opening for a future challenge if things get a bit saner down the pike.

    mouseover the bar (I'm practicing for DK5)

    by serendipityisabitch on Tue Jul 01, 2014 at 12:35:43 AM PDT

  •  With rights comes liability (6+ / 0-)

    If the veil of closely held corporations is thin enough for the repercussions of personal beliefs of the owners to permeate into the public sphere, then, likewise, personal liability must permeate in the opposite direction. It looks like this ruling makes anyone who decides to enforce it a valid target for personal litigation.

    •  nah. (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      coffeetalk, nextstep, VClib

      Limited liability isn't impacted by this.

    •  Sarasparilla - there is absolutely nothing (0+ / 0-)

      in the Hobby Lobby ruling that weakens the corporate shield that protects the owners from individual liability. Your idea has no legal merit.

      This case was an interpretation of statute.

      "let's talk about that" uid 92953

      by VClib on Tue Jul 01, 2014 at 07:29:12 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Law vs. ideal (0+ / 0-)

        I was not arguing about law, of which I'm not an expert. Instead, I made an argument of principle; that is, if an entity is the sole instigator of an effect, then the liability of that effect must reside with that entity. The corporate veil of liability is based on the justifiable understanding that the corporate itself is the entity that instigates effects related to its functions.

        However, corporates cannot hold religious beliefs. The ruling circumvents this basic fact by arguing that under certain circumstances the veil is thin enough that the entities behind the corporation can instigate their personal effects through that channel. If the liability of those effects cannot be traced back to the originating entities then the law itself isn't justifiable and must be changed.

        It has been mentioned elsewhere how this ruling can be used by non-Christian religious organizations to further their agenda. That is none of my concern, what's good for the goose is good for the gander; what I have in mind as a worst case scenario is something more like organized crime under the corporate veil (the cynical among us might suggest that we are there already).

        •  Individual corporate officers and directors (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          nextstep

          can be indicted for criminal behavior of a corporation if they were personally involved in the criminal activity. That has always been the case.

          "let's talk about that" uid 92953

          by VClib on Tue Jul 01, 2014 at 09:12:10 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  Wow, another shitty law from the Clinton (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    LaFeminista, Penny GC

    era. Repealed Glass-Stegal, NAFTA......

    I'm waiting for when a corp can run for office. Oh, never mind, they just buy electeds.

    I voted Tuesday, May 6, 2014 because it is my right, my responsibility and because my parents moved from Alabama to Ohio to vote. Unfortunately, the republicons want to turn Ohio into Alabama.

    by a2nite on Tue Jul 01, 2014 at 04:48:01 AM PDT

  •  Let me say up front I am not a lawyer (7+ / 0-)

    although I have taught government, which means among other things the Supreme Court and the Constitution and Bill of Rights, for well over a decade.

    Further, let me continue this preface by noting that I find a great deal wrong with the reasoning in Hobby Lobby, and not for the first time see it as a case of justices deciding how they want a case to come out then twisting the reasoning to attempt to justify that end -  this is not just a problem on the right, as I have often pointed out to my students a similar problem in the dissent offered by Justice Breyer (whome I very much respect) in the Lopez case.

    That said, I have real issues with this post.

    First, the Lemon test is not the current standard, as it has been modified over time by some of the opinions of former Justice O'Connor.

    Second, the Lemon test applies to the direct expenditure of government funds, and so far as I know has not been applied to SCOTUS on things like tax exemptions, although if I am wrong on this I am quite sure a lawyer who knows the jurisprudence will provide the appropriate citations.

    Of greater importance is this -  we have a well-established principle on allowing the greatest flexibility to religious organizations in how they practice their religion.  Thus regardless of what I think on the issue a Roman Catholic bishop has every right to deny communion to a politician who advocates for abortion rights, and that in no way affects the tax exempt status of his diocese.  Where the line should be drawn is the use of tax exempt funds to attempt to influence the political decisions of others through campaign contributions.  Even here, the current status of the law would given the Roman Catholic Church the write to advewrtise on the matter of policy, but not to contribute to political campaigns or parties.  

