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posted: 8/16/2014 5:01 AM

Ruling's implications scary to contemplate

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Ruling's implications scary to contemplate

It is disturbing that Christian corporations seem to be given special treatment to exemption from existing law by the Supreme Court.

Via the recent Hobby Lobby and Wheaton College decisions, they are given the option now, as individuals, to sign a form in order to simply "opt out" of current federal legislation under the Affordable Care Act to which they take personal offense, claiming it violates their right to religious freedom, while other "individuals" must simultaneously follow the same law.

I do not recall, however, from 1996 to 2013, members of other faiths which did not include the biblical "one man, one woman" definition of marriage ever being allowed by the Supreme Court, as individuals, to sign a form and thereby simply "opt out" of the Defense of Marriage Act when it clearly violated both their right to religious freedom and their right to marry as well, as recent court decisions now attest.

What is also disturbing is a potent possibility. If corporations are via this precedent now to be considered by the courts individuals with the right to access one civil liberty, religious freedom, then corporations will surely soon lobby for the right, now as individuals, to access another civil liberty, the right to vote, civil rights being equal to individuals in the eyes of the constitution. It is frightening to think that corporations with specific religious leanings could in short time possess both the right to vote in elections, and, already via the Citizens' United decision, also the right to donate undisclosed sums to the candidates of their choice.

Elections could end up from both ends almost entirely influenced by corporations, religious or otherwise. Sooner, I think, than later we may be resolved to ask, "Whatever happened to 'We the People ...?'"

John F. Page