In case you missed it, freedom of religion just came to the forefront of the culture wars.

In case you missed it, the pendulum just swung hard the other way, in contrast to the Obama administration’s attack on religious liberties. From the Hill:

Attorney General Jeff Sessions issued legal guidance Friday directing federal agencies on how to protect religious liberty in employment, contracting and programming as they execute federal laws.

The guidance follows President Trump’s May 4 executive order directing the agencies to respect and protect religious liberty and political speech, made by both individuals and organizations.

The 25-page memo maps out 20 guiding principles reminding agencies that freedom of religion is a fundamental right and that the free exercise of religion “includes the right to act or abstain from action in accordance with one’s religious beliefs.”

And..

It states as an example that a Lutheran school may choose to employ only practicing Lutherans, only practicing Christians or only those who adhere to a code of conduct consistent with the precepts of the Lutheran community sponsoring the school.

It also said religious organizations may be exempt from following certain discrimination laws if doing so would conflict with the organization’s religious principles.

This would appear to suggest support for allowing religious organizations to discriminate based on sexual orientation or gender identity.

The memo claimed that the government can likely prohibit religious groups from discriminating on the basis of race but may not be able to prohibit other forms of discrimination.

Read it here.

Predictably, there are those who are objecting to the memo:

“This is a direct attack on women’s rights,” said Vanita Gupta, president and chief executive of the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights. “The Trump administration is using the guise of religious liberty to carry out their ideological agenda to deprive women of basic reproductive health care.”

And civil liberties groups said there could be other effects. The principle allowing religious employers to hire only those whose conduct is consistent with their beliefs, for example, might allow a religious school to fire a teacher who had a child out of wedlock or a man who wed another man, said Louise Melling, deputy legal director at the ACLU.

Read that here.

Are we ever going to find a happy medium that people on both sides of the debate can live with?

11 Replies to “In case you missed it, freedom of religion just came to the forefront of the culture wars.”

  1. El Rayo X

    The first step in finding a happy medium would be removing tax exemption from religion and non-profits. In that way, religion and the ACLU could say they are at least paying for their First Amendment rights.

    1. Anonymous

      The GOP has always loved the South, the North , the West and all parts of America….it is the Democrats who left the Union and were in charge of the segregation policies of the South.

      1. Jaa Dee

        Did I mention that? Did I say it isn’t true? Would Wallace be a Dem. today?Do southern states vote Dem? Why? Did the repugs. pander to southern racists in the 60s? Did it work? Who did racist / nazis support for president? Did you understand my point? No.

  2. Jaa Dee

    Do we really think those things have not been tested in court? Do we think they will not be tested again and found un-Constitutional? Do you folks not understand that anybody can thump their bible and demand immunity from laws based on their “deeply held religious beliefs”? The “baker” refusing service to gays is absolutely the same as cafe owners refusing service to blacks based on “deeply held religious beliefs…. Children dying because doctors were against the parents “deeply held religious beliefs…. Those that commit “honor killings based on their “deeply held religious beliefs” and many other examples….. If you believe that what ever is ” based on “deeply held religious beliefs” determines which laws are applied to those believers then it has to be applied to all, not just to those “deeply held religious beliefs ” you happen to agree with—- That is how it works in this country….. That is not how it works in countries like Saudi Arabia, Iran, Afghanistan, etc…….

  3. Jesse

    Algebra taught some how to extrapolate information from an incomplete data file. Others, not so much. If it’s now legal for a Lutheran Hospital to hire only Lutherans than it’s now legal for Country Clubs, hunting clubs, Elks Clubs and private schools to ban women, Muslims, Catholics and Jews, again. This is MAGA? Hitler persecuted Catholics and women with the same hatred he harbored for Jews and gypsies!! (It’s no coincidence that Pres. Trump owns lots of private clubs.) Imagine a pharmacist in your small town who doesn’t believe people who kneel during prayer like you, should have access to life-saving cancer medicine. It happens here in the Middle East. Session’s declaration is only using homosexuals as a distraction. Attorney General Sessions has long been associated with Southern anti-Jewish, Muslim and Catholic religious hate groups. This ruling encompasses and endangers the rights of every American, to some degree!!
    All religions have deeply held beliefs that they are superior to all other religions and things others do are against their religious ideals. Allowing these criticisms to become exclusionary policy is overly authoritarian and overtly oppressive to women, Catholics, Muslims and Jews alike.

  4. LionInWinter

    As this is just a “legal guidance” memorandum from the current AG, it can be reversed by the next one. While I’m all for religious freedom, I’m aware that this probably wouldn’t get past a liberal judge or appellate court thus the AG is issuing “guidelines”. The only way this becomes actual law is to be heard by the SCOTUS. The Masterpiece Cakeshop v. CO Civil Rights Commission is the perfect example. The owner doesn’t want, and shouldn’t have to, make cakes for homosexual couples. This case will become the bellweather for all future cases for religious freedom.

    1. Jaa Dee

      The cafe owner doesn’t want, and shouldn’t have to serve those (black) his “deeply held religious beliefs” say is less than human— It has been settled for years, and the bigots then were no different than those today—— Religious opinion does not exempt anybody from laws affecting everybody else…

      “this probably wouldn’t get past a liberal judge or appellate court “– in that statement you say that “liberals” respect the Constitution and those like you do not….. Tell me lion, what other special rights or immunity from laws should (c)histians have? If it gets good enough, well hell, I might just start claiming to be a TRUE christian.

  5. Troy Jones

    This is great news. Religious freedom is enshrined in the Constitution and has a special place among rights. If someone doesn’t adhere to the principals of the religion, they are free to hold their own principals and free work someplace else.

    Freedom is a wonderful thing and nobody should be enslaved whether it be individuals or communities of religions.

    People like Jaa Dee are Jacobins not dissimilar to the person who shot Congressman Scalise and wholly intolerant of the principal of live and let live. Like the Jacobins, he will only tolerate people to live who think like him.