America is made up of religious people. Many of those religious people are business-owners. When they go to work each day, they cannot check their beliefs at the door, but rather must let them infuse many aspects of their work.
The decision of businesses to adhere to, and affirmatively advance, the religious principles of their owners and themselves in the operation of their businesses reflects long-held religious tenets regarding the interaction between faith and work. Under a variety of religious doctrines, a person’s participation in the economic activity of his or her community can involve just as full a part of exercising religion as solitary prayer, attending church, keeping the Sabbath, or seeking to bring one’s faith to others.
For example, the Christian concept of vocation leads many to live a life of faith in the world by engaging in work that allows them to realize their God-given talents while at the same time improving the world, serving their community, and honoring God. The Jewish Halacha, or Jewish law, creates an obligation to conduct one’s business dealings in a “holy” manner, with honesty and integrity, faithful to the Torah.
We must work to protect the rights of persons to adhere to and pursue their religious beliefs in all aspects of their lives, regardless of the legal structures they use to organize their commercial activities.