Religious Freedom

The Right To Choose

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There is a lot of talk lately about whether “Freedom of Religion” leads to a right to discriminate. Recent laws and statutes that are being passed across the country are allowing for businesses and individuals to act on their religious beliefs – those protected by the First Amendment – in their dealings with other individuals and legal matters. Opponents to such measures are declaring that the laws will lead to discrimination against individuals who do not stand up to the “standards” set by those who choose to exercise their Religious Freedom in their day-to-day lives.

As these laws pass, they make it possible for a business to refuse service to anyone on the grounds of Religious Freedom. Businesses have always had the right to refuse business to individuals (and many will post notices of this fact). So why do those against Religious Freedom voice their opinion on the matter now? Do they believe that this is some new form of discrimination? How is refusing service to someone not wearing shoes any different than refusing service to a Muslim because you are a Catholic business owner? If a business chooses to refuse business, they are the ones losing out on the extra sales.

The freedom to choose who a business does and does not serve should in no way be tied to laws granting Religious Freedom. This Right is fundamental to the fabric of the United States, and does not need to be reaffirmed by such legislative and legal actions. The challenges to these laws are just another attack on Freedom of Religion in the U.S. Yet, the fact that these laws are passing indicates that the Government is recognizing that the First Amendment Rights of the People need to be validated and preserved. Unfortunately, the most effective way to do this is to draft laws and statutes which provide for the validation of this Right.

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