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Friday, December 13, 2013

Liberals discuss the need to end 'Christian privilege' in the name of religious freedom -- By Joel Gehrke, The Washington Examiner

Photo - The left-leaning Center for American Progress held a discussion about religious freedom Thursday. (Photo: Thinkstock)It's settled, then: Christian conservatives use religion as a justification for their discriminatory behavior, and Americans will only enjoy true religious freedom when their so-called "religious liberty" claims are defeated.

That was the consensus Thursday at a panel discussion sponsored by the Center for American Progress in Washington.

"People [are] using the term 'liberty' when they really mean 'my liberty, your slavery,'" the Rev. Dr. C. Welton Gaddy, president of the Interfaith Alliance, said during the discussion. He made the statement while arguing that liberals' view of religious liberty springs from a true, originalist reading of the Constitution that was once universally understood. Unfortunately, he said, the American people have become "confused" about this question because of misleading claims made by the U.S. Conference of Catholic bishops.

"You have the Catholic bishops advocating for 'religious freedom,' which doesn't look anything like what religious freedom is in the Constitution," Gaddy said. "Unless we do those kind of dramatic actions [such as the ACLU suing the USCCB] in order to get us back to what the foundation of religious freedom has been all the time, it's going to get worse and worse, with people using the term 'liberty' when they really mean 'my liberty, your slavery.'"

The audience received a similar narrative of religious beliefs functioning as a Trojan horse for discrimination from ACLU senior counsel Eunice Rho, who denounced attempts to pass a Religious Freedom Restoration Act in various states.

"These are very dangerous because they can allow religion to be used to harm others," Rho said.

Gaddy compared Christian florists who don't want to provide service for gay weddings to employers who posted "whites only" signs in their windows.

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