A few times recently, I had a discussion with someone who found the idea that corporations considered persons was odd and strange. I learned this in high school back in the eighties and find it odd that people are just now discovering it. The function of a corporation as a person has always existed in the law by at least the 1800s. It is what enables them to exist at all. Before this period, a corporation had to be granted direct powers by the government and was initially meant as a means to gain large investments for special purposes. I believe that the East India Company was one of the first for England.
The idea that anyone can invest in something and yet not lose anything more than their investment created the limited liability concept. Because a corporation doesn’t have to be liable for losses beyond any investment brought in, they needed some means to give it legal responsibility. That is, by defining it as a person, they assure that the entity must abide by the same criminal laws imposed on everyone else. Otherwise, their existence would make them above and beyond the law once they are established.
I don’t see how it could be extended to presume the possibility of a god having this power except within the confines of a non-profit corporation of churches.
I’m not saying, by the way, that I agree with the capacity of powers that corporations are given. I would go even further and make management and investors liable as persons under the law if and when corporations do things criminal. That is, I would make them accountable under conditions of criminal behaviors. At present, this is not the case. The strange mentality of this is meant to attract investors by alleviating any fears of risking beyond anything they initially paid for on a stock. It’s a law that says that they are allowed to profit, but do not have to lose. Even though less people may buy stocks if they learned that they would have to be criminally liable, I still think that it’s time we make them more responsible than they have been so far. And since you can sue in the States, if as an investor, your management or other investors were the culprits to criminal behaviors, you can act with the criminal law behind you, not just business law.
So I say any laws to assure that they behave more as persons under the law has better repercussions for us all.