How far does Religious Freedom extend?

Discussion in 'Politics, Religion, Social Issues' started by Michael Goff, Jun 30, 2014.

  1. Michael Goff macrumors G4

    Michael Goff

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    As per the discussion we were having. The Supreme Court has recently decided that Hobby Lobby's religious freedom protects it from having to help pay for insurance that has something they morally disagree with. In this case, it was four specific types of contraceptives. The question, however, is how far this extends medically.

    That isn't all, however.

    There is a case where a man states that his religious freedom is being infringed on as he was removed from the neighborhood watch for being a member of the KKK. I believe he was a Grand Dragon, if I'm remembering the information correctly.

    Does this use of the defense of Religious Freedom make sense to you?

    How far does the umbrella of religious freedom extend in your opinion?
     
  2. G51989 macrumors 68030

    G51989

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    I'm not sure, how I feel about the case exactly,

    Did Hobby Lobby win? Sure.

    My worry is that large companies that never had any kind of religious infulance in their leadership will randomly start making crap up to attempt to deny health insurance.

    Well, seeing as the KKK is not a religion, and just a cult of racists. I would say his religion was not being infringed on.

    I also see the point in that someone who is in the KKK should not be allowed in something like a neighborhood watch, people in the KKK are not good people.

    I believe it should stay out of goverment, that is for sure.
     
  3. dec. Suspended

    dec.

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    To me "Religious Freedom" in very first place means that people who don't want to have anything to do with it are protected from it being applied to laws, in public services or similar.

    Just a few days ago there was a case of some "religious" Doctor in Calgary who refuses to prescribe birth control based on her "beliefs". That person is not in the mental state to operate in a walk-in clinic if she thinks that her "god" knows what is best for patients that come in to seek help. Get rid of her immediately. And no, just because there's a "warning, 'religious' person at work, come back tomorrow if you think it's crazy" sign at the reception, it does not make it any better as a lot of people don't have the luxury of picking other dates just because "god" is present at the clinic on that one day that they were able to go.

    http://www.ctvnews.ca/canada/calgar...rth-control-due-to-personal-beliefs-1.1890724

    And obviously, the KKK is not a "religion" in that sense, although technically why not declare it one, all sorts of weird ideologies have been declared a "religion" in the past.
     
  4. Southern Dad macrumors 65816

    Southern Dad

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    As far as I know, the KKK is not a religion. So how would this have anything to do with religious freedom? What religion is the Klansman? I'd be willing to bet his religion didn't have anything to do with why they kicked him off the Neighborhood Watch. It was probably his racist attitude. I'd also bet that the Neighborhood Watch group was mostly Christian and so was the racist. I can't say for sure as I'm not on the Neighborhood Watch nor in the KKK.
     
  5. Michael Goff thread starter macrumors G4

    Michael Goff

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    Except that it is within their Christian beliefs for some of the things they say. I'm going to explain some of it in SD's response, so take a look down there.

    Well, the religion is Christianity. He says that within the bible, there is a case to be made for a couple of his racist ideas. He points to interracial marriage, and how God told the Israelites to not marry "outside of their clan" in the OT. You have to remember that around 70 or so years ago, churches were teaching that the "mark of Cain" was "black people". So he says that his belief of white supremacy is part of his religion.

    ----------

    He's saying that being racist is part of the Christian religion, or at least the version he follows.
     
  6. chown33 macrumors 604

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    Please provide a source for this. It's too vague or inaccurate or hypothetical as it stands.

    FWIW there are religions organized around race (or racial discrimination). Here's one example:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aryan_Nations

    This isn't to suggest it's anything like the circumstances of your case. I'm just asking for specifics of your case.
     
  7. Michael Goff thread starter macrumors G4

    Michael Goff

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  8. Southern Dad macrumors 65816

    Southern Dad

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    Michael, I hate to say it but they can't kick him out for being a Christian. It is a protected class. They can't kick him out for being white, they can't kick him out for being male, they can't kick him out because of age. However, they can kick him out because he's a racist. That isn't protected.

    If I were to be at a Klan rally, I'm afraid that I'd be the guest of honor. After all, I'm a Yankee. I'm pro-abortion. I'm not Christian. That would probably be enough to get me the center stage.
     
  9. chown33 macrumors 604

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  10. localoid macrumors 68020

    localoid

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    #10
    Is this the "case" you were referring to?: KKK Grand Dragon Doesn’t Understand Why Tacony Town Watch Kicked Him Out

    If so, I don't believe it's a legal case. Not yet, at least...
     
