A first in American history seems to have taken place with the latest Supreme Court decision allowing corporations like Hobby Lobby to exempt themselves from the law because of personal religious views. A 5-4 decision in favor of Hobby Lobby in the case of Burwell v. Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc., supports the new American legal notion that religious views are enough to exempt someone from the law. Something 4 of the Justices on the court saw as a tremendous social mistake, and a first in our nations history. The decision also grants special privileges and exemptions from the law to certain religions and people while others will not enjoy these same privileges and exemptions. Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg was one of the 4 that dissented from this decision. "Approving some religious claims while deeming others unworthy of accommodation could be perceived as favoring one religion over another, the very risk the [Constitution's] Establishment Clause was designed to preclude," Ginsburg writes, finally concluding: "The Court, I fear, has ventured into a minefield." Although she also notes that women would be deciding with a doctor in private what contraceptives she should be using and that that privacy is her right, it wasn't what she concentrated on. Noting how the court now endorses certain religions and not others she writes, "Would the exemption…extend to employers with religiously grounded objections to blood transfusions (Jehovah's Witnesses); antidepressants (Scientologists); medications derived from pigs, including anesthesia, intravenous fluids, and pills coated with gelatin (certain Muslims, Jews, and Hindus); and vaccinations[Christians]…Not much help there for the lower courts bound by today's decision." It's clear she has noticed, as did the 3 other Supreme Court Justices, the incredibly dangerous grounds the court has ventured into. Further in her dissent she writes: "In a decision of startling breadth, the Court holds that commercial enterprises, including corporations, along with partnerships and sole proprietorships, can opt out of any law (saving only tax laws) they judge incompatible with their sincerely held religious beliefs. See ante, at 16––49. Compelling governmental interests in uniform compliance with the law, and disadvantages that religion-based optouts impose on others, hold no sway, the Court decides, at least when there is a “"less restrictive alternative.”" And such an alternative, the Court suggests, there always will be whenever, in lieu of tolling an enterprise claiming a religion-based exemption, the government, i.e., the general public, can pick up the tab. See ante, at 41––43.1 The Court does not pretend that the First Amendment’’s Free Exercise Clause demands religion-based accommodations so extreme, for our decisions leave no doubt on that score. See infra, at 6––8. Instead, the Court holds that Congress, in the Religious Freedom Restoration Act of 1993 (RFRA), 42 U. S. C. §2000bb et seq., dictated the extraordinary religion-based exemptions today’’s decision endorses. In the Court’’s view, RFRA demands accommodation of a for-profit corporation’’s religious beliefs no matter the impact that accommodation may have on third parties who do not share the corporation owners’’ religious faith——in these cases, thousands of women employed by Hobby Lobby and Conestoga or dependents of persons those corporations employ. Persuaded that Congress enacted RFRA to serve a far less radical purpose, and mindful of the havoc the Court’’s judgment can introduce, I dissent. She also, as did the others, found it extremely disturbing that the court has granted religious rights to a concept. Not a real person, but a concept on paper. That being a corporation." In the end, the court has opened the Panadora's Box on religion. With this, deciding which religions are to be viable, which religious views are to be viable and which are not. In short, the supreme court is now the entity that decides what is a viable religious view and religion and what isn't. In our 200 plus year history, the court followed the strict guidelines spelled out in the constitution about Not deciding what was a good religion and what wasn't. Now, that has changed. Sadly, the one thing that has been sacrificed in this decision IS the Freedom of Religion. Because the individual no longer decides what religion is good and what isn't. The courts now decide that.
What do you think of this story?
Select one of the options below. Your feedback will help tell CNN producers what to do with this iReport. If you'd like, you can explain your choice in the comments below.
Be and editor! Choose an option below: