(Updated 7/30) (Parts 5 and 6) Confronting the Hobby Lobby Heebie Jeebies: What of the sincere religious belief in Mammon?

By Benjamin G. Davis, Associate Professor of Law, University of Toledo College of Law

Over at the Toledo Blade on July 27, 2014 they published my op-ed entitled “Workers Consciences Deserve Protection Too” (http://m.toledoblade.com/Op-Ed-Columns/2014/07/27/Workers-consciences-deserve-protection-too.html).  In the comments sections we have had some interesting exchanges there.

One thought was triggered by one comment.  The length of the sincere religious beliefs of the corporation under the Hobby Lobby decision would seem immaterial.  Under the logic a corporation could be a “Born Again” corporate entity with sincere religious beliefs.  Under the logic, such an entity could have various conversion experiences going from one religion to another.

Under Hobby Lobby this could get really interesting.  For example, a corporation could declare its sincere religious belief is to worship Mammon.  For those not up on their biblical references, Mammon is described at Wikipedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mammon) as “in the New Testament of the Bible, is material wealth or greed, most often personified as a deity, and sometimes included in the seven princes of Hell.”  Thus, Gordon Gecko of Wall Street fame turns out to be a religious man or at least a disciple – maybe we might call him the equivalent of a Saint – in the Mammon religion for his famous phrase “Greed is good.”

( Update 7/30 – I kid you not – Satanists want to use Hobby Lobby decision to exempt women from anti-abortion laws
http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2014/07/28/satanists-want-to-use-hobby-lobby-decision-to-exempt-women-from-anti-abortion-laws/

(via The Raw Story))

So as a corporate entity RFRA’ed everything as it outsourced and fought every regulation on pollution, civil rights, worker safety, and on and on as they sought to make Earth a living hell, the corporation could invoke its sincere religious beliefs in Mammon as a counter that the Supreme Court seems to be saying should be given some respect.

What an absurd world we live in!  Truly the law of unintended consequences that is usually used by the right to criticize regulations.

(P.S. I started to begin to try to imagine same corporate entity marriages as being a new form of marriage – allowing for religious and secular merger at the same time!  Then subsidiaries become children in this vision and not just fleas on a dog – in Gordon Gecko’s language.)