Fundies object to being caught redefining words . . .
In the tug of war between religious freedom and nondiscrimination rights, the weight seems to be pulling toward the latter.
At least that's the view of 17 religious leaders including LDS Church Presiding Bishop Gérald Caussé who addressed their concerns with the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights' recent report in an Oct. 7 letter to President Barack Obama, House Speaker Paul Ryan and Utah Sen. Orrin Hatch.
The report, titled "Peaceful Coexistence: Reconciling Nondiscrimination Principles With Civil Liberties," comes down squarely on the side of civil liberties for individuals, the letter says, and "stigmatizes tens of millions of religious Americans, their communities, and their faith-based institutions, and threatens the religious freedom of all our citizens.
At issue, wrote the signers representing Catholic, Jewish, Muslim, Hindu, black church and other institutions, are religious views on marriage, the family, contraception, abortion and "the source of human dignity."
Their letter cited as an example a statement by Commission Chairman Martin Castro, who wrote: "The phrases 'religious liberty' and 'religious freedom' will stand for nothing except hypocrisy so long as they remain code words for discrimination, intolerance, racism, sexism, homophobia, Islamophobia, Christian supremacy or any form of intolerance."
"No American citizen or institution [should] be labeled by their government as bigoted because of their religious views, and dismissed from the political life of our nation for holding those views," the letter declared. "And yet that is precisely what the Civil Rights Commission report does."
"The report adopts a stunted and distorted version of religious liberty, suggesting that claims of religious conscience are little more than a cloak for bigotry and hatred," Hatch said. "I reject the false picture of religious liberty presented."