360° Coverage : Of Course Corporations Like Hobby Lobby Have Rights Of...

2 Updates
Of Course Corporations Like Hobby Lobby Have Rights Of Conscience, And You Probably Shop At One
Photo Credit: Forbes Business

Of Course Corporations Like Hobby Lobby Have Rights Of Conscience, And You Probably Shop At One

Mar 27 2014, 2:27pm CDT | by

This week, the Supreme Court heard a challenge to the birth control mandate of the Affordable Care Act. The mandate in question requires that companies with over 50 employees must provide health...

Filed under: news

 
 
 

30 weeks ago

Of Course Corporations Like Hobby Lobby Have Rights Of Conscience, And You Probably Shop At One

Mar 27 2014, 2:27pm CDT | by

This week, the Supreme Court heard a challenge to the birth control mandate of the Affordable Care Act. The mandate in question requires that companies with over 50 employees must provide health insurance that covers certain contraceptive devices that some believe are abortifacients, or pay a stiff fine.

Hobby Lobby and Conestoga Wood Specialties challenged the mandate as a violation of the freedom of religion. The Court now must answer the questions of whether for-profit corporations can have a religious conscience and whether the birth control mandate substantially burdens the businesses’ free exercise of religion.

These two cases come to the Court at a time when corporate conscience is more important than ever. Companies are marketing themselves as stewards of the environment, supporters of fair labor practices, of fair trade, and of the poor, and consumers are increasingly paying a premium for goods that align with those values. The market has fostered environmental stewardship and social justice products (e.g. Toms) because people are willing to pay for them.

Big and intrusive government threatens all types of rights of conscience. When government expands into new, values-laden areas, it is best to realize that while today it may be them, tomorrow it could be you. Those on the left who are opposing Hobby Lobby’s suit as an attempt to undercut women’s rights or as an attempt to let your boss choose your health care, should be thinking instead about the next big government mandate that could affect a business’s right of conscience that they actually care about.

Whole Foods, for example, is a corporation with a conscience. On their website they list the core values that are “truly important to us as an organization” and that “do not change from time to time, situation to situation or person to person, but rather are the underpinning of our company culture.” These include advancing environmental stewardship, a commitment to GMO labeling, and creating “win-win partnerships with suppliers” to treat them with “respect, fairness, and integrity at all times.”

Likewise, New Belgium Brewing Company, the maker of Fat Tire, also has a well-defined corporate conscience. The third object on their website menu is “sustainability,” and they discuss their “heart-felt approach to business” that has existed since the company was founded. The company’s ten core values and beliefs are championed on the website, including “kindling social, environmental and cultural change” and promoting environmental stewardship by “honoring nature at every turn of the business.”

Hobby Lobby is no less a corporation with a conscience. At the very top of its list of values, the arts and crafts giant places “honoring the Lord in all we do by operating the company in a manner consistent with biblical principles.” “We believe that it is by God’s grace and provision,” the website states, “that Hobby Lobby has endured.” As a demonstration of these values, Hobby Lobby is not open on Sundays, does not sell shot glasses, and consistently places religious messages in its ads.

Some may question whether a corporation can “practice” a religion, but that is no different than asking whether Whole Foods or New Belgium can have “core values.”

In two years, imagine a Republican president and Congress passing a different type of mandate: a tax on businesses that do not buy a certain percentage of GMO crops. The tax, like ethanol subsidies, is meant to prop up GMO producers in order to make the US a leader in the market.

In that situation, Whole Foods and New Belgium would find themselves in a similar situation as conscientious objectors to the draft (which the Supreme Court has upheld). The same question would arise: Can a business really have “core values” or a right of conscience? In that situation, however, I’m sure that many on the left who derided Hobby Lobby’s claims would fully support Whole Foods and New Belgium.

There are those who think the market only produces waste, poverty, and environmental ruin, but companies across the world are succeeding by courting consumers who support those values. They should be supported and protected from inevitable government intrusion. Rights of conscience are only protected if we protect all such rights, not just those we share. Conscientious corporations of all types should be championed and respected.

Source: Forbes Business

 
Update
2

8 weeks ago

Khazanah throws MAS RM6b lifeline

Aug 29 2014 5:01pm CDT | Source: Business Times Singapore

August 30, 2014 1:15 AMKHAZANAH Nasional will inject RM6 billion (SS$2.4 billion) over three years to resuscitate loss-making Malaysia Airlines (MAS) under a recovery plan that includes even an Act of Parliament. Other key moves are migrating its operations, assets and liabilities to a new company (N ...
Source: Business Times Singapore   Full article at: Business Times Singapore
 

 
Update
1

8 weeks ago

MAS posts loss of RM307m for Q2

Aug 28 2014 5:00pm CDT | Source: Business Times Singapore

August 29, 2014 1:13 AMMALAYSIA Airlines (MAS) registered a loss of RM307 million (S$122 million) for the second quarter to end-June, but warned of worse to come in the second half when the "full financial impact of the double tragedies of M ...
Source: Business Times Singapore   Full article at: Business Times Singapore
 

 

Don't miss ...

