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What you are saying is sensible in that no, the government should not pick winners and losers in religion, a good reason why we don't have a state church, although it can be argued that aggressive secularism posturing as being "values neutral' is in fact form of state religion. But I digress. Again, the "business is business" argument is one I have an issue with when it comes to religious beliefs that are rooted in a coherent, established framework of belief. Americans do not (or should not) lose their religious liberty when they start a family business, or establish a educational institution or not-for-profit that is explicitly dedicated to the tenants of a religious worldview. And the government cannot pick and choose which religious beliefs are deserving of protection. The government must prove that its actions are compelling, and that it has chosen the least restrictive means of achieving its goal, in order to win out over religious beliefs. I can't help but feel like providing adults with the apparatus of the state to try and coerce organizations to "change their ways." It is punitive, no matter how much this is denied, to not offer an exemption to religious institutions. Craven bigotry with no foundation but someone's unique personal animus should not be subsidized. But making this rule as blanket as it is really does interfere, and at a minimum, seeks to discourage the free exercise of freedom of religion in segments of society.
"As the context is REALLY hard to bring in to the regulation without writing 50 books about the topic (admittedly a great jobs scheme for lawyers), a blanked ban on discrimination seems the most sensible." Actually, no it isn't sensible because it takes a one size fits all approach to what should be treated with the utmost care. Some discrimination is driven by nothing but craven bigotry, some "discrimination" is actually more akin to freedom of association and has nothing to do with "animus" or making a value judgment about another's worth. And as to your statement, " Your rights, religious, personal or otherwise, end where other people's rights begin." That really cuts both ways doesn't it, or at least it should. But why is it that "rights" having to do with sexuality seem to trump those related to religious freedom? That is something to think about.
Herald, you are assuming again. read your won words: "How is it moral to treat other human beings, be they homosexual or otherwise, with such animosity? " Animosity truly has a higher threshold. If I were advocating that people be forced to be segregated in public places, not allowed to vote, refused a service that had NOTHING really to do with my religious beliefs, then your statement would have some merit. But that is not what we are talking about here. Because something is legal does not make it moral. If someone wants to use legality as their ethical compass, fine, but as I stated to you, there are sincere people of faith who are guided by what they consider a higher authority and this has nothing to do with making a value judgment about another person's worth as a human being.
Your argument is a fair one, but would make more sense if we did not have something in our constitution that affords us the right of freedom of religion. That right should not be "situational" in that you get to punish me economically if I don't conform to the mores of the state. If you had a religion that genuinely taught that you could not hire Christians in good conscience, I would simply accept that and not accuse you of animus.
Your argument is a fair one, but would make more sense if we did not have something in our constitution that affords us the right of freedom of religion. That right should not be "situational" in that you get to punish me economically if I don't conform to the mores of the state. If you had a religion that genuinely taught that you could not hire Christians in good conscience, I would simply accept that and not accuse you of animus.
Has it ever occurred to Herald that what informs certain decisions made by people who hold their beliefs in good conscience has nothing to do with "hatred" of others but rather an attempt to live out their lives in integrity to a higher authority where there are objective standards of what is moral and what is not moral? You and others believe ignorantly that "animus" can be the only motivator for religious people to desire that their employees live in agreement with the tenants of a certain faith. Besides being presumptuous and arrogant, it fuels divisiveness. You call it 'discrimation.' What you fail to realize is that an organization desiring that its employees live by the tenants of a certain faith has nothing to do with what they believe is the worth of that person as a human being: it is about desiring people who believe and live consistently in accordance with those beliefs.
Has it ever occurred to you that what informs certain decisions made by people who hold their beliefs in good conscience has nothing to do with "hatred" of others but rather an attempt to live out their lives in integrity to a higher authority where there are objective standards of what is moral and what is not moral? You and others believe ignorantly that "animus" can be the only motivator for religious people to desire that their employees live in agreement with the tenants of a certain faith. You call it 'discrimation.' What you fail to realize is that an organization desiring that its employees live by the tenants of a certain faith has nothing to do with what they believe is the worth of that person as a human being: it is about desiring people who believe and live consistently in accordance with those beliefs.
"It says more about those who claim to be religious who cling to the need to hate and discriminate than it does about those who actually seek to practice what they preach." So you know the hearts and minds of others that you are able to render this sort of harsh indictment of their motives? You show the narrow mindedness and stridency of those you claim possess those traits with such statements.
I do not believe that BO truly believes in the concept of freedom of religion. NOT freedom of worship, which is what the left likes to refer to it as, but freedom of religion. This is a form of economic blackmail. Conform to government secularist morality, or be deprived of funds. BO is saying with his actions that he believes that nothing less that wholesale acceptance of homosexual behavior by all elements of society is acceptable. Any disagreement with homosexual behavior, even if rooted in a coherent religious worldview must be motivated by "irrational animus." Even gay activist such as Andrew Sullivan recognize that disagreement with SSM is not rooted in "animus" for most religious people. What BO has done is craven, heavy handed, and arrogant. A way needs to be found to lawfully and appropriately show disagreement with this action in the strongest way possible.
In response to:

Left Moves to Outlaw Christianity

Marcos464 Wrote: Jul 14, 2014 11:46 PM
It is sad that the Democrat party is now controlled by the most extreme, fanatical parts of its base - the people who don't care about religious freedom and who would without hesitation try and use the apparatus of the government to suppress freedom of religious expression. Obama has facilitated this, encouraged this, supported this. People are going to have to decide if they want to live in a secular progressive tyranny that does not truly believe in tolerance of different viewpoints and that would actively demean and deny people with traditional views the right to express themselves freely, or of they want to live in country where true tolerance of many points of view is allowed.
Thank you for sharing your perspective Rachel. Yes, being a committed believer is hard. Living out the faith with integrity really does require that you be counter-cultural. Going along with the culture and the "as long as it doesn't hurt anyone" anything goes mentality is the easiest thing in the world. Being true to your faith and your calling requires you to remember where your greatest love is, and what you are convinced and know to be true. God will sustain you whatever the circumstances as long as you keep living your life surrendered to him. So as Roberto Rivera put it, “we might as well be holy,” since seeking an accommodation with the culture is, in his words,” a “loser’s game.” As soon as we bend a little, they insist we bend some more and then some more again. And I personally believe that we should push back against any societal pressure to silence in our voice in the public square. We have just as much right to hold and express our views as anyone else and anyone who tries to suppress that is engaging in viewpoint and religious discrimination.
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