Why the Hobby Lobby Decision is a Victory for People of Faith and for Society
Guest Post by Daniel Ortner
The recent Hobby Lobby decision has been widely praised in the conservative media and greeted with deep alarm among the left. Yet, in reality the decision was a modest one that will likely have almost no impact on the employees of Hobby Lobby or Conestoga Wood. Indeed, the most likely outcome is that the government simply offers to religiously motivated for-profits the same accommodation that they are currently offering churches and religiously affiliated hospitals whereby upon certification of a religious objection, the health insurance providers cover contraception at no cost to the employer or employee.
So why is this case nevertheless a big deal? Why should members of the LDS Church and other people of faith celebrate the ruling? The threshold question in this case was whether the Religious Freedom Restoration Act which congress passed in the early 90’s to protect religious people of conscience applies to religiously motivated for-profit companies as well as churches and other people of conscience.
In other words, the key question is whether individuals who form for-profit entities lose the ability to assert religious freedom claims under the RFRA. For the dissent, because “an individual separates herself from the entity and escapes personal responsibility for the entity’s obligations,” by incorporation, that individual cannot argue that a government requirement violates his/her individual conscience. In other words, because the law removes personal liability from most business decisions, the dissent suggests that an individual should be expected to compartmentalize or separate his faith and his business activities.
This year our family is doing a new educational Christmas Advent for the 12 days of Christmas. This advent idea was given to me by my good friend, Yvonne Averett. She has two girls ages 9 and 11, and made it for them. They are a homeschool family, and this is one of the ways that they are inviting the Christmas Spirit and Christ into their homeschool this year. I know not everyone who reads my blog is a Christian, but I am and loved this idea. So, I thought I would pass it along. I am always up for family learning and good homeschool ideas. Continue reading
. . . of a Mormon Mission. Many pundits wonder what Romney can do next. They say his political fortunes are over, as he isn’t a powerful force in the Senate like Kerry or McCain. He doesn’t have a faithful ideological following like Huckabee. For a weakened GOP, unless you count the continued success of the other House, they hardly want to be reminded of the lost opportunity for expanded power by giving him a political position. To be honest, he was always a political outsider even when accused of belonging to the ruling party elite. Those who have studiously followed his rise know he built what he did out of whole cloth. Conservatives never completely supported him and the only office he held was Governor in a Democratic state (Chris Christie is similar, but he lost all chances of going anywhere with his support of Obama during Sandy). He never had any solid backings in the Party other than his own will and inertia. Unless there is a surprise in the wings, he has nowhere in politics to go.
The other possibility floating around is he will go back into business. Sounds logical at first, but his current history says otherwise. He hasn’t seen the inside of a corporate boardroom outside of a friendly visit since taking over the Salt Lake Olympics. He has enough money and to spare to last the lifetime of his whole family put together. Since he isn’t the greedy Gordon Gekko that the media and others have painted him, he is old enough to retire from making more money. On the other hand, if he does do anything of his own volition this will most likely be the course taken. He is known to have saved big risky businesses. Perhaps he could take on advocating small upstarts. Just because he lost the U.S. Presidency doesn’t mean he can’t do some good as a private citizen.
Yet, he could have greater things in store for him than Earthly positions and jobs. Even Mormon commentators in the traditional media didn’t talk about religious opportunities. With the expected increase in missionaries there is going to be the need for leaders. He and his wife seem very qualified for the position of Mormon Mission President. Where? Only the Lord and his servants know, if they decide this at all. Utah, however, should be on the top of the list. Continue reading
I’m going to start a petition for an air harvesting law. I mean, really, it’s completely unfair that some people breathe more than I do. They are using inordinate amounts of this precious, limited, natural resource, and I will have none of it. I mean, how can we live in an egalitarian fair society if my neighbor breathes more air than me? We should have an equal share, every one. Continue reading
The following guest post comes from Brent Ellsworth, an Arizona attorney, and author of “The Case Against Russell Pearce.”
Mitt Romney is not the only LDS candidate receiving national media attention this election cycle.
Russell Pearce is also on the media “watch” list. Pearce is one of two LDS candidates for an open state senate seat in the Arizona primary on August 28. His opponent is Bob Worsley, founder of SkyMall, who is seeking his first elected office.
Pearce was the moving force behind the passage in 2010 of Arizona Senate Bill 1070, the first state law to enact “enforcement only” provisions to address the problem of undocumented immigrants at the state level. The stated objective of such legislation is to make life so unbearable for undocumented immigrants that they will voluntarily leave and return to their countries of origin. “Attrition through enforcement.” Pearce also attracted national attention when in November 2011, while President of the Arizona State Senate, he was removed from office in a humiliating and controversial recall election.