The free exercise of religion

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The free exercise of religion

Post by T on Sun May 10, 2015 9:00 am

T. Shields: The free exercise of religion

Sunday, May 10, 2015

An issue has arisen in this nation's legal system, balancing religious freedom against discriminatory practices. The First Amendment of the United States Constitution says there shall be no law prohibiting the free exercise of religion.

News reports say that the homosexual crowd has targeted florists and bakers whose Christian faiths do not allow them to serve homosexual celebrations. Discrimination charges have been brought and fines issued. Some Christian businesses have been forced to close.

Why do the lesbians and gays insist on trying to use businesses whose owners have strong religious principles? They show no respect for the owners’ Christian biblical principles.

Since this is an unsettled area legally, it appears that they want to force the businesses to give in so that they can feel that they have not been discriminated against. I have not seen a report of them trying to find alternative business sources.

Suppose they went to a kosher Jewish deli or a Muslim market and asked for a pork tray. The deli and the market could refuse services, saying they have religious objections in handling that product.

Is that discrimination or just following religious practices? The Christian florist and baker could similarly say they don’t service homosexual-oriented events due to their religious beliefs.

In my opinion the government should not force a store to sell service to any particular group if it violates their religious tenets.

Thomas Shields, Auburn

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T

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Re: The free exercise of religion

Post by T on Sun May 10, 2015 9:03 am

Agreed, no merchant should be forced to sell a “product” that is “against” their religious beliefs (e.g., Jewish deli/pork).  

At the same time, no merchant should have the right to pick and choose who they serve or sell a “product” to.

Big difference

Merchants are public entities that sell to the public.  Gays, lesbians, blacks, Muslims, Irish, Hispanics, Catholics, Jews, etc., are members of the public. Refusing to serve any group is discriminatory, and we don’t allow that in this country.  

It’s settled law.

Mr. Shields, if you want the right to discriminate, move to a country that allows it.  

Here’s a partial list from which to choose.  I’m sure you’d feel right at home in one of them.

Algeria
Libya
Liberia
Afghanistan
Iran
Syria
Saudi Arabia
Russia

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