Religious Liberty Isn’t Anti-LGBT Unless You Want It to Be

Point:


Counterpoint:


12 Comments for “Religious Liberty Isn’t Anti-LGBT Unless You Want It to Be”

  1. posted by MR Bill on

    “In a bold speech delivered at the Justice Department’s Religious Liberty Summit, Sessions characterized the task force as a necessary step in facing down the prevailing forces of secularism. “A dangerous movement, undetected by many, is now challenging and eroding our great tradition of religious freedom,” he said, which “must be confronted and defeated.”

    The task force will be spearheaded by Associate Attorney General Jesse Panuccio and Assistant Attorney General for the Office of Legal Policy Beth Williams. The Advocate reports that in 2010, Panuccio, as an attorney, defended supporters of Proposition 8, a 2008 ballot measure that banned same-sex marriage in California for nearly five years. More specific details of the task force’s structure and organization have not yet been announced.

    Sessions painted a nightmarish portrait of what he described as a lack of religious liberty protections plaguing American society. “We have gotten to the point,” he said, “where courts have held that morality cannot be a basis for law, where ministers are fearful to affirm, as they understand it, holy writ from the pulpit, and where one group can actively target religious groups by labeling them a ‘hate group’ on the basis of their sincerely held religious beliefs.”

    Here, Sessions appears to be critiquing groups like the Southern Poverty Law Center, whose broad designation of “hate groups” has at times proven controversial for including groups like the evangelical Christian Family Research Council. Sessions added, ”Americans from a wide variety of backgrounds are concerned about what this changing cultural climate means for the future of religious liberty in this country.”” https://www.vox.com/identities/2018/7/31/17631110/jeff-sessions-religious-liberty-task-force-memo-christian-nationalism

    Reply
    • posted by MR Bill on

      From the same article: “Sessions’s vision of religious liberty as, fundamentally, active and interventionist government support of religious identity seems to be in line with his wider political philosophy. Last month, for example, Sessions used the Bible verse Romans 13 to justify separating migrant families at the US-Mexico border. He used it on the grounds that the verse — part of a letter written by St. Paul urging an early Christian Roman community not to participate in a political uprising — legitimized absolute submission to government authority.

      (Sessions’s own religious tradition, the United Methodist Church, recently formally censured him, calling for an ecclesiastical trial against him for, among other charges, inaccurately publicly representing the Christian faith.)

      The American Civil Liberties Union vociferously condemned the task force, tweeting that the Department of Justice “has no business licensing discrimination against LGBT people, women, and religious minorities.”

      Ultimately, Sessions promised listeners, the task force would restore religious liberty to America — a liberty that, he heavily implied, was a primarily Christian prerogative.”

      Reply
      • posted by Jorge on

        Last month, for example, Sessions used the Bible verse Romans 13 to justify separating migrant families at the US-Mexico border.

        I’m pretty sure he used that verse to tell religious critics to shut up and let government do its job.

        “George Marsden, a religious historian at the University of Notre Dame, describes our founders’ goal as “inclusive pluralism.” In the society they envisioned, no religion is preferred over another, and all believers can worship as they see fit.

        The idea that no religion is preferred over another becomes problematic when a sociopolitical issue, like homosexuality, divides people based on what their religion is. In any situation where a decision has to be made, one religion will win, and one religion will lose. Who wins and who loses should incidental, but making it so is almost impossible. I refuse to entertain any assumption that there is a “no religion” option or that “religion can be separated from the question”. This is a viewpoint that divides me sharply from just about everyone on the left who reads my thoughts on the matter.

        Where I align against both the right and the left more often than not is in their endorsement of the idea that taking a side is by definition attacking the ability to worship or practice as one chooses, attacking the religious liberty of the other. A law against the recognition of gay marriage (siding with one theocracy) does not prevent gay couples from carrying out the religious practice of marriage. A law for the recognition of gay marriage (siding with the other theocracy) does not present conservative Christians from carrying out the religious practice of shunning gay marriage. There is a flaw in my reasoning because gay couples are groups of two and conservative Christians are groups of larger collectives.

        What I believe does attack the freedom to worship is when one identifies one’s political opposition by their most common religion, and attack that religion.

        But that’s not the way it plays out.

        The Trump administration has attempted to block refugees from certain majority-Muslim countries from immigrating, but the president said he might prioritize the applications of Christians from those same regions.

        It’s way too easy to present a boorish right-wing diatribe against the political sensibilities of a certain religious minority, so I’ll just say this: when political winners and losers happen to include Americans, that does not mean that Christians are favored or disfavored compared to other religions.

        Reply
        • posted by Matthew on

          “It’s way too easy to present a boorish right-wing diatribe against the political sensibilities of a certain religious minority ”

          Like when the Regressive Left pretends their antizionism isn’t just thinly veiled antisemitism and therefore racism? Leftism is racism. It’s a cottage industry of str8 white leftist men and their gay white leftist male sycophants in the Slaveocrat Party projecting their bigotry and stupidity onto anyone smart enough to call them out on it.

          There is no God but the Jewish God. True religious freedom is freedom to worship the Jewish God the Jewish way. True religious freedom is freedom from gentile blasphemy.

          Reply
  2. posted by Tom Scharbach on

    Religious Liberty Isn’t Anti-LGBT Unless You Want It to Be

    Right. But the opposite is also true. When proposed laws sanction discrimination against same-sex marriage but not inter-racial or inter-religious marriage, and sanction adoption discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation but do not sanction adoption discrimination on the basis of race/ethnicity or religion, then I suggest that it is fair to think that the proposed laws are drafted to be “Anti-LGBT” because the Christio-Republican drafters want them to be.

