As one of the least religious states in the nation, Maine is home to a thriving and active secular community consisting of Downeast Humanists and Freethinkers, Maine Atheists and Humanists, Central Maine Skeptical Society, and Southern Maine Atheists and Secular Humanists, all of which are supporting organizations of the Secular Coalition of Maine.

We seek to promote an environment in which religious freedom accommodates different varieties of belief, including non-belief, and where all viewpoints share equal respect and treatment under the law.

We believe strongly that women have a fundamental right to make their own medical decisions, and indeed that women and men alike have a right to make all life choices for themselves, without those choices being dictated or limited by their employers’ religious convictions.

The Supreme Court’s Hobby Lobby decision not only gives for-profit corporation owners the right to impose their religion on their employees, but also blatantly favors conservative Christian beliefs about sex and procreation over other religious beliefs, like those about blood transfusions or vaccinations (as spelled out in the majority opinion that religious objections to reproductive health would be entertained, but religious objections to other medical procedures would not).

Endorsing one set of religious beliefs over others runs afoul of the First Amendment and the very notion of religious liberty. Furthermore, since the ruling, the floodgates have opened on additional religious objections to the contraception mandate of the Affordable Care Act; anti-lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender discrimination; and more.

This ruling alarms all citizens who value secular government and understand why our Founding Fathers constructed a wall between church and state.

Religious liberty shouldn’t be a privilege reserved for corporate entities and their wealthy owners. We urge your readers to join us in our effort to re-establish the right of religious freedom by contacting their local and national representatives.

Doug Bunker

chair, Secular Coalition of Maine

Franklin