Letter to the Editor: What true religious freedom means to me


The Supreme Court hears the case of Sebelius v. Hobby Lobby this week. The court will consider whether a private business owner who engages in public commerce may discriminate against employees based on the owner’s personal religious convictions.

As a Unitarian Universalist minister serving in the Shenandoah Valley, I know the value of religious freedom. Religious liberty does not mean imposing your religious viewpoints on others, including employees of a public business.

True religious freedom, as protected in the U.S. Constitution and other laws, means that each person must be able to exercise his or her own religious beliefs freely and make decisions according to his or her conscience.

If the justices side with Hobby Lobby, the consequences would be far reaching and dangerous for all of us.

Allowing a corporation to skirt the law by claiming religious offense inherently privileges one set of beliefs over another and equates the company’s profit-seeking venture to the deeply held spiritual truths held by me and those I serve. Such an assertion cheapens the meaning of religion and the sanctity of spiritual communities, which for Unitarian Universalists and other people of faith, is deeply troubling indeed.

Rev. Paul Britner, Stephens City