After reading the editorial “Church and State: The Courts Must Balance Health Care Rights” (Nov. 23): Why has the Supreme Court been granting organizations the same rights as individual citizens?
Corporations pursue the maximization of profit through conducting business. That’s all well and good, but the pursuits of human citizens are qualitatively different from those of corporations. Human citizens need healthy food, decent housing, love and friendship. We need to live in a clean environment, and we feel more satisfied when contributing something to society and when we have enough freedom to pursue happiness.
My question also applies to religious organizations. Of course religious organizations have the right to act according to their beliefs, as long as they don’t violate secular laws and as long as they are pursuing their primary goal of ministering to their members. Why, though, would they expect the same rights as individuals when they expand into education or health care, and thus hire and minister to those who do not necessarily adhere to the same beliefs?
Organizations don’t inevitably cease to exist whereas humans are biological beings who inevitably die. Organizations often have vast financial assets whereas most individuals have limited assets. Was the Bill of Rights created for individual employees and customers or for organizations? The courts should clarify this.
My new bumper sticker expresses my view: “I’ll believe corporations are people when Texas executes one!”