The sponsors of South Dakota's latest "No Wedding Cakes for Gays!" will tell you they are trying to defend religion from... well, you know, gay people. Unfortunately, these legislators don't realize the damage the language of their own bill does to religion and humanity.

House Bill 1220 defines "person" as "any individual, association, partnership, corporation, church, religious institution, estate, trust, foundation, or other legal entity." That's the standard legalese we get from the Supreme Court, Mitt Romney, and other corporate fascists who insist that corporations are people.

Treating non-personal entities as persons can serve legal and practical purposes, but not Christian purposes. Saying that a corporation, estate, or foundation can believe in God (can Citibank take communion? can Radio Shack get last rites?) is logically absurd. Pastor Tim Suttle says calling things people is downright heretical:

Personhood is sacred. A corporation isn’t a person, it’s a thing. It shouldn’t be treated like a person. Any society that calls a corporation–an entity that exists with the sole purpose of profit–a person, is devaluing what it means to be human. That’s not just an ethical issue, this is deep down in the faith of the Christian, and our experience of what it means to be a human [Tim Suttle, "Corporations Aren’t People, Money Isn’t Speech: Citizens United & the Heresy of Corporate Personhood," Oatheos: Paperback Theology, 2014.09.20].

We understand, HB 1220 sponsors, that you want to treat certain people as somewhat less than people. But your bill as written, embracing the secular claim that corporations are people, makes all of us less human.