California Against Religious Liberty in Business

by Wesley J. Smith

Radical California has urged the U.S. Supreme Court to reject religious liberty in the running of a business in the birth control cases. From the San Francisco Chronicle story:

As the U.S. Supreme Court prepares to review the new federal health care law’s requirements for contraceptive insurance, California Attorney General Kamala Harris is urging the court not to let corporate executives invoke their religious beliefs to deny birth-control coverage to female employees.

Owners who have protected themselves from personal liability by forming corporations should not be allowed to “shield their companies from regulatory obligations based on alleged injuries to their individual religious beliefs,” lawyers in Harris’ office, representing California and 10 other states, told the court.

As I wrote at more length here, a publicly held company like Google or GE — with millions of shareholders — would not be able to demonstrate that it has a specific religious belief. But when an entrepreneur incorporates for tax purposes, or a family runs a business? Of course forcing them to violate their religious beliefs should be barred under Religious Freedom Restoration Act, absent a compelling government interest.

This is the bottom line: The Left — and CA’s AG is as left as it gets — wants to use the health-care law as a means to control public values and impose its morality. In the RFRA cases, it has said a major purpose for requiring businesses to provide free birth control is to uphold the equality of women. But that isn’t the point or purpose of health insurance.

The Obama administration and its acolytes want to drive religious beliefs (with which they disagree) out of the public square and behind closed doors of church, synagogue, mosque, and temple. You can believe whatever you want. Just don’t try to live it.