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Wed Feb 27, 2013, 12:20 PM

Faith in Values: Misusing Religious Freedom to Cloak Intolerance

http://www.americanprogress.org/issues/religion/news/2013/02/27/54696/misusing-religious-freedom-to-cloak-intolerance/


Former U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton defends the rights of gay and transgender people from around the world in a speech entitled "Free and Equal in Dignity and Rights" at the United Nations in Geneva, Switzerland, on December 6, 2011, International Human Rights Day.

By Sally Steenland | February 27, 2013

At a conference last spring, the head of the Virginia Catholic Conference spelled out the strategy that his group used to pass a state law allowing private adoption and foster care organizations receiving state funds to reject same-sex couples applying to care for children. Jeffrey F. Caruso, executive director of the Virginia Catholic Conference, said his organization modeled its bill on similar legislation in North Dakota—the first state in the nation to pass such a law. Caruso was careful to emphasize that he and his organization were not breaking new ground in the legislation. After going through the messaging that helped the bill to pass, Caruso urged conference participants to return to their states and pass similar laws in order to “lock in conscience protections while we still can.”

The conference at which Caruso spoke was sponsored by the Ethics and Public Policy Center and focused on “rising threats to religious liberty.” One speaker after another warned that religious freedoms were under unprecedented assault, especially when it came to sexual matters involving contraception and gay and transgender rights.* Listening to them you might have thought that anti-God forces were everywhere, punishing “good” people for their traditional views and harassing them for their refusal to bow down to a dangerous secular ideology.

Indeed, Caruso lamented that although his organization had acted thoughtfully and out of conscience—even going so far as to showcase birth mothers who shared their values and offer statistics highlighting how many children Catholic Charities served in Virginia—and even though the adoption bill passed—the story line in the news was that religious agencies wanted to be exempt from laws forbidding discrimination.

The frustration of Caruso and others at the conference was palpable. Why were their religious beliefs—the same beliefs that made this nation great, they argued—now seen as expressions of intolerance and bigotry? Why wasn’t their moral vigilance valued? How had they failed to make the public heed this crisis and understand the ominous future we would all face if religious liberty lost and the secularists won?

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Reply Faith in Values: Misusing Religious Freedom to Cloak Intolerance (Original post)
cbayer Feb 2013 OP
pennylane100 Feb 2013 #1
pinto Feb 2013 #2
cbayer Feb 2013 #3
pinto Feb 2013 #4
cbayer Feb 2013 #5

Response to cbayer (Original post)

Wed Feb 27, 2013, 12:26 PM

1. Hilary and Elizabeth, 2016.

My dream ticket.

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Response to cbayer (Original post)

Wed Feb 27, 2013, 12:48 PM

2. The meme that contraception, gays and transgenders are "threats to religious liberty"

is ridiculous. That's stating the obvious, I guess. Yet the religious right sure has made political hay out of it.

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Response to pinto (Reply #2)

Wed Feb 27, 2013, 01:00 PM

3. Actually, the neocons made hay out of it by politically mining the fundamentalists that

held those things to be true.

But I think the pendulum is swinging.

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Response to cbayer (Reply #3)

Wed Feb 27, 2013, 01:31 PM

4. Yeah, a two way street. Agree, I think the pendulum is swinging.

Inevitably.

Was at my niece's wedding this weekend. It had many of the traditional components - a minister, a request to bless the couple, the individual vows, the rings, and a neat statement from the minister before the kiss - "We, your family and friends, recognize you as husband and wife. Let's all celebrate this union!" And we did.

These twenty and thirty somethings snagged the heart of the thing. Left the rest behind.



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Response to pinto (Reply #4)

Wed Feb 27, 2013, 01:44 PM

5. So glad to hear that it went well. Sounds beautiful.

I could use a good wedding (and cry). They always renew me.

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