Let’s start here: if you were against Donald Trump’s Muslim ban, you should be against Andrew Cuomo’s restrictions targeting Hasidic Jews.
In this sense, the Supreme Court made the right call.
Let’s continue here: The Hasidic Jews gathering in large groups are foolish and irresponsible, as are any religious groups gathering during this pandemic.
In this sense, the Supreme Court seems to have disregarded the need sometimes for emergency measures to supersede certain rights.
Herein lies my central belief: we should interpret our constitutional protection of religious liberties not as protection to be libertarian (religious groups get to do whatever the hell they want because it’s their religious liberty to do so), but to ensure no one religious tradition is preferred over others.
So why was the court right for the wrong reason? Because Gorsuch smarmily suggests their reasoning had to do with protecting religious liberties in the general sense, rather than ensuring a governor does not target one religious group.
My other central belief: Pandemic related health measures and rules should be about proximity and time and enclosed space. Doesn’t matter the reason for the gathering.
And since capitalism is as much a religion as any church, the rules should apply as much at the bowling alley or at Costco as they do at the synagogue.
If Cuomo had applied the same rules to bars as he did to the synagogues, he would have been in the right. Since he didn’t, we ended up with a Supreme Court case the conservatives could use to signal their new dominance.
In this particular decision, I end up agreeing with the decision while despising the opinion. I don’t want a Muslim ban. I don’t want governors targeting Jewish communities.
I also want religious communities to be responsible, and I want us to stop worshipping the almighty dollar as a nation while acting as if the main religion we are protecting is the monotheistic one.
The irony in all of this is that we’ve had religious freedom the entire pandemic. The market has ruled over everything. Mammon-worship is rampant.
That’s why so many are dead.