Saturday, January 2, 2016

How Can You Tell When your Religious Liberties are being Violated?

I caught this from one of my favorite blogs, Exploring Our Matrix, by James F. McGrath.  It's a topic I have been mulling over, especially this time of year when I keep hearing about this 'War on Christmas' and the constant 'War on Christians'.  Apparently many theists can't seem to grasp when their religious liberties are actually being violated, as opposed to when they CLAIM they are being violated.

So as a public service, I'm going to help them out and re-blog this bit and maybe some might actually learn the difference.  First up, the graphic, which sums it up perfectly:

The originator article, references by Dr. McGrath, is from the Huffington Post, "How to Determine If Your Religious Liberty Is Being Threatened in Just 10 Quick Questions".  They make a very telling point.  If you believe that anything from the right side of the graphic is a violation of your religious liberties, then you are most likely trying to use your religious liberties to violate the religious liberties, or even the civil rights, of other folks.

So, to be clear, what Kim Davis did last year was NOT a violation of her religious liberties.  It is a perfect example of her attempting to use her religion to violated the civil rights of other people.  No one was trying to stop her from practicing her religion, but they were trying to stop her from inflicting her religion on other people!

I posting this a while ago, but it bears repeating:
"Back in the mid-to-late 80's two young airmen assigned to Nellis AFB refused to salute the flag or to salute and obey the orders of female officers (The Spokesman-Review) claiming a religious objection.  They were held responsible for their actions."
This isn't a far-fetched example, but something that actually occurred when I was stationed there!  I was teaching Professional Military Education (PME) at the time, and the case was something we discussed in many Leadership and Management classes at the time.

Any law that will permit businesses to discriminate based on the owner's religious beliefs should never be passed or signed into law!  I know that's a false hope because politicians will pander to anyone they can for votes, but that doesn't make it right!  There are laws being considered in many states for this express purpose.  I hate to see it, but I am waiting for the first lawsuit against a business for discrimination citing religious grounds.  Don't I recall many issues claiming religion as the reason for denying African-Americans their civil rights?  For denying women the right to vote?  Go back a while and wasn't religion also used to prevent women from owning property?

Are we really heading back to those days?

Let's expand a little beyond Religious Liberties.  I have a question for you.  Is not teaching Creationism or Intelligent Design in public school science classes a violation of Free Speech?  Think about it?  And yet that was one of the defenses used by John Freshwater when he was fired by the Mount Vernon school system.  It's also one of the tactics used by the conservative religious Discovery Institute in pushing for the replacement of actual science with religious dogma.


  1. Kim Davis' point seemed to center around her signature on the licenses. IMO she could've had a rubber stamp made, "signature and services rendered as required by law." That should've addressed her religious objections, in a manner consistent with Jesus' words, "render unto Caesar that which is due to Caesar."

    1. You mean she might have been cherry-picking which parts of religious dogma to follow? :-)

    2. Well yeah, but that's beside the point IMO. This went back to January 2015 IIRC, and Davis didn't like how the Kentucky administration reacted to the USSC proceedings regarding gay marriage. It seems like she was more interested in making a statement, than actually addressing her religious concerns.

    3. Agree completely! Her religion is the excuse, not the reason. She sees herself as some sort of hero, and there seems to be plenty of people to feed her ego, especially pandering politicos.