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Production of American Religious FreedomThe Production of American Religious Freedom$
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Finbarr Curtis

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9781479882113

Published to NYU Press Scholarship Online: January 2017

DOI: 10.18574/nyu/9781479882113.001.0001

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The Most Sacred of All Property

The Most Sacred of All Property

Corporations and Persons

(p.147) 8 The Most Sacred of All Property
Production of American Religious Freedom

Finbarr Curtis

NYU Press

The Supreme Court’s willingness to grant the religious freedom of persons to corporations reflects the expansion of the power of private institutions. Religious privacy does not protect personal choices, but empowers a private sphere that contains institutions (such as churches, families, and corporations) that can exercise power over individual consciences. This model of privacy derives its persuasive force from a defense of individual liberty that in practice gives ideological support to private forms of institutional power. When property is held to be sacred, persons and corporations seek protection from profaning contact with the bodies and choices of others. Persons understood as property feel most free when they are absolved from performing the labor of producing a society in which people can live together.

Keywords:   contraception, corporations, Hobby Lobby, monetary sanctification, property, RFRA

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