The Religious Right's Exclusive Claim to Religious Freedom
It seems as day after day the Religious Right is intent on making clear their belief that the First Amendment's freedom of religion applies only to Christians.
Take, for instance, this piece by FRC's Tony Perkins on CNN's Belief Blog in which he lays out the ways in which President Obama is destroying freedom of religion in America though his language, laws, and appointments:
America's First Freedom–freedom of religion–is in danger of being hounded out of public life, expelled from the public square. The word to millions of believers–Evangelicals, Catholics, Lutherans, Orthodox Jews–is this: Be Amish or be quiet. Keep your quaint religious practices, mumble your odd prayers, but do so in private.
For people of faith, these matters of faith and family go deeper. They are "bridge issues" that unite races and ethnicities, men and women, education and income groups.
The radical changes President Obama and his allies advocate threaten the America we love and the way we express our most deeply held moral and religious convictions. We will be neither silent nor inactive in the face of these challenges. With courtesy and civility but with unflinching determination, we will oppose them.
Isn't it ironic that at a time when the Right is engaged in a campaign to restrict the religious freedom of Muslims in America, Perkins lists only Christians and Jews as those who are in danger of seeing their freedom of religion "hounded out of public life."
On a related note, the AFA's Bryan Fischer continues his crusade against all things Islam, saying that "only a willfully stupid nation" would allow Muslims to practice their religion here ... but he's willing to compromise:
But I’m an open-minded guy, and open to reasonable compromise. I will happily join with Mr. Gingrich in the one-of-ours-for-one-of-yours approach. It’s a solution that expresses classic American values such as equal opportunity, fairness, and reciprocity.
As soon as we get a church in Mecca, they get a mosque in New York.
If Saudi Arabia won’t take us up on it, fine. It’s their call. One of ours for one of theirs. Can’t get any more fair, even-handed, and American than that.
What does he mean by "ours"? The entire point of the Frist Amendment is that there is no "ours" because "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof."
But for Fischer and the rest of the Religious Right, First Amendment free exercise rights are exclusively "ours," meaning Christians and Jews, and don't apply to Muslims at all.
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