New York Times reporter mark Oppenheimer writes about whether Christian-owned businesses, such as Hobby Lobby and Chick-Fil-A, should be entitled to the same religious freedoms as an individual. It may be up to the U.S. Supreme Court to decide:

In June, a federal court ruled that Hobby Lobby, the art-supply chain, could not be fined for refusing to offer its employees morning-after contraception coverage. This challenge to the Affordable Care Act will surely go to the Supreme Court, where Hobby Lobby’s lawyers will argue that a commercial company can, legally speaking, be Christian — with the same rights to religious freedom that a person has.

Hobby Lobby is not alone in identifying itself as a Christian business. In-N-Out Burger, Chick-fil-A, the trucking company Covenant Transport, and the clothing store Forever 21 all call or market themselves as Christian or faith-based.

But what does that mean? To promote a conservative agenda? To insist on certain music in their stores or to print Bible verses on their wrappers? What about bigger questions, like how management treats — and how much it pays — its workers?

Most Christian-identified businesses were founded by evangelical Protestants who are mostly politically and socially conservative. (The well-known Roman Catholic businessman Tom Monaghan, who founded and then sold Domino’s Pizza, also finances conservative causes.) Chick-fil-A is well known for its gifts to gay-conversion ministries, but it also supports group foster homes. Tyson Foods, which was founded by evangelicals and, according to its Web site, seeks to “honor God,” offers chaplaincy services to employees.

Hobby Lobby is now famous for its stance against what its founders consider abortion pills. But it also promotes a central liberal goal by offering a minimum wage of $14 an hour for full-time employees, about double that of the fast-food employees who struck nationwide this week for better pay and conditions. Hobby Lobby closes on Sundays because of the Christian Sabbath, but guaranteeing all workers that one day off surely pleases secular workers, too — even if some of them may object to the stores’ Christian-music-only policy.

Forever 21 prints “John 3:16” on the bottom of its shopping bags. Covenant Transport, founded in 1985 by David A. Parker, an evangelical, wears its Christianity on the side of its trucks: in its name, which refers to the many covenants made with God in the Bible, and in its logo, a scroll that recalls the parchment on which biblical texts would first have been written.

Read the rest of the story here: