EDITOR: I believe in freedom of religion, as Melinda Henneberger expressed in her column on Sunday ("Forcing Catholic institutions to violate church teachings"). However, the rights of others to freedom from religion must be protected as well.

President Barack Obama worked diligently to provide health care to more citizens, regardless of their religion. Free birth control is included in the plan. If your church teachings don't allow birth control, don't use it. If you don't believe in abortions, don't have one.

When religious institutions invite the taxpaying public into church-run schools, hospitals and agencies, it is not their right to refuse covered services and say it interferes with their religious freedom. No one is making them use condoms. If they don't want to hand them out, they shouldn't invite the public into their facilities. It is called separation of church and state, and in my opinion there isn't enough of it.

If churches provide access to the public, whether for their money or their spirit, they should respect the rights of those they invite in. Provide the requested service, or tell us we can't come in, don't hire us, don't teach us, and stop taking our money, time and taxpayer dollars.


Hidden Valley Lake

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