Joseph: Discrimination Is Not Always a Dirty Word
It is the essence of true justice to be able to discriminate between good and evil, between right and wrong, between truth and falsehood.
Our natural obligation to exercise careful discrimination is neither unjust nor discretionary.
In order to make the rule of law actually work, good discrimination based on rational moral discernment must be recognized as mandatory.
Regrettably, under wokeism, anti-discrimination laws are being stretched way beyond their original purview. They now seek to outlaw all expressions of the traditional religious beliefs that sodomy is sinful and that the killing of unborn children is wrong.
The rule of law is being destabilized by radical new woke demands for absolutely universal affirmation and acceptance of these morally questionable practices. Wokeism condemns as culpable discrimination even the most sincere and well-reasoned criticism of these behaviors.
Woke distortion of the Constitution’s religious protection language
Right now, the rule of law is being undermined by woke ideology’s inventive extension of the original meaning of constitutional terms like “religion.”
Nearly half of U.S. states have laws modeled on the 1993 federal Religious Freedom Restoration Act signed by President Bill Clinton.
But now, both LGBT groups and pro-abortion groups are claiming that these religious freedom laws are being used to discriminate against their religious freedom, against their right to hold different beliefs.
This misrepresentation of LGBT and pro-abortion practices as “religious” and thus somehow above public criticism is preposterous.
Religious belief is no longer to be tolerated?
The Constitution’s words are being twisted into a weapon to prosecute and convict traditional religious believers for expressing their belief that these practices are immoral.
At the most fundamental level, these practices cannot be constitutionally protected from rational criticism on religious grounds since innately they violate “the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God” recognized in the foundational document of the United States, the Declaration of Independence.
The newly invented woke lexicon employed now in anti-discrimination laws is targeting those who hold and express genuinely religious beliefs that same-sex intercourse is sinful and that the willful killing of utterly defenseless unborn children is evil.
What’s next? That we may not say or teach that stealing is wrong? Are we to be pressured into approving the deceitful extension of religious rights protection to immoral practices like the current shoplifting craze?
Can every belief be a religious belief?
We must reinstate common-sense limitations on what constitutes unlawful discrimination. Freedom to discriminate between what is moral and what is immoral is absolutely necessary to maintaining genuine religious freedom under the rule of law.
If every religious belief expressed in public is discrimination against those who have different beliefs, then anti-discrimination laws become meaningless.
If everything is a religious belief, then nothing can be regulated or protected. Every religious belief may be prosecuted under anti-discrimination laws. Every outspoken article of faith has the potential to be condemned at the mere discretionary will of hopelessly conflicted courts of law.
Ideologues have mastered the trick of inclusion to excess and are now using it to attack as discriminatory traditional religious beliefs and moral imperatives such as the Ten Commandments.
Constitutional respect for the “free exercise” of religion
Yet freedom of religion was at the very heart of that first settlement in 1620 by the Mayflower Pilgrims.
And when the colonists eventually won their War of Independence, the Founding Fathers, in the very First Amendment to the Constitution, ensured that “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.”
So why are people who hold to traditional beliefs and their faith-based organizations now being silenced?
Conscientious discrimination a necessity — not a crime
Sincerely held religious beliefs are being attacked as unlawfully “discriminatory.” Mandatory support for immoral acts is being mainstreamed and codified in ever-broadening non-discrimination laws that encourage and protect moral wrongdoing from public censure.
With the rise of wokeism as a new “religion” mendaciously espousing moral wrongs as religious rights, we no longer have an agreed-upon interpretation of the language of the Constitution as to what constitutes genuinely unlawful discrimination.
Contradictory redefinitions of key constitutional words and phrases now make it almost impossible for legislatures and courts to read the Constitution with integrity and fidelity to the original principles.
Fortunately, the U.S. Supreme Court is on the right track: “Ordered liberty sets limits and defines the boundary between competing interests” [Dobbs v. Jackson (2022)].
The need for more and better discrimination to define those limits and boundaries has never been more urgent.
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