Religious Liberty Loses to Government Compulsion (March 5, 2014)
A national furor arose last week when Arizona’s governor vetoed a proposed law regarding religious liberty. It was similar in purpose to one in Tennessee that, because of negative media, had been withdrawn the week before.
Arizona’s bill would have allowed a business to at least try to defend itself against a discrimination lawsuit by a private citizen if it could prove that providing the requested service violated the business owner’s religious beliefs.
Americans used to believe that it was not good for government to force private individuals to be in relationships they didn’t want to be in. Liberty could be messy, but government coercion was considered ugly.
Therefore, we should be very careful with laws forcing private citizens into relationships with one another, particularly when it allows one citizen to force another to violate his or her religious beliefs.
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Read more about this issue in David Fowler’s recent commentary, At the Jim Crow Flies So Flies Religious Liberty