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After Indiana: Harmonizing Gay Rights and Religious Freedom

After the furor directed at Indiana for enacting a religious freedom measure, some are asking whether it is possible to hit the reset button in the struggle over religious freedom and gay rights. Others are still scratching their heads: What exactly do these state versions of the 1993 Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA) do? Are they anti-gay? Should people who care about civil rights boycott any state considering them, in order to “take a stand against” RFRA?

Let’s cut through the rhetoric. RFRAs are not malign. They respond to instances when governments enact laws burdening religious practice, which happens in contexts far removed from gay rights. Governments pass traffic laws prohibiting steel wheels, a problem for Mennonites. Governments tell the Amish they must display orange, not gray, safety triangles on their horse-drawn buggies. Just last year, Kentucky authorities jailed 10 Amish men for refusing to display flashy triangles that “conflict with their pledge to live low-key and religious lives.”  The Amish had asked to use gray reflective tape instead, or to hang lanterns at night.

Confronted with heavy-headed regulations, people of goodwill think, “Really? The government can’t be more flexible?” RFRAs reflect the intuition that the government should not trammel religious believers simply because it can. They test whether there are compelling reasons for government to regulate and whether those purposes can be accomplished by less restrictive means.

So how did laws protecting religious believers against overreach get mixed up with gay rights?

Sadly, many religious believers themselves urged the linkage. Beginning with Arizona’s failed RFRA amendment last year, some religious believers said they needed RFRA to “stave off a rapid shift in favor of gay rights.” This is not an isolated comment. It is a refrain heard outside statehouses from Indiana to Arkansas to Georgia. Supporters of the Indiana RFRA said it would “help protect religious freedom in Indiana” by affirming that a “Christian business owner should not be forced by the government to permit a male cross-dresser to use the women’s restroom.” In Georgia, talk radio commentators said Georgia’s proposed RFRA “is needed to protect business owners who want to deny service to gays.”

To be clear, there are no gay rights in Indiana, Georgia, Arizona, or Arkansas to stave off. The statewide laws in all four states do not prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation in housing, employment, or public accommodations (although there are municipalities in each that provide these protections).

Even if there were such nondiscrimination laws, religious believers would almost certainly lose, RFRA or not. Nondiscrimination laws serve the compelling interest of ensuring that individuals are not fired for irrelevant characteristics. They serve the compelling interest of permitting lesbians and gays to be served in restaurants or to rent apartments like everyone else.

Americans support such protections in droves. And they should. Consider California prep-school football coach, Burke Wallace, who married his male partner, and was thereafter fired, he says, because of it. Having a gay football coach was a “bad idea,” in the opinion of some parents. In California, firing Wallace for this reason would be illegal. In Indiana, Arkansas, Arizona, and Georgia, it is not. If there is a “license to discriminate” in these states, it is not RFRA that created it. It is the absence of statewide laws banning discrimination based on one’s sexual orientation.

Not surprisingly, gay rights advocates challenge “the newly energized effort” to enact RFRAs “as almost entirely a reaction to the gay-rights movement.” When religious believers articulate the need for RFRAs as a way to keep gay rights in check, it is hard to dispute that claim.

Prominent religious leaders and others have scorched the Indiana legislature for amending the RFRA to clarify the legislature’s intent. Enacted under tremendous pressure, the Indiana “fix” simply provides that RFRA does not:

establish a defense to a civil action or criminal prosecution or refusal by a provider to offer or provide services, facilities, use of public accommodations, goods, employment, or housing to any member or members of the general public on the basis of race, color, religion, ancestry, age, national origin, disability, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, or United States military service.

Although the “fix” reflects in law how RFRAs are interpreted in practice, the president of the Southern Baptist Convention’s Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission Russell Moore called it a “train wreck” that must be defeated. Said Moore:

It is like paying ransom to a kidnapper—a complete abandonment of principle in the face of political pressure from those bent on redefining marriage and imposing a radical agenda on the country.

Georgia’s RFRA sponsor, Republican Senator Josh McKoon, opposed a similar amendment to a RFRA bill that ultimately failed, saying “That amendment would completely undercut the purpose of the bill.” The amendment would have made clear that “nothing in these sections shall be construed to establish or eliminate a defense to a civil action or criminal prosecution based on a federal, state, or local civil rights law.” Georgia Representative Roger Bruce, a Democrat, called McKoon on his opposition, saying McKoon claimed that the RFRA “was not intended to discriminate. Yet you say that the proposed changes would undermine the purposes of the bill. If that is the case then that tells me that the purpose of the bill is to discriminate.”

