The Des Moines Register talked about a woman who was raised as a Lutheran from a first-person perspective.
The woman, Kimberly Glassman, pointed to a slippery slope argument of some of the Conservatives. She characterized the argument in the following terms, “If people can love and marry people of their same sex, then there’s nothing to stop them from demanding the right to love and marry their parakeets or their microwave ovens.”
She does not agree with this argument. Glassman argued the slipperiest slopes come with (fundamentalist) religion. The example being the Supreme Court in the United States with the interpretation of religion and the phrase “sincere and meaningful belief.”
The belief does not have to incorporate a Deity, some ultimate existent thing. Since the idea is a sincere and meaningful belief without the need for a Supreme Being, Glassman notes that this is not even needing to be in the scope of the First Amendment in terms of the gathering together of a bunch of like-minded individuals.
Then these people can get a bunch of superb tax breaks and protections against the social and cultural milieu’s criticism.
Glass queries, “Don’t want to get your children vaccinated? Declare a sincerely held belief. Don’t want to bake a wedding cake for two women? Trot out your abiding faith in a just and loving — of some people — God. Don’t want to uphold your Hippocratic oath if the patient doesn’t conform to your view of right and normal? Get Congress to pass a law protecting your appalling lack of ethics or simple humanity as a ‘religious freedom.’”
She further notes that this does not have to include the Bible or the Quran, or a Theity, but, rather, simply needs to include religion.
She relates the idea of White supremacists who remain a “clear and present danger” to American society. Glassman imagines seeing people flying a Nazi flag while walking down the flag.
“If I were to see one walking down the street flying the Nazi flag, would I be within my First Amendment rights to hit him with my car? Probably not. What if I were an EMT and my ambulance came upon him bleeding in the street? Could I refuse to administer medical assistance or carry him to the hospital?”
She asks these great questions. Glassman does this to illustrate the absurd privilege of religion above other systems and categories in the United States to exemplify the undue deference to religion.
Glassman continued, “Your sincerely held belief might be that left-handedness is the mark of Satan. After all, only about 10 percent of the population is left-handed. It is clearly not ‘normal,’” she said.
What about the banning of the scissors for the left-handed and the blacklisting of the switching sides baseball players when at the plate to bat. There could be the denial of jobs and housing to those who are left-handed and why not. I would be a faith-based initiative and religious freedom issue.
Why is religious freedom a valid excuse for bigotry and denial of the fundamental rights of others?
Original publication in Humanist Voices.
Scott Douglas Jacobsen is the Founder of In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal and In-Sight Publishing. He authored/co-authored some e-books, free or low-cost. If you want to contact Scott: Scott.D.Jacobsen@Gmail.com.
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