HuffPo Gets Law & Religion Wrong


Every once in a while, I come across an article that is so stupefying that I have to reread it several times to make sure that what I am seeing is real. I had one of those moments last week when I stumbled across an article on the Huffington Post written by James Peron, President of a group called the Moorfield Storey Institute.


The article, titled “Bigotry for Me, But Not for Thee: The Religious Right and Its Selective Use of Anti-Discrimination Law,” seeks to paint conservative religious individuals as groups who want to protect their personal hatred for gays by claiming “special rights” under the law to discriminate, rights that Peron claims no one else has. Peron’s argument is based largely off of misinformation about U.S. law.

And boy, it is a doozy of a read.

Peron opens by arguing that the “lie” told by the religious right is that it is upholding liberty. Citing the recent complaint filed by former football player and (for one day) Fox Sports host Craig James, which claims that James was fired by Fox Sports after Fox learned about past statement he had made opposing gay marriage, Peron gets into his first salvo:

Here you get to the crux of what fundamentalist policy groups are attempting to do: They want to establish an inequality of rights, giving them rights denied to all other Americans.

A SHRB means they can’t be discriminated against, at least according to their filing in Texas, while a SHRB allows them to discriminate against anyone else. In their eyes, the law is supposed to be a one-way street protecting them, and only them. They may discriminate to their heart’s content, but all other Americans are bound by anti-discrimination legislation.

A non-religious bigot is out of luck in the views of the Christian right. Only bigotry founded in religious justification should exempt one from the law.

First, let’s get the obvious bias out of the way: he automatically defaults to Christians as the only group who are raising religious liberty issues. It is obvious that Christian groups have been among the biggest voices in recent legal debates, but they are by no means the only ones who face issues under the law. Just take the recent case of two Muslim truckers from Illinois who were fired for refusing to transport alcohol, an act they believed was against the tenants of Islam.

Moving on, Peron then makes the following claim:

Read the Rest at the College Conservative

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