Civil rights carve-outs appear in other RFRAs, like those in Texas and Missouri. The text of any “civil rights carve-out” is important if RFRAs are to continue to police “low-profile conflicts between diverse religious practices and diverse laws and regulations,” as Professor Doug Laycock notes.

But when sponsors and religious leaders say that clarifications affirming that RFRA leaves civil rights law untouched represent a “complete abandonment of principle,” it sets back the cause of religious freedom.

The move to enact these laws comes at a time of great social change. A federal court struck down Indiana’s ban on same-sex marriage last year, as courts around the country have done. Because the bans were not repealed by legislation, the electorate, in some sense, finds itself unprepared—and unnerved.

Something more constructive could have been done from the get-go. At times of great social change, it is far better to find ways to live together in peace, without one person’s rights coming at the expense of another—or being seen as a way to stave off another’s rights.

In his post for Law and Liberty, Utah Republican state Senator Stuart Adams distilled lessons from that state’s recent legislative experience. Utah chose a different path: it advanced the rights of homosexuals and the religious faithful. Senator Adams knows of what he speaks: he shepherded the Utah Compromise through arguably the “reddest” state and legislature in America.

The Utah Compromise delivered up remarkable protections for the LGBT community. Utah now extends protections against discrimination in housing and hiring that surpass what even New York provides (the latter provides no explicit protections for transgender people).

In affording landmark protections to the LGBT community, the Utah legislature also gave religious believers important assurances against being penalized for holding traditional views. In Utah, no covered employee can be fired for expression of religious or political beliefs outside the workplace. No one can do a “Brendan Eich” in Utah and fire an employee for speech outside the workplace—in Eich’s case, for making a perfectly legal donation to the campaign for Prop 8 years before. Neither can an employer fire employees for attending a gay rights parade.

Just as our sexuality is non-negotiable, so, too, are our religious convictions.

As for religious and political speech in the work place, the Utah Compromise offers protection there as well. Employers may bar all talk of politics or religion, but if such speech is allowed, religious speech is on the same playing field. An employee can wear her cross to work, right next to her Equality Utah pin.

Perhaps most urgent for religious believers is the clarity the faith community receives in the Utah Compromise. Faith communities are struggling to sustain their received traditions about marriage in a world that recognizes same-sex marriage.

If care is not taken to be clear, sexual orientation protections that are about commercial services like taxis and large apartment buildings inadvertently spill over to a religious sacrament like marriage. Utah—like all the states that have voluntarily enacted same-sex marriage—went to great lengths in their statutes to be clear. For example, religious counseling that occurred before same-sex marriage can occur after, exactly as it did before. People of faith need to know how to proceed in a world that recognizes same-sex marriage and the Utah Compromise charts the way forward.

Protecting both sets of civil rights in the same set of legislation makes it clear that the extension of protections to the LGBT community need not wash out the uniquely religious character of faith communities. The lesson of Utah and Indiana is this: Harmonizing LGBT rights and religious liberty is not only right and decent, it is the key to calling a truce in what seems a relentless culture war.

Reader Discussion

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on April 21, 2015 at 12:05:29 pm

Governments pass traffic laws prohibiting Steel Wheels, a problem for Mennonites.

Who knew they were such Rolling Stones fans?

Nondiscrimination laws serve the compelling interest of ensuring that individuals are not fired for irrelevant characteristics. They serve the compelling interest of permitting lesbians and gays to be served in restaurants or to rent apartments like everyone else.

I’ve been probing to see if there’d be any support for a different point of view. Basically, I’m questioning 1) whether the interest you describe is really compelling, and 2) whether current anti-discrimination laws, where they conflict with freedom of religion/association, are narrowly tailored to achieve the relevant interest.

First, government has not articulated a general interest in prohibiting people from being fired for irrelevant characteristics; it has articulated an interest in keeping people from being fired for prohibited characteristics (that are unrelated to bona fide occupational qualifications).

Moreover, how important is it to keep gays from being fired – as opposed to ensuring that their employment/career is not impaired any more than any other similarly-situated person who is not gay? What if the principal at the private high school says to the football coach, “Hey, I heard you got a job offer to coach at our rival high school in our school district – you know, the one with characteristics and pay scales identical to our own? Anyway, as you ponder that job offer, I just wanted to say congratulations and you’re fired. My religion tells me that it’s wrong to put homosexuals into role models for youth. And now that I know you have a comparable position to move to, I’m going to act on my faith.”

