- - Monday, February 3, 2020

Bravo to Everett Piper for pointing out in “Liberals’ ‘Big Brother’ push for federally-funded abortion” (Web, Feb. 2) the astonishing ignorance of Human Rights Watch President Kenneth Roth, who stated that the First Amendment gives us the right to “freedom of belief,” but not the right to exercise these beliefs in the public square.

What the First Amendment states, as upheld by the Supreme Court, is that we can exercise any belief our religions teach us except for those that violate U.S. law and custom. In 1890 the precedent-setting Supreme Court case Davis v. Beacon stated that Mormons in the Utah territory can believe in polygamy, but since it violates U.S. law and custom, they can no longer practice it if they want Utah to become a state in the Union.

Additionally, we can believe in our religious right to perform human sacrifices, but we can’t exercise that belief. This means those of us who believe that an abortion is the taking of a human life (it is, in a sense, human sacrifice, which violates U.S. law) have every right to act on that belief, both by not having abortions and by protesting in every way, shape and form the performing of abortions.

BRUCE G. KAUFFMANN

Alexandria, Va.



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