Marches onward toward theocracy

Don’t get me wrong — I’m not anti-religion. However, one would have to be in a coma, or willfully ignorant, to not see the relationship between over-zealous believers and recent tragic and controversial events. One very obvious example is the mess in Iraq, where atrocities committed by Muslim factions are apparently justified by their differing interpretations of their religion.

Closer to home, we have the recent controversial Supreme Court decision in the Hobby Lobby case. The company owners have the right to abstain from the use of contraception if that is against their religious beliefs. But why do they have the right to leverage their personal religious beliefs to deny others from obtaining basic reproductive services? If they were Jehovah’s Witnesses, would they also have the right to prevent their employees from obtaining blood transfusions?

The response given to these questions is typically something like: “Well, they’re not preventing their employees from obtaining these services, they just don’t want to pay (in the form of providing insurance coverage) for these services.” In response, I say that all of us pay for public services that we may not agree with. My Christian friend doesn’t like having her taxes used to support drone strikes that result in deaths of innocent people, and I don’t like paying taxes for a waterfront tunnel, when a reinforced viaduct would have been just fine. My retired neighbors don’t support school levies because their kids are grown. But these individual preferences shouldn’t compromise the development of prudent public policy, or access to important services that benefit the vast majority of people.

As the conservatives on the Supreme Court continue to erode the boundaries between personal religious beliefs and government operations, our country moves more and more towards a theocracy. Although the Hobby Lobby case was purported to be a “narrow decision,” can there be any doubt that clever lawyers will use this ruling as a precedent to challenge any regulation with which their corporate clients take issue with, using religion as the pretext?

Larry Wechsler

Edmonds

More in Opinion

Editorial: Help community colleges meet job training needs

Lost in the focus on K-12 school funding, have been the needs of community and technical colleges.

Editorial cartoons for Friday, Jan. 19

A sketchy look at the day in politics.… Continue reading

Editorial: Eminent domain isn’t popular, but it’s fair

Everett Public Schools’ condemnation process assures fairness for property owners and taxpayers.

Ignatius: How military trains to let others do the fighting

The struggle for the U.S. military has been to accept letting other nations fight their own battles.

Milbank: Trump’s fine, but his Trumpism may be contagious

Trump may be in ‘excellent’ health, but has the White House doctor contracted his hyperbolic style.

Editorial cartoons for Thursday, Jan. 18

A sketchy look at the day in politics.… Continue reading

Sen. John McCain: Trump’s ‘fake news’ charges threaten democracy

The “fake news” phrase — granted legitimacy by a U.S. president — provides cover to autocrats worldwide.

Editorial cartoons for Wednesday, Jan. 17

A sketchy look at the day in politics.… Continue reading

Harrop: Immigration won’t get a fix because GOP doesn’t want it

Trump and Republicans in Congress prefer the status quo and their ability to use it politically.

Most Read