When I voted in 1993 for the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, I looked at it long and hard before pressing the “aye” button. Not in my wildest nightmares did I think that it would become the basis for the Supreme Court’s Hobby Lobby decision [“Court limits mandate on contraceptives,’’ front page, July 1].
The measure Congress approved protected “a person’s exercise of religion.” Nowhere did it extend this protection to corporations. The five men of the court majority not only indulged in a legal fiction, they did it despite the legislative intent of those who passed the law.
I have often joined the chorus of disapproval about the current “do-nothing” Congress. Not anymore. Congress should not give the Supreme Court any more ammunition to force its narrow religious views on the rest of us.
Leslie Byrne, Falls Church
The writer, a Democrat, represented Virginia’s 11th District in the House from 1993 to 1995.
A shot in 1775 at the beginning of the Revolutionary War became known as “the shot heard ’round the world.” A decision by the Supreme Court on June 30, 2014, will become known as “the decision heard ’round the world.” Tyrants and extremists around the world, take note. The United States still stands for and protects religious freedom. People in countries where freedom of conscience is threatened, know that there is still hope. Families of our military who died fighting for freedom, know that they did not die in vain. This Fourth of July, let us bring out our biggest and boldest fireworks. Let us polish up the Statue of Liberty and let her stand tall. Let our voices sing at full volume our songs of freedom. The religious liberty the Pilgrims came looking for is still alive.
Alan Phillip, Sierra Madre, Calif.
The writer is a Roman Catholic priest.