It's Not Your Right to Hurt Others! (Blogathon 25/49)

And now, for the USofA’s next act, North Dakota proudly presents: “WE DO WUT WE WANT CUZ IT’S OUR FREEDOMZ!”

Yup. They’ve proposed an Amendment to their state constitution:

Government may not burden a person’s or religious organization’s religious liberty. The right to act or refuse to act in a manner motivated by a sincerely held religious belief may not be burdened unless the government proves it has a compelling governmental interest in infringing the specific act or refusal to act and has used the least restrictive means to further that interest. A burden includes indirect burdens such as withholding benefits, assessing penalties, or an exclusion from programs or access to facilities.

How delightfully vague. I’m sure that’s just what they want. Oh, you’re a pharmacist and don’t want to sell birth control? That’s okay because that’s your religion. You rent apartments, but don’t feel morally comfortable to a gay person? It’s cool so long as it’s for religious reasons.

Where do you draw the line here?! What if a doctor prescribes 3 hours of prayer and hands someone a rosary? Is that cool with you? What if someone stones another person to death because they went to work on a Sunday? That’s a sincere religious belief. These acts are stupid. There was one bill like this going through Kansas. It passes in the house, but thankfully it seems to be stuck in the senate.

 

This is post 25 of 49 for Blogathon.

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  • chrisj

    I particularly admire the qualification “unless the government proves it has a compelling governmental interest in infringing“, which allows them to break the rule and interfere whenever they choose to do so, while not interfering the rest of the time “because the law stops us”. And when I say “admire”, obviously I mean “despise and detest”.

  • Stacy

    Fuck. You’re right, it’s ridiculously vague. Which of course is exactly the way they want it, because it isn’t really about “religious freedom”, it’s about religious privilege.

    The right to act or refuse to act in a manner motivated by a sincerely held religious belief may not be burdened unless the government proves it has a compelling governmental interest in infringing the specific act or refusal to act

    Pretty sure whatever the fuck it is they’re trying to maybe suggest here is already covered under the First Amendment.

  • JJ7212

    Yeah. This kind of legislature is getting old from all of these United States. Fortunately it most often doesn’t pass. Whoever these people are that write these kind of bills ought to be more exposed by name and group. They shoudl be severely ridiculed. Also the government leaders who actually do speak out against it and vote it down ought to be more supported by name and group. They should be given some praise and credit for having moral courage in their government positions. Showing some real integrity gets my vote. Just being christian does nothing to demonstrate integrity or trustworthyness.

  • John Horstman

    If it passes, it will lose its first Constitutional challenge on equal protection grounds. You can believe what you want and worship as you wish, subject to the same laws as everyone else. There’s already plenty of case law establishing bounds on ‘religious freedom’ that stop at things like murder, assault, discrimination against protected classes, etc.

    What bothers me more is that these are the people empowered to craft laws, yet they’re parading their ignorance of or contempt for extant law around like some sort of FSMdamned virtue. If I was this bad at my job – hell, if ANY non-elected public employee was this bad at hir job – I’d be fired in an instant. Sadly, this is somehow not the case for politicians, as my state’s recent failed recall effort against our own home-grown asshat demonstrates.


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