Letter to the Editor

A minefield indeed

Los OsosJuly 7, 2014 

Wave Stonerock very succinctly and correctly sums up the narrow U.S. Supreme Court decision on Hobby Lobby and birth control. Many have lauded the decision as a defense of Christianity and religious freedom (“Letters,” July 3). On balance, one should consider three points outlined by Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg in her dissent:

(1) “Would the exemption … extend to employers with religiously grounded objections to blood transfusions (Jehovah’s Witnesses); antidepressants (Scientologists); medications derived from pigs, including anesthesia, intravenous fluids and pills coated with gelatin (certain Muslims, Jews and Hindus); and vaccinations? … Not much help there for the lower courts bound by today’s decision.”

(2) “Approving some religious claims while deeming others unworthy of accommodation could be ‘perceived as favoring one religion over another,’ the very ‘risk the (Constitution’s) Establishment Clause was designed to preclude.”

(3) “The court, I fear, has ventured into a minefield.”

Within hours of the Supreme Court decision, other religious groups began advocating other kinds of discrimination in the name of religious freedom. Considering Justice Ginsburg’s remarks, it’s a minefield indeed!

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