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Feb 17 2014

Jindal Wants Total Exemption for Religious

Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal gave a talk at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in which he offered the extraordinarily vague idea that no religious person (or business they own) should ever have to follow a law that applies to everyone else if they think it violates their religion.

No church or church-affiliated organization, or individuals whose business is run in a manner consistent with their faith practices, should be required by the state to take steps in conflict with their religion. Nor should they be legally punished for how they treat marital arrangements outside the teachings of their faith. …

You may favor protecting traditional marriage between one man and one woman, or you may favor making gay marriage legal. If we did a poll on those issues in this room, we would certainly find a variety of views. None of that is relevant in the least to the points I have made in this speech. Our religious liberty must in no way ever be linked to the ever-changing opinions of the public. To the contrary, we must understand that our freedom of conscience protects all Americans of every persuasion—however those persuasions may evolve.

Really, Bobby? No business should ever have to do anything that conflicts with their religious views? Let me offer a few hypotheticals.

A Muslim believes that women should not have jobs so they refuse to hire women. Or require that they wear a face veil if they do.

A member of the Christian Identity movement thinks black people are evil and therefore refuses to hire them or serve them in his business.

A fundamentalist Christian believes that only God controls what happens to the environment and to human beings and therefore his dumping of toxic waste into a river is perfectly okay because no one will be harmed unless God wants them to be harmed.

A Christian or a Muslim believes that God commands that gay people be stoned to death. To prevent them from stoning gay people would mean that he is “required by the state to take steps in conflict with their religion.”

A follower of Aztec gods believes that child sacrifice is required to curry favor with those gods. Can they be “required by the state to take steps in conflict with their religion” or are they allowed to sacrifice children?

I know some of those hypotheticals seem extreme, but so is his argument that the state can never require someone to take steps in conflict with their religion. That position is patently absurd.

39 comments

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  1. 1
    doublereed

    No, yes, yes, maybe, and no. It’s only for Christians.

  2. 2
    stephenyeats

    Hypothetical – any person with the surname Jindal should be put in leg irons and cast into the sea, in order to appease Poseidon.

  3. 3
    ArtK

    Well, if it wasn’t for them heathen Ay-rab and Mex things, Bobby would be happier ‘n a pig in shit with your hippie-theticals.

  4. 4
    Trebuchet

    Jindal, who is Catholic, isn’t even a REAL Christian. And he’s an anchor baby to boot.

  5. 5
    sinned34

    Jews may own non-Jews as slaves.
    Thou shalt not suffer a witch to live.
    Kill all the males, and the women who have lain with a man. Keep the young virgins for yourselves.

    This isn’t going to end well.

  6. 6
    Chiroptera

    Well, I say that if Christianists don’t have to obey the laws, then they shouldn’t have a say in what the laws are. And, in fact, they shouldn’t be protected by the laws, either.

    As someone once said — and, hey! I think it was a conservative! — along with rights come responsibilities.

  7. 7
    Phillip IV

    No church or church-affiliated organization, or individuals whose business is run in a manner consistent with their faith practices

    No matter the extent of religious exemption in question, the idea that it should apply equally to a church and an individual applying personal beliefs to the running of their business is ridiculous from the get-go – and it’s along that line that the right wingers are currently trying to expand the scope of “protection of religious beliefs”.

    They start with the reasonable stance that a pastor should not be forced to conduct a same-sex wedding against their will, and then claim that that automatically requires also protecting a baker from having to sell a cake to the couple. And I’m afraid it’s working, because even such an obvious discrepancy seems to be too subtle a line to clearly communicate for the news media.

  8. 8
    dan4

    Making vague or overly broad statements regarding public policy is pretty standard fair for conservatives/Republicans (generally speaking). They’ll oppose the ACA or minimum wage laws or environmental regulations on the basis that they “kill jobs” and then support policies (like abolishing the EPA or the Department of Education) that would, well, kill jobs. They’ll rail against “big government,” and then support policies (like criminalizing all forms of pornography or anti-sodomy laws) that represent big government. They’ll sanctimoniously espouse “a culture of life” and then support the death penalty (even when a life-in-prison-without-possibility-of-parole option is available). JIndal’s statement is just another example of this.

  9. 9
    zenlike

    Jindal would probably be more or less OK with the first three.

    The last two are too extreme. You don’t even have to take such extreme examples to arrive at something Jindal would probably blow a gasket over: would a Rastafari be allowed to smoke pot freely?

  10. 10
  11. 11
    dhall

    Wasn’t he the one who said that his party should stop being the party of stupid?

  12. 12
    caseloweraz

    Yes he was, dhall. But that was then, this is now. Memory is not a requirement for Republicans.

  13. 13
    Konradius

    Well actually it sounds like he was listing laws he didn’t like which would get this treatment.
    He will have to go a bit farther down the deep end before we can replace all lawyers with a napkin saying ‘just say you think this was mandated by your religion’.

