Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal gave a talk at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in which he offered the extraordinarily vague idea that no religious person (or business they own) should ever have to follow a law that applies to everyone else if they think it violates their religion.
No church or church-affiliated organization, or individuals whose business is run in a manner consistent with their faith practices, should be required by the state to take steps in conflict with their religion. Nor should they be legally punished for how they treat marital arrangements outside the teachings of their faith. …
You may favor protecting traditional marriage between one man and one woman, or you may favor making gay marriage legal. If we did a poll on those issues in this room, we would certainly find a variety of views. None of that is relevant in the least to the points I have made in this speech. Our religious liberty must in no way ever be linked to the ever-changing opinions of the public. To the contrary, we must understand that our freedom of conscience protects all Americans of every persuasion—however those persuasions may evolve.
Really, Bobby? No business should ever have to do anything that conflicts with their religious views? Let me offer a few hypotheticals.
A Muslim believes that women should not have jobs so they refuse to hire women. Or require that they wear a face veil if they do.
A member of the Christian Identity movement thinks black people are evil and therefore refuses to hire them or serve them in his business.
A fundamentalist Christian believes that only God controls what happens to the environment and to human beings and therefore his dumping of toxic waste into a river is perfectly okay because no one will be harmed unless God wants them to be harmed.
A Christian or a Muslim believes that God commands that gay people be stoned to death. To prevent them from stoning gay people would mean that he is “required by the state to take steps in conflict with their religion.”
A follower of Aztec gods believes that child sacrifice is required to curry favor with those gods. Can they be “required by the state to take steps in conflict with their religion” or are they allowed to sacrifice children?
I know some of those hypotheticals seem extreme, but so is his argument that the state can never require someone to take steps in conflict with their religion. That position is patently absurd.
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