What is religious liberty? Religious Liberty means that you as an individual are free to practice your religion, of whatever faith you may subscribe to, in any way you so choose. In the United States, we have it written in the supreme law of the land; The Constitution! Not only is it in The Constitution, it is also the very first law. The very first sentence says;
“Congress shall make no law respecting the establishment of religion, nor prohibit the free exercise thereof…”
This is written in plain English and should be very simple to understand. However, many elements in this country disagree. The thing about Religious Liberty is that people have this delusion that it is “pandering to Christians”. The problem with this extremely flawed logic, is that these laws that are being passed right now in some states, encompasses each and every religion out there including but not limited to; Muslims, Satanists, Jews, and Hindi.
But what else does the 1st Amendment mean when talking about Religious Liberty? It also means that if a community like Tulsa Oklahoma, Austin Texas, Bloomfield New Mexico, Rutherford County Tennessee, or even the State of Kentucky wants to place a statue or post a picture of the 10 Commandments on government property; they can! Since when it placing a monument “creating a law respecting the establishment of religion”? If anything, it is creating a law prohibiting “the free exercise thereof” Besides, if you don’t believe in it; why do you care? It is just a piece of rock right? The community decided that they wanted it there! That was their CHOICE! The only argument you could have is; if someone wanted to build a statue of Satan, and Christian groups were trying to take legal action or create a law against it. Then they would be nothing more than hypocrites and should also not be able to succeed based off of the 1st Amendment.
Now, some states have passed “Religious Liberty” laws as I am sure many of you have already heard about. Opponents of these laws state that the laws are allowing business owners to discriminate against people by way of invidious discrimination. Before you ask what that is, I will tell you. Invidious discrimination means “treating a class of persons unequally in a manner that is malicious, hostile, or damaging.” Here is why this is not the case.
When using this argument, those on the left like to bring up the Jim Crow Laws. This in inapplicable because Jim Crow was a law that forced people to discriminate even if they didn’t want to. All religious liberty laws ask is that a handful of religious business owners not be legally coerced into using their creative talents in service of something they find morally or religiously objectionable.
Another factor that does not coincide with the theory of invidious discrimination is that the person who is denying the services to the individual is just an outright bigot. Someone who refuses to serve Gays, Blacks, Muslims, Christians, or what have you. This is not the case with these bakers, florists, etc. They have never refused service to anyone based off of their religion, gender, or sexual preference. They have only refused service for a particular act. Not because the individuals were gay.
Now ask yourself: Are homosexual men and women being denied access to all florists, photographers, and bakers everywhere? Absolutely not. But this was the experience of African Americans during the Jim Crow years, who were uniformly denied services altogether within the free market. Gays and lesbians, utilizing the free market, can go to the hundreds, if not thousands, of other businesses that are glad to accept their money in exchange for service.
Religious Liberty laws have nothing to do whatsoever with discriminating against people or persons. Respect and tolerance are essential qualities of a free society. But they require reciprocation. If one side demands respect and acceptance, is it not hypocritical not to expect the same from the other side? True diversity requires respecting individuals with a religious belief while also allowing for goods and services to be available for those who seek them.
The moral of this story is simple. When you have to start legislating “freedom” in this country, it is a sign that we have fallen too far from what our forefathers intended and envisioned for the American People. America used to be the “Land of the Free and the Home of the Brave” right? Now it appears that we have become the “Land of the politically correct, and the home of the easily offended”. The 1st Amendment does not protect you from being offended and your feelings being hurt. This is America! Suck it up! Stop trying to legislate people to think and believe like you do! Give the same respect to those who allow you to believe what you believe, to them as well. Just because you might not agree? Does not give you the right to silence them. It’s Common Sense!