Tag: Religious Liberty

Please Stop Celebrating the Naked Public Square

 

RFRA_Indianapolis_Protests_-_2015_-_Justin_Eagan_02-615x458Fifteen years ago, as a college undergraduate, I had the opportunity to visit Yad Vashem, Israel’s official memorial to the victims of the Holocaust. It’s an interesting place, and some parts are quite moving. Nearly everyone comes away haunted by the Children’s Memorial, commemorating the 1.5 million Jewish children killed in the Holocaust. For me though, another very memorable bit was the main museum, which told the story of the Holocaust from an angle I hadn’t seen before.

Of course, I had studied the Holocaust in school and seen the classic movies. I had heard the pious cliche (laughable when you think about it) that “this is disturbing but we study it anyway so that this can never happen again.” But when American schoolteachers cover the Holocaust, the impression they give is that the extermination of Jews just resulted from a random outpouring of wild-eyed hatred, which could as easily have fallen on short people or green-eyed people or anybody else who happened to be a little different. Yad Vashem’s narrative was much more attentive to the fact that it was not short people or green-eyed people who were hated and killed; it was Jews. And that really wasn’t a point of random happenstance.

In the end, that museum basically amounts to a kind of apologia for the State of Israel. (This also explains another slightly eerie thing about Yad Vashem, which is that it is usually packed with armed and uniform-clad IDF soldiers. I gathered a visit to the museum was a normal part of their training.) It certainly gave my 20-year-old self a lot to consider. That was the first time I understood the really interesting (and tragic) thing about the Holy Land, which is that everybody there has a victim complex and, as inconvenient as that is politically, everybody there has some justification for having a victim complex. Their “victim narratives” ring true, at least to a considerable extent.

Liberty, Religion, and Basketball

 

Kentucky-Wildcats-vs-Wisconsin-BadgersCome with me in imagination to a place that certainly exists somewhere in this country. It’s a small food vendor — a restaurant, bakery, pizza parlor, or what you choose — that happens to be owned by a University of Kentucky graduate. Today, he’s a disappointed, even bitter Wildcat fan whose mood is not in the least improved when a nice guy with a Midwestern accent breezes through the door. In red. Whistling “On, Wisconsin!”

Now, let’s hope the guy behind the counter stays polite, but we know the Badger will get his pizza or ice cream; it would be outrageously unthinkable that — even at his bitterest — the Kentucky grad would deny service to someone just because he’s from Wisconsin.

But suppose the customer isn’t after a slice of pizza. He’s planning a big party to watch Wisconsin take Duke down on Monday. Maybe he even wants a cake that says “Go Badgers!”

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The left gets more surrealistic all the time.  One of its latest ideas is to ban any religion that says anything harsher than “You’re ok!” to anyone–and all in the name of liberty. Much of the left has completely forgotten, but it has some deep roots.  One of them reaches down to John Locke.  Let’s call Locke’s idea […]

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One Quote And Three Questions on Religious Liberty

 

7131116_376b8e9da2_zOn the Volokh Conspiracy, Eric Rassbach writes the following on the rise in religious liberty cases in the United States:

Imagine a…Venn diagram of fields of human activity, with the field of government regulation represented as a sphere, and the field of religious activity represented as another, intersecting sphere. Religious liberty conflicts arise within the overlap between the sphere of government regulation and the sphere of religious activity. When either sphere expands over time, the set of potential conflicts increases. When either sphere contracts, there is less overlap and less potential conflict.

He continues:

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Via Dennis Prager’s Facebook page, a reminder from WND that even in Texas government is a circus.  Officials with the city of Houston, Texas, who are defending a controversial ordinance that would allow men to use women’s restrooms now have demanded to see the sermons preached by several area pastors. [….] Preview Open

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I have always tried to argue that there is a very serious civil outcome to redefining marriage, and it has nothing to do with religious liberty or the idea of “sacramental marriage.”  Since marriage is society’s primary way of acknowledging and understanding parenthood, redefining marriage redefines parenthood. Here in California, the affects of “SSM” and redefining parenthood […]

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This is a shameless request: I’m looking for a solid biography of Thomas Jefferson, and I want suggestions. From my reading on other Founding Fathers, Jefferson often doesn’t come out looking too wonderful.  This is partly because of the man’s genuine flaws, and I know that I quite frankly disagree with him probably on more […]

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Religious Extremist Cabbies Refuse to Promote ‘Gay Games’

 

First it was wedding cake bakers, then  photographers, and now it’s cabbies. When will GLAAD, the ACLU, and the courts rid our society of these intolerant Christian fascists forcing our LGBT brothers and sisters back into their closets?!

Roughly 25 Muslim drivers dispatched to Cleveland Hopkins International Airport are refusing to drive cabs adorned with advertising for the region’s upcoming Gay Games, citing religious reasons.

On Individual Liberty and Vaccinations — Troy Senik

 

Here in Nashville for a couple of weeks — the closest thing I have to therapy — I’ve been perusing the local press, partially as a means of playing one of my favorite games: “Spot the Contrast with California.”

It takes only one item to underscore the difference. The big economic fight right now in Tennessee — a state that already has no general income tax and is in the process of phasing out its estate tax— is whether the Hall Tax, a levy on income from stocks and bonds, is also destined for repeal. We’re not in Los Angeles anymore, Toto.

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A very thought provoking piece by Yuval Levin over on The Corner. In it he elucidates the very distinct differences in how liberals and conservatives view religious freedom.  Liberals see religious liberty as freeing individuals from oppressive traditional ideologies, whereas conservatives see religious liberty as prerequisite to conserving liberty and enabling a diverse society.  The […]

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The Libertarian Podcast: Hobby Lobby, ObamaCare, and Religious Liberty

 

On this week’s installment of The Libertarian Podcast, I lead Professor Epstein through a discussion of the challenges to Obamacare’s contraception mandate currently before the Supreme Court. Is the right to religious liberty different (or non-existent) for corporations as opposed to individuals? Would allowing non-participation in the mandate create a slippery slope towards opt-out government? Is the Obama Administration’s case actually weakened by the fact that it’s already granted exemptions to explicitly religious organizations? Those are just a few of the questions Richard answers in this week’s episode

Repressive Tolerance

 

In the ’60s, the philosopher Herbert Marcuse proposed a new standard for tolerance that specifically excluded perspectives the Left deemed repressive. Giving air to conservative perspectives was “repressive tolerance,” in Marcuse’s coinage. Far from an underground radical viewpoint, this degenerated view of speech is becoming mainstream in academia.

A recent Harvard Crimson op-ed reprises Marcuse’s theme well: “If our university community opposes racism, sexism, and heterosexism, why should we put up with research that counters our goals simply in the name of ‘academic freedom’?” And we are already aware of the Inquisition-like tactics used in the climate debate. “When we’ve finally gotten serious about global warming, when the impacts are really hitting us and we’re in a full worldwide scramble to minimize the damage, we should have war crimes trials for these bastards—some sort of climate Nuremberg.”