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Reader's View: Religious-freedom argument dangerous

The "rights" of organizations (notably religious ones) to not cover contraceptives impressed many as a legal slam dunk ("Obama-era birth control mandate rolled back," Oct. 7). But was it?

One might understand why many people of faith object to abortions in general and even prefer banning the morning-after pill since these might both be considered things that end human lives (even if the latter involves a very small fertilized egg that hasn't yet become a zygote). However, why should any group or individual have the right to prohibit covering simple contraceptive aids like birth control pills? Is the crime not killing any life and simply preventing the initial conception of human lives?

Should business and religious organizations have the power to dismiss laws supporting women who benefit tremendously from the availability of contraceptives? Remember the insistence of the business owners who asserted their supposed right to refuse selling a wedding cake to a gay couple because such a sale would deny (their) religious freedom? Isn't a bakery another public-serving business that, under law, sells products to all in the public?

Should a business owner have the right to refuse service to Jews who don't accept Christ as their savior, drinkers who disobey their morals, or perhaps black Americans? Like the KKK, which defended its "religious" right to whip and hang any black person who dared disobey Jim Crow's repugnant social mores?

Perhaps the next step should involve permitting business and shop owners to not serve black Americans, Jews, or even their own disliked neighbors (for no good reason). Would this be like vandalism and/or lewd conduct? Perhaps they could even furnish ax handles to their like-minded customers who want to keep those uppity others out? Where have we heard this before? And where should we (not) want to hear it again?

Peter W. Johnson