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Northwest Voices

Seattle Times letters to the editor

April 1, 2014 at 7:05 AM

Hobby Lobby Supreme Court case: Would open the door for Christian Scientists

Paul Tong / Op Art

The Hobby Lobby and Conestoga Wood consolidated cases [“Hobby Lobby case a slippery slope,” Opinion, March 30] are providing the U.S. Supreme Court with an opportunity to double-down on its extremely unpopular and unwise Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission ruling (which created the notion that a corporation has the same protections as real person under the first amendment).

This time it’s about religious freedom, wherein the plaintiffs seek exemptions from established laws for a corporate entity based on the personal beliefs of the corporation’s leader.

While it surprises me that this case has even made it to the Supreme Court, I am amused by the notion that a ruling in favor of the plaintiffs would open the door to a very rapid growth in the followers of Mary Baker Eddy and the Christian Scientists. Businesses would seek to exempt themselves from all health-care-benefit offerings to employees on the basis of their Christian Science religious beliefs that illness is spiritual, and not physical. Thus, no insurance to cover physical treatment is necessary for employees.

What a competitive advantage that would be for those businesses (again at the expense of their employees), all because our society continues to have this inexplicable need to cater to a few bad apples who still can’t grasp the notion that in America, there is a long-established separation of church and state that has served this nation well.

Barry Zimmerman, Bellevue

Comments | More in Health care | Topics: Barry Zimmerman, Citizens United, Conestoga Wood

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