In short, if a discriminator is willing to bear the burden of providing a member of a protected class with information about where in the vicinity she can find comparable employment/housing/public accommodation at comparable terms, would that suffice to fulfill the compelling state interest?

Admittedly, the employment hypotheticals get pretty far-fetched. But housing doesn’t seem like such a stretch, at least in places where housing is abundant (although there is case law declaring that no interest in a plot of land can be deemed comparable to an interest in a separate plot). And anyway, public accommodations would be a snap: Imagine a sign by the restaurant door: “Due to religious conviction, management respectfully declines to serve homosexuals at this this Appleby’s franchise. Please note that the neighboring TGI Friday’s is happy to serve homosexuals. We regret this inconvenience; please take a TGI Friday’s coupon with our compliments.”

Recall that the 1964 Civil Rights Act was upheld as an exercise of the Commerce Clause. If members of suspect categories have actual access to jobs, housing, and public accommodations, would it really impair commerce among the states to know that there are also comparable jobs, housing, and public accommodations to which they do not have access?

The obvious interest my policy does not address is a dignity interest. Congress talked about the importance of vindicating people’s dignity when they adopted the ’64 Civil Rights Act.

But this gets tricky. If your faith tells you that I am an abomination, and that you have a duty to spread your faith, do you nevertheless have a duty to constrain your free exercise of religion to vindicate my dignity interest? Does the fact that you’ve chosen to enter into the employer/landlord/public accommodation business mean that you’ve implicitly agreed to time/place/manner restrictions on your free exercise of religion? And recall that “public accommodation” at the state level involves photographers, bakers, etc.

I agree that government needs to tread with care where the dignity of private parties is concerned. But where there’s a conflict between the perspectives of private parties, does government really have a compelling interest to uphold one person’s dignity at the expense of another person’s free exercise?

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nobody.really
on April 21, 2015 at 13:45:44 pm

Nobody:

Another fine exposition.

Re: Dignity. Agreed. I simply cannot see this as a proper function of government unless of course one subscribes to the notion (somewhat modern, perhaps?) that personal dignity (whatever that may be) flows from the government. One may argue that certain *rights* may flow from government (erroneously, I think) but clearly dignity being a personal self assessment / reflection must flow from somewhere else. Thus, it certainly presents problems when attempting to balance a presumed dignity interest against "free exercise." There is simply no end to what one may deem an affront to dignity as evidenced by the new clarion call against inequality linked below:

http://www.nationalreview.com/article/417198/people-now-whining-extroverts-have-social-privilege-katherine-timpf

I suspect you and I would be in big trouble here - subject to wearing trigger warnings, at least.

Re: "...it has articulated an interest in keeping people from being fired for prohibited characteristics (that are unrelated to bona fide occupational qualifications)." By this do you mean, Eric Holders DOJ now insisting that it shall be impermissible for employers to inquire as to an applicants "criminal record" nor using this as a basis to not employ or continue to employ, the applicant? Problems abound under such a scenario and is indicative of the chaos which may result from government's *compelling interest* initiatives.

Re: providing notice of availability of denied services. Seems quite reasonable to me. However, whereas in the Spokane case there are many fine bakeries, cross the border to say Bulls Balls, Idaho and there may be only one horse and one bakery. If you don't own the horse, it may be somewhat inconvenient to get over to Spokane to get your cake. I don't know what to do about that nor the implications for free exercise / dignity.

I would advocate a certain "grace in living" as opposed to governmental grants - perhaps, gracious citizens could find a compromise. That at least is my hope - but then again I am an extrovert so it must be my privilege talking.

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gabe
on April 21, 2015 at 15:28:22 pm

....then again I am an extrovert so it must be my privilege talking.

Ha!

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nobody.really
on April 21, 2015 at 16:39:01 pm

I'm sorry, but I'm not buying any of this. I don't mean to be rude or mean spirited. I really don't.

But I do know my rights, and I know when they are being violated, which they are here.

America is founded upon principles of liberty. If I own a business, I should be able to say who I do business with. That is liberty.

I have a right to do things that are smart or stupid, hateful or loving, discriminatory or all-accepting, as long as I don't harm the rights of other people. That's what liberal government means.

The claim is being made that because I choose not to do a non-essential business, such as a bakery, with someone because I do not like something about them, I am harming their rights. Am I hurting their feelings?

