Whose Religious Freedom Are We Talking About Anyway?

The Human Side of the Coin

The Supreme Court will be hearing a case this week that could go a long ways in terms of determining how our legal system understands the issue of religious freedom.  Two businesses (both secular and for profit) will be arguing before the Court that the Affordable Care Act’s requirement that they provide contraceptive coverage to employees is a violation of the business owner’s religious freedom (they personally take the view that contraceptive use is against God’s will).  

The legal arguments will revolve around the fact that a business is not an individual, and therefore doesn’t actually have its own religious beliefs.  I’ll let the lawyers wrangle out the legal details using the proper language and citing the appropriate case precedents. But I like to use the following analogy to frame the issue for people in the Jewish community:  imagine that a law on the books required any business that…

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