Friday, April 10, 2009

Defining the boundary between religious belief and discrimination

The Washington Post today has an article about the conflict that the anti-gay groups say is developing between their religious beliefs and gay rights. Remember, they claim that gay rights (especially gay marriage) are an afront to their freedom to practice their religion. Therefore, a minority they despise should be denied rights because to do otherwise offends the religious conservatives. Let's face it, simply by EXISTING we gay folks offend the conservatives, and they would be much happier if we were imprisoned or exterminated.

John Aravosis takes this on:
What's really going on here is that the religious right wants a complete exemption from civil rights law for anyone who claims that their bigotry is inspired by God. Are you a conservative Catholic ambulance worker who doesn't want to save the dying gay man in your gurney? Invoke God. How about the Baptist fireman who finds it distasteful to save the child of the lesbian couple burning in their apartment? ....most major religions consider the Mormons a cult, so does that mean ambulance drivers could refuse to help Mormons under these proposals? Could firemen refuse to save the Mormon Temple? Could anyone refuse to work with anyone else who doesnt believe in their particular religion? After all, you're all going to hell - why should I save your lives, do your taxes, or teach your kids in public school?

And finally, if the religious right gets its way, then all civil rights laws applying to blacks and other minorities will be gone. How long before the Southern Baptists revisit all those Bible provisions they used to use to justify slavery? And the Mormons revisit the teachings they held only 30 years ago about blacks being chidden of God?
The FACT is that religious groups remain free to discriminate and protest against gays as much as they like privately. BUT once they enter the public sphere, or take public money they must admit that all the public has the same rights: whether black, or gay, or even Christian. Nothing more, but nothing less.

1 comment:

Kvatch said...

Bu$hCo's whole 'Right to Conscience' debacle was this same sort of conservative nonsense codified by executive fiat.

With luck every attempt to place religion above the Constitution will meet a similar fate.