Contra Mozilla

Monday, March 30, 2015

Protecting Religious Freedom

I've read a few articles of late about Indiana's recent passage of a Religious Freedom Protection Act. It seems to me that the informed opinion is that this act--like laws in 19 other states which have been passed since the early 1990's--basically just weighs religious liberties against compelling interests of the state. My comment here is that it is not a good thing that we need such an act, a point which I have noted before. Nevertheless, the state has made it quite clear that it will overreach wherever possible, including by attempting to stamp out religious liberties.

The most visible way in which it does this is by trying to invoke so-called "gay rights" (hence all of the hysteria of how this law which never mentions GBLT-etc folks is somehow "anti-gay). Invoking so-called "women's rights" arguably a close second. Forcing Christians to participate in so-called "gay marriage ceremonies" as photographers, bakers, floral-arrangers, and perhaps even as ministers is the all-too-common example of the former; the Obama administration's rather tyrannical HHS contraceptive-abortifacent-sterilization mandate is an example of the latter.

In all, this law is meant to be a sort of shield for religious liberties, though I suspect that it may be a rather nebulous one. Case in point, I have yet to hear of any Christian who is sued for exercising his conscience cite any of the various RFRA-analogs. This isn't the Arizona version of the bill, after all.

On the other hand, it seems that these bills provide a flimsy shield at best, since it will largely end up being the state which gets to decide when the state has compelling interests. Not to mention, that is repeat, but the fact that we have sunk so far as to need a law like this is also a rather ill omen.

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