Tuesday, January 13, 2015

What is religious freedom, anyway?

Perhaps what you think and what those against us think religious freedom means, are two different things.  

Rob Donaldson, writing in LGBTQnation:
To Mr. Bruni, or to Robert Boston, author of “Taking Liberties: Why Religious Freedom Doesn’t Give You the Right to Tell Other People What To Do,” it is the “right of people to believe what they do and say what they wish — in their pews, homes and hearts.”

But conservative Christians disagree. To them, it goes much further....

..., they see it in what they believe is the loftier context of how God views everyone’s acts, as either virtuous or sinful. Whether or not such acts are legal under American law is, to them, secondary. They think Mr. Bruni and his allies would define religious freedom so narrowly, as an “interior and private” thing, excluding religiously motivated acts, that it becomes “no freedom at all,” in the Mormon church’s words.

The problem with this view is that, taken to its logical conclusion, it becomes precisely what the Supreme Court warned against in 1879: it would make religious belief “superior to the law of the land, and . . . permit every citizen to become a law unto [themselves].”
He concludes,
as long as the parties in this debate fail to agree on the very definition of “religious freedom,” they will continue to waste time and energy talking past each other about how to protect it. 
I think this can be described simply as a conflict between religious freedom (the interior, private view), and religious privilege (the exterior practice).

See more of our discussion about religious freedom.

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