I think I’m going to start my own religion….Church of Baking. We will minister to the masses with muffins and cupcakes, to warm their souls and remind people of the goodness of home. We will sponsor shelters for the homeless, assist abused women and children, teach parenting classes on how to bake with your children…we will be the most amazing church to come about since some of those other big ones.
We won’t discriminate against the types of baked goods we make. All types will be welcome – baklava, bagel and brownie, side by side on the plate. Everyone feeling the love of world baked good peace. Perhaps we will become so popular, we’ll even have an Arch Bagel, or even a Holy Pie in the Sky.
Next, I’m going to start a company, based on my personal beliefs and values of baking for the better good. I’m going to open stores that sell my baking products and of course, baked goods. Of course, we will be successful! Who doesn’t like baking for good-cakes sakes? We will incorporate to protect the owners (me) from any lawsuits or losses of the company. That only makes good sense. Why would I risk my personal assets for the practices of the company I founded? Finally, when I offer insurance to my employees, I am not going to cover any medicines for diabetes or any kind of obesity treatments, because it would violate my personal beliefs and values. Also, if you suffer from celiac disease, gluten intolerance, oh, or any sort of allergy, like peanuts or tree nuts, just don’t bother to even ask for an Epi-pen, GI test or other treatment, because I use flour and nuts in my baked goods. That is what makes them Right and Good. Furthermore, since we believe in the Church of Baking, there better not be any candy making going on in your homes. You work for me, and what my company believes in should rule all your actions, regardless of whether you are on the clock or not.
Don’t like it? Work somewhere else.
That is what I am hearing from lots of people today and it makes me sad, sad, sad for America.
Corporations are not people. Corporations do not have beliefs, values, feelings or religions. The OWNER has those things. If an owner does not want to be financially and legally responsible for the actions of their business, they incorporate to remove the individual from the business liability, among other things. Once the individual is out of the mix, sure the owner can run the business according to their personal beliefs, but still within compliance with state and federal laws. You can’t have it both ways – separate yourself from legal responsibility to protect your personal assets, while infusing your individual preferences into the business practices regardless of regulations, standard business practices or laws.
Don’t like it? Sell your business.
This is the law. It also is not a violation of the businesses beliefs and values, because it’s a business, not a person. Yes, my example of the Church of Baking is loaded with hyperbole and is ridiculous, but it isn’t far off from reality in America today. In this time of economic recovery, there are lots of people – actual humans, not corporate entities – who cannot pick and choose their place of employment quickly and easily. And yet, this cavalier attitude dominates the commentary. Self righteousness and hypocricy at its best.