Strengthening Constitutional Self-Government

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Religion

The Established Church of Liberalism

The latest from the radicals in the Obama Justice Department:

To the surprise and consternation of religious groups across the political spectrum, the Department of Justice is now arguing, for the first time, that the widely recognized "ministerial exception" to employment-discrimination laws shouldn't exist at all.

The implication. Under current law,

Catholics and Orthodox Jews can have an all-male clergy. Jews, Muslims and Hindus can base leadership decisions on ethnicity and descent. And where marital-status discrimination is prohibited, churches can "discriminate" based on celibacy.

Absent the ministerial exemption, all that might be hard to protect.  The liberty of practicing one's religion would be weakened. If the Obama administration holds true to form, they might offer waivers, aka dispensation to some groups, so long as they play ball with the powers that be in other ways.

(Note: I wrote this post quickly before heading off to a religious service.  I have since edited it for clarity).

Categories > Religion

Discussions - 5 Comments

Why not just post the link to the article?

A quick look at the case doesn't match up to the dire warnings of the article, let alone your headline.

Do you have a view?

He posed a link to a piece of commentary. Here is the Justice Department's bloody brief.

http://www.justice.gov/osg/briefs/2011/3mer/2mer/2010-0553.mer.aa.pdf

Controversies like this are another piece of evidence that Gottfried Dietze's criticisms of "anti-discrimination" law were prescient. They could not be contained to the very particular situations (Southern caste regulations) they were originally intended to address.

I skimmed the DOJ's brief and conclude that there's not much to worry about, here. It seems that Hosanna-Tabor exploited the ministerial exemption to terminate a non-ministerial employee in violation of the ADA. No religious or doctrinal grounds were offered in support of the termination. Such grounds protect religious organizations from discrimination lawsuits under ADA. The case concerns whether this protection should be withdrawn when said grounds are not extant. If not, religious organizations (like Hosanna-Tabor) may discriminate against the disabled on grounds that they're disabled when non-religious organizations may not. Does the ability to discriminate thusly really protect the religious liberty of religious organizations?

The Obama Justice Department Now that is a laugh or better yet an oxy-moron.

Like anyone except maybe the Wall Street protestors believe that the Obama Justice Department even knows the meaing of the word justice....

Lavaux, yes, the ability to discriminate really does protect the religious liberty of religious organizations. Remember freedom of association and rights of conscience; when government determines who a religious organization may or may not hire or retain that is an infringement of liberty. When we are all accountable to government for who we may or may not allow into our associations (or hire), that is an infringement of liberty. I understand that discrimination may not be fair, but it is an aspect of liberty; it is a matter of choice.

I cannot understand why someone who despises or is incompatible with the beliefs or traditions of an institution would want to work for them. A job may be a right we assume for our fellow human beings. We should all have a right to work to pursue our happiness and that of society. But any given job is not a right susceptible to government protection.

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