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Religious freedom is protected under the first Amendement

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances
So basically this is taken to mean that any religious organization is untouchable, but they however are allowed to discriminate.
]ust as religious organizations may take into account an individual's religion with respect to employment decisions, ENDA's religious exemption allows religious organizations to also take into account an individual's sexual orientation or gender identity. In other words ENDA gives religious organizations a legal right to discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity.
By contrast, Title VII does not permit religious organizations to discriminate on the basis of an individual's race, color, sex, or national origin. Going back to our earlier example, under Title VII a Lutheran school can hire or fire a teacher for being a Mormon, but not for being a woman or for being Asian American. If ENDA passed, a Lutheran school would also be able to fire or not hire a teacher for being gay or transgender, but would still not be able to do so for being a woman or for being Asian American. In this way ENDA's religious exemption is broader than that found in Title VII. [Center for American Progress,
Gosh, you have to love the phrase "the legal right to discriminate".

Ah, can you feel the bigotry, well if you cannot you can always pop over to Right Wing Watch and feel the daily hatred.

They don't have to participate in investing in the fabric of our society and are tax exempt If:

■  the organization must be organized and operated
exclusively for religious, educational, scientific, or other
charitable purposes,
■  net earnings may not inure to the benefit of any
private individual or shareholder,

■  no substantial part of its activity may be attempting
to influence legislation,
■  the organization may not intervene in political
campaigns, and

■  the organization’s purposes and activities may not
be illegal or violate fundamental public policy .
I "bolded" a part which appears to be broken on a daily basis by the religious right wing.

Every discussion about women's rights is overtly influenced by religious organizations

Every step of the way the fight for LGBT rights has come up against religious organizations.

Every step of the way education comes up against the brick wall of religious dogma.

If only we were free from religion, but they would disagree

The framers of our Constitution meant we were to have freedom of religion, not freedom from religion.
Billy Graham
The freedom to impose their hatred and bigotry all under the banner of

The legal right to discriminate

Wonderful.

Next they will be asking for their home grown version of Sharia law.

Originally posted to LaFeminista on Wed Jul 10, 2013 at 10:37 AM PDT.

Also republished by Street Prophets , LGBT Kos Community, and Progressive Atheists.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar. The legal right to discriminate (21+ / 0-)

    brilliant.

    "Another world is not only possible, she is on her way. On a quiet day, I can hear her breathing." Arundhati Roy

    by LaFeminista on Wed Jul 10, 2013 at 10:37:03 AM PDT

  •  Republished to Street Prophets (6+ / 0-)

    thanks for posting.

  •  Why did you include the Billy Graham quotation? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    LaFeminista, Roadbed Guy

    What he was saying was actually patently false.

    Freedom of religion includes the right to reject religion as most of the Framers actually did themselves.

    •  It is their point of view in general (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      inclusiveheart, gulfgal98

      to highlight the difference between the State's obligations and the religious rights viewpoint

      "Another world is not only possible, she is on her way. On a quiet day, I can hear her breathing." Arundhati Roy

      by LaFeminista on Wed Jul 10, 2013 at 10:46:17 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  It isn't just the state's obligation. (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        LaFeminista, gulfgal98, JerryNA

        it is our obligation to one another as citizens.  We've lost sight of that concept in this country.

        •  I agree with you, in both of your comments (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          inclusiveheart

          however a very vocal and profitable industry does not.

          "Another world is not only possible, she is on her way. On a quiet day, I can hear her breathing." Arundhati Roy

          by LaFeminista on Wed Jul 10, 2013 at 10:53:22 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  No they don't. (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            gulfgal98

            I marvel at the current state of religion in this country - it used to be that most of the Christian factions wanted to attract followers and so they tended to be at least a bit more cautious about wholesale assaults on other people.  

            These days its like they have parishioners coming out of their ears so they can lay waste to lots of "other" people.

            Personally, I think that the best thing that anyone could do for religion in this country if they are really committed to their faith would be not to participate in the organized churches for a while.  

            Just step away from them and do something else like join a chess club!  

            Maybe that would help to starve this rather monstrous beast that's overtaken many of America's religious institutions and also created some pretty unseemly new ones.

            •  Actually, I think it's something a bit different.. (0+ / 0-)

              People are taking a more localized view of churches; they've moving away from a denominational perspective and looking at the immediate actions, activities and positions of individual congregations.

              As a result, there's something of a dissociation between those local congregations and their denominational headquarters and/or leadership.  For instance, I have spent much of my life as a member of Southern Baptist churches which paid little (or no) attention to the words of Al Mohler, Richard Land, or the then-president of the Southern Baptist Convention.

