With the recent proposed amendment to Arizona’s religious freedom law, Facebook has fed me a lot of outraged comments about religion and discrimination. Some rejected that discrimination was the sort of thing anyone could do for religious reasons: real religion teaches people to be kind to each other. Others allowed that people might have genuine religious reasons to want to discriminate, but denied that society had any reason to let them: “you can’t force your religion on other people” was the prevailing sentiment here.
But the generally shared conclusion was that the Arizona law was all about permitting religiously motivated discrimination—which is a lie, frankly, but I’ll let others deal with that—and that discrimination should never be permitted, whether religiously motivated or not.
I disagree, though how much I disagree depends on just what my Facebook acquaintances meant. Here are five versions of the argument, ordered roughly from least to most reasonable, with my responses. [Read more...]