Using “Religious Liberty” to Hide Religious Overreach

By: Wednesday October 10, 2012 7:09 pm

We have been hearing plenty about “religious liberty” lately. Now let’s see who’s using the term “religious liberty” in a novel way, trying to conceal a campaign of religious overreach.

The issue has to do with the faith-based legal challenges to the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Recently, a Missouri mining and manufacturing holding company, O’Brien Industrial Holdings, filed a lawsuit against the U. S. Department of Health and Human Services.

The lawsuit challenges the ACA employer requirement to include birth control coverage in employees’ health insurance. The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), along with the American Civil Liberties Union of Eastern Missouri filed an amicus brief supporting the ACA contraception rule. The brief examines the O’Brien complaint and considers the arguments in light of modern legal history.

Bigotry Again Masquerading as Religious Liberty

By: Saturday June 16, 2012 9:00 am

In the 1850s and 60s, there were slaveholders who justified their ways by appealing to their religious beliefs. In the 1950s and 60s, there were segregationists who screamed “religious liberty” when their practices were questioned. Today, it’s the US Conference of Catholic Bishops doing the same with regard to laws and regulations that attempt to protect the rights of women to equal treatment, and anti-gay crusaders who want a religious exemption to continue their anti-gay ways.

In 1983, though, the US Supreme Court ruled in Bob Jones University v US that shouting “religious liberty!” is not a magic incantation that automatically frees the speaker from the laws of society. As Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. — no hater of the church — wrote, “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.”

Even, or especially, when that injustice is perpetrated in the name of religious liberty.

Liberty Counsel Eagerly Smears Transgender Community and Macy’s Over Non-Discrmination Policy

By: Wednesday December 14, 2011 9:20 am

With the recent case of the former Macy’s employee, Natalie Johnson, who was fired because she harassed a transgender customer, the right wing group, the Liberty Counsel, is acting as if it won the lottery, spnning the incident on Fox News as a violation of religious liberty.

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