  14. 14
    caseloweraz

    Jindal: Nor should they be legally punished for how they treat marital arrangements outside the teachings of their faith.

    I read this to mean that the “marital arrangements” are outside “the teachings of their faith.” But if that’s the case, they would have no reason to oppose such arrangements. Given the context of his talk, I don’t think Jindal meant it that way.

    You may favor protecting traditional marriage between one man and one woman, or you may favor making gay marriage legal. If we did a poll on those issues in this room, we would certainly find a variety of views. None of that is relevant in the least to the points I have made in this speech. Our religious liberty must in no way ever be linked to the ever-changing opinions of the public. To the contrary, we must understand that our freedom of conscience protects all Americans of every persuasion—however those persuasions may evolve.

    “protects all Americans of every persuasion” would seem to contradict what he said before.

  15. 15
    Gretchen

    I know some of those hypotheticals seem extreme, but so is his argument that the state can never require someone to take steps in conflict with their religion. That position is patently absurd.

    Yes, it is. I’d go further however and say that the state can always require someone to take steps in conflict with their religion, if it’s in conflict with their religion to obey the law. Does that violate freedom of religious expression? No, just as it doesn’t violate freedom of regular expression to say that you can speak your mind so long as you do so in a way that doesn’t entail fraud, libel, slander, incitement, or any other of the very few tightly conscribed exceptions.

    Believing very strongly and sincerely that you ought to do something, and having some large number of people agree with you about that, for a very long period of time, should not bring you any closer to being legally permitted to do it while others without the similar advantage of sincerity, company, and/or longevity are not.

  16. 16
    Moon Jaguar

    What brave Democrat in the Congress or the White House will call out Jindal for this ludicrous idea?

    Hmmm, I thought not.

  17. 17
    Pierce R. Butler

    … Jindal gave a talk at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library …

    A very appropriate vacuous venue.

  18. 18
    brucegee1962

    Hypothetical, nothing. What about “The gods who live in the spaceship want all their followers to drink poisoned Kool-aid and commit suicide.”

    Hey, I remember that happening. Is Jindal saying he doesn’t?

  19. 19
    sc_770d159609e0f8deaa72849e3731a29d

    The one which might most effectively dissuade Mr Jindal: at the end of the year the king is sacrificed to ensure a good harvest. As Louisiana does not have a king, the governor will act as a substitute.

  20. 20
    anubisprime

    Wah! wah! wah!…cannot be a bigoted, intolerant, dumbass, hateful xtian…oh how they are persecuted…bet he had an audience like fuckin’ nodding dogs when they realised that was the way to live the dream, the glory and the light.

  21. 21
    Alverant

    Didn’t another Louisana politician say, “I thought religious meant christian.” when a muslim school wanted to have access to public funds the same way a new law allowed christian schools to?

  22. 22
    ffakr

    My first thought..
    It’s awful brave of Bobby Jindal to support Mormon polygamy. ‘Who’s the Guba’mint to tell me how many wives* I can have? That law violates my religious beliefs.’

    .. context is important…

    * wives
    nown
    plural of wife
    1. a married woman, especially when considered in relation to her partner in marriage.
    2. a person between birth and full growth; a girl:
    3. that which a person owns; the possession or possessions of a particular owner:

  23. 23
    sigurd jorsalfar

    Now, now. We all know that when Jinday says ‘religious person’ he means ‘christian’.

  24. 24
    democommie

    “If we did a poll on those issues in this room, we would certainly find a variety of views.”

    Yes, I’m sure they would run the gamut from “teh GAYZ cannot get married!” to “teh GAYZ cannot get married and they should be lynched.”.

  25. 25
    raven

    In Jindal’s brave new world, I can tell you what the fastest growing religion would be.

    The one that considers paying taxes to be a sin.

    Every once in a while, some Sovereign Citizen decides that his religion means he doesn’t have to pay taxes. Because they are really citizens of the Kingdom of Heaven described in the NT bible. Shortly after that, they end up in jail.

    The tax base in Louisiana would dwindle down to 3 atheists. And they are at a bus station waiting for the next bus north.

  26. 26
    felidae

    I wonder how Gov. Ginnedup feels about Christian sects who refuse to serve in the military

  27. 27
    imthegenieicandoanything

    The weirdest thing about this thought experiment is postulating that B. Jindal CAN think, understands what “thought” is, or gives a rat’s ass about anything but allowing his particular type of vicious, stupid Xian bigotry free reign to do what it likes – so long as it doesn’t cut into certain profit margins.

    In short, why bother? Jindal is simply to be opposed, on all fronts and issues. He and anyone willing to associate with him can fuck off.

  28. 28
    chilidog99

    That’s the big push nowdays. Religious exemption laws.

    Since its obvious to everyone that the gay marriage bans are going the way of miscegination laws, they nut jobs have to try something else to justify their hatred.

