Religious liberty vs. civil rights: A balancing act

Feb 28, 2014 Full story: Courier-Post 162

Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer may have ended the latest controversy in her state by vetoing a "religious freedom" bill that threatened gay men and lesbians, but the nation's legislatures and courts are just getting started.

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“TAKIA AND TA TONKA”

Since: Aug 08

HAPPY TOGETHER!!!

#1 Feb 28, 2014
From the article:
"What ends up happening is that religious beliefs trump the Constitution, and people can pick and choose the laws they want to obey," she said. "It enshrines discrimination as a religious belief."

This is WHY these so called Protect Religious Freedom Acts will be ruled UNCONSTITUTIONAL.........the folks invoking their "DEEPLY" held religious beliefs are in fact hiding behind and using their beliefs to trump NOT only the Constitution, but more specifically the "DEEPLY" held religious beliefs that are different than those who are Evangelistic Fundamentalists!!!

These bills are NOTHING more than a way for folks to claim that because of my faith, I can discriminate against another......SCOTUS in my opinion will NEVER allow that to happen!!!

“Together for 24, legal for 5”

Since: Sep 07

Littleton, NH

#2 Feb 28, 2014
Actually, there is no trick to balancing this issue. Freedom of religion refers to your private practice and beliefs. It would be absurd for the constitution to protect some sort of right to impose your beliefs onto others: Different people's conflicting beliefs could not be resolved in the public square.

Following lunch counter sit-ins and the end of separate-but-equal, society decided that the marketplace works best when everyone works together, leaving all those religious quibbles outside. That is what the photographer and the baker need to do.

The alternative is a balkanized society with various factions refusing to work together and antagonizing one another.

“ WOOF ! ”

Since: Nov 12

33.00, -111.51

#3 Feb 28, 2014
NorCal Native wrote:
From the article:
"What ends up happening is that religious beliefs trump the Constitution, and people can pick and choose the laws they want to obey," she said. "It enshrines discrimination as a religious belief."
This is WHY these so called Protect Religious Freedom Acts will be ruled UNCONSTITUTIONAL.........the folks invoking their "DEEPLY" held religious beliefs are in fact hiding behind and using their beliefs to trump NOT only the Constitution, but more specifically the "DEEPLY" held religious beliefs that are different than those who are Evangelistic Fundamentalists!!!
These bills are NOTHING more than a way for folks to claim that because of my faith, I can discriminate against another......SCOTUS in my opinion will NEVER allow that to happen!!!
These state bills are specifically modeled after the federal law which was gleefully signed into law by DEMOCRAT Bill Clinton. Why don't you complain to him and the Democrats for signing it into federal law in the first place ?

Since: Dec 08

El Paso, TX

#4 Feb 28, 2014
nhjeff wrote:
Actually, there is no trick to balancing this issue. Freedom of religion refers to your private practice and beliefs. It would be absurd for the constitution to protect some sort of right to impose your beliefs onto others: Different people's conflicting beliefs could not be resolved in the public square.
Following lunch counter sit-ins and the end of separate-but-equal, society decided that the marketplace works best when everyone works together, leaving all those religious quibbles outside. That is what the photographer and the baker need to do.
The alternative is a balkanized society with various factions refusing to work together and antagonizing one another.
Calling a spade a spade, they want a theocracy. The same thing the pilgrims to this great nation came here to avoid.
Xavier Breath

Brooklyn, NY

#5 Feb 28, 2014
nhjeff wrote:
Actually, there is no trick to balancing this issue. Freedom of religion refers to your private practice and beliefs. It would be absurd for the constitution to protect some sort of right to impose your beliefs onto others: Different people's conflicting beliefs could not be resolved in the public square.
Following lunch counter sit-ins and the end of separate-but-equal, society decided that the marketplace works best when everyone works together, leaving all those religious quibbles outside. That is what the photographer and the baker need to do.
The alternative is a balkanized society with various factions refusing to work together and antagonizing one another.
EXCELLENT!
Xavier Breath

Brooklyn, NY

#6 Feb 28, 2014
Fa-Foxy wrote:
<quoted text>
These state bills are specifically modeled after the federal law which was gleefully signed into law by DEMOCRAT Bill Clinton. Why don't you complain to him and the Democrats for signing it into federal law in the first place ?
Because he did us a favor in the long run. DOMA stopped the push for a constitutional amendment, which is much harder to repeal than legislation.

“ WOOF ! ”

Since: Nov 12

33.00, -111.51

#7 Feb 28, 2014
TomInElPaso wrote:
<quoted text>
Calling a spade a spade, they want a theocracy. The same thing the pilgrims to this great nation came here to avoid.
Although the Pilgrims, a subset of the Puritans, did not embrace religious freedom.

