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12 - Corporate Religious Liberty and the Culture Wars

from Part III - Law, Politics, and Economics

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  17 December 2019

Michael D. Breidenbach
Affiliation:
Ave Maria University, Florida
Owen Anderson
Affiliation:
Arizona State University
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Summary

Although recent U.S. Supreme Court decisions respecting corporate religious liberty have been heavily criticized, this chapter argues that corporate religious freedom is not the novel or radical development that critics decry. What is new, rather, is an increasingly intense opposition to any special legal accommodation of religious commitments. Indeed, upon close examination, the familiar criticisms do not for the most part actually turn on anything peculiar to the corporate form. They are better understood as manifestations of an emerging, deep-seated opposition to the traditional American commitment to religious freedom as a distinctive legal right. And this opposition is itself part of a broader effort to repudiate the vestiges of an older religious or biblical conception of American community, as described in Robert Bellah’s influential scholarship on American “civil religion,” in favor of a different conception that we might describe as “secular” or “progressive.”

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Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2020

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