Rep. Mike Kelly, a devout Catholic and Notre Dame alum, likened the passage of the Affordable Care Act — the largest expansion of healthcare in 50 years — to the attack on Pearl Harbor, fumbling FDR’s famous line, saying, “I want you to remember August 1, 2012, the attack on our religious freedom. That is a date that will live in infamy along with those other dates.”
So anything the man says needs to be examined with a healthy dose of skepticism, including Kelly’s op-ed published in The Washington Examiner last week.
Kelly’s target is the City of Brotherly Love, which has a policy of not allowing outfits that discriminate to serve as foster care agencies. Put another way, Philadelphia requires that those agencies adhere to non-discrimination policies.
But for Kelly, non-discrimination is “anti-religious,” so much so that his op-ed headline reads: “Motivated by anti-religious ideology, Philadelphia is separating families.”
In this strange, Orwellian age America is suffering through, it apparently needs to be stated for the record: a policy of non-discrimination is not anti-religious, it’s anti-discrimination.
Kelly’s op-ed is just another attempt to redefine the nature of religious freedom. It’s an attempt to weaponize religious liberty. FFRF has been ringing the alarm bell on the attempt to redefine religious freedom and I’ve been writing about it for years. We madethat argument to the Supreme Court in the Masterpiece Cakeshop case. But still, the weaponization marches on.
The op-ed is a fearmonger’s word salad and is unworthy of a point by point rebuttal. But the broader issues with religion, discrimination, and orphan care have been with us for a while and are worth examining.
We’ve often heard that religion does so much good: “Look at all the hospitals its built.” (Never mind that Red Cross was started by a freethinker, and that taxpayers get the bill for many services in “religious” hospitals). Motivation matters. The motivation of the religious groups is important in deciding the social value and utility of the service they provide. Are the religious groups providing foster care because they love and care for their fellow human beings, or are they doing so as a means of propagating their religion? I think it’s the latter.
Read the full story at The Friendly Atheist