 

<a href="/latest_stories/all/all/30" rel="author">Forbes</a>
Forbes is among the most trusted resources for the world's business and investment leaders, providing them the uncompromising commentary, concise analysis, relevant tools and real-time reporting they need to succeed at work, profit from investing and have fun with the rewards of winning.

 

blog comments powered by Disqus

Latest stories

Number of Ebola cases crosses 10,000: WHO
Geneva, Oct 25 (IANS/EFE) The World Health Organisation (WHO) confirmed Saturday that the number of Ebola cases has risen to more than 10,000 in the eight affected countries, two of which, Nigeria and Senegal, had recently been declared free of the virus.
 
 
India-born Sundar Pichai is Google's new product chief
Washington, Oct 25 (IANS) In a major restructuring of Google management, India-born Sundar Pichai, who is already in-charge of Android, Chrome and Google Apps, has been made the chief of core Google products, according to a technology magazine.
 
 
Mali: Country with 300 Indians records first Ebola death
Accra (Ghana), Oct 25 (IANS) The authorities in the West African nation of Mali, where the Indian embassy says there are between 200 and 300 of its nationals, have confirmed the death of the country's first Ebola patient, a two-year-old girl.
 
 
Ebola cases exceed 10,000: WHO
London, Oct 25 (IANS) The World Health Organisation (WHO), in its latest report Saturday said the number of Ebola virus cases has exceeded 10,000, with 4,922 deaths.
 
 
 

Latest from the Network

Second MERS case reported in Qatar
Doha, Oct 23 (IANS) A 43-year-old man in Qatar has tested positive for Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) in the second confirmed case of the deadly virus in 10 days, media reported Thursday. The patient had...
Read more on Business Balla
 
Two people die in Pakistan bomb blast
Islamabad, Oct 23 (IANS) At least two people were killed and 12 others injured in an explosion that took place in Pakistan's Balochistan province Thursday, media reported. The bomb was planted on a motorcycle, Dawn...
Read more on Politics Balla
 
Trott extends contract with Warwickshire till 2017
London, Oct 23 (IANS) England batsman Jonathan Trott, whose mental issues led to his abrupt departure from last winter's Ashes tour, has confirmed his successful comeback to competitive cricket by signing a new three-...
Read more on Sport Balla
 
Srikanth, Kashyap big movers in BWF rankings
Kuala Lumpur, Oct 23 (IANS) Indian men shuttlers Kidambi Srikanth and Parupalli Kashyap jumped seven places each in the latest Badminton World Federation (BWF) rankings released Thursday while Olympic bronze medallist...
Read more on Sport Balla
 
Alvin Stardust dead
London, Oct 23 (IANS) English singer Alvin Stardust died after a short illness. He was 72. Stardust's manager confirmed the news about his demise Thursday, reports mirror.co.uk. He was recently diagnosed with...
Read more on Celebrity Balla
 
Indian man reunited with family after 40 years
Dubai, Oct 23 (IANS) An Indian man, who had disappeared from his hometown in Kerala nearly 40 years ago, has been found by his family at a hospital in Dubai in the UAE, a newspaper report said. Now in his 60s, Abdulla...
Read more on Politics Balla
 
Srikanth, Kashyap, Saina rise in world rankings
Kala Lumpur, Oct 23 (IANS) Indian men shuttlers Kidambi Srikanth and Parupalli Kashyap jumped seven places each in the latest released Badminton World Federation (BWF) rankings Thursday while Olympic bronze medallist...
Read more on Sport Balla
 
Flintoff signs for Big Bash side Brisbane Heat
Brisbane, Oct 23 (IANS) Former England captain and all-rounder Andrew Flintoff, who retired from international cricket in 2009, Wednesday confirmed that he will play for Brisbane Heat in the Big Bash League (BBL) this...
Read more on Sport Balla
 
OPEC daily basket price falls again
Vienna, Oct 23 (IANS/WAM) The basket of 12 crude oils of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) closed at $81.94 a barrel Wednesday compared to $82.09 Tuesday, the OPEC Secretariat said. The new OPEC...
Read more on Business Balla
 
Lopez to sign multi-million dollar deal?
Los Angeles, Oct 23 (IANS) Singer-actress Jennifer Lopez is reportedly in the final stages of securing a multi-million dollar deal to perform in Las Vegas. The 45-year-old is being offered $350,000 per show at The...
Read more on Celebrity Balla