    One must remember that the two kinds of speech given the greatest protection are religious speech and political speech.  The need to demonstrate a compelling government interest that cannot be achieved by any other method serves as a real bar to restricting such speech, especially as it pertains to religion.

    The issue in Hobby Lobby is one that has been around since Santa Clara County v Southern Pacific Railroad first established the notion of corporate personhood.

    Theoretically there is no reason a corporate person cannot have rights restricted more than a human person, because we already allow for distinctions among human persons -

    minimum ages to purchase/use alcohol, tobacco, lottery tickets, etc.

    Maximum ages to serve as an airline pilot or an FBI agent, for example

    some allowable distinctions between citizens and non-citizens -  and as far as I know the Supreme Court has never explicitly defined a corporation as a citizen, so if it is not similar logic would apply to restricting corporate rights.  

    One can argue that corporations are creations of the state, and as such the individual state has the right to limit the rights of said corporation, subject of course to constitutional limitations at the state and federal levels.

    The notion of closely held corporation is one that needs to be more fully vetted than Alito has done.  If the idea is to use the cororate status to exempt oneself from personal liabilities while simultaneously gaining financial and personal advantage that pertain to one's status as a human person, then there seems to be something skewed and indefensible even under the originalism of Scalia, and we might better attack on those lines.

    I'm sorry but I simply do not see the Lemon test as applicable, and unfortunately read this piece as tinged if not completely colored by a hostility to religion.  Whether that is the intent of the author is almost irrelevant.  If the reasoning can be read that way it will be a counterproductive approach to take.

    I also think the reasoning is wrong legally,but I will leave it to others to parse that more completely.

    "Don't ask what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive and go do it, because what the world needs is more people who have come alive." - Howard Thurman

    by teacherken on Tue Jul 01, 2014 at 04:49:52 AM PDT

    •  It is not a legal reasoning in the least, and one (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      BobX, Sybil Liberty, thomask, Penny GC

      point you raise

      Of greater importance is this -  we have a well-established principle on allowing the greatest flexibility to religious organizations in how they practice their religion.
      Is why I think they are playing with fire, because they risk that that principle is reversed.

      When they launch discrimination against others they risk the same in return

      "I decided it is better to scream. Silence is the real crime against humanity." Nadezhda Mandelstam

      by LaFeminista on Tue Jul 01, 2014 at 04:57:26 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Religion Is Taking Over the Country (4+ / 0-)

      It's been destroying avenues for abortion and birth control, limiting women's rights, invading the military services among many other things that are regularly documented here.

      Maybe it's not your particular religion. Sorry, too bad. It's also not you that invaded the Middle East but your country is so sorry, too bad, you're vulnerable to the blowback from that too.

      We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

      by Gooserock on Tue Jul 01, 2014 at 05:05:10 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Very well stated teacherken (0+ / 0-)

      Thank you for your informative comment.

      "let's talk about that" uid 92953

      by VClib on Tue Jul 01, 2014 at 07:31:02 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  The Fallout from Santa Clara County . . . (0+ / 0-)

      over the years has been "made up law" to favor corporations.  

      The court's actual decision was uncontroversial. A unanimous decision, written by Justice Harlan, ruled on the matter of fences, holding that the state of California illegally included the fences running beside the tracks in its assessment of the total value of the railroad's property. As a result, the county could not collect taxes from Southern Pacific that it was not allowed to collect in the first place.

      Thus the Supreme Court's actual decision never hinged on the equal protection claims. Nevertheless, the case has been allowed to have clear constitutional consequences, as it has been subsequently taken to affirm the protection of corporations under the Fourteenth Amendment. At the very least, this is a wrinkle in the normal understanding of the workings of the Court's tradition of stare decisis – the reliance on precedence. It is an instance in which a statement which is neither part of the ruling of the Court, nor part of the opinion of a majority or dissenting minority of the Court has been taken as precedent for subsequent decisions of the Court.
      [Emphasis added]
      -- Wikipedia

      "A famous person once said, 'You can fool some of the people some of the time, but you can't fool all of the people all of the time.' But as I once said, "If you don't teach them to read, you can fool them whenever you like." – Max Headroom

      by midnight lurker on Tue Jul 01, 2014 at 09:32:03 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I'll Bite==Damn straight--I am hostile right now (0+ / 0-)

      to organized religion in this country specifically for the following reasons:

      1. Being part of the corporate speil to deny climate change and pretending somehow this is all tied up with belief in the end times.

      2. Promoting homophobia and the myth that homosexuals are pedophiles, gay bashing, pray the gay away, and bullying of children who fail to adhere to their strict interpretation of gender roles.

      3. Promoting misogyny, slut shaming, legitimate rape, denying women access to life saving treatments, cancer screening, affordable healthcare, forcing pregnancy, but not doing a damn thing to make for a living wage for a mother (or a father), while pretending that Dominionism is somehow a good thing, and acceptable in the attempt to not only silence all other religious and philosophical views, but to codify it into our laws, our school systems, and our education curricula.

      What's not to be hostile about?

      As someone who failes to adhere to the proscribed gender roles all her life, who has been harassed and accused of being gay, of being a slut, and been ridiculed and otherwised abused by these assholes while they invoke religion, most of which haven't a clue about which they speak on any topic, while they dumb this place down into oblivion and turn it into a third world country full of malice, fear and hate.

      I ask again--What is not to be hostile about? Because I don't see the mainstream Christians in the public eye, but instead the likes of John Haggee, of Barton, of the Cantors and the Santorums and a parade of priests full of crap, making religion and the world into ugly things that we use to beat people down with, instead of uplifting the soul.

      I AM SO TIRED OF THIS and I just do not have the energy to be nice about it for one more second.

      So with respect to you teacherken, because I love your posts, this is where I am at--and if you cannot understand why I am in this place, then you need to imagine yourself in my shoes, or any woman's shoes, any poor woman's shoes, any pregnant woman's shoes, any single woman's shoes--any woman's shoes at all, paid 60 cents on the dollar to any man, and still being silenced by shaming and threats and now LAWS.

      "It were a thousand times better for the land if all Witches, but especially the blessing Witch, might suffer death." qtd by Ehrenreich & English. For Her Own Good, Two Centuries of Expert's Advice to Women pp 40

      by GreenMother on Tue Jul 01, 2014 at 06:27:42 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  going to disagree with you (0+ / 0-)

        because not all mainstream religion is like the Hagees of the world, and btw Eric Cantor is Jewish

        increasing numbers of mainstream religion are accepting of openly gays -  in clergy positions, in doing marriages for them.

        I belonged to Baltimore Yearly Meeting of the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers).  We are unprogrammed, and do not have designated ministers.  We have had an openly gay man as our presiding Clerk - the highest position we have.

        Gene Robinson is an Episcopal Bishop

        Reform Judaism includes gay rabbis -  AFT President Randi Weingarten's long-term partner is a Rabbi.

        Increasingly mainstream denominations are moving in the direction of acceptance.

        The louder the likes of the Hagees yell the fewer will be their followers.

        "Don't ask what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive and go do it, because what the world needs is more people who have come alive." - Howard Thurman

        by teacherken on Wed Jul 02, 2014 at 09:44:13 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  And not all men are like that either but HERE WE (0+ / 0-)

          ARE--

          Stop ChristianSplaining and understand that these people use their faith to hurt Women and people of other religions, and that the obvious conclusion to that is that we are going to be pissed off and have something to say about that.

          Otherwise you are just telling me to tone it down and I certainly WILL NOT.

          "It were a thousand times better for the land if all Witches, but especially the blessing Witch, might suffer death." qtd by Ehrenreich & English. For Her Own Good, Two Centuries of Expert's Advice to Women pp 40

          by GreenMother on Thu Jul 03, 2014 at 10:25:04 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  The question now becomes this: (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    LaFeminista, cyeko, Penny GC

    When the highest court in the land is no longer functioning, where do we turn? The legislature is no longer functioning.

