In ancient times, kings sometimes dictated what religion their people would follow. For example, Armenia became the world's first Christian nation in 301 A.D. because King Trdat III converted and decreed the faith for his country.
Something partly similar seems to be happening in a few American corporations whose owners claim the right to impose their dogmas on female employees. Like kings, the CEOs want to dictate a profoundly personal matter for women workers.
The owners contend that birth control is sinful, thus they refuse to obey the Affordable Care Act's requirement that company medical insurance must provide free contraception to all women workers who want it.
In other words, the owners want to dictate morality and bedroom choices for their employees. They won't let the women decide for themselves if they want birth control. The workers have no choice or voice in the matter.
Several cases involving this issue will go before the U.S. Supreme Court in March. The outcome will have far-reaching impact on American society.
Various GOP leaders -- who despise the universal health insurance law -- support the corporate challenges. Republicans in the U.S. Senate backed the Blunt Amendment, which would have let employers reject birth control coverage "if it violates their religious or moral beliefs." The amendment narrowly failed, 48 to 51.
During the 2012 presidential primaries, Republican candidates called the birth control mandate a "direct attack on religious liberty." They meant the liberty of corporation owners -- not the liberty of their women employees.
Sen. Frank Lautenberg, D-N.J., remarked: "The Republicans want to take us forward to the Dark Ages again -- when women were property."
Regarding cases heading for the Supreme Court, The New York Times commented: "The real threat to religious liberty is the unjustified effort by employers to impose their religious views on their employees."
Did you know that 28 states already require health insurance plans to provide contraception? Did you know that several mainline Protestant denominations -- such as the United Methodist Church, Presbyterian Church USA and Evangelical Lutherans -- support the ACA mandate? They don't think that birth control is evil.
Since the protest lawsuits are filed by firms, not individual owners, a sarcastic commentary posted by Public Health Watch began: "Even if you accept that corporations are people, it's quite a leap to suppose that they can find religion." Therefore, it's absurd to claim that companies seek salvation, or hold spiritual beliefs such as opposition to birth control.
What if a corporation is sold to new owners who are Hindu, Muslim or the like? Would the firm convert to a new faith, the commentary asked. It concluded that disputes like the birth control uproar makes many wish "that corporations could indeed go to hell."Keep watching the battle before the U.S. Supreme Court. Women's rights are at stake.