Keeping it Private — or Not

protestA recent development, reported here, nicely illustrates the socio-political function of privacy, e.g., the (once?) widespread notion that those claims on behavior that were said to be premised on religious belief are merely a private affair concerning faith, sentiment, etc. For now this once common presumption is being troubled — inasmuch as the U.S. Supreme Court seems to be gradually dismantling it, in favor of allowing (just some) such claims to warrant exemptions from federal law.

But once this notion is undermined, who can tell what else about the public domain will start to change, given how many interests are vying for a piece of that pie. Continue reading

Sebelius v. Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc.

RNS-STEVE-GREEN fAre you following the case in the U.S. that’s now being argued before the Supreme Court, on whether a corporation has religious freedom protections? It involves a chain of over 600 craft supply stores, in 47 states, and whether, under the new health care law (commonly known as “Obamacare”), it is required by the federal government to pay for certain forms of birth control that the owners of the corporation claim their religious beliefs lead them to understand as abortion. Continue reading