All Animals Are Created Equal. But Some Animals Are More Equal Than Others.
- George Orwell, Animal Farm.
If the Supreme Court decides that corporations can exercise religious beliefs, in the Lobby Hobby case, we will have another limb added to the Frankenstein monster that is over a century in the making: The Super Corporate Citizen.
A brief history: (cue Superman theme)
In Santa Clara County v. Southern Pacific Railroad Co (1886), the Supreme Court held thusly:
Defendant corporations are "persons" within the intent of the clause in section 1 of the 14th Amendment of the Constitution of the United States which forbids a state to deny anyone within its borders Equal Protection of the law.And thus, a single judge changed the course of American and human history. Corporations went on to be treated like people but had none of the detriments. They lived forever, had limited liability, were not held liable for murder, paid no taxes and never had to suffer watching reality shows.
Later, more geniuses on The Supreme Court in The Citizens United case, established companies can spend money as free "speech." This was the next step in creating The Super Citizen. Now Corporations exist with incredible powers and can say what they want. And just recently SCOTUS in McCutcheon v. Federal Election Commission removed the limits on how much "speech" an individual can contribute. What next?
Religious freedom, of course. Because religion makes everything better.
These corporate super citizens will be Christian at first, so that ideologues can hide their bigotry and discrimination behind a corporate veil that regular people don't have. "Hey don't get mad at me. General Foods called you a nappy-headed ho." But make no mistake, Jewish, Muslim and Buddhist corporations will follow and inevitably, we will have a Satanic Corporation... wait, we already have Goldman Sachs. Nevermind.
In Sebelius v. Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc. the SCOTUS will now decide if corporations can hold religious values which will let them discriminate against other people. Of course, the "corporation" in question, is controlled by real flesh and blood people with specific and subjective notions about other people who are not like them.
No, the greater threat is that corporations are now better than flesh and blood people because certain forces in our society and our SCOTUS keeps allowing this particular charade to continue.
Soon, companies will be able to kill you and the punishment will be what? Incarceration? "Put these cuffs on AT and T." Or will they sentence the corporation to death? Well, of course not and even if we could, another could be created in minutes on Legal Zoom. (See what we did there?) No, they'll be issued a fine and the value of your life would be determined by a jury. Good luck with that in Florida and Texas.
We always wonder how in those bleak, dystopian novels, our society falls to a horde of sheepish citizens who have passively given up their rights and live under the long shadow of fascist corporate/governmental control. Well, this is how it happens, in small increments, tiny steps that seem like small concessions until you put them together and see they are an epic journey from freedom to bondage, the equivalent of dropping a boulder on your head, one pebble at a time.
Normally, I end these pieces with a call to arms but I am tired of that.
Screw you if you don't see how bad this is.
Get ready to be fitted with your tracking chip, categorized by your DNA and put into the Hunger Games lottery for the amusement of The Super Citizens. But don't worry.
I hear the odds are ever in your favor.