Folks, this whole “religious rights” vs. “civil rights” thing is actually pretty easy.
Yes, we all have a right to embrace whatever religious beliefs we feel to be best (or none at all, if that’s how we feel). Religious freedom was one of the reasons this nation was populated, and for which it was created. And boy howdy, do we have a lot of different religious branches, sects, and churches in this country.
So, yes. You have a right to your beliefs. I have a right to mine. Everyone has a right to them. We also have the right NOT to have them encroached upon by agents of the Federal government— separation of church and state. See how that works?
We all have the right to practice our religious beliefs up to the point where IT VIOLATES THE LAW. Our legal system is secular, NOT religious in origin. It recognizes no single religious authority. It’s NOT Sharia— it’s the legal system of the United States of America, where no SINGLE religious dogma rules over any other. Again: SEPARATION OF CHURCH AND STATE.
If a state law DOES exhibit preference to the religious beliefs of any single religion over the rest, it’s unconstitutional. Because, say it again with me, SEPARATION OF CHURCH AND STATE.
If your religion tells you it’s okay to sacrifice your life in service to your prophet, fine, whatever. You go right ahead and believe that. But IF YOU TRY TO ACTUALLY DO IT, by strapping a load of C-4 to your chest and blowing up everyone at a marathon or public event, that’s NOT “protected.” Why is that? Because attempted murder is against the Civil Law.
If your religion tells you never to go to the hospital if you get sick because God will sort it out for you, fine, whatever. IF YOU ATTEMPT TO LET YOUR CHILDREN DIE OF MINOR INFECTIONS because you think God has judged them unfit to live, your actions are in violation of the Civil Law. Expect serious legal consequences to befall you.
Your right to believe anything you want is not in dispute. Your right to DO ANYTHING is exactly the same as that of anyone else in this country, and exists as long as you don’t violate the Civil Law.
Your religious rights end where the Civil Rights of others begin.
So, if your religious beliefs prevent you from performing a specific action or activity, that’s completely fine. Follow your conscience. Obey the divine will as you see it.
If that action or activity is something that is legally required in order for you to perform your job, then simply step down and resign that job in favor of another. Find a job that doesn’t conflict with your religious beliefs. There are a lot of people who have done that very thing during the history of our great country— stepping aside rather than being compelled to act against their conscience— and I admire the strength of their convictions for doing so.
But don’t expect to REFUSE to do your job and still draw that paycheck and collect those swell government benefits for doing it. Especially if your actions are discriminatory according to the Civil Law.
If you want to paint yourself as a martyr to your religion, at the VERY least have the common decency to accept the inconvenience that comes with the title— even if all that entails is losing your job because you refuse to actually DO that job.
It’s not hard to understand: Whether you be Christian, Jewish, Muslim, Mormon, Hindu, Pagan, or something else— understand that you are free to practice your religion right up to the point where it breaks the Civil Law. Cross that line, accept the consequences.
What could be simpler than that?