              It's easy to view folks in their respective denominational buckets--"all those Southern Baptists", "all the Catholics", "those Episcopalians", etc.--but I suggest that doing so has become much less accurate than it once was.  Toss in the growth of non-denominational Christian churches (itself a reaction to denominational craziness, to some degree), and the waters become even murkier.

              For many folks, it's all about the local church.

              The word "parent" is supposed to be a VERB, people...

              by wesmorgan1 on Wed Jul 10, 2013 at 01:45:48 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

  •  So this means women have the legal right (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    LaFeminista, Catte Nappe, milkbone

    to become clergy in the Roman Catholic Church?

    By contrast, Title VII does not permit religious organizations to discriminate on the basis of an individual's race, color, sex, or national origin.
    Seems like * somebody * out there would have challenged that in court by now . .. .
  •  It Seems to Me (3+ / 0-)

    A religious organization should not be forced to hire someone whose life choices contradict the teaching of the religion. That would be like an Elected Democratic president who just nominates Republicans to positions ... no, wait, bad example. Should GreenPeace be forced to have pro-oil company people on their campaigns? You want to declare bigotry? Fine, but really it is not. It is a religious choice.

    I further question that one who contradicts the held beliefs of a religious organization can only find employment in that organization. Why does he want to work there?

    •  Does it need to be exceptional, with a specific (0+ / 0-)

      clause stating the legal right to discriminate?

      Companies cannot discriminate by law, yet somehow they still manage to do business.

      "Another world is not only possible, she is on her way. On a quiet day, I can hear her breathing." Arundhati Roy

      by LaFeminista on Wed Jul 10, 2013 at 10:51:58 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Or another example (0+ / 0-)

      "should Pepsi be required to hire a chronic Coca-Cola imbiber?"

      Seems like a rather slippery slope to me!

      •  The idea is not to force anyone to do anything (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        enhydra lutris

        yet giving specific legal discriminatory rights is the slippery slope.

        Non coke imbibers need not imply

        No Irish!

        "Another world is not only possible, she is on her way. On a quiet day, I can hear her breathing." Arundhati Roy

        by LaFeminista on Wed Jul 10, 2013 at 10:59:44 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  This can be a big problem in small communities (7+ / 0-)
      I further question that one who contradicts the held beliefs of a religious organization can only find employment in that organization. Why does he want to work there?
      It's similar to the problem of pharmacists refusing to fill prescriptions because of their conscience. In eastern WA there are plenty of towns with only one pharmacy nearby. Having to drive an hour each way just to get birth control medicine because the local pharmacists is a forced-birther fanatic is wrong. And there are towns where getting a job as a nurse, doctor, etc. means you work in a Catholic hospital or accept lower wages elsewhere (if you can even get a job). But if you're gay you can't work their? Why does Catholic belief dictate who can work their? Do they get to kick out gay patients (Honestly, I wouldn't be surprised to find out they have. I know they've made some stink about letting same sex spouses and visitation rights.)

      There isn't always a viable alternative to the religious affiliated organization. If they want to operate things like hospitals or schools in the public sphere that's fine. But outside the doors of their church, synagogue, temple or mosque they need to follow the laws of the rest of the population.

      Sorry conservatives, but Occam's Razor isn't a beard trimmer for jihadists. What it means is I don't have to accept your crazy-assed theories as an alternative to reality.

      by ontheleftcoast on Wed Jul 10, 2013 at 11:19:30 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  They've Been ENACTING Their Sharia Law for Years (8+ / 0-)

    now. Remember they had birth control outlawed in Connecticut in the 50's or so, even for married couples.

    We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

    by Gooserock on Wed Jul 10, 2013 at 10:49:40 AM PDT

  •  yeah, they already have that right. (4+ / 0-)

    also, sexual orientation still is not considered a protected class. until that changes, they'll still retain the legal right to discriminate against that group. there's lots of work to do beyond marriage.

  •  Thanks for posting this LF (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    LaFeminista, sfbob, blueoasis

    I saw that article on the FP and that immediately got me wondering just how far the discrimination would go. It turns out it goes pretty damn far. Sickening. Absolutely sickening.

    Sorry conservatives, but Occam's Razor isn't a beard trimmer for jihadists. What it means is I don't have to accept your crazy-assed theories as an alternative to reality.

    by ontheleftcoast on Wed Jul 10, 2013 at 11:21:07 AM PDT

  •  I think religious organizations (0+ / 0-)

    should have the right to refuse employment to anyone on the grounds that they do not sufficiently abide by the tenets of the religion.

    However.  I also think "religious organizations", with regard to this point specifically, should be very very narrowly defined.  Houses of worship, schools, yes; hospitals, charities, any commercial ventures at all, no.