“TAKIA AND TA TONKA”

Since: Aug 08

HAPPY TOGETHER!!!

#8 Feb 28, 2014
Fa-Foxy wrote:
<quoted text>
These state bills are specifically modeled after the federal law which was gleefully signed into law by DEMOCRAT Bill Clinton. Why don't you complain to him and the Democrats for signing it into federal law in the first place ?
Are you referring to DOMA? You are aware that DOMA is NOT the same as these Religious Freedom Acts, right? and only Section 2 of DOMA remains and it will also eventually be found Unconstitutional.

“ reality, what a concept”

Since: Nov 07

this one

#9 Feb 28, 2014
Arizona already has a Religious Freedom Protection Act on the books, when it comes to the free expression of "deeply held religious beliefs", the scales are tilted in favor of the believer. Think of them as an American Disabilities Act for believers. There is a federal one too, but it hasn't applied to the states for 16-17 years now, 17 other states have them. "Deeply held religious beliefs "need to be accommodated and you need a damn good reason not to. They were meant to protect little kids who wanted to write essays on Jesus in public schools and women wearing hijabs to work. Punishing people for otherwise legal acts, not something the government or businesses ought to be doing. This little amendment was another kettle of fish entirely. It shifted this tilt in favor of the believers to extend to punishing them for potentially civilly liable and criminal acts as things that the government and businesses ought to be doing. It's no wonder that that brakes were screeching all over the place.

I think it was the sound of the NFL tapping the brakes on the 2015 Super Bowl Wednesday morning, that scared Brewer the most.

“ WOOF ! ”

Since: Nov 12

33.00, -111.51

#10 Feb 28, 2014
NorCal Native wrote:
<quoted text>
Are you referring to DOMA? You are aware that DOMA is NOT the same as these Religious Freedom Acts, right? and only Section 2 of DOMA remains and it will also eventually be found Unconstitutional.
NO. I was NOT referring to DOMA.

The Religious Freedom Restoration Act of 1993, Pub. L. No. 103-141, 107 Stat. 1488 (November 16, 1993), codified at 42 U.S.C. 2000bb through 42 U.S.C. 2000bb-4 (also known as RFRA), is a 1993 United States federal law aimed at preventing laws that substantially burden a person's free exercise of their religion.

The bill was gleefully signed into law by DEMOCRAT Bill Clinton. SCOTUS ruled the law unconstitutional as applied to the states

“Marriage Equality”

Since: Dec 07

Lakeland, MI

#11 Feb 28, 2014
TomInElPaso wrote:
<quoted text>
Calling a spade a spade, they want a theocracy. The same thing the pilgrims to this great nation came here to avoid.
Yet, the minute they got here, the Pilgrims immediately setup exactly that--a totally theocratic government for themselves.

But they were fundies. Fundies always want a theocratic government--as long as it's THEIR theology that's behind it.
Frontline FIghter

Brownsville, PA

#12 Feb 28, 2014
NorCal Native wrote:
From the article:
"What ends up happening is that religious beliefs trump the Constitution, and people can pick and choose the laws they want to obey," she said. "It enshrines discrimination as a religious belief."
This is WHY these so called Protect Religious Freedom Acts will be ruled UNCONSTITUTIONAL.........the folks invoking their "DEEPLY" held religious beliefs are in fact hiding behind and using their beliefs to trump NOT only the Constitution, but more specifically the "DEEPLY" held religious beliefs that are different than those who are Evangelistic Fundamentalists!!!
These bills are NOTHING more than a way for folks to claim that because of my faith, I can discriminate against another......SCOTUS in my opinion will NEVER allow that to happen!!!
".....people can pick and choose the laws they want to obey,"

Hmmm, sounds familiar. Oh yes! That is exactly what Obama and Eric Holder have been doing.

“Marriage Equality”

Since: Dec 07

Lakeland, MI

#13 Feb 28, 2014
And STILL, not ONE example from these idiots of how their religious beliefs or practices are being infringed upon by other people getting civilly married. Not one.

“TAKIA AND TA TONKA”

Since: Aug 08

HAPPY TOGETHER!!!

