I'm pretty big on 'freedom'. Religion? Not so much. However, my belief in personal freedom overrides my otherwise negative view of religion to the point that I certainly believe such freedom.....as supported by the Constitution.....is a good thing.
Recently Jeff Sessions has issued a memorandum extolling Trump's view that 'religious freedom' extends into areas that have become questionable, namely can one 'discriminate' based on one's religious beliefs? (memorandum)
But before I delve too deeply into this, I have some very serious questions about what 'religious belief' legally means. If there are any Constitutional lawyers out there, please advise!
Question #1: If a person says they believe in a particular religion, are they legally protected only to the degree for which their beliefs actually coincide with the religion? Or more simply.....if someone is going to use a religion to support a position, do they have to be correct in what that religion actually says about it.....or is their belief of what they think it says more important?
Question #2: If a person uses a religious doctrine to support their discrimination towards one thing, are they not obligated to discriminate according to their religion about other things? If not, then doesn't the discrimination become an arbitrary choice and not a true religious expression? In other words, if a person's religion says a, b, & c are wrong and the believer chooses to only discriminate against c, but not a or b, can they still maintain their discrimination is religiously based? Would such arbitrary application of religious dogma prove that the discrimination is personal rather than faith-based?
Question #3: What qualifies as a 'religion' and therefore a religious belief?
I believe before major decisions can be made, these things need to be addressed. In my next post, I will go a little more deeply into this.