This post inspired by Religious Freedom (in other words, Freedom to Discriminate). (And funny/sad, the last time I tried to write a response/inspired post to one of Becky’s, I trashed it…) As politics manages to creep into everything, I don’t want to spend too much time on this, so this is a bit sloppy and looks more like a comment than a post. (Sorry.)
The subject matter regarding freedom of religion, Hobby Lobby, etc. brings me to address the distinction between a right and a privilege. A privilege may interfere with the rights of others, but a right cannot. My ability to speak alone will not harm, will not interfere with the rights of other individuals. My ability to own a gun alone will not harm, and the same goes to my right to privacy, or any other right.
Freedom of religion exists in the First Amendment like any other right, that an individual is free to choose and practice in their own right. (And, of course, not violate the rights of others.) For some, Separation of Church & State comes to mind, however, Thomas Jefferson spoke of a “wall of separation between church and state” mainly in regards to government interfering with religious freedom, as Great Britain had.
In the effort to maximize individual freedom, the Bill of Rights aims to hold back government, as the Establishment Clause states that the legislature should “make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.” That means you have the right to read the Bible anywhere, even on the steps of the Capitol, but you may not pass laws that promote nor discriminate with religion in mind, against/for any person(s) or group(s), including religious groups.
Usually, the problem comes down to government, how large groups can lobby for (or even craft) oppressive laws. Religious groups have already been denied the ability. There’s plenty of history to document how horrible legislation has come to pass, and how irresponsible decisions have enabled irresponsible behavior.
If It Ain’t Broke, Don’t Fix It
Come the 21st Century, and what I consider “nonsense,” with so-called freedom from religion, as if anyone, let alone public schools, have the right to deny practice; and new legislation that, what else, enables discrimination with religion in mind.
One may opine on the Affordable Care Act, etc. at will, but it’s implemented. Take your issue up with the courts, not the individuals utilizing the complicated law. Contraception is not free, yes. And you may call it a privilege if your company is forced to pay for birth control, but the customer knows best and an employee that refuses to do his/her job is subject for termination anyway.
I could go on with the technicals. I could state the fact that Jesus said nothing about contraception nor homosexuality, but I won’t. (Okay, I just did.)
Ultimately, neither government nor religion knows best, but that’s besides the point. The individual must be as free as possible in order for this to be a free country. It may be hard to truly realize and maintain, but like love it is simple yet complex. And the only time things become really complicated is when people lie and stupid rules and complicated laws are passed. We don’t need more of them.