Will corporations have "a chief religious officer" to dictate birth control use?

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Corporations are people 2

Corporations are not people. Corporations don't get married. Corporations don't wear condoms or give birth (although they do screw us). Corporations don't even get a twinkle in their little beady corporate eyes. But even though they are not living, breathing human beings, they have more rights than we do.  coughCitizensUnitedcough! coughBankruptcyLawscough!

And now we're faced with the appalling possibility that the Supreme Court may rule on something that the founders would consider pure lunacy: that corporations have religious rights that trump the rights of women to make decisions about their own health and reproductive needs.

With that, here are today's Los Angeles Times letters to the editor, because our voices matter:

Re "Taming the boardwalk," March 26:

I read about some of the "artists, the homeless, Silicon Beach hipsters, surfers, inline skaters and tourists" all coming together on the "circus-like boardwalk" of Venice, and I thought, "Strange but nice."

Then I read about our conservative-controlled Supreme Court and arguments about Hobby Lobby not wanting to provide contraceptives to women — many of whom are probably already taking them — and the thought crossed my mind: Just who is strange?

Allen F. Dziuk

Carlsbad

Re "Court looks kindly on test of health act," March 26

Assuming for the moment that the Supreme Court's conservative majority goes ahead and allows employers to refuse contraceptive care for employees on religious grounds, will there be some sort of test of faith for the employers to make sure they aren't just cutting costs?

For example, we know that many business owners go to church on a regular basis, but surely that is never enough by itself to qualify them as honest Christians. If the employer gets an exemption but sins in his or her daily life, would he or she lose the exemption? Do all religions qualify for the exemption, even if this involves claims by heretics and infidels?

How will the corporation express its faith? Do all the board members have to be validly and acceptably religious, or will there just be a chief religious officer?

Philip Brimble

Los Angeles

***

How the Supreme Court can look kindly on a case that would destroy the basic American principle of separation of church and state is beyond me.

This is a case brought in order to refuse birth control to people who do not share an employer's belief system, but the implications are much larger and more poisonous.

If your employer is against blood transfusions, would those be forbidden? If adherents used only prayer to treat sickness — well, just think of the money insurance companies could save.

This court cannot be trusted to make the correct decision.

Alix Fargo

Altadena

Re "Unfair to Obamacare," Editorial, March 25:

I believe the management of Hobby Lobby and Conestoga Wood Specialties should make it clear that they want only customers who present sworn affidavits indicating that they, or any relation, have never used any form of contraception — and then be prepared to close their doors.

Martin J. Weisman

Westlake Village

***

Aside from the obvious reasons for a rejection of this suit as far as freedom, equality, constitutionality and fairness, another reason for access to birth control is the growing worldwide population and the path we are on to do ourselves in rather soon. Why aren't we more concerned about this threat?

But if corporations do end up being able to dictate birth control use, employees should take back their freedom to choose, demand what wages they've contributed to the company's health insurance plan and use the money to buy Obamacare policies.

Joanne Tatham

Irvine

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