Washington D.C., Aug 12, 2013 / 23:06 pm
A leading religious freedom lawyer says the HHS mandate controversy involves whether government can force businesses and their owners to disregard their own values as they seek to make a living.
Mark Rienzi, senior counsel at the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, said that businesses frequently make "decisions of conscience."
"Starbucks has ethical standards for the coffee beans it buys. Vegan stores refuse to sell animal products because they believe doing so is immoral. Some businesses refuse to invest in sweatshops or pornography companies or polluters," Rienzi said in an Aug. 11 opinion essay for USA Today.
"You can agree or disagree with the decisions of these businesses, but they are manifestly acts of conscience, both for the companies and the people who operate them," he said. "Our society is better because people and organizations remain free to have other values while earning a living."