Friday, September 18, 2009

Does "Religious Liberty" Include The "Freedom To Discriminate?"

Soi-disant "Religious Liberty" does not trump civil rights.
A Bushevik-era pander to the wackloon/flying-monkey/fucktard/kristo-fascisti, issued by the OLC (yeah, the same outfit that harbored war-criminal John Yoo, whence he dispensed his torture-authorizing security memos), permitting 'sectarian' organizations to discriminate in hiring, and other practices, is now under attack by coalition of groups, including Americans United and 58 other interested groups, which have petitioned AG Holder to revoke the regulation.

I don't expect it to happen, but:
Americans United for Separation of Church and State today joined a coalition of 58 organizations urging Attorney General Eric Holder to revoke a Bush-era rule regarding "faith-based" funding that the groups say threatens civil rights and religious freedom.

In June of 2007, the (Bushevik) Office of Legal Counsel (OLC) issued a legal memo asserting that a federal law called the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA) gives religious organizations a blanket right to discriminate on religious grounds when hiring staff in taxpayer-funded programs.

In a joint letter to Holder today, a broad coalition of organizations said RFRA does no such thing.

“The Bush administration twisted federal law to buttress its misguided policies and allow religious discrimination in taxpayer-funded ‘faith-based’ programs,” said the Rev. Barry W. Lynn, executive director of Americans United. “It’s time for the Obama administration to correct this error.”

The letter calls the Bush interpretation of RFRA “far-fetched” and goes on to assert, “The guidance in the OLC Memo is not justified under applicable legal standards and threatens to tilt policy toward an unwarranted end that would damage civil rights and religious liberty.”

The organizations argue that RFRA, passed in 1993, was designed to protect religious liberty, not countenance discrimination.

Many of the organizations signing the letter are members of the Coalition Against Religious Discrimination. The Coalition argues that religious groups that accept public funds should be required to meet federal civil rights laws.
(Emphases supplied. W.)
There's a novel fucking concept, no doubt about it. I have my doubts, however, about the Obama regime's commitment to restoring civil rights which the Busheviks abrogated, especially in the arena of reining in the the theo-fascists of the religious right.

I for one will be astonished if Obama doesn't order Holder to strike some kind of a feckless compromise. Obama's ambivalence about the participation of restraining religious interests in public life does not lead me to harbor much optimism.

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