Posted on Oct 12, 2014
LTC Instructor
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I am writing (edit: already wrote) a paper on the Hobby Lobby decision, and I know that many RP members are deeply religious. For obvious reasons, almost no RP members are conscientious objectors (i.e. opposed to all war and supporting it in any form; pacifists are one example). Do you think a religious business should be able to deny a Reservist to return to his job after a deployment? This is a hypothetical. As far as I know this has not happened yet.

The Supreme Court in Hobby Lobby said that employers can avoid statutory obligations (e.g. paying for health insurance which covers contraceptives that destroy fertilized eggs, otherwise termed "abortifacient" contraceptives) if following the law would substantially burden the exercise of their religion. In the Hobby Lobby case, the employers won and now will not have to fund insurance for abortifacients.

What about other laws, and other employers? Mennonites, for example, are conscientious objectors, and owners of large businesses. Should they be allowed to deny a Reservist's right to get his or her job back after a deployment because supporting war violates their religious principles? The law that requires this is called USERRA, you can read about it here: http://www.dol.gov/vets/programs/userra/.

There are other examples: some believe God commanded the races to remain separate (i.e. KKK); some religions do not permit vaccinations or surgery; some do not permit unwed couples to live together.
Posted in these groups: Reserves_logo ReservesImages_(25) LawWorld-religions-2 Religion
Edited 6 y ago
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SSG Tim Everett
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You know, I'm going to be honest -- under the Supreme Court ruling, this very thing could feasibly happen. And it would be both ironic and appropriate -- we have opened that door. By affording rights to a corporation, and preaching about equality, this opens the door for religious-based businesses of ANY faith to discriminate. So everyone who supported this decision, don't make a big deal when it happens, or when a Muslim shopkeeper discriminates against customers because they're Christian or Jewish or whatever.
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MAJ Deputy Director, Combat Casualty Care Research Program
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Not sure about this exact situation, but I think Justice Ginsberg is correct in her prediction that this decision will have far more implications than anyone is seeing at the moment.
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LTC Instructor
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That is my thought as well. On the other hand, I agree with the majority that the Religious Freedom Restoration Act was designed to accomplish exactly what it did in the Hobby Lobby case. I think the majority applied the law properly; the problem is with the law. Neither the First Amendment nor RFRA excuse conscientious objectors from paying federal taxes (which go toward funding war), so neither should excuse conscientious objector employers from employing or reemploying Reservists who fight in or support war efforts.
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MAJ Operations Officer (S3)
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If the reservist had a job with the business prior to deploying, the business does not have any grounds to not give the job back upon redeployment. They were already "supporting war" by having a Soldier work there, even if he/she hadn't deployed. But, a business should be able to use status as a reservist as a valid reason to not hire someone to begin with.

My question about this area is, should a business be able to fire an employee that wants to join the Reserves/National Guard? I think this is a more difficult scenario because the employee is introducing a NEW condition that didn't exist at the time of his original employment. Potentially adding a burden to the business that didn't exist when he got the job.
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Capt Chief, 353 Sog Current Ops
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I absolutely agree with the first part. Regarding the second, I would think the introduction of a new condition would warrant reconsideration of employment, because a person deserves to know what they're investing in.
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SGT Curtis Earl
SGT Curtis Earl
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In a right to work state, an employee could hire a reservist and terminate that same reservist for no reason whatsoever. It's not a guarantee that the reservist's duty is conflicting with business interests. Hiring a guardman or reservist doesnt necessarily equate to support.

When it comes to mobilization or deployments, the employer is being asked for an extended sacrifice and that could be considered support for a war or political agenda. This new law allows employers to say "My God doesn't support war and you're a warrior. You can not work here."

As long as school districts are legally firing teachers for being unwed mothers and pizza shops are legally refusing gay business, veterals are also vulnerable.
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