The First Amendment prevents the government from stifling citizens' involvement in government and from creating an official government religion. It does not prevent the government from intervening in discriminatory activities, including those sanctioned by religion.
Despite Shelly Hansen's latest defense of discrimination (Letters, March 28), nobody is forced to offer abortions, prescribe medical marijuana or perform assisted suicide. Here are some legitimate examples of the questions/answers Hansen ignored or misrepresented:
"May I schedule a medical checkup?" ... "We don't provide medical services for colored people."
"May I apply for the management position?" ... "We don't hire women in management positions."
"Will you provide the floral arrangements for our wedding?" ... "Our business provides wedding services for first-marriage, virgin-only wedding ceremonies as our beliefs dictate. In good conscience, we cannot give you a referral."
Slavery, racism and sexism were defended by Bible-waving folks enthralled by their beliefs, and all those once-mainstream beliefs were overcome through government intervention, instigated by progressive-thinking people. The present unnatural, illogical fight waged (whether by corporations or individuals) against civil rights is in defense of discrimination and has nothing to do with integrity or religious freedom.
MIKE WILSON, Richland