Religious freedom goes both ways

At times you’d think we were back in the year 1640 or 1780. It seems we’re revisiting the same religious debates again. Only this time we’re generally not settling them with swords and gunfire. Today it’s a war of ideas.

Yesterday, the US Supreme Court ruled, I think, that you cannot compel a mostly private corporation to provide a benefit that violates its religious beliefs. I say that ‘I think’ because honestly who knows what these rulings mean anymore. The law has become so convoluted and obscure that even talented and experienced Supreme Court lawyers can’t agree on what the ruling means.

So let’s just generally agree for our purposes here that a corporation is not required to provide benefit (x) if it goes against its religious belief (y). Also, please just presently ignore the for or against arguments about corporations being ‘people’. I’ll get to that topic many posts down the road. I guess.

Today, the European Court ruled, I think, that the French ban on face covering religious clothing is legal. I found this rather surprising as usually the European courts are all about enabling multiculturalism to the point of cultural suicide. It seems the court sided, I think, with the idea that the law’s intent was based upon the concealment of the face for security purposes vice the religious connotation.

Only a judge or a lawyer could make such a distinction with a straight face. I’m pretty sure if I wore an old white hockey mask in an elementary school somebody would call the police in about eight seconds. I’m not so sure you’d get such an instant reaction if you wore the hijab. Or maybe you would, it probably depends on where you are, and who sees you.

Now a number of folks will claim this ban is necessary because it protects these women from their husbands who will demand that they wear this garb. First off, that takes a fairly negative view of the confidence of Muslim women. Second, if somebody’s in a marriage where the husband can order what clothes the wife can wear, I’m pretty sure there are bigger problems in the marriage than a law on clothing can solve.

As much as folks may try, you cannot command all human behavior by legislation. We already have rules on unlawful imprisonment and spousal abuse. We also do not have laws that prohibit a spouse from being a dick to the other.

Another number of folks will claim that the future of all women is detonated by asking them to spend twelve bucks a week to buy their own morning-after-pill. I have no idea what it actually costs, I’ve never bought it, but I’m pretty sure its pennies on the dollar compared to how much cash people blow on smartphones, fancy coffee, and the zoo. This argument isn’t about women. It’s about winning elections, control, and demanding that one side agree with your beliefs. Or else.

Kindly observe however, the manner in which the world’s talking-face-hypocrites will hold up one ruling as:

a) Hobby Lobby’s a paragon defense of religious freedom; the anti-burka law is a sensible defense of Western values


b) Hobby Lobby is against women’s rights; Muslim women should have the freedom to wear whatever they want

Neither argument is coherent.

Hobby Lobby does not want to hand out the morning-after-pill on its dime to their employees. It violates their religious beliefs. Okay. A Muslim woman desires to wear the full length nijab in public. It supports her religious beliefs. Okay.

Reasonable people will have very severe problems with both of these scenarios. But I challenge you to legitimately claim that both players aren’t exercising their own version of religious freedom. So when you try and ban one, or both, either way you are assaulting religious liberty. You either have both, or neither. Sorry.

And take your extreme scenarios elsewhere. Hobby Lobby is not about to produce a creepy black cloaked doctor to examine the genitals of its female, and male, employees. The hijab wearing woman’s husband is likely in fact not designing and building a nail bomb in his basement. Grow up or calm down. Or hopefully do both.

We’ve blogged extensively on the growing theft of freedom. Soon, the right to avoid being offended anywhere by anybody or anything will overpower your freedom of speech. Soon, the right to avoid being in any kind of danger anywhere from anybody or anything will overpower your freedom against unlawful search and seizure.

But for those who are about religious freedom, you’d better circle the wagons. As far as inalienable human rights go, religious freedom is the one that modern society can dispense with the easiest. Just look at today’s hyper-modern consumer cities. In Tokyo or London or Shanghai or New York I figure around 5% of people attend some kind of religious service on a weekly basis.

So those who support Hobby Lobby or the nijab had better become allies. They’re going to need each other to survive. Either it’s all okay, or none of it is. This blog and its degenerate author are hoping that all of it is.


I personally desire to revoke this guy’s man card, but respect that this woman is an adult and deserves her choices in freedom of religion

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