?

Log in

No account? Create an account

Governmental policies about religion - The online computery journal thingy of a turtle

Mar. 20th, 2010

08:31 pm - Governmental policies about religion

Previous Entry Share Next Entry

nonsanity recently wrote two posts about the presence of the words "under god" in the pledge of allegiance.

nefaria responded, and I've been debating him (which is hard; I never was very good at debate. At least on the internet I can take my time and research things!)


In response to this comment:


1. Freedom of Choice Act: Whoooa, hot-button digression for a discussion that started out about two words in a pledge. However, you're wrong; the FOCA would do no such thing.

2. Housing Act: What if a Jew refuses to rent to a moderate Muslim? Or if a Christian refuses to rent to a Jew? I can't believe you're trying to argue that prohibiting religious discrimination is somehow bad.

3. How is that any different from, say, a bank requiring its employees to wear suits, and disallowing tennis shoes, jeans, T-shirts, etc.? As long as nobody tries to restrict what you wear off-duty, it's not discrimination.

4. Surely religious institutions have some recourse. Alternative student loans? Private loans?

5. More like, when the government is involved, standards of fairness must be applied. Government workers don't have to abandon their principles; they're just not allowed to proselytize on the job.

Comments:

[User Picture]
From:nefaria
Date:March 21st, 2010 04:56 am (UTC)
(Link)
1. From http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Freedom_of_Choice_Act:
Those who oppose the Act have interpreted it as an attempt to obligate religious hospitals to either "do abortions or close", while FOCA supporters argue that existing conscience clause laws would protect religious hospitals. In early 2009, Catholic News Service asserted that in its interpretation of the legislation, FOCA neither poses any such risk to Catholic hospitals, nor would require religious hospitals to participate in abortion. Opponents, however, assert that conscience clauses are weak and easily reinterpreted, and do not explicitly allow religious hospitals to ban the abortion procedure within the hospital.
So it looks like FOCA advocates say it won't and many FOCA opponents say it will. The lawyers will get to decide, and the abortion advocates always seem to get the best lawyers.

2., 3., 5. Clearly you feel that discrimination trumps religious freedom of association. So if the government manages to poke its nose in anywhere, religion must flee. That was my argument on nonsanity's LJ. I'll leave it an open question whether a particular instance of discrimination is justifiable or not, but the religious person's ability to discriminate is taken away in all cases whenever the government says so.

4. My college had to create its own loan plan because the Fed refused to lend to them. The rate was higher than the Federal rate because it was not subsidized by taxpayers. I am OK with this, but it did provide an example where I personally suffered because of my religious freedom.
(Reply) (Thread)
[User Picture]
From:rikchik
Date:March 21st, 2010 01:17 pm (UTC)
(Link)
Your college wasn't unsubsidized because it was friendly to your religion, it was because it was unfriendly to all other religions. Why should non-Christian taxpayers pay for a college that requires Christian services? Would you still think it appropriate if most funding of this kind went to Hindu schools?

Likewise, making it legal for a landlord to discriminate against someone based on their beliefs rather than their actions is being religiously unfriendly and should disturb Christians too.
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]
From:xydexx
Date:March 21st, 2010 01:36 pm (UTC)
(Link)
Clearly you feel that discrimination trumps religious freedom of association. So if the government manages to poke its nose in anywhere, religion must flee.


No, it means if religion tries to poke its nose into government, they can't. Religion isn't "fleeing" anywhere it shouldn't have been in the first place. It's called separation of church and state. This isn't God's country, it's a free one.



Exercising your religious freedom doesn't mean you get to trample over everyone else's.
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]
From:octan
Date:March 21st, 2010 09:14 pm (UTC)
(Link)
I think he's talking about the fact that government is gradually taking over things that didn't use to have anything to do with government and, thus, weren't required to restrict their affiliation with religion. And he sort of has a point, but as someone said earlier it works both ways. It's just that there aren't any explicitly atheist organizations that the government has tried muscling in on yet.
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]
From:nefaria
Date:March 21st, 2010 11:08 pm (UTC)
(Link)
Yes, that was my intention. Unfortunately I did not make a good choice in picking the right to discriminate against others as a form of religious freedom, so xydexx does have a point there.
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]
From:q_pheevr
Date:March 21st, 2010 07:53 pm (UTC)
(Link)
4. My college had to create its own loan plan because the Fed refused to lend to them. The rate was higher than the Federal rate because it was not subsidized by taxpayers. I am OK with this, but it did provide an example where I personally suffered because of my religious freedom.

You didn't suffer. You wanted something (a religious postsecondary education) that the government could not reasonably be expected to provide or subsidize, and so you had to pay for it.

(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]
From:octan
Date:March 21st, 2010 09:18 pm (UTC)
(Link)
So if the government manages to poke its nose in anywhere, religion must flee.

Hate to break it to you, but that's always the way it's been. The government already does plenty of things that are openly contrary to some non-Christian religions. Having an army, for one. There are a goodly number of religions that are explicitly pacifist; how do you think they feel that something like a quarter of all their taxes go towards a department that stockpiles WMDs and shoots people?

Anytime you have a government that's funded by taxes, it's going to be forcing somebody to support stuff they don't believe in. The only other option is anarchy.
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]
From:deckardcanine
Date:March 21st, 2010 04:02 pm (UTC)
(Link)
2. Housing Act: What if a Jew refuses to rent to a moderate Muslim? Or if a Christian refuses to rent to a Jew? I can't believe you're trying to argue that prohibiting religious discrimination is somehow bad.

The conservatives I know hold that restaurant owners should be allowed to put up "Whites Only" signs if they want. You'd be a financially unsound jackass to do so, but it's a worse offense in their eyes for the government to force you (a private businessman) to serve people you don't want to serve. Same idea with housing.

This is one point on which conservatives have not been quick to win me over. I will admit, tho, that there is the potential to get sloppy. A Jew might refuse to rent to a Muslim and not be open about the reason. What do you do then?
(Reply) (Thread)
[User Picture]
From:zorinlynx
Date:March 21st, 2010 07:08 pm (UTC)
(Link)
It is detrimental to society as a whole to have businesses lining our streets with such signs in the windows. Causing ire and pissing people off with blatant discrimination results in drama that was are better off without in our culture.

Whenever I see old photos with a sign that says "NO MEXICANS" or something like that I wince a little. It's the sort of thing that will upset a whole lot of people, for the benefit of a very small minority. Yeah, no. Keep such things banned.
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]
From:nefaria
Date:March 21st, 2010 11:22 pm (UTC)
(Link)
What's commonly done now is not to advertise available apartments, just make arrangements with an acceptable tenant to move in. Since none of the "undesirables" apply for the apartment, no actionable discrimination takes place.

I admit though, this was a very poor choice to try to make my point with.
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]
From:yakko
Date:March 21st, 2010 08:47 pm (UTC)

Much ado about tangents

(Link)
If "UNDER GOD" is removed from the Pledge, the government can remove "IN GOD WE TRUST" from our currency while they're at it. The alteration of the Pledge and this alteration of our currency were made at the same time.

In summary, to perhaps further a hackneyed phrase, the government should keep church out of my state.
(Reply) (Thread)
[User Picture]
From:nefaria
Date:March 21st, 2010 11:13 pm (UTC)

Re: Much ado about tangents

(Link)
I would also like to keep the government out of my church, but that will never happen, they've got their claws in deep enough to bankrupt an entire diocese if they wish to do so.

Edited at 2010-03-21 11:15 pm (UTC)
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)