Probably. But is government supposed to be the protector of the hurt feelings?

(No, seriously. Astoundingly enough, that really is the question being addressed.)

The foundation of these acts requiring government intervention in free negative behavior is in the anti-racism acts that were intended to be corrective of the earlier harm of slavery. The war to end slavery came to its conclusion 150 years ago. Since then we have had numerous governors, senators, congressmen, numerous sports heroes, a secretary of state, an attorney general, military generals, and a US president twice elected who are black. We don't even need to stick a fork in this thing to know that it is done.

May I have my liberty back now, please?

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Scott Amorian
on April 21, 2015 at 22:00:49 pm

"May I have my liberty back now, please?"

Not unless you issue a *trigger warning.* Remember the Dept of Defense latest training seminars list the Declaration of Independence as being the cause of sexism - so we will have no talk of liberty without fair warning to those whose dignity is threatened by, well, fallen snowflakes, I suppose.

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gabe
on April 23, 2015 at 09:34:25 am

And then there is this which may cause one to question the motives of the left. Are they solely interested in advancing *rights* or are they more interested in waging war against Christianity?

http://www.foxnews.com/us/2015/04/23/aclu-sues-feds-in-bid-to-make-catholic-groups-provide-abortion-to-illegal/

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gabe
on April 23, 2015 at 13:10:35 pm

Oh, please. There are real examples of overreach. This isn’t one of them.

The ACLU alleges that 80% of female migrants have been raped and should receive reasonable medical care, but cannot receive it because the migrants happen to be in the custody of Catholic contractors that have an ideological opposition to the medical care. If the migrants were being held by Jehovah’s Witnesses that were refusing to let anyone get a blood transfusion, I suspect you’d be concerned, too.

So what dastardly thing has the ACLU done on the basis of this allegation? They’ve requested more information. Horrors – obviously the precursor to a religious war that will trigger Armageddon!

To date, exactly no one has sought to compel Catholic Charities to provide abortions. But eventually there may be litigation to compel Catholic Charities to permit people in their custody to obtain abortions from other providers.

Honestly, let’s save our persecution complexes for when they’re needed.

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nobody.really
on April 23, 2015 at 15:08:49 pm

Really?

80% - goodness, this is beginning to sound as credible as the *campus rape* statistics upon which we have come to *rely.*

As for calling abortion medical care - some would, and do, differ.
And who is the ACLU to demand anything of either the charities involved or the poor unfortunate victims.
As for the Jehovah Witness vs. Catholic Charities, my answer is the same: If you are unhappy with your treatment - leave. Perhaps, the ACLU will pay for your medical services and provide shelter, food, education, etc.

But the truth is that the efforts of the ACLU and others of their ilk have resulted in the loss of a once valuable service provided by the Catholic Church (and others). Adoption services formerly carried out by the religious sector are rapidly vanishing in the face of all sorts of proscriptions against these faith based community service providers. All in an effort to eliminate subsidiarity and pass it off to the *guvmnt* - where no doubt the preferences of the ACLU will be accepted. Ah, but is not that the objective - to obtain and sustain a uniformity of opinion and practice. So much for the much ballyhooed goal of diversity.

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gabe
on April 23, 2015 at 16:00:12 pm

And who is the ACLU to demand anything of either the charities involved or the poor unfortunate victims.

gabe, did you even read the article you posted? Like, even so much as the headline? The article says nothing about the ACLU demanding anything from the "charities" or the victims; it says they're seeking info from the government.

Are you seriously opposed to citizen oversight of government conduct?

As for the Jehovah Witness vs. Catholic Charities, my answer is the same: If you are unhappy with your treatment – leave. Perhaps, the ACLU will pay for your medical services and provide shelter, food, education, etc.

Again, you may want to read your articles before you post them. Members of the ACLU do indeed pay for the victim's medical services, shelter, food, education, etc. How? Because the so-called charities are in fact providing services pursuant to a government contract.

In short, all taxpayers are footing the bill for these services. But the government contractors are (allegedly) deciding to use their government-financed positions of authority to impose their religious views on the very people we're paying them to serve.

If I'm footing the bill, I'd just as soon Catholic Charities would focus on doing the job they're paid to do -- not the one their conscience calls them to do -- while they're on the clock. Proselytize, etc., on your own time, that you very much. If they don't like those terms, they can decline the contract.

