Letters to the Editor

Freedom and religion

In the July 2 Tribune, two people alleged that the Supreme Court’s Hobby Lobby decision somehow empowers religious conservatives to compel others to follow their rules “in an effort to deny others the right to live life authentically ” (Ms. Luther). Ms. Moore added that the decision allows “ religious beliefs to trump the law.” Neither is accurate.

Petitioners were not seeking to coerce women to do/not do anything. They were asking that they not be coerced to do acts contrary to their religious beliefs.

The Hobby Lobby issue is whether the Constitution’s guarantee of the free exercise of religion is limited to the freedom to hold religious beliefs in your own mind, and perhaps to worship collectively, but never to use them as your guide to “living your life authentically,” or whether the unambiguous language of the Constitution guarantees each person the right to exercise their religion in their everyday life. The latter is not only the view of “this country’s fervent religious fanatics,” but was also enshrined in Article 18 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights adopted by the United Nations. To embrace the former view is to limit, not to increase, human freedom.