‘Shocking’ Liberty

The U.S. Commission on Civil Rights released a report on Sept. 7 that calls for reining in religious liberty protections in favor of nondiscrimination statutes aimed at protecting L.G.B.T. Americans. “The phrases ‘religious liberty’ and ‘religious freedom’ will stand for nothing except hypocrisy so long as they remain code words for discrimination, intolerance, racism, sexism, homophobia, Islamophobia, Christian supremacy or any form of intolerance,” the chairman of the commission, Martin R. Castro, wrote in the report. Archbishop William Lori of Baltimore, who chairs the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Subcommittee on Religious Liberty, called those comments “shocking” and “reckless.” He warned that the church’s vast social services network could cease to exist if conscience protections are tossed aside. “We do not seek to impose our morality on anyone, but neither can we sacrifice it in our own lives and work,” he said. “The vast majority of those who speak up for religious liberty are merely asking for the freedom to serve others as our faith asks of us.

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Richard Booth
1 year 2 months ago
As far as it goes, Chairman Castro's endorsement is not problematic, if what he means is that the phrase "religious liberty" is actually masking an agenda that discriminates against other persons. What we have no way of knowing is whether that phrase is disingenuous. We do know that forms of religious hegemony have had hidden agenda historically. So, in my view, the prelate is unnecessarily upset since some phraseology does, indeed, mask underlying intent. Of course, the editors gave us very little of the context in their brief, so it is difficult to draw conclusions that could be argued heartily. It would be good to link us not to a general website but, rather, to the document that Mr. Castro actually endorsed. That would be more honest referencing, in my opinion.

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