Of course, the article is ambiguous about the specific terms of the Catholic Charities contract. I suspect that is what the ACLU is trying to discover through a Freedom of Information Act request.

More charitably....

There are complicated issues about exercising freedom of conscience while on the government's (or anyone else's) payroll. I favor decoupling -- that is, chopping government contracts and benefits into the smallest chunks practicable, and dispersing them with minimum coordination. If government want to promote affirmative action, it should have programs for that. And if it wants to buy paperclips, it should have contracts for that. Contractors should have an opportunity to pursue the affirmative action contract, the paperclip contract, or both, but shouldn't have to provide affirmative action as a condition of providing paperclips. But any contractor that promises to practice affirmative action as a condition of a bid should actually have to live up to its promise.

Thus, Catholic Charities should be able to bid to provide the services it finds unobjectionable without having to also bid to provide services it finds objectionable, to the maximum extent practicable. But sometimes it may be impractical to break these services apart.

I hear allegations about Catholic Services and adoptions, but see few facts. There is a huge demand to adopt some kids, especially infants. If government is doling out these scarce resources to sectarian groups on some kind of preferential basis, that could constitute government subsidization of religion. If placement officers are then doling out children in a manner that promotes the best interest of the Faith rather than the best interest of the child, this would be cause for concern.

In the absence of facts, I cannot judge. In the meantime, I'll leave my persecution complex in the closet.

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nobody.really
on April 23, 2015 at 17:10:44 pm

Perhaps, you are right. I did jump ahead, as did you when you allowed for the possibility that someone would sue. Is this evidence of a persecution complex. I think not; rather it is an expression of concern for something that I think we both look upon with disfavor - the eventual elimination of any viewpoint based practice that conflicts with the established (or soon to be established) view.

You are, of course also, correct in citing the difficulties attendant upon receipt of government monies. I would prefer that private (religious and non-religious) charities accept the condition of being able to only do less as a result of financial realities than to do more and thereby come under the influence of Big government. And in a sense this may be beneficial to them - both as a matter of doctrinal adherence and as a means of breaking the government charity nexus. Perhaps, people would once again (doubtful) realize that they are better off not relying upon the government to do "charity" and should take up the task themselves.

And oh, for the record, I have no doctrinal interest in this even if you assume that I do.

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gabe
on April 24, 2015 at 11:43:39 am

Nobody:

Perhaps, this linked essay will give you an understanding of what I mean when I argue that there is an assault upon some basic Christian precepts / practices.
In a sense, it may be true that those initiating these attacks may not be aware of the nature of the attack or the deeply rooted embedded tradition which is the result of changes to social practice / ethics instituted by Christianity.
Give it a look. It is but one example of the phenomenon. I suspect that many on the Left (and Right) are unaware of the roots of these traditions / attitudes.

http://theweek.com/articles/551027/how-christianity-invented-children

As always, take care
gabe

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gabe
on April 24, 2015 at 13:56:58 pm

Great article. While I'm skeptical of self-congratulatory articles, there is been a spate of recent ones linking the idea of the dignity of every individual (regardless of class hierarchy) to Christian teaching. I'm warming to the thesis.

That said, is this the article you intended to included? 'Cuz I'm not aware of any social assault on the idea of childhood per se. If this article is supposed to provoke my Persecution Complex reflex, it's not working.

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nobody.really
on April 24, 2015 at 15:28:55 pm

Oh no.
I submit it as a possible explanation of why it is not so incredible to assert that there is a continuing assault upon values which are traditionally (or have been adduced to be the result of) Christian teaching and practice not to excite in you and sort of complex (I am certain that you are quite capable of generating those feelings yourself, Ha - just a joke). I believe that in some instances the *assault* is intentional, and in many cases simply the result of an inability (or unwillingness) to recognize the positive good arising out of the Christian doctrine(s).
I also submitted it for your review because I believe you have the ability (and inclination) to properly assess its potential applicability to a study of some of the day's *problems* - or as Michael Corleone said - "with all due respect" in the best of all movies The Godfather.

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gabe
on April 24, 2015 at 19:25:26 pm

Nobody:

Not to get your persecution complex activated again, but there is this from the "fat lady in a pantsuit"

http://www.nationalreview.com/article/417448/hillary-clinton-religious-beliefs-have-be-changed-accommodate-abortion-joel-gehrke

looks like religious beliefs will have to go the way of the dodo bird, after all. Do ya think there is a trend here or not?

