Precinct 333

Sunday, June 20, 2004

ACLU: We Can't Let This Religious Freedom Thing Take Hold

Proving that it is the biggest protector of only SOME constitutional rights and liberties, the ACLU has come out against the Workplace Religious Freedom Act, which would require that employers make reasonable accommodations of employee religious beliefs and practices. The measure is sponsored by Senators Rick Santorum (R-PA) and (giving credit where credit is due). . . John Kerry (D-MA).

This bill would strengthen protections previously enacted by defining "undue hardship" as meaning "any inconvenience to the employer. The new standard would require that the hardship impose a significant financial or logistical burden on the employer. The bill would guarantee the right to wear a yarmulke or crucifix, take off religious holidays, or engage in religious practices that do not disrupt the workplace (i.e. Bible reading during breaks, posting religious pictures and sentiments in one's work space).

The ACLU opposes the measure because it fears folks could "refuse to work with people of the opposite gender or with gays or lesbians, or that they could use the law to justify proselytizing or displaying a swastika." Aside from the fact that these matters are already dealt with elsewhere in federal law, all of these would impose a substantial economic or logistical burden on the employer that would allow for prohibition.

Face it -- the ACLU won't steadfastly protect your religious freedom unless you are an atheist, a witch, or an Islamist terrorist.


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