The Problem of Religious Freedom

  1. There is a problem with religious exemptions to laws. If a law requires a religious exemption, it is most likely trampling all over religious belief and practice. And in fact, it is probably an unnecessary law that extends governmental authority into places it ought not go.
  2. Share
    If there is a religious exemption for paying for contraception, there should be one for the non-religious pro-lifers, too.
  3. Religion does not confer upon us more rights than does disbelief. In this case from 2001, for instance, the Supreme Court agrees:
  4. And it is easy to see why this is so. The government must not be in the position of determining what is and is not religion, or proper religion, nor of winnowing good religion from bad religion 

    Moreover, people hold strong views that they might not care to characterize as religious. Sometimes these views are in line with what other people believe who do hold them as religious beliefs. Does that mean that the viewpoint is any less valid, since it is arrived at from a non-religious perspective? 

    For instance, our Constitution declares pretty clearly that we have the right to Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Property. Further, the Declaration of Independence states the defense of rights like these is the very purpose for which we have government.

    So if murder is illegal, the only question is at what age or condition does it start being illegal. When does life legally begin? The choices seem obvious — some point after birth, at birth, between birth and conception, and at conception.  I don’t see how the law can pinpoint the time or state of development between conception and birth at which to say life begins. The state of the art of prenatal medicine is advancing so quickly, and the differences in neonatal development between individuals so great, that no law can move quickly enough or decide cleverly enough the exact circumstances under which one child is alive and the next one not yet alive.

    Indeed, every fertilized egg has a different DNA, the same one it will have if allowed to grow into an adult. To end a pregnancy prematurely, therefore, is ending a human life.

    Others claim the baby in the womb is property belonging to its mother, but I disagree. We don’t allow humans to be owned.

  5. Share
    My objection to abortion is a libertarian and scientific one. Why am I penalized because I don’t have a certain religious view?
  6. If a Catholic religious organization receives an exemption from a law, then I demand the same exemption, since my views are aligned almost exactly with the Church, but my arguments, save for the unnecessary point of deferring to our Founders’ view of government’s purpose, are wholly secular.
  7. Share
    In fact, I am a confirmed Catholic, but the Church’s teaching on abortion only confirms my own views. I was pro-life before I was Catholic.
  8. The problem here is with a law for which a religious organization needs an exemption in the first place. Rather than granting an exemption, the entire law should be struck down.

    Problem solved.

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