As most of you know, and as has been comment on in this blog, there’s been a lot of news lately about the Religious Liberty “Restoration” Act recently passed in Indiana. The news included discussion of the federal Religious Liberty Restoration Act, signed by Bill Clinton in 1993, and how the Indiana act is different.
But there is a fundamental problem here: the assumption implicit in the name of the Religious Liberty “Restoration” Act that religious liberty has been somehow in disrepair.
Nothing could be further from the truth.
Religious liberty has been alive and well in the United States for a long time, and has been defended vigorously not only by our political superstructure, but also in the judicial system. The notion that religious liberties need “restoring” is both preposterous, but more importantly, misleading.
That’s how some Christians get the completely false notion that they are a minority or that their rights our somehow under attack.
I can’t claim authorship for the table below, I found it on the Internet. But it does distinguish nicely between when someone’s religious liberties are and are not being violated.
|Your Liberties ARE being violated
|Your Liberties are NOT being violated
- You are not allowed to attend a religious service of your choosing
- You are not allowed to legally marry the person that you love
- You are being forced to use birth control even though it’s against your religion
- You are not allowed to pray privately in a public space, or even in your home
- You are not allowed to purchase, read or possess religious books or materials
- You are not allowed to teach your children stories of your faith, even at home
- Others are allowed to go to religious services of their own choosing
- Someone else is allowed to legally marry the person they love
- You are unable to prevent others from using birth control
- You are not allowed to force others to pray publicly
- Others are allowed access to books, movies and website that you don’t like
- Public school science classes are teaching children science.
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