Wednesday, April 20, 2016

South Carolina and a twist on religious freedom

From the Washington Post, a sad tale from South Carolina.  First, some history--remember, religious freedom was near and dear to the founding fathers!  I did not know this honorable role from SC:
South Carolina became a pioneer in providing sanctuary to refugees fleeing religious persecution with the March 1, 1669, Fundamental Constitutions of Carolina protecting the rights of “Jews, heathens, and other dissenters from the purity of Christian religion.” This included a Charleston community of Sephardic Jews, who finally found sanctuary after generations of roaming the globe following their expulsion from Spain. 
The document, co-authored by John Locke, was revolutionary. It helped to form the philosophical bedrock that laid the foundation for the Declaration of Independence, the Bill of Rights and the American tradition of serving as a refuge for the persecuted.
But not any more:
In the coming days, however, South Carolina could go in a different direction, this time pioneering dangerous and misguided legislation that would create a hostile environment for refugees, pressuring them — and the faith-based groups that help them — to “self-deport” from the state.
Basically, it makes the faith-based groups or social services legally responsible for any crime committed by a refugee.  The intent is to discourage groups from brining refugees into the state.  of course, the refugees in question are largely Muslim.  

A touch of hypocrisy: 
Conservatives have used this religious-freedom claim to carve out exemptions for religious organizations to non-discrimination laws, health-care mandates and much more. That so many of them seem ready to abandon religious-freedom concerns when it comes to refugees, subjecting religious organizations to undue scrutiny and impeding their ability to serve, suggests that these politicians value religious freedom only when it serves their political agenda.
Ya think?

Apparently the protection of "religious freedom" only applies to Christians of a certain flavor.

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