    I would also think it reasonable to insist that religious organizations be consistent in this practice -- f'rinstance, no fair firing the gay teacher when you have no problem with the teacher who's been three times divorced, or (depending on the religion in question) the one who doesn't keep a kosher home.  I'm not sure how that could be enforced, though.

    •  So does that apply to the church's accountant (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Batya the Toon, sfbob, blueoasis, JerryNA

      who does their job perfectly well?

      I'm not sure how that could be enforced, though
      is why the legislation is badly written

      "Another world is not only possible, she is on her way. On a quiet day, I can hear her breathing." Arundhati Roy

      by LaFeminista on Wed Jul 10, 2013 at 11:50:25 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Good question. (0+ / 0-)

        Possibly it should have more to do with the type of employment than with the place of employment, although that could get very complicated very fast.

        •  I had always understood... (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          blueoasis, nchristine

          ...that a religion's right to discriminate very much had to do with the nature of the job. Clergy would get the strongest pass (no RC church should be made to hire a rabbi to delver the weekly sermon), teacher hiring discretion would depend on subject matter (more generous for bible study, less so for math). And as for janitorial duties, why should a church get to make religious beliefs or any other characteristic not performance-based a hiring or firing criterion.

          Religious groups have ministerial functions but they also function as businesses. There are certainly gray areas, but ultimately on the business side I see no reason a church group should be exempt from anti-discrimination laws.

          Instead what seems to be happening is that the existence of any gray area whatsoever will provide cover for discrimination. And furthermore it would almost seem as though discrimination on one very specific basis is being given a pass. Over the long haul I don't see that holding up to Constitutional scrutiny no matter what standard might be used.

        •  It's not complicated to me. (0+ / 0-)

          If you get any tax favors from the government or any grant monies from the government, you either give them up or stop discriminating in your hiring.

          Unfortunately, Obama promised to stop this with the faith based monies, but then wimped out and hired religious people to ADVISE him on government policies.

          No violations of church/state there!

          •  Agreed on grant money (0+ / 0-)

            although not sure about tax favors -- does that include tax exemption for being a nonprofit?

            •  Most tax exempt organizations have to file (0+ / 0-)

              a yearly form/report (I think it's a 990, but don't quote me on that).  Religious organizations are exempt from that filing requirement, so essentially there is no oversight on compliance to non-profit status. So they may be in the nonprofit category, but they also get a special status within it.  There are over 200 exemptions allowed only for religious institutions. That's why we have churches every half block, often in just rented space on the streets or in people's homes. That is why there are lawyers who do nothing but advise religious organizations on how to avoid taxes. Plus most of those religious organizations are not doing charity work, or they are adding gymnasiums and coffee cafes to their buildings. Or, the pastors have multimillion dollar homes or even Rolls Royce collections (as one pastor in Milwaukee has).  I could go on and on... (as you well know).

              WE pay for all that because their exemptions cause our taxes to be higher. We subsidize their share of roads and fire and police protections etc. because they pay no property taxes.

              Bottom line on the hiring issue... I object to paying out of my pocket taxwise for any organization in the United States of America that is exempt from our civil rights laws. As an atheist, I object to having tax dollars flow from my pocket to support religious organizations and religious opinions which are offensive to me. James Madison said I shouldn't have to do that, and violating that protection is a basic premise of the establishment clause. You would think the guy who authored the language for that Amendment would know what he was talking about.

              OK... I'm down off the soapbox now.

              •  I have to agree on principle (0+ / 0-)

                though I would need to look into more detail before agreeing in practice; I haven't ever managed a religious organization's finances, so I have literally no clue what these tax exemptions are.

                I think the first thing you mention, the lack of oversight on compliance to nonprofit status, is definitely not a good thing.  Even if one considers its basis sound, it's far too vulnerable to abuse.

  •  ... (0+ / 0-)
    Next they will be asking for their home grown version of Sharia law.
    They already are...

    http://www.from-the-bunker.com

    by jham710 on Wed Jul 10, 2013 at 12:54:57 PM PDT

  •  Courts recognize a "ministerial exemption" for (0+ / 0-)

    employees whose positions require them to lead worship, teach doctrine, etc. In Hosanna-Tabor, the Supreme Court found that a "called" Lutheran teacher, who spent 45 minutes per day teaching religion, led her classes in prayer, and spent the rest of the day teaching secular subjects, was a minister, and so exempt from ADA.

    So no, a woman denied ordination by the Catholic Church couldn't succeed in a sex discrimination case, but an accountant fired by the Church based on her gender probably could. Very much a case by case basis.

  •  "If only we were free from religion.." Bingo! (0+ / 0-)

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