At Best, a Knee-Jerk, Superficial Analysis: "Indiana Religious Freedom Restoration Act Allows Private Businesses to Discriminate Against Employees Based on Sexual Orientation," by Garrett Epps — Atlantic Mobile

04021501...even dressed in liturgical garments, hateful discrimination is still a pig. (Source.)

What a hypocritical and falsely assumptive ending that is!

Read his article, but then consider the following before jumping on his bandwagon:


Tom Usher

To avoid knee-jerk, superficial analyses and conclusions, I think it's necessary to look deeply into the issues surrounding the various Religious Freedom Restoration Acts.

Should a professional photographer be allowed to say to customers that, that photographer refuses to photograph certain ceremonies and do so on religious grounds? For instance, the Religious Freedom Restoration Act was successfully used by someone practicing animals sacrifices.

A necessary goat sacrifice: José Merced, Santeria priest

Most dominant religions in the United States think it’s all right to kill and eat goats but that you can’t do it in a residential neighborhood. But not all religions share that view.

Jose Merced moved to Euless, Texas, in 1990. A Santeria Oba Oriate, or priest, Merced had performed certain animal sacrifices essential to Santeria for 16 years. But in 2006, Euless said he had to stop. He sued the city on the grounds it had violated Texas’ Religious Freedom Restoration Act.

Modern-day Santeria originated in Cuba and is a syncretism of Western African tribal religion and Roman Catholicism. It engages spirits called orishas through the use of life force that it gets, at times, via sacrificed animals. Its practitioners worship in the home — there are only a couple Santeria temples in the world and none of them are in the United States — and on special occasions such as ordination the worship calls for sacrifice of four-legged animals in addition to other animals.

This practice is in conflict with all sorts of generally accepted codes in Texas. Merced won his case in 2009.

("10 Americans Helped By Religious Freedom Bills Like Indiana's")

Do you eat meat? Do you kill a lobster at home? Are you opposed to house churches? Do you insist that all religious practices be confined to non-residential institutional facilities?

It's odd that so many Christians are simultaneously condemned for not practicing their religion outside what are commonly termed Church buildings for worship. Christians are to love according to the Gospels but not discriminate even when the Gospels rightly call for discrimination (a term of several connotations).

Moreover if thy brother shall trespass against thee, go and tell him his fault between thee and him alone: if he shall hear thee, thou hast gained thy brother. But if he will not hear thee, then take with thee one or two more, that in the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established. And if he shall neglect to hear them, tell it unto the church: but if he neglect to hear the church, let him be unto thee as an heathen man and a publican. Verily I say unto you, Whatsoever ye shall bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever ye shall loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven. (Matthew 18:15-18 KJV)

It's no small matter. Of course, many atheists will scorn regardless, but atheists are protected by the free-exercise clause too. Take it away for the Christians and others and risk it coming back to haunt atheists when the pendulum swings back to religion of whatever type that sees it as a moral imperative to rid the world of unbelievers by any means necessary including mass beheadings. If you think it can't happen here, think again.

Should the photographer's religious beliefs against animal sacrifices be sacrificed for the sake of the protected religious beliefs of the sacrificer? Mind you, the photographer does accept jobs photographing other religious ceremonies?

Even if the sacrificer is unable to find any other professional photographers to do the work, would that even matter in terms of "least restrictive means"?

What makes homosexual marriage different? Surely it can't simply be a matter of numbers. The law is supposed to protect even the tiniest of minorities, even a minority of one. Can "compelling reason" be based upon numbers alone? Political "expediency" could be used in an attempt to make the case for that, but that's what we call the judicial system is for.

Should the line be drawn at public versus private concerning when a legal entity may use that system to argue one way or the other concerning religious free-exercise versus a governmentally claimed "compelling reason"?

Is the photographer now a "hater" with all the politically correct baggage attached to the term by so many in the pro-homosexuality movement? Perhaps the photographer had been joyfully servicing the sacrificer concerning all the other professional-photography needs of that sacrificer even while knowing that the sacrificer was just that. Is the photographer now to be bashed about as sacriphobic, as if the photographer's religious belief against animal sacrifices are somehow clinically irrational? Is the photographer's position really a "pig."

See also:

Remarkable Letter: "Dear Gay Community: Your Kids Are Hurting"

White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest's Very Ignorant/Illogical Reply Concerning Indiana Gov. Mike Pence

Remember When Democrats Supported Religious Freedom? Good Question.

Ridiculous: Lake Worth, Florida Thinks it Can Require Churches to Have a Business License

Wrong: "We're desperate to believe in something. But bringing God into economics is risky | Eliza Filby"


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Tax-exempt section 501(c)(3) organizations like churches, universities, and hospitals must follow the law regarding political campaigns. Unfortunately, some don't know the law.

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Many religious organizations believe, as we do, that the above constitutes a violation of the First Amendment of the US Constitution.

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

That said, we make the following absolutely clear here:

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  • It's not freedom of religion if they tax it.

And when they were come to Capernaum, they that received tribute money came to Peter, and said, Doth not your master pay tribute? He saith, Yes. And when he was come into the house, Jesus prevented him, saying, What thinkest thou, Simon? of whom do the kings of the earth take custom or tribute? of their own children, or of strangers? Peter saith unto him, Of strangers. Jesus saith unto him, Then are the children free. (Matthew 17:24-26)

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  • Tom Usher

    About Tom Usher

    Employment: 2008 - present, website developer and writer. 2015 - present, insurance broker. Education: Arizona State University, Bachelor of Science in Political Science. City University of Seattle, graduate studies in Public Administration. Volunteerism: 2007 - present, president of the Real Liberal Christian Church and Christian Commons Project.
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