Pushing Your Religion Onto Your Employees: Why Would That Ever Be OK?

[Originally published at Divided Under God on March 11, 2013]

Christopher and Mary Anne Yep, owners of Triune Health
Christopher and Mary Anne Yep

Owners of Triune Health
Yet another private company has sued for the right to push their religious dogma onto their employees — this time in President Obama’s home state of Illinois. According to the Chicago Tribune, Triune Health Group, an employer of about 80 workers, has filed suit in an effort to exercise a fictitious “right” to withhold contraceptive health care to its employees. The Catholic owners of the company claim that the Affordable Care Act is infringing on the free exercise of their religion. Stories like this keep popping up in the news. Private companies have not been winning this battle though, such as in the cases of Hobby Lobby and Conestoga Wood. Courts have said that private companies are not people, and as such “do not pray, worship, observe sacraments or take other religiously motivated actions separate and apart from the intention and direction of their individual actors.”
The flooding of the judicial system with these types of lawsuits has been a hot topic among those that want to keep church and state separate. As a result of these cases, the Affordable Care Act is indirectly costing taxpayers more money while judges hear frivolous lawsuits brought about by company owners trying to make a political statement. Private citizens like Kelly Campbell have taken to YouTube to stir up action against companies like Conestoga Wood, urging viewers to flood the company with emails to share their opinions with the company.
What do you think about “corporate personhood” and related First Amendment issues? Get in on the discussion.

About Kevin Davis:

Despite his Catholic upbringing and experience as a “saved” Christian in his early college years, Kevin came out as an atheist in the mid-1990s. A US Constitution enthusiast, he now focuses on defending the separation of church and state through his blog, DividedUnderGod.com. Kevin keeps us aware of current legislative and judiciary efforts that aim to weaken the Wall of Separation that is so important to our success as a nation free from religious influence and oppression.

You can find Kevin on Twitter (@DividedUnderGod), Facebook, and in Chris Johnson’s upcoming book A Better Life — 100 Atheists Speak Out on Joy & Meaning in a World Without God.

Kevin Davis is the Founder and Managing Director of SecularVoices.org, and the author of Understanding an Atheist: A Practical Guide to Relating to Nonbelievers, a book aimed at improving relationships between the religious and their atheist loved ones.
He’s most recently known for being co-founder and Executive Director for Young Skeptics, an elementary-level after-school program for kids. Young Skeptics was launched in January 2015 as an alternative to the controversial Good News Club, an organization operating in public schools that evangelizes children and spreads fundamentalist Christian doctrine focused on shaming children for their sins.

His writing has been featured or mentioned on CNN, Huffington Post, Salon, RichardDawkins.net, Patheos, and many others.

You can find Kevin on Twitter (@SecularVoices) and Facebook.


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