  11. Huntn, Jun 30, 2014
    Last edited: Jun 30, 2014

    Huntn macrumors G5

    Huntn

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    #11
    This is the epitome of the danger of religion. It makes us stupid. It makes us warp logic, common sense, and rationalize. I'm so disgusted right now.
     
  12. G51989 macrumors 68030

    G51989

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    Exactly, they cannot and should not kick him out for being a Christian.

    However they can and did kick him out for being in the KKK.

    If I ever found out one of my employees was in the KKK, they'd be out the door the next day. I have no desire to be around those people.
     
  13. Ledgem macrumors 65816

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    In a way it's unfortunate that this was first tested with abortion, because abortion is a hot-button topic to begin with and I'm afraid that it clouded the issue.

    What I'd be fascinated to see would be a ruling about Jehovah's Witnesses and bloodless medicine. There is a line in the Bible that forbids the ingestion of blood, and Jehovah's Witnesses interpret this to mean that blood transfusions are forbidden. It is thus against their beliefs to donate or receive transfusions, even if the transfusion is blood that was originally banked from the recipient's body (that is, someone "donated" to themselves). Transfusions are now a standard part of medicine, and in many cases it is a life-saving treatment.

    What would happen, then, if a company run by Jehovah's Witnesses decided to throw in a stipulation that their healthcare coverage would not cover anything involving blood products? How would the Supreme Court have ruled, then? I'm fairly certain that they would rule against the company. I say that because under current law, any minor who is a Jehovah's Witness will receive transfusions regardless of their or their parents' beliefs. This is because a minor is not legally able to provide consent (emancipated minors are an exception), and in the event that a parent is unable to or unwilling to provide consent, the medical staff are obligated to work to save the child's life (life-saving treatments are always considered to be in the best interest of the patient). The decision of an adult (or emancipated minor) who does not want a transfusion must be respected, however.

    In summary, life-saving measures trumps religious beliefs under current law (even if it goes against the beliefs of a legal guardian), but the wishes of an individual legally capable of making decisions are respected (although this occurs regardless of religion, and assuming competency to make medical decisions).

    Things obviously become messier when we move away from life-saving measures. Abortion is also a terrible topic to address this issue with, because the debate is over the belief that there is active killing occurring with abortion and contraception.

    What's unfortunate is that it's impossible to find a win-win situation as far as workplace-provided healthcare is concerned. If the workplace is forced to provide coverage that goes against their beliefs, then their beliefs have been infringed upon. If they are not required to provide coverage, then they have effectively forced their beliefs onto others. The ideal behind America is that people are free to do as they please, meaning that people are minimally affected by others. If healthcare coverage were not tied to the workplace then this would be far less of an issue.
     
  14. Huntn macrumors G5

    Huntn

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    This notion because of religion has been flushed. Wave good by. Single payer system appears to be the way out. Ask your GOP representative to enact it, ok? :p
     
  15. Southern Dad macrumors 65816

    Southern Dad

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    I really don't want to know what employees who work for me do on their own time. But if I believed it would impact their work, then I would terminate them as long as it didn't violate race, creed, religion, sex, age, national origin, disability, marital status or sexual orientation.
     
  16. G51989 macrumors 68030

    G51989

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    For me, I cannot stand Racism, I cannot even the thought racism, and no I do not care what my workers do in their spare time. I don't even care if they smoke weed every night. I don't drug test. But, if one of my workers were to start spewing KKK crap, and someone told me about it? Gone.
     
  17. yg17 macrumors G5

    yg17

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    What's the difference between a religion and a cult anyways? I think the two words are interchangeable.

    Sadly, he might have precedent on his side.

    The KKK tried to adopt a stretch of I-55 in St. Louis several years back. The state obviously refused to allow that. The KKK sued, successfully, and the court ordered that blocking them from adopting it was unconstitutional and Missouri had to put up signs saying that stretch of highway was adopted by the KKK. The Missouri legislature subsequently renamed that stretch of highway the Rosa Parks Highway. The klan no longer maintained it, and were then able to be legally dropped from the adopt-a-highway program for not following guidelines.

    Courts have ruled that being a low life racist piece of dog **** is constitutional, so that piece of dog **** might have luck in courts.
     
