Religious Liberty is the Same as Discrimination?

Depends on who you ask.


Last week, the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights released a report entitled “Peaceful Coexistence: Reconciling Nondiscrimination Principles with Civil Liberties.”

It analyzed the balance struck by federal courts in considering claims for religious exemptions from nondiscrimination laws, the report reads. Yet, many freedom-loving Americans were none too pleased to find that the document claims the term “religious liberty” is sometimes code for discrimination. (It really hammers this point home because the word discrimination is used over 700 times).

The commission argues that religious freedom is being used as a “weapon” just like in the days of slavery and Jim Crow. Religious liberty, the report reads, is being used to “undermine” the rights of American minorities. 

The article goes on to quote Sen. Orin Hatch, who is no fan of the report.  

Hatch concluded that the commission get a better understanding of the meaning of religious liberty before filing any more reports.

The report comes out against the ‘religious freedom laws’ which are being written across the country. (The link is to the report — a big pdf file.)

Religious exemptions to the protections of civil rights based upon classifications such as race, color, national origin, sex, disability status, sexual orientation, and gender identity, when they are permissible, significantly infringe upon these civil rights. (page 5, Letter from the Chairman)

We will need to work out the balance between religious liberties and civil rights.  Can a Christian, Mormon or Muslim civil servant refuse to marry gay citizens?  Will people of faith be driven from civic life because of these issues?

If a court decides that gay marriage is a right, can local justices of the peace or judges effectively force gay couples to drive to another county or state for a marriage?

And am I the only person who thinks the federal government’s own commission should tread lightly as state legislatures write religious freedom laws?  

I’ve said before, these are dangerous times for the faithful.  I pray the answers come through mature debate.  Calling folks bigots is not the answer.


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3 Responses to Religious Liberty is the Same as Discrimination?

  1. Who gets shouted down and refused the ability to speak in public? Those who don’t toe the Leftist, anti-Christian line.

    Who does the shouting down? Those who call themselves tolerant.

    I read the book 1984 in 1984 because it was required reading. Eric Blair was off by 32 years.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. And while I threw the word Muslim in my list of faiths which might object to say, gay marriage, they are in a totally different arena. Would a Muslim clerk be able to take money at the town recreation department “pig pickin'”? I don’t know of a situation where this has come up in the U.S., but at the same time if ANYBODY knows how to stand by religious and cultural laws…

    In many cases that is not a huge compliment, but you see my view. Those religious freedom laws flow from sincere belief — and NOT from a wish to punish or discriminate.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Pingback: A Rough Road Back | Dave Alexander & Company with David Edgren and Gus Bailey – The Artisan Craft Blog

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