Sunday, June 30, 2013

Tim Carney on the threat to religious liberty

"Try to live your own life according to traditional values, and the state will come after you, and compel you live according to its values." He details how wedding photographers and florists are being attacked for their worldview, with the key part being:
How does Ferguson justify using the power of the state to impose his morality? "If Ms. Stutzman sells flowers to heterosexual couples," the Seattle Post-Intelligencer quotes Ferguson saying, "she must sell them to same-sex couples."  But obviously Stutzman did sell flowers to same-sex couples, happily - that's why this particular client was a long-time customer. What she refuses to do is participate in a ceremony that the state calls marriage, but which she doesn't consider to be marriage.
That's just the tip of the iceberg. As Ben Domenech notes, churches will essentially be roped off from doing anything but services in some states that do not pass strong religious liberty protections. Even in Illinois, a gay marriage bill was opposed in the legislature precisely because of how restrictive it was of those rights. Europe has largely eschewed any protections:
In contradiction of this view, the Council of Europe affirmed in 2007 that “states must require religious leaders to take an unambiguous stand in favour of the precedence of human rights, as set forth in the European Convention of Human Rights, over any religious principle.”

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