I was the Mayor of Fargo for 16 years. This was while being a professor of economics and NDSU. Later I became active in the Red River Freethinkers. While I no longer live in Fargo-Moorhead the focus of my blog remains there.


Down the Religious Liberty Rabbit Hole


I predict there will be no end to standards bent because of "religious liberty." Lots of benefits and services conservative Christians want will not be available because they themselves insisted on being about to discriminate. They advocate pharmacists need not fill birth control prescriptions and doctors should be able to refuse to perform certain patient care because it violates their religious beliefs.
The ultimate hypothetical result would be a hospital owned by satanists that refuses to treat Christians.
The particular story I was referring to was not about health care but about something that does not seem very important at all. It is about a "born-again Christian" firefighter who says Jesus wants him to wear a beard in a city which requires male firefighters to be clean shaven--no beards. I don't know of any safety requirement that is compromised with beards but there might be some. (Firefighters now wear equipment that allows them to enter burning buildings and might have some physical requirements.) My point is there is a slippery slope about the current version of religious liberty where demands for accommodation seem to go on and on.
Religion in general, not just Christianity, has always been shortsighted. It has not be able to bridge the gap between cultures that change and knowledge that improves while maintaining rigid conformity. Muslim groups like the Taliban demand religious practices. Then when a new group takes over the "converts" quickly latch onto the new group. Paganism seemed permanent but was replaced by Christianity. 
Politics often requires that demands of large religious groups be granted. History has shown, however, the more government bends to a religious group the sooner the group will be gone.

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