For several months, a Christian right group here in North Dakota has been trying to collect enough signatures to place on a ballet something called the Religious Liberty RestorationÂ Ammendment.Â The “right” does not seem to understand that this measure could return to harm them, not to mention the rest of our citizens.
The ammendment says, in effect, that if you have a job, and some task comes up that you feel violates some religious tenent that you hold, you do not have to perform that task.Â If you have a “sincerely held religous belief” that you feel is compromised by the task, you don’t have to do it.Â
This ammendment would place religious previlage higher than it has every been in our State.Â The peculiar aspect of it is that very little documentation is required as to what it means to sincerely hold some belief.Â It seems like religions that have not yet been born may crop up to claim exemption from tasks that someone does not want to bother doing.
We know it refers to pharmacists who do not want to sell birth control pills and school councelors who do not want to provide help to gay students.Â But, what about other religious taboos?
A muslim cab driver may be able to not carry anyone who has consumed alcohol.Â If serving pork is a taboo of someone’s faith and they are working at a barbeque place, he can refuse to do much of anything.Â
This measure would expand government’s reach in a big way.