Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Citizens United: Posing a difficult theological challenge

All five of the Supreme Court justices who voted for Citizens United are Roman Catholic (as am I), and from their lofty benches have deemed that corporations (representing property rights) have the same standing before the law as persons (representing human rights).

If corporations are 'persons,' then it follows from the Justices' shared theology that corporations, like human persons, have souls. (Since a fetus is "ensouled" from the moment of conception, then a  corporation is "ensouled' from the moment of incorporation).  

Now if corporations have souls, does  it mean they are stained with Original Sin and need to be baptized?  If so, how do you baptize a corporation?  Do all the employees and shareholders get in the river, or just the Board of Directors, or major shareholders, or senior managers...?  And if at some point the Board enters into bankruptcy, or shuts down operation, or cleans out the treasury and heads south, is that murder, or suicide?  

And if an ensouled corporation dies, does it face eternal judgement?  If a corporation is judged to be Heaven-worthy, does that mean all shareholders and employees go to heaven, or just the Board?

Clearly the honorable justices have not thought this through very well, and we should press for clarification soon before this decision becomes, as Chief Justice Roberts says, "settled law."

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