Tag Archives: religious exemption

Why Do Religious Freedom Restoration Acts Open The Door To Discrimination?

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photo of Indiana Governor Mike Pence
Indiana Governor Mike Pence trying to put lipstick on a pig

In a previous post, I used the title ‘Indiana Ends Fair And Equal Treatment‘ in response to Governor Pence signing a Religious Freedom Restoration Act into law. RFRA’s have opened the door to discrimination since the federal version was used in the Burwell v. Hobby Lobby Supreme Court decision back in June.
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Group Starts Petition To Remove Ohio’s Religious Exemption For Child Abuse

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image of Bible and stethoscopeDid you know that many states, including Ohio, have religious exemptions for child abuse written into law? Short of killing the child, parents and people having custody of children can harm the health or safety of the child, by violating a duty of care, protection, or support – like refusing to get proper childhood vaccines or in the extreme, refusal of medical treatment for the child – as long as the abuse is due to the person’s religion. There is a new group collecting signatures on an online petition to get that exemption removed.
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Hobby Lobby Decision Created Special Religious Rights

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clipart showing a scaleNot only did the recent Burwell v. Hobby Lobby US Supreme Court Decision give corporations religious rights that only individuals had under the 1st amendment, but the decision confirmed the religious have extra-consitutional rights. It’s all because of the Religious Freedom Restoration Act that was passed in 1993.
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Ohio Exempts Faith Healing from Child Abuse Laws

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image of kid getting ear tweakedRecently a Pennsylvania couple was convicted of allowing a second sick child to die. They tried to use their religion as a defense for refusing to take two of their children to medical professionals. Did you know that Ohio also exempts religious beliefs of the parents from laws meant to protect children? This is the worst kind of religious privilege since it can lead to the death of a child. We need to demand our legislatures remove religious exemptions for child abuse and neglect.
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In Further Compromise, Religious Groups Get Expanded Contraception Coverage Exemption

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image of a month's supply of Birth Control pillsOn Friday (02/01), President Obama’s administration announced a further watering down of the new health care rule that would require birth control coverage to be offered through an employee health plan. Previously churches were exempt but now religiously owned and operated non-profit groups and organizations will be able to gain an exemption if they request it. All exemptions would then shift the cost and provision of coverage to the insurance company. Of course the more vocal religious right groups say it’s not enough saying even private companies owned and operated by people who might have religious objections must be allowed to be exempt. They need to worry more about the people they serve rather than being so selfish.
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Religious Exemptions To Laws Could Lead To Honor Killings

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image of Hole in the wall leads to troubleThe Catholic church and other religious conservatives are suing the government to invalidate the new health care regulation that forces them to provide insurance coverage for birth control for non-clergy workers. This follows the recent history of legal religious accommodation like the Religious Freedom Restoration Act. But these attempts to knock down the wall of separation of church and state leads down a road I don’t think most people have thought about in trying to roll back religious neutrality.
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