Around the Web This Week

Some interesting law & religion stories from around the web this week:

Volokh, “Sebelius v. Hobby Lobby: Corporate Rights and Religious Liberties”

volokh_ebookThis month, the Cato Institute will publish Sebelius v. Hobby Lobby: Corporate Rights and Religious Liberties by Eugene Volokh (UCLA School of Law). The publisher’s description follows.

Later this month, the Supreme Court will hear arguments in a case- Sebelius v. Hobby Lobby- that has arisen as society tries to reconcile corporate rights with religious liberty.

Since Hobby Lobby’s founding, the Green family has managed their company in accordance with their Christian principles. Among the religious tenets guiding them is their moral opposition to contraceptives. However, within the Affordable Care Act’s (ACA) thousands of pages is a requirement that corporations with more than 50 employees must provide coverage in their group health plans for certain medical services (contraceptives being one) or face severe penalties, which forces the Greens to choose between their religious principles or their business. The Greens sued to protect the right to exercise their religion, and now the case will be heard, front and center, in the Supreme Court.

Eugene Volokh, one of the nation’s foremost First Amendment scholars and founder of the renowned Volokh Conspiracy blog has been following and writing about these issues and this case and has braided all of his efforts together into this specially created ebook. Merging work he had previously published with new content and analysis, he offers an exceptionally clear, understandable, and compelling view of what can too often be a convoluted and highly complex area. The result is not only an ebook that analyzes a key case that will be decided by Supreme Court but a solid work that provides readers with a comprehensive primer on religious accommodation in the context of the ACA’s contraceptive mandate. In addition, the ebook begins with a comprehensive foreword by Ilya Shapiro, Senior Fellow in Constitutional Studies at the Cato Institute, which maps out the historical, legal, and current policy framework of the case.

What’s Your Social Class?

Here is a fun quiz from the Christian Science Monitor that purports to identify one’s socioeconomic status. The questions are about psychology, tastes, and personality traits, not salary. For example, a few test how well one identifies emotions. Our readers should pay particular attention to the religious identity question (number 19) and the diagnostic explanation at the end of the quiz. Do you know which religious group in America is the wealthiest and best educated?

For what it’s worth, my own socioeconomic status, according to the test, is “Middling.” Hey, it’s better than “Upper Class”:

MIDDLING: Your habits and perspectives most resemble those of middle-class Americans. Members of this group tend to be gentle and engaging parents, and if they’re native English speakers they probably use some regional idioms and inflections. Your people are mostly college-educated, and you’re about equally likely to beg children not to shout “so loudly” as you are to ask them to “read slow” during story time. You’re probably a decent judge of others’ emotions, and either a non-evangelical Christian, an atheist, or an agnostic. A typical member of this group breastfeeds for three months or less, drinks diet soda, and visits the dentist regularly. If you’re a member of this group, there’s a good chance that you roll with the flow of technological progress and hate heavy metal music.

H/T: Rod Dreher.