Back religious liberty, and we all will benefit

  • Article by: THOMAS C. BERG
  • Updated: May 29, 2012 - 8:57 PM

Editorial about North Dakota's vote focused too narrowly on conservatives.

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okbruceyMay. 29, 12 9:11 PM

Very well said. For all their talk about freedom and the right to choose and do as they please, liberals more often than not seem to be the first to strip away such rights from those they disagree with. There is no one more conservative than a liberal. Don't believe me? Disagree with one once.

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treddleMay. 29, 12 9:44 PM

This issue appears to me to not be a question of religious liberty, but rather that of morality. And no religion is moral. Surly Mr. Berg is not defending the Catholic church stance on condoms as being a far greater immoral evil than the unchecked spread of AIDS? How many of the untold millions might not have suffered and died from this epidemic on the African Continent over the past decades and to this day had charities been allowed to distribute and encourage the use of the simple condom the one and only proven real world prevention against the spread of this disease? That, sir, is immoral. It is indefensible. It is criminal. Would you defend as religious liberty the sexual mutilation of adolescent girls at the hand of their islamist fathers or the same could be said of the jews who do it to baby boys? Would you defend as religious liberty the morman practice of baptizing dead jews? No normal morally average person would commit reprehensibly immoral acts in the absence of religion. Surly, you are not proposing that as a free society we are forced to accept these unspeakable immoral acts in the name of religious liberty??

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karhatsuMay. 29, 1210:08 PM

Simple; Religion stays out of Business, out of Science and out of Education and stays at home, private, where it belongs. These accomodations, both cultural and idealogocal, are not the way to harmony and will only lead to further collapse.

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normysamoronMay. 29, 1210:16 PM

I'm not buying this argument about "Religious freedom." Imagine, Mr. Berg, if one day you show up to work at St. Thomas and the tables have turned, and the University is now owned by the Jehovah's Witnesses. However life saving blood transfusions may be, they do not cover them in your new health plan because Jehova's Witnesses do not believe in them. Sorry, Professor Berg, no blood transfusions for you so long as you work at St. Thomas. In addition, the JW's think it is immoral to refer you to outside plans that would cover blood transfusions. You must find insurance and pay for that out of pocket on your own. A discount from your current plan to cover it would violate their beliefs. To say that providing a discount in health insurance policies so the employees of Catholic institutions can seek the sometimes life-saving coverage elsewhere is a "violation of the institution's religious freedom" is simply wrong. In America, religious freedom is a sacred thing. If you stretch that argument too thin you will certainly weaken it for all.

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arielbenderMay. 29, 1210:48 PM

These people are all the same. They're all for "religious liberty"..until the religion isn't one that they practice.

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danderson60May. 29, 1210:50 PM

Here's a "which came first, the chicken or the egg" type question. Does one organization or person's rights supersede another organization or person's rights? Which is more powerful...the freedom of religion, freedom of the press, or the right to bear arms? Unfortunately this is what happens. A religious organization or person says that's against my religion...fine, but when freedom/rights infringe on another's freedom then then does your religion take precidence? Example with the whole contraception thing...religiously affiliated organizations say we're not going to cover contraception. A person who does not hold those beliefs but is hired by the organization wants it covered like all non religion affiliated employers. It's a double edged sword because one is trying to inflict their values on the other. Was this stated in the employment contract? Probably not. If it was then the employee looses, if it was not then the employer should loose.

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jarlmnMay. 30, 12 1:06 AM

Seems that the folks that talk the loudest about "religious liberty," mostly want the liberty to impose their values and sensibilities upon the rest of us. Believing in whatever superstitions and fairy-tales that constitute their "religion," should not, in a supposedly secular society, exempt anyone from anything...

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richieMay. 30, 12 6:24 AM

I`ll tell you what would be good, make them pay taxes since all of these so called churches want to get involved in and spend a lot of money on politics.

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owatonnabillMay. 30, 12 6:42 AM

"In our complex society, valid laws sometimes collide with religious conscience. In such cases it is sensible to balance societal values by protecting religious freedom unless the government can show a strong countervailing interest. " ............. This phrase sums up Berg's point in a nutshell. But this is not just a religious issue. The Federal Government has no business in the affairs of ANY person or group unless it has a strong countervailing interest against the practices of that person or group. Eminent domain, for example. The Government (at whatever level) just cannot come in and annex someone's property for something arbitrary, and even if there IS a strong countervailing interest, the Government, by law, must reimburse the owner of the property with a fair and just payment. The evolution of Government, in just about all cases, is synonymous with the GROWTH of Government. Reach, take and justify. Thankfully the courts exist to limit this at least to an extent, as Mr. Berg points out. No freedom should ever be limited by the government unless there is a strong, compelling reason to do so.

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my4centsMay. 30, 12 7:21 AM

treddle: "Would you defend as religious liberty the sexual mutilation of adolescent girls at the hand of their islamist fathers?" --- You completely missed the part of this amendment about a "compelling state interest." Nobody is proposing the freedom to harm others. They are proposing the freedom to willingly associate with a religious organization (whether as a religious practice or as an employer) and operate according to that religions beliefs. Nobody will force others to join or follow those rules.

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