Religious Liberty and Christian Theology

Salon: Republicans have turned God upside down with their so-called “religious liberty”.

The “liberty” part in “religious liberty” is not intended to empower the believers of a dominant religion, such as, say, Christianity, to give them the “liberty” to impose their beliefs upon everyone else. No. This is a perversion of the term “religious liberty.”

Instead, the “liberty” part is intended to protect minority NON-believers to ensure that they have the liberty to maintain their own independent beliefs without suffering any disadvantages imposed upon them by the dominant believers.


And Christians are hardly under attack here. No one is taking away their rights. No one is seeking to force them to be gay themselves, or to force birth control upon them. No. They are perfectly free to hold their own religious beliefs and live their lives accordingly.

My take on the matter is to observe that these religious liberty laws all seem to be about gay and transgender people, and Christians who recoil at dealing with people they think are sinners on those grounds. But, according to Christian theology, aren’t we *all* sinners about something or another? So why is it Christians need these laws just to avoid dealing with gays and transgender people? Because it’s really about their difficulty of living civilly with people who are unlike themselves – especially those icky gays and transgenders.

The essay does conclude this way:

Good afternoon Mr. & Mrs. Customer. Are you gay? Oh thank goodness. But, do you believe in God? Which God? Did you attend church this past Sunday? Have either of you ever committed adultery? When you have sexual intercourse with each other, do you use birth control? Madam, have you ever had an abortion? Do you as a couple engage in any sexual activity that would be regarded as deviant?

Oh, I’m sorry, we don’t serve your kind.

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