Religious Freedom

The New Face of Religious Freedom

ILLUSTRATION SHOWING U.S. FLAG, CRUCIFIX

The Michigan House of Representatives has passed a bill which will protect the Religious Rights of the citizens of Michigan. The bill, which was developed after two legal cases – the first involving a baker who did not want to provide a wedding cake to a same-sex couple and a Jewish mother who did not want an autopsy for her son – which were cited religious beliefs as the reasons. The Michigan Speaker of the House, Jase Bolger, stated that the law does not provide people and businesses a right to discriminate, but allows them to practice their faith in peace.

If the bill passes the Michigan Senate, it will set a precedent for Religious Freedom across the United States. Today, many companies and individuals face discrimination from the Government when they try to exercise their First Amendment Rights. In these cases, the Government is requiring businesses and individuals to comply with laws – at Local, State, and Federal levels – which clearly violate the religious beliefs of these businesses and individuals.

As Speaker Bolger stated, it is not a matter of allowing businesses and individuals to discriminate against based on their religious beliefs. After all one person’s Rights stop at another person’s Rights. It is possible for a business to refuse to serve someone if doing so would oppose their religious beliefs, and an individual can choose not to have a medical procedure if it would violate their particular beliefs; and the Government does should not have the authority to force someone to violate their beliefs through laws or regulations.

The United States has always stood as an example of what is possible when the Government allows the People to live their lives as they wish. Unfortunately, in recent years, laws have been passed which erode one of the fundamental Rights afforded to American citizens: Religious Freedom. But laws such as the one working its way through the Michigan Legislature, will demonstrate once more that America stands for Freedom of Religion, whatever form it takes.

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