A Good One
Want to hear a good one? Corporate America’s got religion. Apparently some huge corporations don’t want to pay for certain contraceptives mandated under the Affordable Care Act they consider being tantamount to abortion. It violates their First Amendment right to religious freedom, so they say.
The U.S. Supreme Court has agreed to look into it. This in itself is scary, and to me portends a corporate bias and probable victory. A couple of weeks ago this same Court flat out refused to talk about the massive NSA spying being carried out on Americans (and the world). But it does want to talk about corporate religion. Um hum.
It feels like 2010 when the Court granted corporations the First Amendment right to free speech. Since a corporation doesn’t have a mouth, vocal cords or even a brain inside a head to orchestrate speech, it has to speak with money. So money becomes a form of speech. Now Corporate America wants free religion. It follows that money will become a form of religion.
One Bank, under God?
To me it already feels like America is in a corporate state, which is why I call it Corporate America. Corporate money has infiltrated government to the point where now it is the government. Everything is up for grabs to be privatized. Even prisons, which makes incarcerating American citizens a profitable business. If Corporate America gets religion it will be combining religion with a (corporate) state. History shows what kind of tyranny and human suffering the marriage of religion and state can produce.
Corporate rights always seem to happen at the expense of real-people’s rights. Corporate America’s first exercise of free speech was to alter elections by using massive amounts of advertising funds to persuade Americans to vote for corporate interests instead of their own. Now Corporate America’s first religious impulse is to deny women federally mandated freedoms. I shudder to think where corporate religious conscience will take the nation, if allowed to. Corporations have shown no previous religious sensibilities about war profiteering or the environmental, economic, gender, climate, class, race, cultural or social injustice the corporate “person” has imposed upon the planet. Like Pinocchio and the Good Fairy, will a Supreme Court anointment of religion finally make the corporate entity a Real Boy? I don’t think so.
I think Corporate America wants the whole First Amendment. It wants free speech and press, free religion and the freedom to assemble. It has shown what it can do with money as speech, and I can see what it wants to do with free religion.
Freedom to assemble is next. For 99% of American citizens today freedom to assemble and petition means protesting in puny little fenced off militarized zones safely away from the doorsteps of the corporate entities being petitioned.
Will Corporate America exercise the right to assemble and petition by protesting Americans? Will it soon have the Second Amendment too, the right to bear arms? The whole thing is so surreal if I hadn’t read Orwell’s Animal Farm and 1984 I wouldn’t even be able to conceive of it. But there it is. The Supreme Court looks in the dictionary and cherry picks a definition of corporations that says they are legal persons, and then hands them free speech and probably the entire First Amendment too.
The only thing the Supreme Court can do to redeem itself in my eyes from its unfaithful leanings towards man made corporate “persons” is to rule that corporations are not people and can’t have religion. Otherwise if this keeps up we’ll be living in a world where non human corporate entities have all the human rights, while real living breathing human beings struggle through life without them.