The case isn't about praying. It's about money and what it means to be compelled to contribute your money to something that you sincerely believe God requires you to fight to the end. I think it's close to the same problem that individuals face when they pay their taxes and believe that something the government is using the money for is deeply wrong. For example: war.
But the Bill Moyers operation thinks mocking religious people is a good move. I say it's prime jackassery... except to the extent that it's old-school, left-wing hatred of corporations. Let's see how they feel if Hobby Lobby loses its case — as I think it will — and its owners dissolve the entire operation to maintain religious purity — would they? — and throw 13,000 employees out of work. I suspect the the Bill Moyers folk would double down on their contempt for religion.
The article is written by Joshua Holland, not Moyers himself, but it is tweeted under Moyers' name. Moyers, the man, is 79, so I wonder if it's really him tweeting or whether it's some soulless incorporated entity doing business under the name Moyers & Company. Isn't it nice to say "company" instead of "corporation"? It's like back in the 1950s when your mother said "company's coming over" when family or friends were joining you for dinner.
So here's Joshua Holland, who's identified not as a legal expert, but as "a senior digital producer for BillMoyers.com," and he's mostly just doing extracts from the amicus brief of the Constitutional Accountability Center.
The brief notes that the religious owners of the corporations have no obligation to do anything that contradicts their personal beliefs. The law applies to the corporations, which the law views as separate “persons” — corporations are themselves entities, and they can’t actually kneel down and pray.But religious persons do business using the corporate form. Do you want to say that they must thereafter choose between doing business in that form or following their religion? If you were doing something you sincerely believed God would send you to hell for doing, do you think that by setting up a corporation to conduct that activity, God would not count it against you? The fact that "corporations are themselves entities" doesn't solve the problem! Let's say that you wanted to kill someone, and instead of doing it yourself, you paid another person to do the killing. The fact that the other person is himself an entity for legal purposes does nothing to cut off the guilt. That is easy to see.
Holland writes, quoting the amicus brief:
Here’s a key point: nobody has to form a corporation in order to do business. They do so because it brings real benefits under the law.True, but so what? What is the general principle here? To take advantage of a legal form is to abandon your rights? On that theory, the government can censor the New York Times (and BillMoyers.com).
I don't mean to say that I think Hobby Lobby should win this case. I just feel compelled to point out what the Moyers company is smugly ignoring: Corporations are important and necessary tools for human activities conducted on a large scale; people care about their morality and their religion even as they conduct the activities by which they earn their living; and there are deep religious convictions at stake as the government binds us together in the immense undertaking of providing for everyone's medical treatments.
I can see I'm just saying, come on, Bill, at least show some respect for the values you mean to crush. I do see the absurdity.