    Government is no longer functioning.

    Where do we turn?

    The more we are, the less we need.

    by Fiddlegirl on Tue Jul 01, 2014 at 05:03:25 AM PDT

    •  Firstly to the voting urns, I think the more (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      BobX, Sybil Liberty, Penny GC

      the minority republicans and their mouth pieces in SCOTUS discriminate against the majority the smaller their minority will become, and eventually that will be terminal for them

      "I decided it is better to scream. Silence is the real crime against humanity." Nadezhda Mandelstam

      by LaFeminista on Tue Jul 01, 2014 at 05:06:21 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Was it functioning when it upheld the ACA? (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Justanothernyer, VClib

      Because I suspect that our (collective) view is that the court's functionality is directly related to our approval of certain decisions.  When "we" win, it's the most functional court, but a year or two later, it's all gone to hell.

  •  Clearly, in order to enjoy constitutional (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    LaFeminista, FindingMyVoice

    protections, women must become a "well-regulated militia".  Then we can open carry our own bodies wherever we want, even if it scares the religious types.

    •  You're Behind the Times. The Militia Part Isn't (4+ / 0-)

      required according the decision a year or few ago, you can bear arms all you want without no stinking badges.

      But the Amendment clearly specifies "people" not "women," and we all know what that means under the doctrine of Scalia's Version Of Original Intent.

      So don't get your hopes up.

      We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

      by Gooserock on Tue Jul 01, 2014 at 05:28:45 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  There is another "lemon test" going on (4+ / 0-)

    The Congressional Prayer Caucus wants to change the wording of the Air Force regulation that prevents evangelization in the ranks.

    You see, if your religion commands you to "spread the word" or evangelize, by not letting you do so to your subordinates you are being prevented from exercising your religion, you are being persecuted.

    If you don't see the logic behind this perhaps it is because you have never practiced glossolalia.

    Daily Kos an oasis of truth. Truth that leads to action.

    by Shockwave on Tue Jul 01, 2014 at 05:46:13 AM PDT

  •  What is "discrimination"? (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Pi Li, Justanothernyer, VClib

    The title says, "when you promote discrimination . . ."  So, let me ask:  What is "discrimination"? Are religious views that are entitled to constitutional protection under the Free Exercise clause "discrimination"?  

    And more specifically, is it unacceptable discrimination that the law should try to eliminate?  Because, of course, we all discriminate on some basis -- we treat people differently based on our own personal preferences or beliefs.  Even people here who "defriend" people on Facebook because they espouse right-wing views are engaging in "discrimination."  We all "discriminate."  

    Do you think government should be in the business of deciding which religious views are acceptable and which are not, and afford constitutional protection only to those government finds acceptable, while not respecting religious views (such as views on when human life begins or views on marriage) that government finds unacceptable?  

    If you do, of course, that would require a constitutional amendment to eliminate the Free Exercise Clause.  The Free Exercise clause essentially means that government has no business making moral decisions about which religious views are acceptable and which religious views should be discouraged.  

    •  That is the danger they are running (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      thomask, Tonedevil, Penny GC
      Do you think government should be in the business of deciding which religious views are acceptable and which are not, and afford constitutional protection only to those government finds acceptable, while not respecting religious views (such as views on when human life begins or views on marriage) that government finds unacceptable?  
      I think you have your reasoning the wrong way around, some religious fundamentalists are wanting to turn the law in their favor so they can discriminate, and SCOTUS upheld this discrimination with the right wing majority in the court winning.

      Hence the whole slippery slope principle, because do unto others and they may well end up doing unto you.

      "I decided it is better to scream. Silence is the real crime against humanity." Nadezhda Mandelstam

      by LaFeminista on Tue Jul 01, 2014 at 06:00:14 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  That's exactly my point. (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Pi Li, Justanothernyer, VClib, thomask

        When someone wants to live their lives in conjunction with religious views that some find unacceptable, should that be protected by the Constitution?

        Let's say I'm a lay person while a license to perform marriages in my state.  Let's say I'm ALSO a fundamentalist Christian.  Right now, I would have an absolute constitutional right, on the basis of the Free Exercise clause, to turn down work because the couple who want to be married is a same-sex couple.  (This would not be covered by the Civil Rights laws because an individual like that is not a place of public accommodation like a store.)

        As another example, even BEFORE the Hobby Lobby decision, non-profit corporations like Catholic Charities had a religious-based exemption from providing contraceptive coverage to their employees, regardless of whether those employees are Catholic or not.  Hobby Lobby extended that same principle to closely-held for profit corporations.  So, if an employer deciding that paying for insurance coverage of contraception violates that employer's religion is "discrimination," then nonprofit corporations were allowed to "discriminate" based on religion even before Hobby Lobby.  

        So, again, here's the question -- do you think the Constitution protects a person's right to live his or her life in accordance with religious views that others find unacceptable, like the person or the nonprofit corporations I mentioned?  And should it?  

    •  Your rights end, where mine begin (0+ / 0-)

      Healthcare is not religion.

      Religion is church. No one is making these people go to a different church, renounce Christ or kiss the Devil's fundament.

      They are required to give fair access to healthcare to males and females. So if they cannot provide that to women, then men should not get access to ED drugs, Penis Pumps, Certain kinds of urology testing or treatments (because the BC pills are also used to control PCOS, and Endometriosis, which in turn can prevent Ovarian and Uterine Cancer). So No prostrate screening?

      Just because these dipshits "believe" that the original sin came with Eve in some mythological tale, doesn't give them the right to punish all women everywhere as employers.

      But that is what they are doing.

      I don't give a damn what the voices in their biblical rice crispies tell them. They are not above the law. Women's rights are human rights, and they are civil rights and those rights should not be abridged by some religious NUT!

      "It were a thousand times better for the land if all Witches, but especially the blessing Witch, might suffer death." qtd by Ehrenreich & English. For Her Own Good, Two Centuries of Expert's Advice to Women pp 40

      by GreenMother on Tue Jul 01, 2014 at 06:32:46 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  The Pentacostal Hobby Lobby ... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Penny GC

    spoke in tongues. The Catholic wing of the Supreme Court put on their thinkin' caps and translated Hobby Lobby's mystical ramblings for us. It went something like this:

    Pentacostal tongues: Kabba da bamena dubita ebatabita blista inanatruba do blik brenaz befrot. Inta fredanta glik tobastica me bretics.

    Catholic ears: Screw women? Ya, I'll give you your screw women...Bada Bing!


    My life is in total anarchy. I’ve lost all respect for my own authoritarianism.

    by glb3 on Tue Jul 01, 2014 at 08:13:57 AM PDT

  •  And this religious person... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Penny GC

    ...IS concerned with this blatant preferentialism!

    My faith tells me how I should act toward others; it does not tell me that I must direct how THEY act.

  •  The conservatives (0+ / 0-)

    in D.C. and around this country won't stop until every ovulating female in this  country is collared, leashed, muzzled, pregnant and no legal right to ever vote again. Because the five conservatives on the SCOTUS will let them get it done, every female in this country should be very very very scared. The legal rights of women in this country are under attack, the republican party will not stop, ever. Until the only right a woman has, is to do as told, as soon as told. That is the GOP dream, the good old days, the republicans always talk about the good ole days when men were men and women were silent, until otherwise instructed.  Ladies, unless you are ready to kneel and except your collar, leash and muzzle. You had better get out and vote Democrat, or sooner than you think, you will never be heard from again. Truth.

  •  There is a LOT of money to be made... (0+ / 0-)

    ...if you start taxing religions.  A LOT.

  •  Establishment clause ? (0+ / 0-)

    How about that "will NOT respect" clause. Which sounds suspiciously like an order from the founding fathers to me.

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