While political and religious beliefs vary across the nation, most people should agree on the simple fact that people in the United States should be free to believe what they like. However, Tim Teeman, a senior editor at the Daily Beast, seems to be under the mistaken impression that freedom of religion somehow poses a grave danger to the masses.
Teeman told people of faith exactly how he really felt when he published an op-ed telling the world that “religious freedom” is just another name for poisonous, anti-LGBTQ bigotry.
The column started by bringing up the fact that President Trump recently rescinded Obama-era guidelines forbidding federal funding to religious foster care agencies that would not place children with LGBTQ parents. He then complained about the fact that conservative Supreme Court Justices Samuel Alito and Brett Kavanaugh posed for a photo with the president of the World Congress for Families, an organization that supports the federal government’s current interpretation of Title IX. He also penned support for Christian businesses being forced to cater to same-sex weddings.
By the time a person finishes reading the piece, he or she could be forgiven for thinking that religious freedom is a bigger threat to humanity than the horrific “climate change” crisis that is meant to end the world in the next twelve years.
However, the facts don’t agree with Teeman’s hateful viewpoint. First of all, religious foster care agencies play a huge role in helping children find loving families. Catholic agencies in particular stand out from the rest as they work with challenging situations such as helping large groups of siblings, older children, and handicapped children find loving homes. Running religious organizations out of business simply because they won’t cater to the LGBTQ community will hurt the innocent children Teeman pretends he cares about. In fact, when Illinois shut Catholic agencies out of the foster care system, three thousand innocent children were displaced.
Allowing religious agencies to operate doesn’t infringe on the rights of LGBTQ would-be parents. There are plenty of secular agencies that they can work with. The same point, by the way, can be made for gay couples who make it a point to find conservative Christian photographers, bakers, and florists who believe in traditional marriage, and then force these professionals to serve them. These businesses have made it clear that they welcome LGBTQ customers as long as the services requested don’t involve weddings — but that isn’t good enough for far-left progressive activists.
As for the “controversial” photo of Justices Kavanaugh and Alito, it’s worth noting that Justices Ruth Bader Ginsberg and Elena Kagan officiated gay marriages, and then refused to recuse themselves from the Obergefell v Hodges case the legalized same-sex marriage. Naturally, left-leaning activists had no complaints about this display of partiality.
The notion that religious freedom automatically tramples on the rights of “marginalized people” is an absurd one. Gay and transgender people have the same basic freedoms as cisgender, heterosexual people. But as we’re seeing with progressive activists today, this is precisely the problem. They don’t want equal treatment for marginalized groups, they want special treatment — and religious freedom is just a barrier to that.