Overdoing Religious Freedom
Government shall not burden a person’s or religious organization’s freedom of religion; protect the right to act or refuse to act on religious grounds; specify that government shall prove by clear and convincing evidence prove a compelling governmental interest in establishing a burden on the freedom of religion; specify what constitutes a burden. A burden shall include indirect burdens such as withholding benefits, assessing penalties, or an exclusion from programs or access to facilities.~ Kentucky Religious Freedom Bill (2013-03-28 age:4)
This is an ill-conceived bill that muddies more than it clarifies. For example:
- May someone with a yard overrun with rats now claim they belong to the Hindu cult that worships rats?
- May someone caught with marijuana or peyote now claim they belong to cults for whom they are sacraments?
- May someone refuse to wear a hard hat or a motorcycle helmet now claiming it interferes with religious headdress?
- May known Sikh terrorists now be permitted to carry daggers on aircraft because they consider them a religious symbol?
- May Christians now legally crucify gay people the way Matthew Shepard was because their bible commands it?
- May a JW (Jehovah’s Witness) parents now withhold medical treatment from a 16-year-old child who wants it because of the religious belief that blood transfusions are wicked.
The government may not have compelling interest to interfere, but they are still other valid reasons.