Position challenged

To the Journal editor:

The recent Mining Journal column by Jackie Stark concerning the Supreme Court ruling in the Hobby Lobby case is a classic example of numerous ad hominem logical fallacies. Arguments attacking a person-instead of an idea, viewpoint, or opinion-are the weakest and most vicious arguments … although, sadly, rather effective in firing up a mob.

Ms. Stark insinuates that five Supreme Court justices, because they are male, are guilty of deciding the Hobby Lobby case based on their desire to curtail “women’s freedom to make reproductive choices.” Certainly a ridiculous notion, but not any more ridiculous than some women clamoring for everyone else to take responsibility for their personal expenses associated with their own consumer choices. Hasn’t the feminist movement encouraged women to take responsibility for themselves? Or do they still need patronizing?

Ms. Stark then makes another ad hominem attack against the owners of Hobby Lobby for “hypocrisy” and shifts the attention of the reader toward the perceived failings of this corporation to garner empathy for her own position. This is a common tactic which evades the questions she really should be asking: “Was justice served by the Supreme Court decision?” and “Was justice served by the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA)?”

The Supreme Court did not go to great lengths to cite constitutional law, but rather cited RFRA. This bill was signed into law by President Clinton in 1993 after unanimous consent in the House and only three dissenting votes in the Senate. RFRA provides that the government may not enact laws which substantially burden a person’s exercise of religion with the exception that two conditions must be simultaneously met: first, the burden must be necessary for the “furtherance of a compelling government interest”, and second, it must be the least restrictive way in which to further the government interest.

Are the lifestyle choices of people a “compelling government interest”? I think not. Is requiring all Americans to pay for universal contraception and abortifacients the “least restrictive” way to accomplish this less-than-compelling government interest? I think not.

Ms. Stark should consider laying out her arguments with a focus on the issues versus fomenting angst toward political parties or persons. She might want to review her extremist positions and consider that she could actually be wrong.

TIMOTHY?PRESLEY

Green Garden