The president has discovered that businesses are people, and have a conscience.
Today, Charles Krauthammer notes that the president is most seriously displeased with companies that seek to relocate their headquarters outside the U.S. to escape our onerous corporate tax system (which not only charges the highest rate, but is the only one in the developed world that purports to tax income outside the national boundary). This is morally wrong and reflects a lack of “economic patriotism,” says the president.
Democrats routinely ridicule the very notion of corporations as persons. After Mitt Romney suggested this in 2011, Democrats mocked him right through Election Day. In the Hobby Lobby case, they challenged the very idea that corporations can have religious convictions. Now, however, Democrats are demanding that corporations exercise a patriotic conscience. Which is it?
All businesses are moral, culture-making enterprises. The attempt to treat even some businesses as morally neutral is dehumanizing and destroys the necessary cultural context for virtue and freedom. I’m glad the president finally agrees.
Unfortunately, the widespread (implicit and explicit) hostility in America’s churches to anything that involves profit has helped encourage our culture to think of business in strictly materialistic terms. A rediscovery of the doctrine of vocation can’t come soon enough, not only for the sake of discipleship and godly living but for the sake of our civilization.