Like many others, I am unsettled by last week’s Supreme Court’s decision in the Holly Lobby / Conestoga Furniture case. The phrase that was frequently used is “religious freedom.”
With all due respect to the justices and my fellow citizens, I think we are confusing two different, distinct principles: the freedom of an individual to worship in his/her religious faith of choice, versus the imposition of a religious faith on others.
If we look at the historic context of when our founding fathers created the principle of religious freedom, it was exactly against the long history of religious wars in Europe, wars of religious imposition, where people were forced to convert to a different faith or die. Many of the original 13 colonies, and ultimately our constitution, came into being as reactions against that history of religious imposition.
Do the individuals who own Hobby Lobby and Conestoga Furniture, as individuals, have the freedom to worship in their religious faith of choice? Absolutely. Do they have the freedom, and the right, to impose their religious faith on me? Absolutely not.