I’m responding to Joseph R. Reisert’s column of March 21,”Corporations run by devout families should have religious protection.”

If religionists are allowed to use their for-profit businesses and corporations to force their religion onto their employees, then it will be all of their employees that lose their religious freedom. Doing so, places the freedom of conscience on the basis of economic advantage or disadvantage. This is not the freedom guaranteed by the Constitution.

If people don’t like being tyrannized by their fanatical employer, they will lose their job on the basis of religion. That’s similar to the way some Christian charities exploit the vulnerability of people in need, forcing them to sign away their right to religious freedom in order to get the help they need.

Americans should have laws that protect them from this abuse by charitable despots or anyone else.

Businesses are not pieces of private property; they exist and operate in the public domain where society is pluralistic, and full of people both religious and nonreligious. Economic condition should not in any way determine an individual’s guaranteed rights.

Reisert perverts the First Amendment into a despotic “special rights for religion” instead of promoting its authentic and original intent to protect the rights of the individual and minorities like the rest of the Bill of Rights.

If the domestic enemy prevails against authentic freedom, the rights of the individual, then Americans who are economically disadvantaged will have their right to religious freedom trampled for needing a job, and not just who’s in need of help.

Terry E. LibbySkowhegan

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