The commentary in the April 18, Telegram, “The definition of religious liberty is expanding,” just begins to tell the story.

Steven K. Green aptly cited several examples of how effectively the religious right has been in influencing society. The Supreme Court (1) excused companies from having to provide contraceptive coverage in health plans, (2) exempted from COVID restrictions religious gatherings in homes, and (3) backed a baker’s discrimination in refusing to bake a cake for a gay couple. O tempora, o mores!

What else? Conservative zealots don’t stop at abstaining from abortions for themselves; they argue that no one should have the right to make that choice.

Likewise, they begin with safeguarding their handguns (for self-defense and hunting); then they want semi automatic weapons too (for what?). They cite the second amendment’s ambiguous “right to bear arms;” they overlook the Constitution’s pledges to “insure domestic Tranquility” and “promote the general Welfare.”

In these examples and more, individual liberty is escalating so much that it infringes upon the common good. Oliver Wendell Holmes was willing to concede, “The right to swing my fist ends where the other man’s nose begins.”

This renowned Supreme Court justice’s cautionary note should guide the court, Congress, and the American people.


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