  29. 29
    Michael Heath

    Ed writes:

    I know some of those hypotheticals seem extreme, but so is his argument that the state can never require someone to take steps in conflict with their religion. That position is patently absurd.

    Gretchen responds:

    Yes, it is. I’d go further however and say that the state can always require someone to take steps in conflict with their religion, if it’s in conflict with their religion to obey the law.

    Really? There are many laws on our books right now that are clearly or at least arguably unconstitutional. You appear to be arguing here people shouldn’t be able to take their case to court to test the constitutionality of such laws. I’d argue the opposite, that the courts have a constitutional obligation to apply strict scrutiny in all cases where a plaintiff shows a right is being infringed upon. I.e., to hell with Footnote 4.

    Gretchen responds:

    Yes, it is. I’d go further however and say that the state can always require someone to take steps in conflict with their religion, if it’s in conflict with their religion to obey the law. Does that violate freedom of religious expression? No, just as it doesn’t violate freedom of regular expression to say that you can speak your mind so long as you do so in a way that doesn’t entail fraud, libel, slander, incitement, or any other of the very few tightly conscribed exceptions.
    [Heath emphasized]

    You seem to be narrowing the religious freedom clause from a wide set of protections to mere protection of religious speech.

    I’d argue this from a completely different perspective. That sometimes that government will constitutionally fail to protect a person’s religious freedom rights, or itself infringe upon an individual’s religious freedom rights. That’s because we’ve either delegated certain powers to the government that infringes upon our rights, or else we run into a competing rights controversy where our courts protect the rights of one group of individuals at the expense of others groups.

    I think it’s far better to maintain the position our rights are unalienable and put the onus the courts to find a compelling state interest on why our rights are being infringed upon. I.e., the government either has the delegated authority to do so and they’re already using the least restrictive method, or they’re protecting the greater rights of another.

  30. 30
    Michael Heath

    … Jindal gave a talk at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library …

    Pierce Butler:

    A very appropriate vacuous venue.

    I hadn’t heard that before. Did you find that even the Air Force Pavilion was a waste of your time when you visited? What temporary exhibits were featured when you were there? Or haven’t you visited and just imagine the library to be “vacuous”?

  31. 31
    thebookofdave

    A follower of Aztec gods believes that child sacrifice is required to curry favor with those gods.

    Your suggestion offends Huitzilopochtli, who accepts only adults as sacrifice, taken as captives from other businesses. Our plant is 100% solar powered, but someone has to keep the sun going, and may be called upon to put all their heart into the effort.

    And he’s an anchor baby to boot.

    Anchor Babies! If Bobby Jindal is not already using it, I’m calling dibs on the band name, Treb.

  32. 32
    Al Dente

    Michael Heath @30

    I believe Pierce Butler was referring to the vacuity of Ronald Reagan, the president who suffered from Alzheimer’s syndrome while in office.

  33. 33
    Pierce R. Butler

    Michael Heath @ # 30 – Indeed, the name itself screams vacuity, no matter how many high-priced tributes to the military-industrial complex get squeezed under it.

    Al Dente @ # 32 – Quite so as to my intent, but I have some doubts about your closing clause. The man had so little intelligence to start with, and so much practice in projecting a genial façade, that a clear diagnosis (only announced officially over four years after he left office) could not have occurred before the condition was somewhat advanced.

  34. 34
    colnago80

    Re Pierce Butler @ #33

    Right on schedule, the Michigan mamzer shows up to defend his hero, Ronnie the rat.

  35. 35
    birgerjohansson

    When launching a long ship, you should sacrifice a thrall to Odin. And widows should be burned on their husbands’ funeral pyre to appease Kali.

    Christians that refuse to sacrifice to Cesar should be thrown into the Coliseum pit.

  36. 36
    eric

    No church or church-affiliated organization, or individuals whose business is run in a manner consistent with their faith practices, should be required by the state to take steps in conflict with their religion.

    Okay, Bobby, I’ll meet you halfway. If a church, church-affiliated organization, or individual lives their lives and operates their business according to ALL the laws set down in the bible – simultaneously – then they don’t have to hire gay people or acknowledge gay marriage. How’s that?

  37. 37
    John Horstman

    I’m all for it: according to people who have no idea what they’re talking about, being an atheist should put me in the position of absolute amorality, which should in turn result in me going on a killing spree. What a spree it will be if I don’t have to worry about the intervention of law enforcement! I’ll start with Jindal.

    (Note: This is satirical hyperbole. I have no intention of murdering anyone, including Bobby Jindal.)

  38. 38
    eric

    @37 – throwing tomatoes at him with no risk of an assault charge might be tempting, though…

  39. 39
    JamesY2

    Some of my friends have a religious belief that “‘do what thou wilt’ shall be the whole of the law”. Is he in favor of placing restrictions on them?

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