|Anne Hilt, "Religious Freedom' Means Putting LGBT Americans Back in the Closet"|
Martin R. Castro, chairman of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, in the newly released USCCR report (pdf), Peaceful Coexistence: Reconciling Nondiscrimination Principles with Civil Liberties:
The phrases "religious liberty" and "religious freedom" will stand for nothing except hypocrisy so long as they remain code words for discrimination, intolerance, racism, sexism, homophobia, Islamophobia, Christian supremacy or any form of intolerance.
Religious liberty was never intended to give one religion dominion over other religions, or a veto power over the civil rights and civil liberties of others. However, today, as in the past, religion is being used as both a weapon and a shield by those seeking to deny others equality. In our nation’s past religion has been used to justify slavery and later, Jim Crow laws. We now see "religious liberty" arguments sneaking their way back into our political and constitutional discourse (just like the concept of "state rights") in an effort to undermine the rights of some Americans. This generation of Americans must stand up and speak out to ensure that religion never again be twisted to deny others the full promise of America.
Religious liberty was never intended to give one religion dominion over other religions, or a veto power over the civil rights and civil liberties of others: can someone please get the attention of the U.S. Catholic bishops and explain this fundamental principle of American democracy to them? Thanks.