    Reply
    • posted by Matthew on

      Anti-el-jibbity is pro-gay. The Democrats support the mutilation of gay children. At least the ones who don’t get aborted first.

      Reply
  3. posted by JohnInCA on

    There has been plenty of debate and suggestions of what “religious liberty” that isn’t “anti-LGBT” could and would look like. Religious activists have decided to follow the anti-LGBT path instead.

    So you’re right, it is a choice. And it’s one that religious activists made with eyes wide open. Some blame the rest of us for recognizing their decisions.

    Reply
    • posted by Matthew on

      Allies say gay, bigots say el-jibbity. Forcing us to ally with breeder SOBs who think wearing a dress gives them the right to force themselves on lesbians is the fault of the Regressive Left and no one else. Gay people have no business supporting genital mutilation or the erasure of women-only spaces.

      Reply
  4. posted by MR Bill on

    “George Marsden, a religious historian at the University of Notre Dame, describes our founders’ goal as “inclusive pluralism.” In the society they envisioned, no religion is preferred over another, and all believers can worship as they see fit.

    The phrase “religious liberty,” as understood by its constitutional origin, attracts little controversy. One strains to recall any prominent Americans who have called for either the establishment of a national religion or the abolition of Americans’ right to worship the deity of their choosing (or none at all).

    But the historical, constitutional definition and the modern, conservative definition of religious liberty are two separate things.

    In the hands of the Trump administration, the phrase connotes freedoms and privileges granted mostly to Christians — specifically, the white conservative Christians who form a vital part of the Republican base. Instead of inclusive pluralism, it now stands for exclusive primacy of the Christian faith.

    Trump never hid his revamped vision for religious liberty. During the 2016 campaign, he convened 1,000 evangelical leaders in New York City and proclaimed: “This is such an important election. And I say to you folks because you have such power, such influence. Unfortunately, the government has weeded it away from you pretty strongly. But you’re going to get it back.”

    He even promised that, if he was elected, Americans would drop all the “Happy holidays” nonsense and start saying “Merry Christmas” again. (Last December, he claimed that he successfully revived the traditional Christian holiday greeting.)

    To this end, Trump swore to destroy the Johnson Amendment, a 1950s law that prohibits churches from campaigning for a political candidate. In May, Trump signed a religious liberty executive order surrounded by more than a dozen Christian leaders that granted them broad exemptions for politicking.” https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/acts-of-faith/wp/2018/08/02/how-conservatives-have-changed-the-meaning-of-religious-liberty/?utm_term=.1ad4e8e27acc

    Reply
    • posted by Matthew on

      This is why Judaism needs to be made the national religion of the United States. If it’s good enough for Israel, then it’s good enough for every other nation on Earth, too.

      Reply
  5. posted by MR Bill on

    From the same article: “Churches certainly need protecting, but what about mosques or other non-Christian houses of worship? Trump’s supporters would surely say that his religious liberty agenda protects them, too. But that’s not the way it plays out.

    The Trump administration has attempted to block refugees from certain majority-Muslim countries from immigrating, but the president said he might prioritize the applications of Christians from those same regions.

    And what about the treatment of religious minorities here at home? We hear almost nothing about their protection. And unlike the 70 percent of Americans who claim to be Christian, these minorities are actually at risk.

    There have been several well-publicized stories in recent years about citizens in majority-Christian neighborhoods in this country attempting to block the construction of mosques. Nary a peep is heard from many conservative religious-liberty groups in these cases. Those that do speak up are chastised into silence.

    Today, religious liberty is more than a core value. It’s also policy agenda. It describes the desire to dismantle Obamacare and, perhaps most important, to shield Christian business owners who refuse service to LGBT people.

    Just as conservatives co-opted the seemingly harmless phrase “family values” in the 1980s and 1990s to provide cover for their crusade against same-sex marriage, so now they often use “religious liberty” as a dog whistle to signal the “right” to discriminate against same-sex couples.

    Historically, Americans have believed that the ocean of religious liberty stops at the shore of the common good. One might recall Southern Christians’ efforts to use their religion as an excuse to deny service to black Americans at lunch counters during the civil rights movement. That effort failed then, but today a new generation of Christians is attempting to revive old arguments while hiding behind a revamped notion of “religious liberty.”

    Sessions’s Justice Department task force is just one more effort to establish Trump’s vision of religious liberty. At the announcement ceremony, Sessions spoke of both the president’s promise to reinstate “Merry Christmas” and of “nuns ordered to buy contraception” as a result of Obamacare. (To be clear, Obamacare does not require anyone to purchase contraception but rather requires that most organizations provide health-care plans that cover it.)

    Also speaking at the ceremony was Jack Phillips, the conservative Christian Colorado baker who gained fame for his refusal to make a cake for a gay couple’s wedding. Archbishop Joseph E. Kurtz of Louisville, speaking at the event, offered a full-throated rationale for why Americans need such a task force: “When activists try to force Christian ministries into violating their consciences, they force Christians into a bind.”

    It’s fair to say that our founders would hardly recognize what is now called religious liberty. As conservatives seek to remake this phrase, we the people must decide whether we will accept this redefinition.

    Many Americans — including many Jesus-worshiping Christians like me — believe this linguistic shift is a bad turn that should be resisted. After all, religious liberty is for everyone, or it is for no one at all.”

    Reply
    • posted by Matthew on

      “Religious freedom” is an antisemitic homophobic dog whistle. It’s time for gays and Jews to start calling out heterosexual perversion and gentile blasphemy.

      Reply

Leave a Comment