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gabe
on April 25, 2015 at 09:52:55 am

Not. It was one inartfully expressed phrase in a 23-minute speech. (Without a pantsuit, by the way!)

The topic arises from time to time on the First Things website: Where is all the legislation seeking to ban the consumption of pork? After all, if Orthodox Jews were sincere in their beliefs, wouldn't the be trying to impose them on everyone? No, they'd fail -- but if they were sincere, they'd still be trying, and that's what counts, right?

Mostly people don't subscribe to this view. They acknowledge that you can have sincere religious beliefs without trying to impose them on others.

But on the flip side, we observe Kansas adopting yet one more abortion restriction that has no chance of passing muster with the courts. This effort is destined to fail, as all the others did. But dammit, they're sincere!

As the world grows more secular, should Christians take a page from the Jews? That is, should they find a way to reconcile themselves to the idea that they can have sincere religious beliefs, but sincerity does not compel them to try to impose those beliefs on others?

I struggle with this. What does "religious accommodation" require? Recall the case of the Jehovah's Witness who demanded an accommodation not to work on Sundays (I think it was Sunday) because work on the Sabbath offended the Lord. Management was fine with making the accommodation: We'll just change schedules: As a result of your request for accommodation, you will be assigned to work Joe's shift, and Joe will be assigned to work your shift.

Ok? Nope. The Jehovah's Witness again objected: Weren't you listening? Working on the Sabbath offends the Lord! Why would you think the Lord would be any more pleased that Joe is working on the Sabbath than that I am? Moreover, my knowing that *I* have caused another person to work on the Sabbath will burden my conscience -- unconscionably.

Give the guy credit: He's sincere. And the fact that Americans are taught to think in terms of individualism does not mean that everyone should regard everything in discrete, individualistic terms. That said, our law generally does treat us as individual packets -- not because it's the only viable prism through which to see the world, but because it's the most practical prism to use in a pluralistic society. And thus the Jehovah's Witness lost his request for accommodation.

I don't understand Hillary to seek to alter anyone's religious views on abortion per se, but to change the attitude that tells people that if they're really sincere in their religious beliefs, they must strive to impose those beliefs on others.

In sum: No, Persecution Complex still not triggered.

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nobody.really
on April 25, 2015 at 12:29:09 pm

".. if they’re really sincere in their religious beliefs, they must strive to impose those beliefs on others." - and yet, that is *precisely* the issue with those on the left also, is it not. They seek to make, say, a Catholic Charity, engage in activity that is rather objectionable to them (and their sincere beliefs). Certainly, one can argue that the Left is sincere in their beliefs AND they are also not entitled to compel others to adhere / practice as the Left would prefer.

Now, I did not read the full speech by the Fat Lady in a Pantsuit, but still the words could lead one to conclude that she means to do more than you assert. The *Jewish strategy* you suggest is workable and I have my problems with *evangelism* (of any sort, religious or political) and should perhaps be given a try - if only those on the Left would allow that their "evangelism" ought to be curtailed as well. (Although Isaiah Berlin proffered that such a strategy seems to make outsiders of those who practice it). Persecution - no! Simply a poor strategy and one that is (calculated?) destined to cause conflict. I sometimes think this is an underlying motive (motif) of our new breed of activists.

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gabe
on April 25, 2015 at 14:06:02 pm

Nobody:

By the way, the New York Times' headline on this speech was "Hillary Clinton implores audience to 'become agents of change,

Now here’s the real statement of intent:

“Laws have to be backed up with resources and political will, and deep-seated cultural codes, religious beliefs and structural biases have to be changed.

Thus, my point about the *evangelizing* of the Left. It is just as obnoxious as the evangelizing of the evangelizers.

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gabe
on April 25, 2015 at 20:00:48 pm

“Laws have to be backed up with resources and political will, and deep-seated cultural codes, religious beliefs and structural biases have to be changed.

Thus, my point about the *evangelizing* of the Left.

You express a long-standing sentiment. "What are all these Northern do-gooders doing here in the South, trying to enforce voting rights laws? How dare they call themselves 'agents of change' and attack our cultural codes, religious beliefs and structural biases?"

People who are deeply committed to the status quo hate this stuff. But, suffice it to say, there's more than one point of view on the question.

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nobody.really
on April 26, 2015 at 10:16:34 am

Yes, there is. I am only saying that if evangelizing is good for the leftist goose, it may also be good for the rightist gander.

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gabe
on April 26, 2015 at 13:03:09 pm

Fair enough.

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nobody.really

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