  18. Michael Goff thread starter macrumors G4

    Michael Goff

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    Except it's his religious beliefs that coincide with him being in the KKK. According to him, they're one and the same.

    I do wish we had more details, but I only have what I have.

    Not yet, but it did stick out to me because he's arguing his racism is based in religious freedom.

    It's the danger of anything that people follow blindly.

    What if his tenants were a part of his religion? Would leaving the KKK, but still being the racist he is, be enough?

    I have to hope that this sort of thing sticks, but I fear that it won't.
     
  19. Technarchy macrumors 604

    Technarchy

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    I think any argument that invokes freedom of religion and the Klan in the same breath can't be taken seriously.
     
  20. ucfgrad93 macrumors P6

    ucfgrad93

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    It is freedom of religion, not freedom from religion.

    ----------

    Agreed.
     
  21. G51989 macrumors 68030

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    Absolutely. The KKK is not a religion, its just a group of crazy racist nutjobs.
     
  22. AustinIllini macrumors demi-god

    AustinIllini

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    This. You have a right to have whatever religion you wish. In fact, you can even let your religion dictate your opinions politically. You will never be free from religion as far as you run. In fact, the United States is one of the better places for this clause.
     
  23. chown33 macrumors 604

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    None of that is necessarily true. It depends entirely on the nature of the organization.

    Someone most certainly can be kicked out of a private club or organization, for any reason the organization wants, even if that reason is prohibited by anti-discrimination laws. They could also prevent anyone from joining that private club or organization, for exactly the same reasons.

    Imagine that a Jew insisted on joining the KKK. The KKK is completely within its rights to prevent that, citing his Jewishness, because the KKK is a private organization. They can also prohibit African-Americans from joining, or anyone else.

    Furthermore, if someone is already a member of the KKK, and they discover he has an African or Jewish ancestor, they can most definitely kick him out, and he has no recourse under any law to challenge that decision. The same applies to any private club or organization. For example, the Freemasons have restrictions on who can join, as do the Elks. The exact restrictions may change over time, but there is no law that limits such groups from deciding their own membership qualifications.

    Essentially, the First Amendment right that allows free association in the formation of groups, gives those same groups the free association power to exclude potential members. That's why the nature of the group matters. If the Tacony Town Watch is effectively a private club or organization, then Bill Walters has no legal recourse at all. The law that allows the KKK to discriminate in its membership is the very law that allows other groups to exclude him from their membership.

    If the Tacony Town Watch is some other kind of organization, then other laws may apply. Without knowing the kind of organization, it's impossible to say if he even has a case. I think it's telling that the ACLU didn't offer him representation. To me, that smells like "private organization, tough luck buddy".

    Recall that the ACLU defended the neo-Nazis when they were thwarted in their attempt to march in Skokie, IL:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/National_Socialist_Party_of_America_v._Village_of_Skokie

    The Supreme Court ruled in favor of the NSPA, under the First Amendment guarantee of freedom of assembly. The First Amendment does not distinguish pleasing exercises of freedom from displeasing ones.
     
  24. Gjwilly macrumors 68030

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    I don't think it clouded the issue -- it WAS the issue.
    The lawsuit was about religious rights vs government-granted rights.
    The right to not support abortion vs the right to employer-paid contraception.
    The court ruled that the religious freedom outweighed the right to contraception exactly because it was so specific.
    The employee still gets their contraception (16 out of 20 possible options) and the employer gets to withhold those 4 objectionable methods.
    The law was very clear in that while serving the public good, the government is still required to impose the least amount of religious interference -- so demanding that all 20 methods be provided when there are 16 completely unobjectionable methods was found to be unreasonable by the court.
    There really is no slippery slope here.
    The transfusion argument would obviously lose because there's no option that protects the religious freedom while still serving the public good.
     
  25. LIVEFRMNYC macrumors 604

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    I don't agree with the ruling at all, not for any personal, moral, or freedom issue. The reason I don't agree with the ruling is cause Hobby Lobby as a company pays taxes, the green family pays taxes, and the employees pay taxes. We decide what happens with tax money by voting.

    What if they decided they didn't want the company's taxes to go towards public assistance or public education that teaches evolution and sex ed? Do they have a choice to stop paying taxes? NO, but they have a vote to elect someone who sets differ mandates.

    Like it or not, Hobby Lobby and it's owners are already paying for things they probably don't agree with.

    So I feel any mandate already set that does not hinder or discriminate against one's freedom should not be decided in the courts.
     

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