“For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world.” Ephesians 6:12
The conservative majority of the United States Supreme Court, in the recent Citizens United and Hobby Lobby cases, has taken the spiritually radical position that corporate entities, intended as legal instrumentalities for combining business capital, have the same constitutionally protected freedom of speech and religion that natural persons do – even though they’re only constituted of paper and money. For me, this raises some important questions about the religious and spiritual foundations underlying this Court’s thinking, e.g.:
- Does the Court really believe that a corporation has a heart, mind, or soul, much less feelings, beliefs, emotions, dreams, and ideals?
- Do they imagine that a corporation could ever be found down on its knees, praying for forgiveness?
- Do they believe that corporations are creations of God – or even a part of Nature?
Why did this conservative (but actually radical) Court authorize the anthropomorphization of corporations – upon what religious or spiritual basis did they act – in other words, what was in the minds of these particular justices?
Actually, it probably hearkens back to the time of the merger of the Jesus movement with the Roman Empire under the Emperor Constantine when the church’s hierarchy officially became part of the imperial power. Since America is today’s successor to that Western imperial power, perhaps these justices were only being consistent with their forbears in holding in favor of official (in this case corporate capital) power over the rights of individual human beings. A corporation, as an artificial legal entity with certain tax and legal benefits, has now been judicially held to possess the same religious and free speech rights as natural “flesh and blood” human beings under the Constitution. These holdings, without more, appear to be a striking “signal in the wind” that, today, there’s probably not much residual meaning left in our principal national religion – that God seems to have left us without giving any clear forwarding address –now that human beings are treated as having no greater “soul” than official pieces of paper or electronic imprints. These opinions constitute the official U.S. Government recognition of the primacy of power and privilege inherent in capital over whatever still remains of our “old time religion” – courtesy of the Supreme Court of the United States of America.
It seems to me that it was pretty easy for this Court to extinguish the time-honored status (at least two millenniums) of natural human beings as having preeminence in God’s eyes. Even so, I still wonder why this ghoulish “ensoulment” of business corporations has passed so largely unremarked by America’s principal religious institutions.
The effect of permitting corporations to possess constitutionally-protected religious and free speech rights, by treating artificial legal entities as spiritual beings, certainly did not deepen corporations’ “personal” relationship with God, but instead authorized their owners to impose their own religious and political beliefs on their employees and society.
Does anyone really think that if God, today, were really still alive for people living in the United States of America that these five conservative justices would have dared draft these holdings? If God meant anything to us, at all, wouldn’t citizens now be outside praying for forgiveness for permitting, even indirectly, these legal opinions that have the effect of abrogating the most basic meaning of the nature and existence of God and human beings?
You raise excellent questions, particularly as most established religious denominations/organizatons are incorporated, usually as non-profits, but as legal corporations nonetheless. So where lies their identity?