To the editor: Reading The Times' disagreement with the Supreme Court ruling, which said corporations like Hobby Lobby don't have to provide their employees with insurance that covers some contraceptives at no extra cost, made me wonder why it was not obvious for some people that doing otherwise would violate freedom of conscience. ("Hobby Lobby ruling: Bad for women's rights, bad for the Religious Freedom Restoration Act," Editorial, July 1)
But then again, as people of faith, we have not been doing a good job explaining to nonreligious individuals why we believe what we believe. My hope is that this particular victory on religious freedom will open up conversation and that this time around, the faithful will be able to communicate beliefs logically and patiently to others.
To paraphrase Fr. Robert Spitzer, a Catholic leader and philosopher, we will never gain our brothers' and sisters' hearts on hot-button issues if we don't gain their minds first.
Raul Ramirez, Azusa
To the editor: The court's decision is one more step toward conferring upon corporations the same constitutional rights as people.
I have never been in a Hobby Lobby store, but I suspect that many of its shoppers are women. Those who are upset by this court case should shop elsewhere. Surely Hobby Lobby doesn't have a monopoly on the types of products it sells.
Also, since corporations are people, it is time for the federal and state governments to treat them the same as people in all matters of law and regulation. There should be no special loopholes or subsidies granted to corporations that aren't available to individuals. Those responsible for crimes committed by corporations should be prosecuted as any other perpetrator would be.
Let's have no more selective application of the "corporations are people" philosophy.
James C. Morton, Anaheim
To the editor: The Times wrongly asserts that the Supreme Court's decision on the Obamacare contraceptives mandate "could embolden employers to assert a 'religious' right to deny other health benefits to their employees — from immunization to blood transfusions to psychotherapy — or to discriminate in other ways."
In fact, the opinion specifies that it "should not be understood to hold that all insurance coverage mandates, e.g., for vaccinations or blood transfusions, must necessarily fall if they conflict with an employer's religious beliefs. Nor does it provide a shield for employers who might cloak illegal discrimination as a religious practice."
Blind to the irony of its own assertion, The Times opines that the court "absurdly" held that "Hobby Lobby and the other companies qualified as 'persons,'" thus protected by 1st Amendment religious exercise rights. If the 1st Amendment did not apply to companies, The Times would have no right to free speech.
Jonathan Imbody, Washington
The writer is vice president of government relations at the Christian Medical Assn.
To the editor: With apologies to Justice Stephen G. Breyer, the sole male to dissent from the Supreme Court decision limiting women's access to affordable contraception, I must acknowledge my now-94-year-old mother's wisdom, expressed some 50 years ago: "If men had babies, birth control would be written into the Constitution."
Keni Brayton Cox, Anaheim Hills