"The Rights of the Religious"
Los Angeles Times, Editorial, Feb. 4
The Times rightly defends but wrongly interprets a federal law that forbids the government from imposing "substantial burdens" on the exercise of religious convictions and requires federal officials to pursue the "least restrictive means" of achieving any "compelling interest."
The Times neglects 1st Amendment principles in defending the administration's attempts to force employers with conscientious objections to bow to the government's edict to provide controversial contraceptives and sterilization surgeries.
The government easily could avoid restricting religious freedom by directly supplying poor women with contraceptives, just as it does worldwide.
Just as the 1st Amendment protects the free speech of citizens and corporations such as The Times, it also protects the free exercise of religion by citizens and employers. When the administration attempts to force even elderly nuns to violate their religious convictions, clearly the government has trampled on sacred 1st Amendment ground.