Whether you’re a bible-thumping Kentucky county clerk or a devout Colorado baker or any other true believer denying public services to a same-sex couple (or anyone) for religious reasons, the question arises, when does “religious freedom” violate others’ constitutional human rights?
The correct answer should be “always” when such “freedom,” as defined by politically activist Christian evangelicals, involves substantially restricting other Americans basic equal treatment as citizens under the law. As in not being allowed to get a marriage license to which they’re legally entitled, or to be served as any other law-abiding citizen by a public bakery.
But, you know, sex and Christians. It’s complicated, right?
U.S. courts continue to veer rightward, including the Supreme Court, as the current administration feverishly works to pack the nation’s judiciary with hard-core conservative jurists. Meanwhile, Americans’ secular “unalienable rights,” as elegantly phrased by Thomas Jefferson in the Declaration of Independence, are under serious assault by the Christian Right and its enabler in the White House.
Today, Christian activists scheme to take away U.S. women’s constitutional right to abortion (sex again), decided by the Supreme Court in 1973 and the law of the land since. Tomorrow, it may be a crime to even criticize religion.
I ran across this cartoon this week on the Atheist Global Facebook site, and it perfectly encapsulates the can of worms assumed religious freedoms are in the minds of believers, and the trouble this causes the body politic.
For instance, “gluttony” is, indeed, a sin specified in the Bible, as are greed, lust, envy, coveting and even, divorce, to name a very few. Should people who glorify Christian scripture be legally allowed to discriminate against lawful Americans who don’t hold these views?
Imagine if the tables were turned and radical secularists started refusing public services or otherwise discriminating against Christians because their beliefs offended secular ideology? I’m sure their response wouldn’t be, “Fine. What’s good for the goose is good for the gander.”
In any event, we need to not lose sight of the big picture, which is that everything fundamentalist Christians claim to believe and which they use to discriminate against others is completely made up.
Just something to always keep in mind.