Contrary to tea party norm, we shouldn’t cherry-pick the words of our forefathers. While some were not Christian, all stood for the unequivocal value of separation of church and state. Having sailed the wild seas because of religious persecution in England, the new Americans were highly aware of the dangers of imposing beliefs (even their own) on others —and respecting the right to diversity, in no way diminished their right to worship Christ.
In his letter to the Danbury Baptist Association, on Jan. 1, 1802, Thomas Jefferson said: “Believing with you that religion is a matter which lies solely between man and his God, that he owes account to no one for his faith or his worship, that the legislative powers of government reach actions only, not opinions, I contemplate with sovereign reverence that act of the whole American people which declared that their legislature should ‘make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof,’ thus building a wall of separation between church and state.”
And, in a letter to Dr. Thomas Cooper on Feb. 10, 1814, Jefferson said, “Christianity neither is, nor ever was a part of the common law.”
Many think that oral contraceptives cause spontaneous abortion. Not true. They prevent ovulation from happening at all. Our government is not supporting abortion but is merely attempting to allow a woman’s own beliefs to guide her decisions in her own life.
Besides, oral contraceptives are desperately needed for other gynecological reasons, including the treatment of endometriosis.
If — for whatever reason — a woman chooses contraception, she should be allowed to. If you don’t want to take them, that’s fine, too. You also are allowed your own choice. But (even if you are Hobby Lobby), your right to your own religious beliefs does not allow those beliefs to be imposed on others. Period.
Jean Sellmeyer Smith