Before the movie “Mary Poppins” came out the longest word in the English language was supposedly “antidisestablishmentarianism.” The word was coined in the middle of a heated political fight in Britain over the “established church,” namely the Church of England (frequently referred to outside of the U.K. as the Anglican Church).
Not surprisingly, a lot of people did not want to be coerced by the government into accepting its beliefs as the one and only true religion. One side effect of the fight against established churches in the U.K. and elsewhere (at various times the Roman Catholic church in Italy, the Lutheran church in Germany, and so on) was the founding of the United States and the adoption of the First Amendment to the Constitution.
Now look at the Hobby Lobby Supreme Court decision [“Hobby Lobby got it right,” Northwest Voices, July 2]. Justice Samuel Alito specifically says it is OK to discriminate against Jehovah’s Witnesses (blood transfusions), Scientologists (antidepressants), Christian Scientists (vaccinations), Mormons (polygamy), or the medical use of anything derived from a pig (several religions). What religion is it not OK to discriminate against? Conservative Christians (birth control).
The Alito opinion can only be interpreted as placing conservative Christianity above all other religions, of making it the official established church of the U.S.
Patrick J. Russell, Seattle