#14 Feb 28, 2014
Fa-Foxy wrote:
<quoted text>
NO. I was NOT referring to DOMA.
The Religious Freedom Restoration Act of 1993, Pub. L. No. 103-141, 107 Stat. 1488 (November 16, 1993), codified at 42 U.S.C. 2000bb through 42 U.S.C. 2000bb-4 (also known as RFRA), is a 1993 United States federal law aimed at preventing laws that substantially burden a person's free exercise of their religion.
The bill was gleefully signed into law by DEMOCRAT Bill Clinton. SCOTUS ruled the law unconstitutional as applied to the states
Okay, then it has already been taken care of, right? Why would I go and complain to Bill Clinton about a bill done over 20 years ago?

“ WOOF ! ”

Since: Nov 12

33.00, -111.51

#15 Feb 28, 2014
NorCal Native wrote:
<quoted text>
Okay, then it has already been taken care of, right? Why would I go and complain to Bill Clinton about a bill done over 20 years ago?
The law was ruled unconstitutional by SCOTUS only as far as it being applied tot he states. The law is constitutional, and is still applied to all jurisdictions subject to federal law. The state bills in question are specifically modeled after this federal law.

“TAKIA AND TA TONKA”

Since: Aug 08

HAPPY TOGETHER!!!

#16 Feb 28, 2014
Frontline FIghter wrote:
<quoted text>
".....people can pick and choose the laws they want to obey,"
Hmmm, sounds familiar. Oh yes! That is exactly what Obama and Eric Holder have been doing.
They have? So, then you are okay with folks who claim to have a deeply held religious belief discriminating against ANYONE they wish, right?
Denver Dan

Sacramento, CA

#17 Feb 28, 2014
eJohn wrote:
And STILL, not ONE example from these idiots of how their religious beliefs or practices are being infringed upon by other people getting civilly married. Not one.
You feel like your religious freedoms are however. The one case with the baker in Colorado was an example. If he has to curb his religion at the door opening of the church then in fact he can't follow his beliefs.

I'm not wanting to get into another pissing match on this subject but that's what these people feel. Almost like telling gays they have to stop being gay once they leave their house when in fact they should have a full set of rights and abilities to say hold hands with their significant others without feeling pressured not to do so in public. It's really a balancing act because I think both sides have valid points in this debate.

“Together for 24, legal for 5”

Since: Sep 07

Littleton, NH

#18 Feb 28, 2014
TomInElPaso wrote:
<quoted text>
Calling a spade a spade, they want a theocracy. The same thing the pilgrims to this great nation came here to avoid.
Actually, the pilgrims came here to establish their own theocracy. You do remember the story of Roger Williams, right? Fortunately, later settlements were established with freedom of religion foremost in their founders' minds, most notably Pennsylvania. By the time of the revolution, freedom of religion was firmly established in the United States. And contrary to popular myth, those religions weren't all denominations of Christianity.

“Together for 24, legal for 5”

Since: Sep 07

Littleton, NH

#19 Feb 28, 2014
Denver Dan wrote:
<quoted text>
You feel like your religious freedoms are however. The one case with the baker in Colorado was an example. If he has to curb his religion at the door opening of the church then in fact he can't follow his beliefs.
I'm not wanting to get into another pissing match on this subject but that's what these people feel. Almost like telling gays they have to stop being gay once they leave their house when in fact they should have a full set of rights and abilities to say hold hands with their significant others without feeling pressured not to do so in public. It's really a balancing act because I think both sides have valid points in this debate.
Actually, it's more like forcing a restauranteur to serve a black person sitting at the counter. We've had this discussion. And unimpeded commerce won the argument.

“Together for 24, legal for 5”

Since: Sep 07

Littleton, NH

#20 Feb 28, 2014
Frontline FIghter wrote:
<quoted text>
".....people can pick and choose the laws they want to obey,"
Hmmm, sounds familiar. Oh yes! That is exactly what Obama and Eric Holder have been doing.
No, the Obama administration (and Justice Department) obeyed DOMA up until SCOTUS ruled it unconstitutional. They did not "pick and choose the laws they want to obey."

Holder did, however, assess the legal arguments and the resources available to the Justice Department. He deemed that trying to preserve DOMA was not an effective use of resources that were available to him.

He is a manager of a department. In government, charity, and the private sector, managers are charged with deploying limited resources. That always means prioritizing some things and not doing others. County prosecutors decide what charges to bring or to drop and which cases to settle. Local law enforcement decides which burglaries to pursue and whether or not to ticket j-walkers. Welfare charities decide which families to help with limited cash and which to drop. And private manufacturers determine which plants to build and which to close.

It is true that Holders' decision not to expend resources on the DOMA case was colored by his sense of justice. One would expect that. If the American people didn't like that, they could have elected a different President in 2012. Then a different Attorney General could have made a different decision about expending taxpayer resources. That's not the way it turned out.

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